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Bill Tsafa




Location: Brooklyn, NY
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PostPosted: Sun 31 May, 2009 10:52 am    Post subject: Re: The elusive quest for authenticity.         Reply with quote

Daniel Michaelsson wrote:
Vikings versus Crusaders? Oh God . . . just no. No, seriously, don't. Really, really don't. Stop. Now.


Vikings vs Crusaders is not completely beyond the realm of reality. It is just a matter of expanding a bit on historical facts. Vikings were very well traveled. They traded with all and served as mercenaries to all. Vikings served Emperors of Constantinople and were known as the Varangian Guard. Crusaders sacked Constantinople in the 4th crusade. It is likely the Varangian Guard played some role in the defense of the city, so that puts Crusaders up against Vikings.

A large contingent of Crusaders were Normans, who were decedents of Vikings themselves and settled the north of France. The were given that land by Europeans so that they may defend that access point against other Vikings. The Byzantine sac of 1205 you might even have an element of Vikings vs Vikings (Normans vs Varangians).

Furthermore the Vikings traded with the Muslims. I have not heard of any particular case but it is also possible the Vikings might have been employed as mercenaries for the Muslims. That would put crusaders up against vikings. To make it even more confusing... there was one battle soon after the Crusader conquest of Jerusalem (I forge the name), that had Crusaders fighting against Crusaders. Each side of those Crusaders had Muslim alias fighting on their side.

Michale Mann, you came to the right place. Keep following this thread and you will get a ton of ideas. You will also find out that much of history is also not clear.

Regarding Great Helms in the 11th century, I think there would have been some rare cases of flat tops. Not too many, but a few used in mounted charges. They would have been worn over a coif and removed after the initial clash for vissibility. Pieces of plate would have also been worn by a few. Particularly a coat of plates (leather with plated riveted on the inside). On a long campaign I suspect they would have gone as light as possible with just mail.

No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack... then he will be ready for battle.
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Bram Verbeek





Joined: 27 Mar 2007

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PostPosted: Sun 31 May, 2009 11:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I applaud you for taking up time to see what might be possible, yet within budget and cinematically defensible.

For the Varangian Guards, they are definately recorded to go back to the north, it would be possible that he came back with Harald Hardrada.

About weaponry, I suspect that a lot of people, especially in somewhat off the beaten track places will not have the same level of weaponry that someone serving in the Byzantine would have. I'd say take a look at the arms used in Constantinopel, it is certainly defensible that a replacement would be from these sources rather than import a more northern smith.
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Allan Senefelder
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PostPosted: Sun 31 May, 2009 1:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

moved

Last edited by Allan Senefelder on Mon 01 Jun, 2009 6:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Marius Angantyr Rafoshei




Location: Troms - Norway
Joined: 02 Sep 2006

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PostPosted: Sun 31 May, 2009 1:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This sounds like fun! And really, when it comes to authenticity, can it get worse than 13th warrior? (Wich is after all a rather entertaining movie.)
I know that me, myself and a whole lot of other history buffs are going to be at the Oslo middelalder festival. In fact we are going there as "Frilansene". We are easy to spot, look for the knights from around 1400. (Horses, shiny armour, shiny swords, interesting long pointy things... I am myself going to wander around in my yellow doublet and green hosen, with the sexiest black hat in the world) Yes, we are a group reenacting the time of the Kalmar union, but a lot of the members are interested in other areas and frankly: We are the nicest bunch of reenactors in Norway. Cool
(Oh and be warned: We are way into WMA, we might end up going medieval on you for not killing people the right way. Just as my girlfriend will seek you out if she does not see a couple of woolen tunics. Razz )
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
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PostPosted: Sun 31 May, 2009 2:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vikings did not disappear as early as some might think. Vikings of the Western Scotish Isles were real vikings in every sense of the term well into the 12th century...
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David Evans




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PostPosted: Sun 31 May, 2009 2:51 pm    Post subject: Templars         Reply with quote

Out of interest

When did the Prussian Crusading movements kick off?

