Thursday, April 17, 2014

O Is For Onager...

Well, I've searched high and low for armor components beginning with the letter 'O' and have come up with zero.

There is a medieval weapon, however, and that is the onager.

Onager
The onager was a Roman siege engine that is a type of ballista that uses a torsional force, generally from twisted rope, to store energy for the shot. The onager consisted of a large frame placed on the ground to whose front end a vertical frame of solid timber was rigidly fixed. A vertical spoke that passed through a rope bundle fastened to the frame had a sling attached which contained a projectile.
To fire it, the spoke or arm was forced down, against the tension of twisted ropes or other springs, by a windlass, and then suddenly released. As the sling swung outwards, one end would release, as with a staff-sling, and the projectile would be hurled forward. The arm would then be caught by a padded beam or bed, when it could be winched back again.

That will have to do for this letter. See you all tomorrow!

N Is For Nasal Helmet...

Sorry for my absence yesterday. Had a couple things come up. So today, you get two posts! Yesterday's and today's. So here we go!

Nasal Helm
The nasal helmet was a type of combat helmet characterised by the possession of a projecting bar covering the nose and thus protecting the centre of the face; it was of Western European origins and was used from the Early Middle Ages until the High Middle Ages.

Nzappa zap
The Nzappa zap (also referred to as zappozap, kasuyu) is a traditional weapon from the Democratic Republic of the Congo similar to an axe or hatchet. It has an ornate wrought-iron blade connected to a club-like wooden handle, often clad in copper, bronze or brass. In practice, it is used much like the American tomahawk, both thrown for short distances and as a melee weapon in hand-to-hand combat. It differs from the usual axe style, in that the blade mounts to looping prongs that affix to the shaft.

Happy blogging and see you tomorrow!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

M Is For Morion...

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.

Mantles
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.

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

Jack
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.
Junk

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

Jousting
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
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

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

Hounskull
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

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

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

Glaive
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!