Tuesday, April 15, 2014

M Is For Morion...

Morion ~ A morion is a type of open helmet used from the middle 16th and early 17th centuries, usually having a flat brim and a crest from front to back. It was introduced in the middle of the 16th century, contemporaneous with the exploration of north, central, and southern America. Explorers like Hernando de Soto and Coronado may have used them for their foot soldiers in the 1540s.

Mantle ~ short lengths of cloth, usually in the livery colours, hung from the torse on the helmet as an aid to identification. This is usually shown as torn and ripped in battle when displayed in heraldry.

 Misericorde ~ Mercygiver: A misericorde was a long, narrow knife, used in medieval times to deliver the death stroke (the mercy stroke, hence the name of the blade, derived from the Latin misericordia, "act of mercy") to a seriously wounded knight. The blade was thin enough so that it could strike through the gaps between armour plates. This weapon was used to dispatch knights who had received mortal wounds, which were not always quickly fatal in the age of bladed combat; it could also be used as a means of killing an active adversary, as during a grappling struggle. The blade could be pushed through the visor or eye holes in the helm with the aim of piercing the brain, or thrust through holes or weak points in plate armor, such as under the arm, with the aim of piercing the heart. The weapon was known from the 12th century and has appeared in the armaments of Germany, Persia, and England.

Mangonel ~ a type of catapult or siege engine used in the medieval period to throw projectiles at a castle's walls. The exact meaning of the term is debatable, and several possibilities have been suggested. Mangonel may also be indirectly referring to the mangon, a French hard stone found in the south of France. It may have been a name for counterweight artillery (trebuchets), possibly either a men-assisted fixed-counterweight type, or one with a particular type of frame.

Happy blogging! See you tomorrow.

Monday, April 14, 2014

L Is For Lame...

I do not think it is pronounced lame, as in a horse with a hurt leg. But we can figure that out later!

Sample of Lame
Lame ~ Band of steel plate, put together so that several bands can articulate on various areas like around the thighs, shoulders or waist. Such pieces are named for the number of bands, for instance, a fauld of four lame.

Lobster tail Pot
Lobster-tail pot ~ This is a type of post-Renaissance helm popular in Europe, especially for cavalry and officers, from c. 1600; it was derived from an Ottoman Turkish helmet type. The helmet gradually fell out of use in most of Europe in the late 17th century; however, the Austrian heavy cavalry retained it for some campaigns as late as the 1780s.

Loin guard. Hopefully made of sturdier stuff.
Loin guard ~ Typically covered, well, the loins. I don't think this one needs much explanation!

Lance ~ The lance is a pole weapon or spear designed to be used by a mounted warrior. During the periods of Classical and Medieval warfare it evolved into being the leading weapon in cavalry charges, and was unsuited for throwing or for repeated thrusting, unlike similar weapons of the spear/javelin/pike family typically used by infantry. Lances were often equipped with a vamplate – a small circular plate to prevent the hand sliding up the shaft upon impact. ("It's called a lance. Helloooo.")

Lochaber Axe
Lochaber axe ~ The Lochaber axe is a type of halberd. The weapon was employed by the Scottish highlanders. The axe itself is similar to tools used with crops, such as the scythe, which is designed for reaping. The hook on the back bears a passing resemblance to a shepherd's crook, although within agriculture a smaller hook such as this may have been used in order to lift and carry tied bundles of a harvested crop or pull down tree branches. Early Lochaber axes, like the billhook, served a dual purpose as both building instruments and farming tools.

So there we have our armor parts and weapons for the day! Have a great Monday and see you tomorrow!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

K Is For Kettle Hat...

Whoops! Sorry so late, folks. It's been one of those weeks. But this isn't a time for complaining, it's the A- Z!

Kettle Hat
Kettle hat -  light weight, open-faced helmet, having a conical crown and wide brim.

Katar - is a type of push dagger from South Asia. The weapon is characterized by its H-shaped horizontal hand grip which results in the blade sitting above the user's knuckles. Unique to South Asia, it is the most famous and characteristic of Indian daggers. Ceremonial katar were also used in worship.