Duh

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prussian_Crusade


Any good?
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Michael Mann




Location: Oslo
Joined: 30 May 2009

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PostPosted: Sun 31 May, 2009 3:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Crikey. I couldn't have dreamt of a better response Big Grin


Can I put a challenge to the group then:


My biggest concern is visually differentiating the "Knight" warrior from the Vikings he encounters.
There is very little dialogue planned, so visual imagery is going to be key.

The stance and physical bearing of the protagonist have a great deal to do with setting the mood of the film: The fact that the "Tank" armour would be burdensome was going to be a representation of the characters guilt weighing him down.

Prior to the reality check on this forum, it was simply that he would have a very different armour, but I see now that this is not going to work.

*Assuming* that we were to take the plunge and go for authenticity (there goes the lighting budget).... What I would like to know is how much can be changed stylistically to the era-authentic armour to give the character a very different look?
How does one build a hero from 1140?

Would he use or wear Saracen pieces of armour? War trophies? Would he wear prototype pieces that had "yet to catch on"?

I must believe that such warriors went to considerable length to stand out. I have learned. particularly from this site, that a great deal of personification went into battle equipment. Painting helmets, grotesque masks, and naming of swords etc.

Remembering that this man is essentially (as has been astutely observed in previous posts) the lone stranger type, such as C.Eastood or J.Wayne, how would YOU dress a medieval man-with-no-name whilst remaining faithful to the era? And remember: we want him to look cool, dangerous and anciently modern, all without being gaudy.


If this was you, what would you wear?


Thanks

m.

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Jean-Carle Hudon




Location: Montreal,Canada
Joined: 16 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Sun 31 May, 2009 3:42 pm    Post subject: norman vs scandinavian         Reply with quote

Michael,
given the premisse of your project, your hero should look very much like your standard Norman, so I would have him in chain mail, but down to his knees, and over a good gambeson, his shield would be kite shaped, anywhere down to ''heater'' size, which allows you a full range of sizes, his adversaries would still favor the round plank shields with iron bosses, and the artwork on the shields would go a long way in bringing home the cultural differences ( christian symbols on the one, pagan beasties on the others, also the mail of the poor rustic scandinavians would not be of the same quality, no gambesons, just a few linen or wool tunics, which would make some forumites so happy as they persist in believing that scandinavians were too butch to wear padded protection under their mail... in the same vein, full mail chausses for the hero, naked legs or wrapped legs for the scans, again a clear visual difference... note that the conical helm with nasal has the advantage of allowing the audience to see the hero perform, barrel helms are a bit more impersonal....
to remind the audience that he is returning from the holy land, why not a relic in his pommel, and an ''arab'' looking dagger hanging from his belt instead of a more western style dagger, make it fancy with an anecdote about saving the life of some infidel merchant, or the virtue of his beautiful daughter... then send me a free CD when it is done...
Break a leg,
Jean-Carle
PS If you need a musical score, we have a lot of that going on around here...

Bon coeur et bon bras
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Chuck Russell




Location: WV
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PostPosted: Sun 31 May, 2009 4:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

the biggest problem i see is that Vikings are referred to as a people/race etc. in which they are not. to go a vikr means to go out if I am not mistaken and thats where we get the term viking from. So, in other words, Vikings looked like everyday people they were everyday people.. just out for a lil stroll heheh. the "viking age" was from late 8th century till 1066AD was it not? Then rose the Age of Chivalry? A lot of the traveling Norse men had settled down by that point and had land, so I don't see how you are going to make a vast character difference from a Crusader and someone off the street that's father or grandfather went out sacking churches.

Fashion is the key here. If you look at most paintings, etc etc you will see that most everyone in Europe was wearing the same thing. (for the sources we have) again it would be hard to tell the difference.

hope i am making myself clear. if not i am truly sorry.
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Michael Mann




Location: Oslo
Joined: 30 May 2009

Posts: 17

PostPosted: Sun 31 May, 2009 4:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://www.armourarchive.org/patterns/lamellar_templarbob/

Is lamellar an option? This gentleman mentions that such things were carried back from the east, and incorporated into saxon and norman styles from the early crusades. I'm thinking gauntlets, vambraces and other embellishments..

Are there any historic examples of such a thing? If not I guess we are in "unlikely but not entirely impossible" territory?

