Exploring armor, especially personal armor. There are other similar pages on the web like Pictorial Glossary of Armor Terms [http://home.messiah.edu/~gdaub/armor/picgloss.htm].

ARMOR: Anatomy of a suit of armor
[http://www.beautifuliron.com/armour_diagrams.htm]

ARMOR: Anatomy of horsed armor
[ttp://www.beautifuliron.com/armour_diagrams.htm]

Almain collar
A gorget with spaulders called munions attached to them.
aventail
See camail.
baldric
A belt for wearing a sword over the shoulder.
ARMOR: Baldric [ref]
bascinet
Aka basinet, bassinet, basnet. A light helmet usually with a point that was the most common helmet in Europe in the 14th century. A bassinet may or may not have a face covering. I dislike the bassinet spelling because that spelling is also used for an oblong basket-like bed for an infant.
ARMOR: Bascinet [ref]
bernie
A chain mail tunic that extends to the waist. See also hauberk and haubergeon.
besegues
Armor to cover the gap between the shoulder armor and the torso armor. Usually circular plates hung from the shoulder armor.
bevor
Armor for the chin, jaw, and throat. Sort of like a super gorget. Often worn with sallet helms in the 15th century.
ARMOR: Bevor [ref]
bishops collar
A circle of chain mail covering the collarbones, upper chest, and upper back. It may be attached to a metal or leather collar to function as a gorget.
ARMOR: Bishops Collar [ref]
bracers
Aka vambraces. Armor for the forearms. Used by archers and swordsmen.
ARMOR: Bracer; Vambrace [ref]
breastplate
Plate armor covering the chest.
breeches
Aka knickers. Trousers that go down to the knees. Shortened pants were originally used to accommodate riding a horse. Fencing breeches are usually puncture resistant. OSF breeches have a high rise so that the fencing jacket will easily overlap the breeches.
ARMOR: Breeches; Knickers [ref]
buckler
Aka half shield. A small shield used with one hand.
ARMOR: Buckler; Half-Shield [ref]
camail
Aka aventail or ventail. Chain mail attached to the helmet that covers what the helmet does not. Camail often extends to cover the necks and upper shoulders. Camail is attached to a helmet via vervelles. See also coif.
ARMOR: Camail; Aventail; Ventail [ref]
chain mail
Aka chainmail, mail, maile, maille, chain maille, mayle. Armor formed from a "fabric" made of rings of metal. The English most commonly called it "chain", while the French commonly called it "maille". The variation of the word derive from the Italian maglia, which derives from the Latin macula = "mesh of a net". Kusari in Japanese.
ARMOR: Chain mail; Chainmail; Mail; Maile; Maille, Chain Maille; Mayle [ref]
coif
A skull cap covering the whole head and often just below the neck, with an opening for the face. A leather or cloth coif was often worn underneath a chain mail coif or a helmet possibly with camail.
ARMOR: Coif [ref]
cop
Aka copp. Armor for the knees or elbows. An elbow cop is a couter. A knee cop is a poleyn.
cotun
Aka aketon. A leather garment quilted into tube and stuffed with cotton, wool, or such. A cotun was light, padded, and rigid but bendable.
ARMOR: Cotun; Aketon [ref]
couter
Armor for the elbows.
Cuir Bouilli
A French word for "boiled leather". 'Leather boiled or soaked in hot water, and, when soft, moulded or pressed into any required form; on becoming dry and hard it retains the form given to it, and offers considerable resistance to cuts, blows, etc. The word was in common English use from 14th to 16th c., after which it is not found till modern times, when it appears as borrowed from modern French.' -Cuir Bouilli/Hardened Leather FAQ [personal.utulsa.edu/~marc-carlson/leather/hl.html].
cuisse
Armor for the thighs. See also greaves.
fauld
A skirt made out of chain mail.
fencing jacket
Light armor worn for OSF that covers the torso and arms. A fencing jacket is made strong cloth, such as Kevlar or Spectra, and may have some degree of padding. The idea behind the fencing jacket is to minimize the possibility of a fencing sword to slip in. Wrist cuffs are tight. The neck collar is high. The fencing jacket also straps from the front to the rear so the jacket does not ride up. The groin and lower abdomen should be protected by breeches and groin protection. The fencing jacket is also fastened at the rear or the opposite side of your sword arm so that there are no flaps exposed.
