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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Wed 04 May, 2005 3:55 pm    Post subject: Round shields and the early middle ages         Reply with quote

Hello everyone,
We have all seen the period illustrations and illuminations showing the tear drop and proto-heater shields but did the use of round shields extend from the viking age into the early middle ages? (1050-1200) Is this verifiable?
Jeremy
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Wed 04 May, 2005 4:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Round shields and the early middle ages         Reply with quote

Jeremy V. Krause wrote:
Hello everyone,
We have all seen the period illustrations and illuminations showing the tear drop and proto-heater shields but did the use of round shields extend from the viking age into the early middle ages? (1050-1200) Is this verifiable?
Jeremy


Yes it did. Quite a few of the illustrations in the Maciejowski Bible show round shields being used, mainly by infantry troops storming castles and etc. There are quite a few sculptures and paintings from Outremer that show the same thing.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Wed 04 May, 2005 5:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah! thanks Patrick,
I will have to take another look at the Mac. bible. This is very useful-
Jeremy
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Alina Boyden





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PostPosted: Wed 04 May, 2005 6:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In addition, the small round shield was the preferred shield of eastern islam and of the byzantine empire. In Islamic Spain they used small round shields up until the Almoravids/Almohads introduced the heart-shaped leather shield which became so popular.
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Wed 04 May, 2005 8:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you have access to any of the Osprey books you may want to look at Warrior #18, Knight of Outremer 1187-1344 AD.

This book also includes several period illustrations that show round and oval shields in use by Knights and Men-at-Arms when fighting on foot.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Alina Boyden





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PostPosted: Wed 04 May, 2005 8:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I need to get this one, Patrick. I love the oval shields used by Outremer soldiers and Byzantines in the middle ages. The little round shields are fantastic too.

IMHO Osprey's Warrior series is, overall, one of their better efforts.
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Thu 05 May, 2005 5:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My impressions on the use of round shields in the early/high
It must be noted that the roundt shields in the mac bible are strapped to the arm of the user, and not held in a handle, like the viking type shield is.
This is indeed the prefered shield of the Eastern Hordes™, and is most comonly seen in the hands of the philistines. The IDF infantrymen usualy carry kites. (are there any pictures of the jews using round shield, other than the occational buckler?)

At least in norway, the kite shield is almost universal in depictions from the 12th century onwards. In the 13th c. this can be atributed to the influence of continetal chivalric imagery, but in the instances where footmen are shown, they almost always carry kite or heather shields.
There is a picture in the Holkam Picture Bible that shows "low level" infantry fighting with bucklers and various hand weapons;
http://www.thearma.org/arttalk/at2.htm
but my theory is that the primary armament of this kind of troops would be a spear, and that the bucklers are used along with the back up hand weapons.

Bucklers, on the other hand, are preserved in some quantity.
http://home.armourarchive.org/members/andersh...uklere.gif
Probably because they are small and pretty...

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Thu 05 May, 2005 4:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So do the soldiers of the high middle ages, when using a round shield, tend to hold that shield in a different manner than their viking forebearers (i.e. strapped to the arms and not grasping the handle behind the boss as seems to be the case with the vikings)
Also does the round shield of the early/high middle ages tend to be smaller than the viking round?
Thanks everyone.
Jeremy
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Alina Boyden





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PostPosted: Thu 05 May, 2005 4:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeremy V. Krause wrote:
So do the soldiers of the high middle ages, when using a round shield, tend to hold that shield in a different manner than their viking forebearers (i.e. strapped to the arms and not grasping the handle behind the boss as seems to be the case with the vikings)
Also does the round shield of the early/high middle ages tend to be smaller than the viking round?
Thanks everyone.
Jeremy


I think this is one of those cases where an archetypal example doesn't exist. Round shields varied from person to person and culture to culture.
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