Regards,

m

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Chuck Russell




Location: WV
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PostPosted: Sun 31 May, 2009 4:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Mann wrote:
Crikey. I couldn't have dreamt of a better response Big Grin


Can I put a challenge to the group then:


My biggest concern is visually differentiating the "Knight" warrior from the Vikings he encounters.
There is very little dialogue planned, so visual imagery is going to be key.

The stance and physical bearing of the protagonist have a great deal to do with setting the mood of the film: The fact that the "Tank" armour would be burdensome was going to be a representation of the characters guilt weighing him down.

Prior to the reality check on this forum, it was simply that he would have a very different armour, but I see now that this is not going to work.

*Assuming* that we were to take the plunge and go for authenticity (there goes the lighting budget).... What I would like to know is how much can be changed stylistically to the era-authentic armour to give the character a very different look?
How does one build a hero from 1140?

Would he use or wear Saracen pieces of armour? War trophies? Would he wear prototype pieces that had "yet to catch on"?

I must believe that such warriors went to considerable length to stand out. I have learned. particularly from this site, that a great deal of personification went into battle equipment. Painting helmets, grotesque masks, and naming of swords etc.

Remembering that this man is essentially (as has been astutely observed in previous posts) the lone stranger type, such as C.Eastood or J.Wayne, how would YOU dress a medieval man-with-no-name whilst remaining faithful to the era? And remember: we want him to look cool, dangerous and anciently modern, all without being gaudy.


If this was you, what would you wear?


Thanks

m.


well 1140s I would say he would be in a norman style conical helmet, long sleeved hauberk maybe with mittens by that point. his coif would still be attached. he may even have mail chauses to cover his legs. his clothing would be of a long tunic with possible multicolored chauses. the kite shield would be developing into a heater so it could still look like a tear drop or have the top and or bottom cut straight.
a man already living in the east might have adapted some lammalar armour and some more eastern style clothing form the silks etc on hand.
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Chuck Russell




Location: WV
Joined: 17 Aug 2004
Reading list: 46 books

Posts: 936

PostPosted: Sun 31 May, 2009 4:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Mann wrote:
http://www.armourarchive.org/patterns/lamellar_templarbob/

Is lamellar an option? This gentleman mentions that such things were carried back from the east, and incorporated into saxon and norman styles from the early crusades. I'm thinking gauntlets, vambraces and other embellishments..

Are there any historic examples of such a thing? If not I guess we are in "unlikely but not entirely impossible" territory?

Regards,

m


there are no gauntlets that we know of or vambraces that are seen by many folks today. there are paintings showing mail mittens attached to the sleeves of hauberks

as to lamallar coming back to the west is a slippery slope that I am not willing to put stock in being that the finds are small to nill.
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Hadrian Coffin
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Location: Oxford, England
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PostPosted: Sun 31 May, 2009 4:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree with Mr. Russel's statement about the "Viking race"... There is a long debate over the etymology of the word Viking, but never is it simply a "race" of people. One possible root of Viking (though there are others) is vik meaning creek or inlet, and -ing meaning coming from. I wrote an article on the etymology and various roots in the word as well as the first use of it. In period however it seems that Viking was more of a verb, you went viking, not you were a viking. Also the "vikings" were very adaptive and by the 12th century their armour and clothing would have evolved just as everyone elses had. One thing you could do, would be to give your main character, and crusaders, a surcoat, perhaps with a cross or two, and let your "vikings" have no surcoat. That should give a very quick visual change. The "vikings" could then also have more scandinavian and geometrical designs, while the "crusaders" could have crosses.
Best,
Hadrian
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Nat Lamb




Location: Melbourne, Australia
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Sun 31 May, 2009 5:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think the long hauberk with chauses and maille mittens is a goer, and allows for a great deal of visual diference from the locals (be they Viking or otherwise) with "chain t-shirts". Beard length might be usefull as well, with the crusader either clean shaven or with a sensible military number 3, where the locals have gone for the (ate a bear, left its arse hanging out of mouth" look. I think just on those 2 fronts there is enough "visual cueing" to represent 2 very diferent mind sets initially in conflict

Last edited by Nat Lamb on Tue 02 Jun, 2009 7:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
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PostPosted: Sun 31 May, 2009 8:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One could do worse than looking at Hal Foster's illustrations of Prince Valiant for inspiration and even entire story boards for such a production.

