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Joonas Pessi




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PostPosted: Wed 21 Nov, 2018 1:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Darn, haven't checked on this in a few days, so sorry for not responding. I was not arguing for any specialized arming garment for this period since there is no evidence for that, although there is a mention of felted armor from this period oddly enough, but the context implies that it was improvised. I was merely suggesting perhaps just using another layer of clothing over the tunic like a klappenrock or another tunic, but ofcourse just a single article of clothing would do as well.

I didn't take ostentatiousness into account, so wearing your finest clothing as the outermost layer under the mail is quite possible if not likely. There is this passage that might give this hypothesis a bit more weight: Magnús konungr steypti af sér hringabrynju ok hafði yzta rauða silkiskyrtu, King Magnus threw off from him his coat of mail, and had a red silk shirt outside over his clothes. Saga of Magnus the Good (ch. 29)

The passage also indicates more than one layer of clothing. Silk apart from being a sign of high status is quite resilient, so it is actually sensible to wear it under mail if you are filthy rich.

Hopefully i have cleared any misunderstandings in this post and sorry for bringing up an old topic Laughing Out Loud


Last edited by Joonas Pessi on Wed 21 Nov, 2018 2:14 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Wed 21 Nov, 2018 2:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the clarification. Personally I don't think anyone should apologise for resurrecting an old thread but it should be done in the original thread rather than starting a new one each time there is an additional contribution. Zach's above posting shows how difficult it is to track down info when it is scattered among multiple older threads.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Wed 21 Nov, 2018 2:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Len Parker wrote:
Roman not viking. What do you you think this guy (top right) is wearing under his mail? http://www.romancoins.info/MilitaryEquipment-...BodyArmour

Regular tunic with a dagged trim to match the mail.

Actually it is the opposite. The mail was given a dagged edge to match the tunic. Armour was often tailored to conform to the latest fashion in clothing. It is possible that the dagged edge was retro-fitted to the mail well after it was originally made to keep it fashionable.

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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Wed 21 Nov, 2018 2:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joonas Pessi wrote:
I was not arguing for any specialized arming garment for this period since there is no evidence for that...... I was merely suggesting perhaps just using another layer of clothing over the tunic like a klappenrock or another tunic


I can definitely see this as being highly likely.

Éirinn go Brách
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Sean Manning




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PostPosted: Sat 24 Nov, 2018 1:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Zach Gordon wrote:
There is, imo, little point in continuing to argue without new evidence as this is primarily a two camp argument:

A - NO they didn't, they just wore regular tunics/clothing
B- YES they did, they had something special, be it padding/leather/special tunic

I still like the three-possibility model. In the ancient world, we have evidence that some soldiers wore special garments under their armour (which may have been as simple as cutting down an old tunic and turning the excess into shoulder pads and flaps at the armpit), and some armour had a lining, and some soldiers put their armour on over the tunic. Its really hard to say how common the different possibilities were. In the Viking Age, as far as I know we have even less evidence.

Don't forget that mail can be tinned or made from copper alloys to rust-proof it. I do not know of any surviving mail from a Norse site.

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Len Parker





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PostPosted: Sat 24 Nov, 2018 9:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm curious about silk shirts being worn in the sagas to fight in. Could these be gambesons? In 1190 Chretien de Troyes has a silk gambeson (soie gambesie) being worn under mail in his Percivale poem. This is about the same time the Magnus saga is being written down. Maybe the Icelandic poets didn't have a word for gambeson yet, so they called it a shirt. It seems odd that a guy would prefer to fight in a silk shirt instead of mail. And there's more than one mention of someone doing this.
Leonard Parker
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sat 24 Nov, 2018 1:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Len Parker wrote:
I'm curious about silk shirts being worn in the sagas to fight in. Could these be gambesons? In 1190 Chretien de Troyes has a silk gambeson (soie gambesie) being worn under mail in his Percivale poem. This is about the same time the Magnus saga is being written down. Maybe the Icelandic poets didn't have a word for gambeson yet, so they It seems odd that a guy would prefer to fight in a silk shirt instead of mail..


