All Things Medieval: An Encyclopedia of the Medieval World by Ruth A. Johnston

By Ruth A. Johnston

All issues Medieval: An Encyclopedia of the Medieval World covers the widest definition of "medieval Europe" attainable, no longer through overlaying historical past within the conventional, textbook demeanour of directory wars, leaders, and demanding historical occasions, yet by means of proposing targeted alphabetical entries that describe the artifacts of medieval Europe. by way of studying the hidden fabric tradition and by means of proposing information regarding issues that few books cover—pottery, locks and keys, sneakers, weaving looms, barrels, toys, pets, ink, kitchen utensils, and lots more and plenty more—readers get helpful insights into the character of existence in the course of that point interval and area.

The heartland eu areas akin to England, France, Italy, and Germany are coated generally, and data concerning the items of areas similar to Byzantium, Muslim Spain, and Scandinavia also are integrated. for every subject of fabric tradition, the access considers the complete scope of the medieval period—roughly 500-1450—to supply the reader a ancient point of view of comparable traditions or innovations and describes the craftsmen and instruments that produced it.

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The whole assembly was called a vambrace. Pieces of armor might be hinged and buckled, or they could come in separate pieces to be tied together. Some cuirasses were hinged on the left and then buckled on the right; others were separate back and front pieces. When armor was tied in place, it was often tied with laces sewn on the undergarments. The laces were made of waxed twine and were called points. Putting on armor took time and at least one servant’s help. Plate armor construction began with beating a sheet of heated iron into a thin plate, often with a water mill that drove mechanical hammers.

During the 14th century in Italy, some hardened leather armor was tooled and gilded and was used by those who could have afforded metal. It was cooler and easier to use for light combat. In most of Europe, though, the trend was always toward incorporating the largest amount of iron available at the time and for the user’s budget. ” Mail was deemed good enough until two new weapon developments early in the 14th century. In Flanders and Switzerland, in 1302 and 1315, peasants and townsmen used halberds and pikes to kill large numbers of well-armed knights.

By the 13th century, there were even less expensive kinds of soft armor that may not have used any chainmail, only quilted cotton padding. Quilted armor types were called aketon (Arabic for cotton), gambeson, and pourpoint. A 14th-century development from the chainmail hauberk was a sleeveless leather tunic with metal plates riveted in an overlapping pattern that covered the surface completely. It is often called a coat of plates. The plates themselves did a better job of guarding the wearer against arrow points, but the riveted joints were weaker spots that an arrow or halberd might pierce.

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