Medieval Life


Medieval knights were equipped with a variety of defensive garments and weapons, and trained to use nearly every possible offensive weapon of the Middle Ages. Early knights wore chain mail and tunics bearing the symbol of the order to which he belonged. By the 14th century, chain mail and tunics had evolved into full plate armor that protected the chest, arms, legs knees and feet. Quality plate armor was nearly impenetrable. The armor included a visored helmet that would often be festooned with decorative plumage.

The knight's shield evolved to sport the heraldry found on the family crest, or coat of arms. Most shields were made of wood, the best being constructed of numerous wood strips with the grain of each layer running at 90-degree angles.

Weapons included:
Broadsword-one of the knight's primary weapons, often passed down through family lineage. The knight carried the sword that he was dubbed with. Many were quite elaborate, with gold, silver, encrusted with jewels or containing holy relics in the hilt.

Crossbow-one of the first banned weapons for its "unchristianlike" characteristics of causing brutal death from far away, thee ranged from simple hand-drawn devices, to larger ones requiring levers, wheels and ratchets. They were replaced with the development of the longbow.

Daggers-made of all shapes and sizes often encrusted with jewels. Blades varied from round, ice-pick like daggers to those with three blades with made wounds nearly impossible to close.

Mace-a club-like weapon with blades or points protruding from a heavy head. Each weapon was often given fanciful names such as Morgenstern (Morning Star), Godendag (Good-day), or the dark humored "Holy Water Sprinkler.

Scimitar-a curved sword that broadened to a point with one cutting edge.

Two-handed sword-popular in the 15th century and nearly 5-feet in length. It was used to make wide cutting sweeps in open areas.

War Hammer-a weapon similar to today's claw-hammer, but larger, with a handle nearly two feet long with a thrusting point affixed to the top.

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