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An Overview Of European Weapons


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#31 Boleslaw I

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 05:34 AM

When was full horse armor first used in Europe? In China it was introduced by nomads ( forgot which tribe).
Do you have any pictures?


If you mean Full Horse Scale or Lamellar armour, it is certainly introduced mainly by the Mongols (I am not really sure that from China to Mongol or in reverse, I apologise for my ignorance of Chinese History)

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This armour was a very rare form of full horse armour in metal from the Uygur (The Turkic tribe in central Asia)

and this from CCTV: http://www.cctv.com/...s/102247_19.jpg

This is Parthian Full Metal Armour (unknown scale or lamellar) for horse and rider:
http://www.iranchamb...cataphracts.jpg

However, whipsandchains, I must remind you that the nomadic structure did not rely upon heavy armour for horse. Except for the Mongols, of course, and certain tribes of the Turkic Uygur, which had long formed a lucrative trade with the Islamic world.

Thanks for your answer Anthrophobia, I think no evidence for Flanged-Mace found in China
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#32 BeeJay

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 11:45 AM

Weren't the Romans the first to fully armor their horses in what's now modern Europe? That was after their experience against the steppe armies in the east. They wore a combo of scales, mail and full plate. Only the lowest parts of the horses legs was unprotected, I think.

I guess the first recorded uses of metal horse armor was in the Persian empire ... either their own or from their steppe provinces. Before that I think horses were protected with cloth I think.

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#33 Boleslaw I

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 11:07 PM

Weren't the Romans the first to fully armor their horses in what's now modern Europe?

Brilliant spot, I still want to add Roman Empire was the founder of horse armour for Europe, but in the later stage of Roman Empire had their army used full horse armour, especially when the empire was on the verge of collapse. After the collapse of Western Roman Empire, the horse armour became nearly fogotten until the late Medieval, when the Gothic armour for horse was designed. To the East, full-scale armour for horse still survived, result in the Cataphract.

That was after their experience against the steppe armies in the east

That was when they witnessed the overwhelming effect of Horse Archers and Heavy Cavalry of the Scythian. The Sarmatians appeared to be the vanquish Heavy Cavalry type of Ancient time.
However, the Italian had no superiority in fighting on horseback, their cavalry made up from many parts of the Empire that possessed strong tradition of their weakness. The first type of horse armour was recorded from the Thrace (Bulgaria).

Only the lowest parts of the horses legs was unprotected, I think.


This statement is correct. The scale armour for horse virtually gave war-horses full protection. This could be accounted as an advantage over the Gothic Horse Armour, which was only designed to protect the body of horses, not their "legs".

I guess the first recorded uses of metal horse armor was in the Persian empire ... either their own or from their steppe provinces. Before that I think horses were protected with cloth I think.


Before that, horses were protected by some kinds of silk, which quite similar to the undercloth wore beneath armour of warriors. However, until the late Medieval Period, this kind of protection still survived. You must state clearly the name and Period of Persia since the term Persian Empire is very general from the first days of Achaemenid Empire to the domination of Islamic culture in 6th century. In fact the oldest record of horse armour was not in Persia, but in the region of Achaemenid Empire. If you mean this, I agree.

Edited by Boleslaw I, 26 June 2007 - 01:04 AM.

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#34 Boleslaw I

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 09:36 PM

For "Chinese maces", you should be looking along the lines of "hammers" (chui; 锤). There are some really strange designs for Chinese warhammers resembling a mace, but the flanged-mace is really a unique class of weapons.


Yes, as some posts above, I think maces generally did not become popular in China. This could be accounted by the less developement of Heavy Plate Armour, as it ever seen in Europe. I still have some busy stuffs to do this week, but I promise I will post some new prototypes from my "small gallery", including late flanged-mace in XV-XVI in Italia and Germany, as well as India. Weapons in India possessed a funny feature, very high level of decoration, but not really effective in combatting. :rolleyes:

By the time, you can post your thought or even something you think it needs more improvement in this thread. I will try to reply in my subsequent posts.

