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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 22 Jan, 2010 8:59 am    Post subject: Crossbowmen, ca. 1400         Reply with quote

I thought some of y'all might be interested in this nice view of crossbowmen, ca. 1400. Nice details of arms and accoutrement.

The info:
Kunstwerk: Freskomalerei ; Wandmalerei sakral ; Zyklus ; Lombardei ; Ursula:03:005
Dokumentation: 1400 ; 1410 ; Morter ; Italien ; Südtirol ; St. Stephan in Obermontani
Anmerkungen: Morter ; Mittelschiff



 Attachment: 190.74 KB
7004547.JPG


-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 22 Jan, 2010 9:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting pic: Knights with crossbows or do we generally assume that only knights would have close to full plate defences ?

High end, highly paid crossbow mercenaries or personal troops of a rich noble might be equipped with very high end armour and full plate ?

I think we sort of assume something more modest like a kettle hat, bishop's mantle, maille shirt supplemented by a ganbison, briandine/jack and maybe limited leg armour like " archers legs " mostly covering the knees a bit of lower thigh and leg under the knee: This assumption might be wrong ???

Artistic licence ? Where the artist uses the armour suitable for a knight generically for fighters that would normally be less well armoured ?

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!


Last edited by Jean Thibodeau on Fri 22 Jan, 2010 10:44 am; edited 1 time in total
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Luke Zechman




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PostPosted: Fri 22 Jan, 2010 10:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think that "normally" might be the key word in this situation Jean. If there is one thing I have learned in my life, it is that there are always exceptions to almost any rule. Maybe these fellows are indeed knights that also have trained in the use of a crossbow. Maybe they are just have a lot of wealth, and can afford better protection. I would think an effective crossbowman would want to be lighter, as I am sure mobility on the battlefield is a factor. Could they have been mounted crossbowman that fired bolts from horse back and then closed the distance via steed? It is peculiar indeed. [/quote]
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 22 Jan, 2010 11:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luke Zechman wrote:
I think that "normally" might be the key word in this situation Jean. If there is one thing I have learned in my life, it is that there are always exceptions to almost any rule. Maybe these fellows are indeed knights that also have trained in the use of a crossbow. Maybe they are just have a lot of wealth, and can afford better protection. I would think an effective crossbowman would want to be lighter, as I am sure mobility on the battlefield is a factor. Could they have been mounted crossbowman that fired bolts from horse back and then closed the distance via steed? It is peculiar indeed.
[/quote]

Yeah, I was mostly thinking out loud about our assumptions and that we should occasionally examine on what they are based.

Mounted crossbowmen could be part of a " full lance " meaning a knight, sergeant, a few squires all armed and armoured at a high level and this would/could also include some mounted archers or crossbowmen for maybe a dozen men in all plus a few lower end servants or less well armed foot soldiers.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Dan Sellars





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PostPosted: Fri 22 Jan, 2010 11:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It is funny I saw something similar on another forum yesterday.

http://www.armsandarmourforum.com/forum/index...amp;p=8767

Compare the crossbow men to the archer in the same picture. It is interesting that there such a difference in armour between crossbowmen and archers.
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Luke Zechman




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PostPosted: Fri 22 Jan, 2010 11:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It is interesting to think about either way. It is nice when we have period art in this manner as it can be speculated about in so many ways. Jean, as you had also mentioned, we can't rule out artistic license. I for one would like to think these fellows had been viewed by an artist, and then drawn. Interesting indeed. I would also mention that these croosbows they have do not appear to be of the heavy variety. I see no goats feet, or other high draw height devices, which might mean they fired once from horse back and then went to melee weapons. These are just ideas of course.

Ahh wait.... I have looked even closer and noticed the belts that they wear have hooks on the end of them. The word is escaping me right now, but could they be the devices used to draw a crossbow? And obviously they have the foot stirrup...