Cheers

GC
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Bram Verbeek





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PostPosted: Sun 31 May, 2009 10:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think lamellar is defensible, though admittedly shaky, and could differentiate the hero from other, more modern minded norwegians. This allows for another factor in the movie.
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Sam Gordon Campbell




Location: Australia.
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PostPosted: Mon 01 Jun, 2009 5:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Mann wrote:
Would he wear prototype pieces that had "yet to catch on"?

As stated beforehand many times, though there is little to no evidence (archaeological or otherwise I think) to support this, one could argue that there is therefore no denying that maybe, someone somewhere thought "Hey, this works rather well" and decided to just do it.
And also as stated beforehand, you're trying for a visual extravaganza of contrast between the 'noble savage' and the 'tainted faithful', so I think historic casulties are going to occur, or rather anachronism is gonna happen regardless.
Maybe giving some pictures would give a better grasp on the situation?
And out of curiosty, what music are you going to use?
So yeah, keep us upto date on that project Laughing Out Loud
P.S. 'Lancelot du Lac', and the 'Seventh Seal' are definitly worth a watch Big Grin

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Bill Tsafa




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PostPosted: Mon 01 Jun, 2009 7:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Allan Senefelder wrote:
Quote:
Regarding Great Helms in the 11th century, I think there would have been some rare cases of flat tops. Not too many, but a few used in mounted charges. They would have been worn over a coif and removed after the initial clash for vissibility. Pieces of plate would have also been worn by a few. Particularly a coat of plates (leather with plated riveted on the inside).


Bill, I get the impression that Mr. Mann is shooting for at least some level of authenticity. While early proto great helms are at least some 60 years after his time line, coats of plates are over 300 years later. If costuming is part of the attempt at some accuracy, the coat of plates is probably pushing it I think.


Allan, most people tie coats of plates to the 1361 battle of Visby because of the mass grave found there that contained coats of plates. That does not necessarily mean that non existed before that. The idea of riveting a few plates to the inside of leather is hardly anything that requires a genius to think of. It is also not something that should be expected to last long and intact since the item holding everything together was biodegradable leather and the plates themselves could be recycled.

A coat of plates was found at the Castle of Montfort and most likely dates prior to 1271 when the Muslims took the Castle. That puts it within the Crusading period and not too much of a stretch to put it and within the period Michale Mann is looking at.

Chuck Russell is correct in stating that the term "Viking" was a verb, not a noun synonymous with raiding, raping and looting. One was not viking but rather went viking.

No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack... then he will be ready for battle.
Roger of Hoveden, 1174-1201
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www.poconogym.com
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Allan Senefelder
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PostPosted: Mon 01 Jun, 2009 8:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

moved

Last edited by Allan Senefelder on Mon 01 Jun, 2009 6:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Bill Tsafa




Location: Brooklyn, NY
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PostPosted: Mon 01 Jun, 2009 8:56 am    Post subject: Re: The elusive quest for authenticity.         Reply with quote

Michael Mann wrote:

How far can one "stretch" the styles of the 12th versus the 13th century when dealing with armour and weaponry. How much of what we know is speculation? I'm hovering around 1138 for the story, some years after the English chapter of the Templars had been established.



Allen, Michael is specifically asking how far he can stretch known facts. Bringing a 13th century armored surcoat or coat of plates back into the 12th century is not that big a stretch.

Also... practically speaking... how ridged do you suppose the definition of a coat of plates vs an armored surcoat is? Wouldn't you allow for some variation for transitional armor? Variations from region to region? Different languages? Isn't it the same basic idea? There is no advance in technology here. Only how the same materials are arranged and put together.

No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack... then he will be ready for battle.
Roger of Hoveden, 1174-1201
www.poconoshooting.com
www.poconogym.com


Last edited by Bill Tsafa on Mon 01 Jun, 2009 9:39 am; edited 3 times in total
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