Edited by Boleslaw I, 28 June 2007 - 02:17 AM.

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#35 Boleslaw I

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 08:20 AM

A Prototype Of Flanged-Mace in Italia, 1550 - Museum of Milan

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Background Information
This is the best prototype I have in my current gallery. It is very important to present to all of you how significant these prototypes play in the study of mace in Europe during late Medieval.

First, this mace was produced in Milan, 1550. It was supposed to belong to high social position possessor. Let's have a look upon the flanges of this prototype, it was highly decorated and very well designed or even forged. The details of this decoration are incarnations of Islamic influence in Italia even long after the Moors had been driven out from South Italia. The overall shape of these flanges did make a total change as compared to other precendented prototypes. If you consider the shape of an early flanged-mace at the beginning of this thread as a triangle, than the two outermost edges of that triangle would be curved inward in this special prototype. Since this was the only prototype that stll sustain its shaft, it makes a very clear concept upon modern study that metal shaft was used quite popular during the late XV and Early XVI century, which was the opening of Renaissance Era. The shaft itself is around 0m80 to 0m856. The holder part of the shaft was covered with black leather, which is the modern material.

The major material of this prototype is believed to be made by high-quality steel in Italia at the time. The oxidisation occured in this mace showed its mercy. Most parts of this mace is still shined :D.

How did this type of prototype tell us about the manufacturers in Italia in the early XVI
The weapons made under a society often reflect its origin in some ways. It is clearly to believe that Italia had became the major distribution of weapons in Europe since the late XIV century. However, what factors contributed to this advantage, which could not be found from her "great" neighbour, France, or even England.

1/ First, it is worthwhile to mention that the Hundred Years Wars devastated the economy of both France and England, however the desire of winning over one another was not be impaired. Thus, both sides need a great concentration of weapons distribution in order to keep on carrying out their war. The French seemed likely to prefer Italian Weapons during the first phase of the war. Nevertheless, later, it was more obvious that an interference of Italian and German influence upon the French army's arms.

2/ Not only outside Italia did wars occured fiercely, but even a more dangerous struggle happened in the internal of Italia, especially with the Turks during the Venice siege. Without doubt, a large quantities of this kind of heavy arms has been captured by the Europeans, and the influence of Ottoman's design also caused the perfection in European design during the subsequent periods. Looking the issue in this standpoint, Italia clearly became the centre of this interference. Wars did disrupt the developement of Europe, but its secondary effect was to stipulate the improvement in the designs of weapons. The second prototype will support the second idea.

Northern Italian All-Steel Mace in 1550s circa - Museo Poldi Pezzoli & the Stibbert Museum.

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This is a very interesting and historically important Northern Italian/German All-steel Horsemanís Mace. This authentic mace was obtained in the middle of the 19th century from the Ottoman Turkish Imperial Arsenal in Istanbul. Clearly they were among the vast quantities of European arms and armor captured by the Turks from the Christian forces operating in the Mediterranean - doubtless the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, the Knight Hospitallers.

In overall fine cleaned condition with a 7 1/8" wrought-iron head with a ball finial and six decoratively pointed/sculpted flanges (in the Italian tradition). Octagonal to round, hollow, iron shaft with a raised ringed collar above the finely rope-turned grip (some wear to the roped decoration). The pommel with a decorative dome head with line-engraved surfaces and some wear to the engraving: the shaft pierced for a suspension cord. In overall fine, cleaned condition, with heavy pitting and generally smooth steel-gray surfaces with a toned age patina overall. The noted wear to the rope decoration on the grip-section. A well-made example of a 16th century, All-Steel, Northern Italian/SouthernGerman, Horseman's mace. Several types of this kind of mace were found sparsely in some personal collections.

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A closer view upon the flanges.

Special thanks to Jubelu for the first prototype and Brutus to the second one :)

Anyone finds things difficult to understand or want to post questions?



German Flanged Maces, first half 16th century or mid17th century

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This German Mace was found in Munich Museum. It was highly decorated and slightly smaller than previous versions that I posted above. This mace was used only as a decoration for important occassions.