Katana - Historically, katana were one of the traditionally made Japanese swords that were used in feudal Japan, also commonly referred to as a "samurai sword". The katana is characterized by its distinctive appearance: a curved, slender, single-edged blade with a circular or squared guard and long grip to accommodate two hands.

So there are your weapons and armor for the day. Personally, I like the Katar. I love the Katana as well, but in my writing, I have an assassin who would use a katar. Wicked. Happy blogging!

Friday, April 11, 2014

J Is For Jupon...

Jupon ~ A type of sleeveless surcoat worn over the armor in the 14th century.

Jack ~A defensive coat, either of several layers or quilted leather or linen, often reinforced with metal studs or small plates

As for weapons, well, what's a war without ships?

Junk ~ A junk is an ancient Chinese sailing vessel/ship design still in use today. Junks were developed during the Song Dynasty (960-1129) and were used as seagoing vessels as early as the 2nd century CE. They evolved in the later dynasties, and were used throughout Asia for extensive ocean voyages. They were found, and in lesser numbers are still found, throughout South-East Asia and India, but primarily in China, perhaps most famously in Hong Kong. Found more broadly today is a growing number of modern recreational junk-rigged sailboats.

And due to the limited number of 'J' items, I bring you a 'J' related, medieval sport:

Jousting ~ Jousting emerged in the High Middle Ages based on the military use of the lance by heavy cavalry. It transformed into a specialised sport during the Late Middle Ages, and remained popular with the nobility both in England and Germany throughout the whole of the 16th century (while in France, it was discontinued after the death of king Henry II in an accident in 1559).

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I Is For Ingots...

Okay, so what do Ingots have to do with medieval armor and weaponry?

Well, without Ingots, those things couldn't be made.

Ingot ~ An ingot is a material, usually metal, that is cast into a shape suitable for further processing. Ingots require a second procedure of shaping, such as cold/hot working, cutting or milling to produce a useful final product. Additionally ingots (of less common materials) can be used as currency, or as a currency reserve as with gold bars.

Hope all is going well for the rest of the A-Z Challengers! I try to hop around to as many blogs as I can. And seeing as I didn't sign up right away, I'm at the bottom of the list. So if you are going through the list to visit, start from the bottom tomorrow!

Happy Blogging!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

H Is For Hauberk...

Well, today's armor should be rather well known. Most people know what a Hauberk is, even if they don't read a lot of fantasy.

Then again, I could be wrong.

So here are the entries for today's letter:

Hauberk ~ Mail shirt with sleeves reaching to the mid-thigh.

Hounskull ~ This one isn't so well known: A hounskull was a form of steel helmet worn in Europe in the Middle Ages, almost invariably by knights and other mounted men-at-arms, from the middle of the 14th century until approximately 1420. It offered extensive protection for the wearer's face at the cost of some visibility, but its distinctive visor could be raised or lowered at will.

Horseman's Pick
Horseman's Pick ~ The horseman's pick was a weapon used by cavalry during the Middle Ages in Europe. This was a type of war hammer that had a very long spike on the reverse of the hammer head. Usually, this spike was slightly curved downwards, much like a miner's pickaxe. The term is sometimes used interchangeably with war hammer. A metal-made horseman's pick called "nadziak" was one of the main weapons of the famous Polish winged hussars. A weapon of late make, the horseman's pick was developed by the English and used by their heavy Billmen, a unit of heavy infantry. It was used with great success during the Hundred Years War. A use of the horseman's pick was to tear men from their mounts.

Halberd ~ A halberd (also called halbard, halbert or Swiss voulge) is a two-handed pole weapon that came to prominent use during the 14th and 15th centuries.

So that is your lesson for the day in medieval weapons and armor. I hope this sheds some light on what's been used AND gives you an idea of things not frequently used. Happy blogging!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

G Is For Gorget...

Today's letter is G. I have a couple of armor components for you and a weapon. 

