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Pedro Paulo Gaião

Location: Sioux City, IA
Joined: 14 Mar 2015
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PostPosted: Sat 16 Sep, 2017 2:57 pm    Post subject: Llywelyn Bren and armor studies         Reply with quote

Ian Heath wrote:
It seens likely that in the course of the 13th century the uchelwyr would have been influenced by the styles of arms and armor in use amongst the contingents of the marcher lords, and that an even more 'anglicised' harness would have resulted; in 1316, for instance, the confiscated armor of the rebel Llywelyn Bren (of the royal house of Senghenydd in Glamorgan) is recorded to have comprised an aketon, a gambeson, 3 haubergeons, an iron breastplate, a buckram armor (doubtless a coat-of-plates), an iron helmet, 2 pairs of maunc' (vambraces), a shield and a pair of gauntlets. Though this harness is somewhat more comprehensive than that generically in use at the end of the 13th century, the significant point is that would have made Llywelyn Bren undistinguishable from his english adversaries.

Source: Heath, Ian. Armies of Feudal Europe. pp. 93

As I began to deepen my study of armor from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, I noticed a significant problem in the effigies, illuminations, and chronicles of the period. Although innovations appear rather precociously, they do not seem to have become popular for decades. In fact, this seems to be the direction of the whole of Europe until the 1340s, when unexpectedly a series of artistic evidence of armor innovations seems to have taken universal adherence.

Poleyns started to appear by 1225, but they only got significant popularity by the latter decades of the 13th century. Couters were known by 1225 as well, but doesn't seen to appear much until 1310-1320; Schynbalds already known by 1240 (also in the Goliath illustration of 1250's of Morgan Bible) but not so much seen until 1320-1330; having in account that Closed greaves were actually known by 1290's.

Propper coat-of-plates can seen in documentary evidence related to germans or scandinavians; the primary source of the Batte of Benevento (1266), the Apocalipse from Bremen Manuscript of 1249-1250 and the royal manuals of scandinavia, like the King's Mirror (Speculum Regale). One of these manuals state that CoP is armor for the class of knight and up, and source of the Battle of Benevento says most of the german men-at-arms in the field were using Coat of Plates (CoP is also mentioned among german knights in a Florentine war-order from 1260's). However, most of the effigies or artistic evidence doesn't show CoP, with rare exemptions, until 1330-1340.

The fact that a welsh noblemen had such equipment by 1310's is kindda ground-breaking. Notice too that it's likely the english were producing their own CoP in England already by this date, and they were common enough for a welsh noblemen to have them (perhaps pillaged from the english noblemen of the marches?).

How exactly should we proceed regarding 1200-1340's period in the matter of armor? How one should examinate the evidence we have in art, chronicles et coetera? I'm inclined to think the written evidence are the most authoritative of all, but their scarcity are a serious problem regarding to how common an armor innovation was at a said time.

By the way, I'm curious regarding to what "iron breastplate", vambraces and gauntlets would be by that time.

“Burn old wood, read old books, drink old wines, have old friends.”
Alfonso X, King of Castile (1221-84)
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Philip Renne

Location: New Jersey
Joined: 11 Jan 2010

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PostPosted: Sun 17 Sep, 2017 9:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As far as the "breastplate" is concerned it's pretty hopeless to speculate without seeing the actual document in the original language, and even then it could still be ambiguous. The word could simply designate a coat of plates or really anything depending on how loose the chronicler/translator was. As far back as 1185 Richard the Lionheart wore a "plate of worked iron" under his hauberk, but all we can do is imagine what form it took.
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Dan Howard

Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

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PostPosted: Mon 18 Sep, 2017 1:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Agreed. Without seeing the original text it isn't possible to do this kind of analysis.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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