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Compared to this version, the flanges were designed in similar pattern and its length was about the same, (Museum of Munich). This mace is a truly prototype for close comabatting purpose through its material and its less fancy manner

Edited by Boleslaw I, 28 July 2007 - 12:21 AM.

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#36 yarovit

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 06:58 PM

First fully-armoured European horse armour was utilized by the Clibanophoros units of the mid Byzantine Empire. They were created circa 970 by emperor Nicephoros Phokas.
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#37 Boleslaw I

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 09:56 AM

First fully-armoured European horse armour was utilized by the Clibanophoros units of the mid Byzantine Empire. They were created circa 970 by emperor Nicephoros Phokas.


A good spot there, but utilisation not first invented or found. The full horse armour was found clearly in Arsaic Period. However, I still insist that the Archaemenids first used the full horse armour.
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#38 Hetman

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 02:24 AM

Hi everyone,



Witam Krajana! :b_evil: :charge: :jump:

#39 BeeJay

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 09:09 AM

What I know is that the Persians probably had horse armor when fighting the Greeks: a scale or lamel apron to cover the breast of the horse, and a similar apron (in two parts) covered the tighs of the rider. Over time this got completer, especially with the riders from today's Iran and the steppes around there. It's hard to say who was the first among those though.
The last part to be covered where the legs, for which the apron kept being a so-so solution, until they started to use bands like on their arms. Those rings / bands made movement very difficult though.
It is believed that units from closer to Greece would have had more plate (cuiras etc) than the eastererns. Armors have been found in Hellenistic Afghanistan and in art. They were used by all the horse armies in that region and in the Successor armies. Probably even Alexander had them with him during his trek east. Plutarch also describes them, being worn by the Armenians (Although they and later the Parthians had their legs uncovered). So somewhere between the 4th and 2nd C BC armor got complete.

Do we count (ancient) Armenia as being part of Europe? If so, than 1st C BC is the earliest know date of complete metal armor inside Europe. From the 1st C AD they became standard in both eastern and western Roman armies.

Btw, those riders 'charged' at the trot, knee to knee. Not fast, just slowly steamrolling.

BJ
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#40 Boleslaw I

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Posted 02 July 2007 - 09:40 AM

A good sumarise, BeeJay, I have no more to say :D , since my major points are all encompassed by your post already. If all of you don't mind, just continue on this argument while I am goint to post more prototypes for "Mace Study". God sake, this "Chapter" is quite long, I only want to get as many details as I could...

If some of you find things intriguing or even spot good sources, just post it here, I mean I don't want to build up this gallery alone, you know, 2 better than 1 :no:

OK, I would like to move to the next prototype:

Knobbed Mace/Ball Mace From Knight Templar

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This prototype found in Rhode Island, is believed to be produced around the first quarter of 12th century. It is a very interesting mace to me. I don't know how to classify her into Knobbed Mace or Ball Mace. The mace was highly decorated, well constructed in iron. Although this kind of mace is seldom found in Templar Arsenal in Rhode Island, it is still valuable for us to evaluate the implementation of mace used in Crusades.

French Flanged-Mace In Late XIV Century

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The first time I saw this prototype, it causes a great degree of astonishing you know.

France was not a major kingdom used mace in Western Europe. It was still rare in the Hundred Years War to find maces in abundance. This mace found somewhere near Agincourt, it was stored in an old castle. I believe that this mace is the remain of a Knight after The Battle Of Agincourt. As you could, highly decorated maces like this suggests the social position of their owners. So in conclusion, I must say that this prototype is rare.

Polish Mace in Late 17th century

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The age of maces did not slide into obscurity even when the firearms were used widely. This prototype, a Polish mace in late 17th century was found in Vienna. It served its owner in the Siege of Vienna, a victory that save Europe from the terrible invasion of the Turks. The same type of this mace belonged to John Sobiesky (1624-1696), who became a hero during the Battle Of Vienna.

