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Medieval Armour Terms

 

 Dressed to Kill

 
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It may be argued that the French superiority in contemporary military technology may have been a factor in the Norman victory. The indisputable fact is that a great number of armour terms that have come down to us from the Medieval times are of French origin. Anyone involved in modern-day reenactments of medieval battles quickly begins to learn all the arcane, toothsome terminology of armoury. Many of these words are so delicious to roll around the tongue: the nine-plate "crinet" that would have protected the horse's neck, the vambraces, the crossed ragged staves, the parade armet...

Left: A medieval suit of armour

Following is a table that identifies various pieces of medieval armour arranged by the part of body. Even a brief look at the table confirms the preponderance of terms of French origin. It should be borne in mind that there are a variety of alternative names and spellings (such as cowter/couter or bassinet/bascinet/basinet or besagew/besague) which often reflect a word introduced from the French.

Components of medieval armour (source: Wikipedia)

Head Armet Barbute Bascinet Burgonet Cervelliere Close helm Great helm Frog mouth Hounskull Lobster tail pot Mail coif Nasal helm Sallet Spangenhelm Kettle hat
Visor Falling buffe Nossel
Neck Aventail Bevor Gorget Pixane
Torso Brigandine Cuirass Culet Plackart Fauld Hauberk Codpiece Lance rest Loin-guard
Arms Ailette Besagew Couter Gauntlet Pauldron Rerebrace Spaulder Vambrace
Legs Chausses Cuisses Greave Poleyn Sabaton Schynbald Tasset
Tonnlets Bases (both used for tournament)
Component pieces Gousset Lamé Rondel
 

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Medieval Armour Terms

  Dressed to Kill

  Space Armour

  Examples of Armour Terms

  Henry VIII: Dressed to Kill Game

MIDDLE ENGLISH

  Middle English Subperiods

  French vs. English

  Geoffrey Chaucer

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