The armor of the Knights of the Middle Ages, photos and descriptions of which are presented in the article, went through a complicated evolutionary path. They can be observed in weapons museums. This is a real work of art.
Arms and armor of knights of the Middle Agesevolved together. This is understandable. The improvement of lethal means necessarily leads to the development of defensive means. Even in prehistoric times, a man tried to protect his body. The first armor was the skin of animals. She was not bad at defending against sharp weapons: sledgehammers, primitive axes, etc. The Celtic people achieved this perfection. Their protective skins sometimes withstood even sharp spears and arrows. Surprisingly, the main emphasis in defense was on the back. The logic was this: in a frontal attack you could hide from shells. Strikes in the back can not be seen. Flight and retreat were part of the combat tactics of these peoples.
Very few people know, but the armor of the Knights of the Middle Agesin the early period were of matter. They were difficult to distinguish from civilian civilian clothes. The only difference is that they were glued together from several layers of matter (up to 30 layers). They were light, from 2 to 6 kg, inexpensive armor. In the era of mass battles and the primitiveness of chopping tools - an ideal option. Any volunteer could afford such protection. Surprisingly, such armor stood even arrows with stone tips, which easily pierced the iron. This was due to depreciation of the fabric. The more prosperous instead of them used quilted caftans, stuffed with horsehair, cotton, hemp.
The peoples of the Caucasus until the 19th century usedsuch protection. Their felted wool of a burka was seldom cut by a saber, it could withstand not only an arrow, but also bullets from smooth-bore guns from 100 meters. Recall, such weapons were in our army until the Crimean War of 1955-1956, when our soldiers were killed by rifled European rifles.
In place of the cloth came the armor of the Knights of the Middle Ages from the skin. They also spread widely in Rus. Masters on the skin were widely appreciated at the time.
In Europe they were poorly developed, sincethe use of crossbows and bows is a favorite tactic of Europeans during the entire Middle Ages. Leather protection was used by archers and crossbowmen. She defended against light cavalry, as well as from brothers in arms of the opposite side. From long distances they could withstand bolts and arrows.
Especially valued buffalo skin.It was almost impossible to get it. Only the richest could afford it. There were relatively light leather armor of the Knights of the Middle Ages. The weight was from 4 to 15 kg.
The Evolution of the Armor: Lamellar Armor
Then there is an evolution - beginsthe manufacture of the armor of the Knights of the Middle Ages from metal. One of the varieties is lamellar armor. The first mention of such technology is observed in the Mesopotamia. The armor was made of copper. In the Middle Ages, such a protective technology began to be used from metal. Lamelar armor is a scaly armor. They proved to be the most reliable. They fought only with bullets. Their main disadvantage is weight up to 25 kg. It is impossible to wear it alone. In addition, if the knight fell from the horse, it was completely rendered harmless. It was impossible to rise.
Armor of the Knights of the Middle Ages in the Form of Mailwere the most common. Already in the 12th century, they became widespread. Ringed armor weighed relatively little: 8-10 kg. A complete set, including stockings, a helmet, gloves, reached up to 40 kg. The main advantage - the armor did not constrain movement. Only the most prosperous aristocrats could afford them. Distribution among the middle class occurs only in the 14th century, when rich aristocrats wore armor plates. They will be discussed further on.
Латные доспехи – вершина эволюции.Only with the development of technology forging metal could create such a work of art. Plate armor of the Knights of the Middle Ages with their own hands is almost impossible. It was a single monolithic shell. Only the richest aristocrats could afford such protection. Their distribution is in the Late Middle Ages. Knight in armor on the battlefield is a real armored tank. It was impossible to strike him. One such warrior among the troops tipped the scales in the direction of victory. Italy is the birthplace of such protection. It was this country that was famous for its armor makers.
Желание иметь тяжелую защиту обусловлено тактикой the battle of the medieval cavalry. Firstly, it caused a powerful rapid impact in close rows. As a rule, after one strike by a wedge against the infantry, the battle ended in victory. Therefore, in the forefront were the most privileged aristocrats, among whom was the king himself. Knights in armor almost did not die. It was impossible to kill him in battle, and after the battle the captive aristocrats were not executed, as everyone knew each other. Yesterday's enemy was turning into a friend. In addition, the exchange and sale of captive aristocrats were at times the main goal of battles. In fact, the medieval battles were like knight tournaments. They rarely die "best people", but in real battles it still happened. Therefore, the need for improvement constantly arose.
In 1439 in Italy, the birthplace of the best mastersblacksmithing, there was a battle near the city of Anghiari. It was attended by several thousand knights. After four hours of battle, only one warrior died. He fell from his horse and fell under his hooves.
The end of the era of battle armor
England put an end to the "peaceful" wars.In one of the battles, the English, led by Henry XIII, who were ten times smaller, used powerful Welsh bows against the French aristocrats in armor. Marching confidently, they felt safe. Imagine their surprise when arrows began to fall from above. The shock was that before that they had never hit the knights from above. Against frontal defeat used shields. Closed line of them reliably protected from bows and crossbows. However, Welsh weapons could pierce the armor from above. This defeat at the dawn of the Middle Ages, where the "best people" of France were killed, put an end to similar battles.
Armor - a symbol of aristocracy
Armor has always been a symbolaristocracy not only in Europe, but throughout the world. Even the development of firearms did not put an end to their use. On the armor has always been depicted the coat of arms, they were the parade uniform.
Medieval knight's armor: description
So, the classic set of the average knight consisted of the following things:
- Шлем.In the 10th-13th century, the Norman with an open, conical or egg-shaped rhondasum was used. The nose holder was attached to the front - a metal plate. Much later, the practice of a closed, individual helmet was widespread among large aristocrats. It was a real work of art. It was possible to determine the owner.
- Armor.Long mail to the knees with sleeves and coyphon, metal hood. She had cuts on both sides of the hem for easy movement and riding a horse. Under it, the knights wore a gambeson - an analogue of cloth armor. He absorbed shocks to the gland, arrows stuck in it.
- Shoss - mail stockings.
- Rondash is a shield.It was protected from arrows, also found wide application against one-handed sabers during the Crusades. Had a round or oval shape. However, a widespread rhondasum of the sharp form of the lower part for the protection of the left leg became widespread.
Weapons and armor were not the same in history.The Middle Ages, since they performed two functions. The first is protection. The second - the armor was a distinctive attribute of high social status. One complex helmet could cost entire villages with serfs. Not everyone could afford it. This also applies to complex armor. Therefore, it was impossible to find two identical sets. Feudal armor is not a unified form of recruiting soldiers in later periods. They differ in individuality.