The head of this prototype showed a complex structure and seldom seen in other types of mace before 17th century. The shaft was made by Steel. Later in this century, maces gradually became only a decoration for noble power, not for real battle anymore.

An Interesting Oriental Mace from India

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This fearsome mace found in India in late 17th century. It could be said that Indian weapons were very highly decorated, careful patterns were painted in its shaft. This prototype gives us an incarnation of European MorningStar and Ball Mace. Indeed, maces were favourable not only in Europe but in Middle East and especially India for a long time before they gave way to firearms.

Thanks Jubelu for this image :)

Conclusion

The Golden Period of Mace was from 11th to 16th century in Europe. It could be said that maces have became the passion for both amateurs and proffesionals to study, due to its variability.

The major factor stipulated the drastical improvement from Knobbed and Ball Mace (or MorningStar) to Flanged Mace was the developement of Plate Armour from Mail or Mail Hauberk in Europe, especially in Germany and Italia. Toward the late 17th century, maces gradually became obsolete along with Polearms, open a new era for modern warfare, with combination of riffles and artillery, a new invention during the late One Hundred Years War.

So, I think I could finish the mace chapter here, if someone really want to ask questions or find things intriguing, please post it in this thread or PM for me, I will try to answer properly from my available sources.

Edited by Boleslaw I, 26 July 2007 - 05:02 PM.

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#41 Boleslaw I

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 11:26 PM

Chapter 2: Polearms

I- Introduction

Pole Weapons (or more well-known Polearms) were the second largest and most complicated category in European Weapons, after Swords. Its forms perplex many researchers due to their resemble blade shape, sometimes the line of classification dissapear totally. One of this type weapon, the halberd, existed from High Medieval (XIII AD century) until the early 18th century, became an insigna of European Infantry. Polearms developed along with spears and pikes and then gradually replaced in Western warfare during the Late Medieval (XIV-XVI AD century). Unlike maces, Polearms primarily developed from low class of Medieval society (peasants). Indeed, polearms were primarily used by infantry rather than knights and cavalry. Long shafted polearms showed a extraordinary features against Plate Armours.

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Many Medieval documents and early Renaissance paintings showed the wide-used Polearms. As this document from British Library showed an interesting tournament in 1408.

These major types of polearms are what I am planning to post so far:

+ Halberds (Strong emphasis upon Swiss Halberd)
+ Bills (English Bills)
+ Voulges (From France and Switzerland also)
+ Guisearms (From France)
+ Langue de Boeuf (Ox Tongue-From France)
+ Poleaxes
+ Bardiche (Berdiche)

Edited by Boleslaw I, 10 July 2007 - 05:30 AM.

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#42 Boleslaw I

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 08:33 AM

Chapter 2: Polearms

I- Ancient Spears

There are a very great variety of spears over time, however, in short, a spear in its earliest and simpliest form, could be said only as a dagger that was attached to it with a long shaft.

Spear could be said as one of the most oldiest type of weapons in the world. From stone age, simpliest form of spear appeared as a long wooden shaft tied up with a stone blade. However, in terms of Western Civilisation, Metal Spears dated their golden age back from Ancient Egypt through Hellenic Civilisation Era to The Roman Empire. Blades at this time, as well as the early Medieval later, were simply made in leaf shape, called Linear Spear. Of course, overtime, the design of these was completed by the Greek, and then was advanced by the fearsome and redoubtable army of Roman Empire.

Egyptian Spears - about 8 BCE Century

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These spears were found in . The time of producing was unknown, but by radiation, we could estimated they were produced about 8 BCE Century. The quality of the specimen seemed to be worse, and blades nearly fall apart. It was now stored in Cairo Museum

Image: Brutus, First Date Of Posting - 12/4/2005

Greek Spears c.300-100 BC

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This prototype was a Greek Spear, with very typical leaf shape of blade. It was made by iron and the total length was believed around 2.5 - 3 m and the blade's length is 267mm, its edge was corroded. The prototype was found in Bajawar