There is nothing in that passage that says that he fought in the silk shirt. Even if he did, there is nothing to suggest that it was his preference. In one saga, King Hakon threw off his mail only after it had been destroyed in the fighting and fought the rest of the battle without it. At Stamford Bridge the Norwegians had thought the north was won after York so left their armour on the ships. When Harold surprised them, many had to fight unarmoured.

Chretian wore some kind of arming tunic under his mail - we usually call them "aketons" today.. The term "gambeson" is reserved for standalone armour, which was never worn under mail. You can't rely on the terminology in primary sources because there is no consistency in the terms used.

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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Sat 24 Nov, 2018 2:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is the full passage taken from this site http://mcllibrary.org/Heimskringla/magnus.html

"Then King Magnus stood up, and ordered the war trumpets to sound, and at that moment the Vindland army advanced from the south across the river against him; on which the whole of the king's army stood up, and advanced against the heathens. King Magnus threw off from him his coat of ring-mail, and had a red silk shirt outside over his clothes, and had in his hands the battle- axe called Hel, which had belonged to King Olaf. King Magnus ran on before all his men to the enemy's army, and instantly hewed down with both hands every man who came against him."

Éirinn go Brách
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Len Parker





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PostPosted: Sat 24 Nov, 2018 7:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's the line from Perceval (line 1156): https://www.kirkville.com/dl/perceval4.pdf
And there is a character named Odd in the sagas who duels in a silk shirt.

Leonard Parker
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sat 24 Nov, 2018 11:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Len Parker wrote:
Here's the line from Perceval (line 1156): https://www.kirkville.com/dl/perceval4.pdf
And there is a character named Odd in the sagas who duels in a silk shirt.


There are many sets of rules and protocols for duelling. Some of them forbid the wearing of armour.

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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sat 24 Nov, 2018 11:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stephen Curtin wrote:
Here is the full passage taken from this site http://mcllibrary.org/Heimskringla/magnus.html

"Then King Magnus stood up, and ordered the war trumpets to sound, and at that moment the Vindland army advanced from the south across the river against him; on which the whole of the king's army stood up, and advanced against the heathens. King Magnus threw off from him his coat of ring-mail, and had a red silk shirt outside over his clothes, and had in his hands the battle- axe called Hel, which had belonged to King Olaf. King Magnus ran on before all his men to the enemy's army, and instantly hewed down with both hands every man who came against him."

Sounds like he threw off his armour to show his contempt for the enemy. His opinion of their prowess is so low that he doesn't need to wear armour to beat them. It was a common way of increasing the morale of the troops. The tactic backfires if the commander gets himself killed early in the fighting.

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Len Parker





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PostPosted: Sun 25 Nov, 2018 6:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's my post about Odd's silk shirt : http://forums.armourarchive.org/phpBB3/viewto...p;t=168499
There might have been some magic involved, I don't remember. Also, his brother Hjalmar wears a quadrupled ring shirt. It doesn't sound like he's wearing two shirts.

Leonard Parker
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Len Parker





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PostPosted: Sun 25 Nov, 2018 9:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm still confused. Is there a difference between an aketon and a gambeson? Is what they're showing here right? https://youtu.be/1gE0BH66QRw?t=1422
Leonard Parker
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Joonas Pessi




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Nov, 2018 10:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Len Parker wrote:
I'm still confused. Is there a difference between an aketon and a gambeson? Is what they're showing here right? https://youtu.be/1gE0BH66QRw?t=1422


As I understand it medieval people used the terms interchancheably but it is useful to distinguish between whether the textile armor was standalone or meant to be used under other armor and that is why Dan uses aketon to refer to a quilted garment meant to be used under armor, and gambeson to refer to standalone armor.

