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Mark Gattis




Location: Okclahoma City, OK
Joined: 23 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Mon 03 Oct, 2005 1:26 pm    Post subject: Men-at-arms         Reply with quote

Could someone clarify this term for me? What exactly dose the term “man at arms” mean?

Were they solders of any social rank armed for battle?

Or were men at arms household retainers of mid-level social standing, owing there loyalty to a knight or noble?

Who exactly dose this term refer to?

Mark
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Helen Miller




Location: Springfield VA, USA
Joined: 06 Apr 2005
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PostPosted: Mon 03 Oct, 2005 2:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You can find some general information here. Also, click on some of the links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man-at-arms

-"A woman's tongue is her sword, and she does not let it rust."
Proverb
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Jeff Johnson





Joined: 05 Jan 2004

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PostPosted: Tue 04 Oct, 2005 11:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice definition. Wikki continues to improve and impress.
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Aaron Schnatterly




Location: New Glarus, WI
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PostPosted: Tue 04 Oct, 2005 12:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeff Johnson wrote:
Nice definition. Wikki continues to improve and impress.

I agree. The Wikipedia has continued to grow and refine... actually becoming an interesting resource. Wouldn't use it to cite for publications, but typically it is fairly decent... and if it isn't, anyone can edit or add to it!

-Aaron Schnatterly
_______________

Fortior Qui Se Vincit
(He is stronger who conquers himself.)
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Daniel Staberg




Location: Gothenburg/Sweden
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PostPosted: Tue 04 Oct, 2005 12:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Wikipedia article has few errors in it although all in all it get the basics right. The word Man-at-arms denotes a type of soldier equipped in a certain way to fullfill a certain tactical function. (In the same way "archer" denotes a soldier armed with a bow and "crossbowman" one with a crossbow.)
What set the men-at-arms apart was that not that they wore armour as implied by the Wiki article since most soldiers wore some armour (and used swords) but they wore full head to foot armour and were traiend for mounted combat with the lance. Hence the other terms commonly substituted for men-at-arms in the documents: "lance", "spears" or ges darmes, man of arms. The English commonly fought on foot in the 100-Years War and came to divide their Men-at-arms into two types. The Lance a cheval who was trained and equipped for mounted combat and the Lance a pied who was a Men-at-arms who moved on horseback but who was not equipped and/or trained to fight mounted.

Quote:
Firstly said the men-at-arms are commonly, when they go to war, in entire white harness. That is to say close cuirass, vambraces, large garde-braces, leg harness, gauntlets, salet with visor and a small bevor which covers only the chin. Each is armed with a lance and a long light sword, a sharp dagger hanging on the left side of the saddle, and a mace
-Du Costume Militaire des Francais en 1446


Quote:
"...as a man of arms with vj. [6] archer sin his company, all on horsbak and wele chosen men, and likely personnes wele and suffisantly armed, horsed and arrayed ev'ry man after his degree; that is to say, that the seid James Skidmore have hernis complete wt basnet or salade, with viser, spere, axe, swerd and dagger;..."
Indenture of Jame Skidmore as quoted in Paul Knight's "Henry V and the Conquest of France 1416-53"


The French used the term lanceas well, other gens darmes, hommes d'armes while the Germans would at tiems call the men-at-arms gleven. In Italy the terms elmeti and lanze spezzate used among others.

You can find some discusion on the term here: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=4373

Hope this has been of some help.
Regards
Daniel
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