The Greek proved themselves as one of the most successful army during the Ancient time. The famous Phalanx formation always associated with long pikes and heavy infantrymen. The Spartan, during the Greek and Persian War, were equipped with longer pike and better quality Corinthian Helmet, easily defeated their foes, which were poorly organised, equipped with outmoded spears and lighter scale armour at the Battle Of Thermopylae. However, it was the Alexander's army who glorified the use of spears and Hellenic Warfare. By a kingdom stretching from Greece to Northernmost India, the influence of Greek Spear spread over Pakistan, left their deep scar upon the Muslim Weapons in later stage. Unlike Chinese weapons during the same period (As I read from many posts of Kenneth), Greek spearheads tended to be made in iron, rather than bronze.

Greek Spears c.300-100 BC, Diamond Shaped Blade

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This prototype showed a bit different from the above specimen. As you could see here, the balde was shown in diamond shape, shorter in length, about 150mm as compared to the previous one. Of course the material is iron. It was also found in Bajawar. The blade is very light chipping. These kinds of blade was attached to wooden shafts which long about 3m. It was used exceptionally by infantry. To some extents, its design made it easier in use in forest.

Greek Iron Spearhead From c.300-100 BC, Long Leaf Shape and Wooden Attachment (A bit)

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This extraordinary spearhead was found in Athena, it has a ridged central spine, which show a more complete step in the developement of spearhead design. The ridged spine help to increase the force of thrusting. Long leaf shape gave infantrymen the advantage of resist the cavalrymen more effective. As you can see, a piece of wooden shaft is still preserved overtime, a rare situation. The length of this blade is 460 mm, and the diameter of the socket is 30mm.

BAKTRIAN-GREEK-SCYTHIAN, c. 400-100 BC?

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The place of this spearhead is unknown, however, one feature is visible in this prototype: wide based triangular biblade with socket. The Baktrian or Scythian spearhead found later in Roman Empire time possess similar shape as this one.

Unusual BAKTRIAN-GREEK-SCYTHIAN, c. 400-100 BC?

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This spearhead became unusual due to its shape of blade. With conical-hollow structure of blade, this unusual prototype was used to penetrate armour more effective then previous spearheads that I posted up there. Methinks, it was the small diameter of this blade that help it concentrate the force of thrusting into one specific area in armour. This blade is 238mm long, 2 retainning rings around wapped socket.

GREEK-SCYTHIAN-KUSHAN- SASANIAN 300AD

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This oriental spearhead shows a gradually flat socket-neck with its blade. A progress in spearhead design influenced by Persian style. Its total length is 350 mm and its diameter is 35 mm. Its edge is slightly chipped as well.

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This is also a similar spearhead within the same range but smaller in socket diameter 30mm and its total length is 310mm. It was reinforced at the base of the socket, mushroomed at the socket since it might be used as a chisel

probably SCYTHIAN, c. 150 BC - 100 AD

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This prototype is slightly smaller than the previous spearheads. Its total length is 240 mm and its socket diameter is 30 mm. It is cast socket and was found from Barikot.

[size=2BAKTRIA-GREEK-SCYTHIAN, c. 150 BC - 100 AD[/size]

Posted Image

This spetecular prototype is a iron spearhead, short leaf shape with sharply raised spine. It has a solid socket and slightly minor edge chips

Edited by Boleslaw I, 29 July 2007 - 09:12 PM.

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#43 Boleslaw I

Boleslaw I

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 08:50 PM

GREEK c. 300 BC - 100 BC

Posted Image

This is a greek spearhead with very slow spine and wrapped socket. If you take a closer look to its socket, there are two rings used to decorate the spear. Such a simple decoration soon would be found in Muslim and Persian spearhead. The socket also shows little metal shine, which has not been tarnished by oxidsation through time.
People do not lack strength; they lack will. - Victor Hugo
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#44 Boleslaw I

Boleslaw I

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 09:45 PM

http://rubens.anu.ed...s/horse_armour/

There is another website I found for Horse armour of Dura Europas.
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#45 chinaking

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 09:05 AM

Bolelslaw I,

Great info..

Do you have info about European bows?




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