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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Discovering Medieval Armor And Its Past

Posted by patrick

By Kathie Sweet

Of all ages of human civilization, the Middle Ages may have witnessed the most wars. It is no surprise that protecting oneself is absolutely a must during battle. During this time medieval armor was introduced. Chain is really the beginning of this protective cover. Plate was also used in the 14th Century to protect vital areas, but it was not until the 15th Century when full body Plate was introduced.

Before full body suites were invented, chainmail was the protection of choice for knights.When the safety suites advanced to full body suites they were not available to everybody. Only the rich could afford to use this protection while the less fortunate were still using leather and padded gear. The items worn by knights was a statement of wealth and a way to tell the difference between the social class and military.

Although medieval suits were created to protect knights, they came with weaknesses. The suites were created out of thousands of rings put together to create a piece of suite. During battle areas between the chains were sometimes able to cause damage at the right angle. However all of the vital areas such as the chest and back were covered with plate at that time.

The only parts of the knight covered by plate metal were the chest and the back of the knight. The proven safety of these areas may have influenced the whole body armor. With full body protection, every inch of the knight is covered from their head to their finger and even the toes.

Protecting the arms and legs are 'Sabatons'. Greaves cover calf and ankle while 'cuisses' and 'poleyns' cover thigh and knee. Rerebrace is for their upper arms and lower arms are protected by vambrace. A helmet is worn by knights with a detachable visor and a protective chain around their neck. Add a breast plate and back plate to complete the knights battle attire.

Knights were not alone while in a battle, they were never without their trusted horse. Barding is armor worn by a Warhorse. A padded cloth covers their rear and metal plates cover the head, neck, chest and body. A horse in this time had to carry the weight of his protection, a knight and the knights protective suite all while being able to run and fight.

However the change in armor did not come soon enough. Not long after the full body armor suite was invented, gun powdered weapons were also invented. The suites proved to be no match for the newly created weapons. Presently medieval armor is used for ceremonial purposes and decoration. The items available now are more decorative with more extensive fluting and very ornate with intricate engravings. The prices to purchase these items range anywhere from a $150 to the thousands of dollars.

medieval armor

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