Rampart of black and yellow shields

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900 - 1050
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Home >> Armour >> Armour From 900 - 1050

900 - 1050 1050 - 1150 1150 - 1250 1250 - 1300 1300 - 1350 Armour Glossary

The rise of the Norman era and the precursor to the Crusades.

As always, the Chainmaille coat is king. It now reaches to the elbow and the thighs, if not the knees. Padding is ubiquitous at this point, as European armies become somewhat larger. (Corresponding with the general growth in population).

The helm is now conical in form, the better examples being crafted from a single sheet of iron. The vast majority incorporated a nasal band and it was not uncommon to see them worn equally by Saxons and Normans.  A Viking version commonly possessed an occularium, which was a nasal with two curved bands of iron which curls up towards the brow to form what looks almost like large spectacles.

Shields remained round for the average footman, but for the better-off a new shield appears. This shield, called a Norman shield after its most famous adherents, was teardrop in shape and curved like a trough along its vertical length. This new "tail" extended down to cover the horseman's leg quite well, though new evidence suggest that the shield was used to drape over the exposed flank of his horse! For the footman, the Norman shield was a God-send as his knees and shins, left unprotected since the days of Rome, now had a place to hide. These shields seem to have been constructed from thicker wood and were banded in rawhide or iron. They were also covered with hide, which was often painted with attractive figures and motifs.

Armour from 1050 - 1150

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Rampart of red and yellow shields

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Rampart of black and yellow shields