And as for the documentary they seem to be using similar amount of layers of linen as a historical standalone gambesons would have, but they are using it under mail. From what I have read they often used 2 layers of linen with padding in between, and then the garment would be quilted to keep the padding in place. The padding would consist of either wool or cotton. There may have been an additional layer over the garment, which could be silk or leather. This would not function as effective standalone armor but rather as a complementary layer to mail or plate armor.

Modern reenactors often use way too thick padding which makes them look like the Michelini man.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Nov, 2018 2:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joonas Pessi wrote:
Modern reenactors often use way too thick padding which makes them look like the Michelini man.

The main problem is that these people think that arming garments were meant to provide additional protection - mainly against blunt trauma. They weren't. They were designed to stop chafing and to improve the fit of the armour. Any additional protection provided was incidental and no more than you'd get from regular clothing.

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Michael Long





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PostPosted: Sun 25 Nov, 2018 4:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Joonas Pessi wrote:
Modern reenactors often use way too thick padding which makes them look like the Michelini man.

The main problem is that these people think that arming garments were meant to provide additional protection - mainly against blunt trauma. They weren't. They were designed to stop chafing and to improve the fit of the armour. Any additional protection provided was incidental and no more than you'd get from regular clothing.


What about the maille spotlight topic, which critiques modern weapon tests for neglecting the protective effects of padding, or cites padding as effective against bodkin heads?
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Mon 26 Nov, 2018 6:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Long wrote:
Dan Howard wrote:
Joonas Pessi wrote:
Modern reenactors often use way too thick padding which makes them look like the Michelini man.

The main problem is that these people think that arming garments were meant to provide additional protection - mainly against blunt trauma. They weren't. They were designed to stop chafing and to improve the fit of the armour. Any additional protection provided was incidental and no more than you'd get from regular clothing.


What about the maille spotlight topic, which critiques modern weapon tests for neglecting the protective effects of padding, or cites padding as effective against bodkin heads?


Padded armour was worn over the top of mail, not underneath.

One problem with modern tests is that many of them are conducted with the mail over some kind of surface that simulates human flesh. Mail was never worn against bare skin so the testing surface should at least have a few layers of clothing, if not an aketon, between the mail and the testing surface.

Nobody said that aketons don't provide any protection. The contention is that they provide no more protection than regular clothing. That protection might be minimal when worn by itself but it seems to be greater when layered with mail.

The article says that FELT is good against bodkins because it has no woven structure. It says nothing about general padding against bodkins.

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Michael Long





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PostPosted: Mon 26 Nov, 2018 7:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

[quote="Dan Howard"]
Michael Long wrote:

The article says that FELT is good against bodkins because it has no woven structure. It says nothing about general padding against bodkins.


Makes sense.

Quote:
An experiment conducted by the Royal Armouries concluded that a padded jack worn over a mail haubergeon (a common combination during the 15th century) was proof against Mary Rose longbows.


Is there a source for this statement available? Most of the weapons tests people cite seem to be hidden away in the aether, no matter how much people want to read them.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Mon 26 Nov, 2018 3:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Long wrote:

Quote:
An experiment conducted by the Royal Armouries concluded that a padded jack worn over a mail haubergeon (a common combination during the 15th century) was proof against Mary Rose longbows.

Is there a source for this statement available? Most of the weapons tests people cite seem to be hidden away in the aether, no matter how much people want to read them.

I was pretty careful about proper citations in that article but I omitted that one. Apologies. I'll see if I can find it.

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Len Parker





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PostPosted: Mon 26 Nov, 2018 6:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The translation for the description of the gambeson in Chretien is correct. Mole et tanvre does mean soft and frail/delicate. So it looks like a thinner garment being worn under the mail. The King's Mirror c.1250 gives three different descriptions for gambesons/pannzara: a heavy gambeson for fighting on foot, a soft (blautan) gambeson worn under mail, and a sleeveless (godan) gambeson over top. I'm not sure of the word godan. I think it might mean good.
Leonard Parker
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