Nice picture Sean. I have had my brain storming for the day.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 22 Jan, 2010 11:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luke Zechman wrote:
It is interesting to think about either way. It is nice when we have period art in this manner as it can be speculated about in so many ways. Jean, as you had also mentioned, we can't rule out artistic license. I for one would like to think these fellows had been viewed by an artist, and then drawn. Interesting indeed. I would also mention that these croosbows they have do not appear to be of the heavy variety. I see no goats feet, or other high draw height devices, which might mean they fired once from horse back and then went to melee weapons. These are just ideas of course.


Oh, there seems to be a belt hook so the crossbows could be fairly powerful but not of the most powerful types.

For horseback use the belt hook would be useless so either they would use it only once from horseback or dismount to shoot a few bolts, assuming they are mounted crossbowmen: Could function more like dragoons of a later period i.e. ride to the fight but fight on foot at least as far as using the crossbow is concerned except for that one shot from horseback ?

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Felix R.




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PostPosted: Fri 22 Jan, 2010 11:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

They would not need to go anywhere by horse or foot if we think of them as city defenders. So also the heavy gear would not be a problem.

Here is the whole picture and the setting is entitled "belagern"/siege. So it is always useful to have whole thing for interpretation. These guys would most probably be mercenaries then.

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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 22 Jan, 2010 12:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

They all look generally like foot soldiers and if they are wearing armour that we usually assume being mostly knightly armour it may mean that very well equipped professional soldiers of the period would have more complete armour than we often imagine as being " knightly armour " only or mostly ?

Artistic license by the painter always being a possibility to consider.

One thing that the painting can't show is quality of armour as opposed to completeness of coverage: High end armour for the very rich would be of higher quality both in decoration/workmanship and in the protective quality of the plate.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Felix R.




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PostPosted: Fri 22 Jan, 2010 1:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One thing I just found, is the spearman on the middle right side with the triangular fauld. That is a detail good for me to see, as it gives more support for the composition of my kit Happy

Is the date of 1400 to 1410 convincing and trustworthy? Because I always thought Kastenbrusts were later type?

It also shows two types of sword suspension.

Thanks for breingg our attention to this Sean.
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Christopher VaughnStrever




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PostPosted: Fri 22 Jan, 2010 1:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau
Quote:
Artistic license by the painter always being a possibility to consider.


We have to take this wholly into consideration that there is no decisive yes or no answer. However we know that not all men at arms on the field were knights. And men at arms wore anything that ranged from gauntlets and a helm all the way up to a full suit of armor looking identical to a knight. That is without a coat of arms to be displayed.

In the full picture I do see two banners being caried, however I have no idea if these banners are the banners of the town or of a knights coat of arms. Even if they were coat of arms, there is only two banners vs 20+ men at arms.

Experience and learning from such defines maturity, not a number of age
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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Fri 22 Jan, 2010 1:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm working on the assumption that this could be munitions armor leased to the defenders during an attack.

M.

This space for rent or lease.
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Felix R.




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PostPosted: Fri 22 Jan, 2010 1:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The colours on the spearman banneret is seen on the tent and on the pennons on top of the other tents. So it is the colour of the besieging faction.

The text for the painting says: Also fuhren die Mägde alle mit den vorgenannten Bischöfen wieder gen Cöln; da funden sie die Stadt allbereits von den Hunnen belagert.

It is that the maidservant together with the aforementioned bishops went back to cologne, there they found the city besieged by the Huns.


Last edited by Felix R. on Fri 22 Jan, 2010 1:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 22 Jan, 2010 1:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Felix R. wrote:
Is the date of 1400 to 1410 convincing and trustworthy? Because I always thought Kastenbrusts were later type?


I think some of their dating information might be off, though perhaps not more than a decade or so. It's hard to know how they arrive at the dates given. I have assumed that these are the dates of first record (in, say, church documents). Some noble German-speaker might be able to figure that out from the ImaReal project information, our through contact with our friends in Krems. Wink

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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