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Longsword Book 1

Longsword Book 1

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Published by jnessler
SWORDS OF THE MIDDLE AGES
SWORDS OF THE MIDDLE AGES

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Published by: jnessler on Jun 14, 2012
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11/12/2012

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The figure below is a useful tool to illustrate the various components of a complete suit of
plate armour. The names are accompanied with Italian names. The following includes a
description of the components as they are illustrated.

Left Side of Illustration

Bascinet or Basinet: an
open-faced helmet with a
globular or conical skull
enclosing the sides of the
face and neck. Usually
worn with an aventail,
and occasionaly a visor.
Vervelles: staples
attached to the base of a
basinet for securing the
aventail.
Aventail: a curtain of
mail attached by means of
staples (vervelles) around
the base of a helmet
(usually a basinet), and
covering the shoulders.
Also called camail
(French).
Spaulder: a light
laminated defence
protecting the point of the
shoulder and top of the
arm.
Rerebrace: plate armour
for the upper arm.
Couter: a plate defence

for the elbow, also known as a spelt cowter.
Vambrace: armour designed for the lower arm.
Haubergeon or Habergeon: a short type of hauberk (hauberk: a mail shirt reaching to
between the knee and hip, and invariably with sleeves).
Cuisse: plate defense for the upper thighs
Poleyn: a cup-shaped plate defense for the knee, usually includes a side wing-like
extension on the outside of the knee for additional protection.
Greave: also known as "schynbald" or "jamber". Plate defense for the leg from the
knee to the ankle, initially protecting only the front in the early 14th century and later
covering the entire leg. It is constructed of two contoured plates, fitted with hinges and
closed with either pins or straps.

The Art of Longsword Combat –Book #1

NOT FOR RE-SALE

Copyright 2001 A.E.M.M.A.

39

6/26/01

Sabaton/Solaret: either laminated plate defense or mail defense for the foot, ending in a
toe cap.

Right Side of Illustration

Visor: protection for the eyes and face; a plate defence pivoted to the helmet.
Cuirass: a backplate and breastplate designed to be worn together.
Gatlings or Gadlings: protruding studs or bosses (sometimes zoomorphic) on the finger
and knuckle joints of a gauntlet.
Gauntlet: defense of articulated plates for the hand in the form of a glove. Gauntlets can
also be in the form of a mit or initially of mail.
Wing: a wing-like extension of the poleyns, for protecting the outside of the joints.
Lames: a narrow strip or plate of steel, sometimes used in armour to provide enhanced
articulation of the joints.
Fauld of Four Lames: armour plate strips composed of horizontal lames attached to the
bottom edge of the breastplate to protect the abdomen
Cuff: an extension of the gauntlet for defending the wrist, contributing to the classic
"hour-glass" shape of the gauntlets.
Demi greave: a small defense plate transitioning the poleyn articulations to a greave on
the lower leg.

Other Terms

Stop rib: a small metal bar riveted to plate armour to stop the point of a weapon sliding
into a joint or opening.
Gardbrace: a reinforcing plate closely shaped to the pauldron, first appearing in the 15th
century on Italian armours. It often covered the lower 3/4's of the front of the pauldron
and was attached to it by a staple and pin as indicated in the figure.
Breastplate: Usually, a single plate of armour for the front of the torso, down to the
waist.
Lance rest: a support structure for the lance when couched, bolted to the right side of the
breastplate and was occasionally hinged.
Plackart: A reinforcement plate attached to the breastplate. It covered the lower half of
the breastplate, however, Italian armour typically covered the entire breastplate.
Guard of Vambrace: an exaggerated defence for the right elbow and vambrace armour
for the lower arm.
Lower Cannon: individual plate armour, tubular in form to protect the lower arm.
Fauld of Four Lames: armour plate strips composed of horizontal lames attached to the
bottom edge of the breastplate to protect the abdomen
Tasset: a defence for the top of the thigh, hung from the fauld by leather straps to cover
the gap between the cuisses and breastplate. This form of armour first appeared in the
15th century.
Arming points: ties of flax or twine by which the armour was secured in place.
Mail standard: a mail hood or coif often worn under the helmet for additional protection
for the head and neck areas

The Art of Longsword Combat –Book #1

NOT FOR RE-SALE

Copyright 2001 A.E.M.M.A.

40

6/26/01

Pauldron: a laminated plate defense for the shoulder extending at the front and rear to
protect the armpit.
Gussets of mail: shaped pieces of mail which were sewn to the arming doublet to cover
the armpits and portions of the arm left exposed by plate defenses.

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