Gorget ~ Steel collar to protect the neck and cover the neck opening in a complete cuirass. Quite unlike a modern shirt collar in that as well as covering the front and back of the neck it also covers part of the clavicles and sternum and a like area on the back.

Gardbrace ~  they are the extra plate that covers the front of the shoulder, worn over top of a pauldron.

Gauntlet ~ Gloves that cover from the fingers to the forearms, made from many materials.

Glaive is a European polearm weapon, consisting of a single-edged blade on the end of a pole. It is similar to the Japanese naginata (naginata!!! I love these) and the Chinese guandao.
Typically, the blade was around 45 cm (18 inches) long, on the end of a pole 2 m (6 or 7 feet) long, and the blade was affixed in a socket-shaft configuration similar to an axe head, rather than having a tang like a sword or naginata. Occasionally glaive blades were created with a small hook on the reverse side to better catch riders. Such blades are called glaive-guisarmes.
According to the 1599 treatise Paradoxes of Defence by the English gentleman George Silver, the glaive is used in the same general manner as the quarterstaff, half pike, bill, halberd, voulge, or partisan. Silver rates this class of polearms above all other individual hand-to-hand combat weapons.

Happy blogging and see you tomorrow!

Monday, April 7, 2014

F Is For Fauld...

For the April A - Z Blog Challenge, I'm trying to help you visualize some of the components in medieval armor and weaponry. Talk about a challenge! But if you read or write Sword and Sorcery fantasy, you gotta know this stuff! There are times when I am reading and I can't quite picture what they're talking about, so I have to look it up. Kind of a chore, but I want to know these things. Also, everything listed here was pulled from Wikipedia. So on with our post!

Fauld ~ Faulds are a piece of plate armour worn below a breastplate to protect the waist and hips. They take the form of bands of metal surrounding both legs, potentially surrounding the entire hips in a form similar to a skirt.

Falchion ~  is a one-handed, single-edged sword of European origin, whose design is reminiscent of the Persian scimitar and the Chinese dao. (Don't confuse this with the Dou!)
The weapon combined the weight and power of an axe with the versatility of a sword. Falchions are found in different forms from around the 11th century up to and including the sixteenth century. In some versions the falchion looks rather like the scramasax and later the sabre, and in some versions the form is irregular or like a machete with a crossguard.

Flamberge ~ a flame-bladed sword or wave-bladed sword has a characteristically undulating style of blade. The wave in the blade is often considered to contribute a flame-like quality to the appearance of a sword. While largely decorative, some attributes of the waved blade were useful in combat. The two most flame-bladed swords are rapiers or zweihänders, although there have been other sword types with flame-blades.

There. Hope that helps figure some more stuff out! See you all tomorrow.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

E Is For Ear Dagger...

Yes, there is such a thing as an Ear Dagger. No, sadly, it is not hidden behind the ear for when you need to use your female assassin wiles to kill the next in line for the throne and you whip out your dagger from behind your ear and stick it in his jugular...


Ear Dagger. Notice the shape of the pommel.
No, an ear dagger is a relatively rare and exotic form of dagger that was used during the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. It is so named because the pommel of the dagger has a very distinctive shape, in some cases like a human ear. Ear daggers frequently have a single sharpened edge that ends in an acute point. It is thought that the ear dagger was introduced to Europe from Spain, where it presumably originated from the Moors.

Enclosed Helm.
And if you thought the Armet was a difficult looking helm to fight in, try the Enclosed Helmet ~ In the late 12th century, early 13th century, an enclosed helm was the primitive version of the great helm, used in Western Europe. Only those of Knightly stature used the enclosed helmets. Despite their restrictions of sight and hearing, they were the best protection from couched lances and archers. But this too evolved into something more constructive later on.

And sadly, I didn't have time to look up any weapons starting with 'E', and there were none readily available on my current list. So we'll have to skip it this time.

Happy blogging! I hope to get around to some blogs this weekend. I've been a busy girl this week.