ARMOR: Fencing Jacket [ref]
fencing mask
Head armor worn for OSF and by many practitioners of WMA. A fencing mask consists of steel-mesh (with 1.9 mm square apertures) covering the face plus the sides (3/4 from the top) and top of the head (10-12 cm from the front grille). A relatively pierce-resistant cloth called a "bib" covers the neck. Some models have a removable, washable inner bib.  The fencing mask is held in place by a bendable tab which goes behind the rear top corner of the head. For extra holding security, an elastic band may also secure the fencing mask in place with Velcro. Fencing masks that meet the requirements for all three of the OSF weapons are sometimes referred to as "three weapons" fencing masks.
ARMOR: Fencing Mask[ref]
The latest models have a clear material from brow to mouth and this design was actually compulsory in the Olympic games as of 2004.
ARMOR: Fencing Mask with transparent face[ref]
frog
A belt attachment for holding thing weapons and scabbards.
ARMOR: Frog [ref]
gambison
A defensive garment for the body, made of stuffed and quilted cloth.
gauntlets
Armor for the hands.
ARMOR: Gauntlets TherionArms.com.
gorget
A neck and lower throat protector. See also my "Shopping for a Gorget". See also guruwa.
ARMOR: Gorget TherionArms.com
gousset
Sections of maille that covered gaps in plate mail (like the armpits or inner elbow).
greaves
Armor for the shins. See also cuisse.
guruwa
Japanese neck armor. See also gorget.
ARMOR: Guruwa [ref]
harness
Armor, particularly a set of armor. This word persists in the colloquialism "to die in harness", i.e. to die with armor, i.e. to die while working or while on duty.
haubergeon
Aka habergeon. A chain mail tunic that extends to the thighs or knees. See also bernie and hauberk.
hauberk
A chain mail tunic that extends to the hips or mid-thigh. Hauberks and haubergeons are usually slit at the front and back to allow horseback riding. The sleeves of chain mail tunics only extend to half-way down the forearm on the assumption that the wearer has gloves. See also bernie and haubergeon.
ARMOR: Hauberk [ref]
helmet
Aka helm. Armor for the head.
jazzeraint
Chainmail interwoven between two layers of fabric.
kettle helm
A helmet with a wide brim all around.
ARMOR: Kettle Helm
knickers
See breeches.
lamé
Metallic plate or fabric. Lamé may be put on jacket and or masks to detect valid touches in OSF events. Lamé may look like very fine chain mail but it did not originate from chain mail.
ARMOR: lamé [ref]
linothorax
Aka laminated linen. A type of armor used by the Ancient Greeks and other civilization in the time period from roughly the Mycenaean period to the Hellenic period. I imagine that linothorax was like hardened leather but more flexible and with more options for shape, texture, and color. In addition to linen and stitching, linothorax probably included some sort of glue. Alexander the Great is often depicted as wearing linothorax. There are also accounts of people burning old armor.
morion
A crested helmet with brims peaking in the rear and front.
ARMOR: Morion [ref]
N
Newton. A unit of force that is commonly used to gauge the resistance to piercing of fencing equipment. An OSF mask can typically withstand either 350 N (80 lbs) or 1600 N (360 lbs). OSF jackets, plastrons, and breeches are typically either 350 N (80 lbs) or 800 N (180 lbs). The lower levels are CEN1 compliant, the higher levels are CEN2 or FIE compliant.
pauldron
Armor for the shoulders. Especially the corner of the shoulder itself.
ARMOR: Pauldron [ref]
plastron
(1) A quilted pad worn by fencers to protect the torso and side.

(2) A metal breastplate worn under a hauberk (coat of mail)
plate mail
Armor formed from plates (formed sheets) of metal.
poleyn
Armor for the knees.
rerebrace
Armor for the upper arm. See also vambrace.
scale armor
Armor formed from many small scales of metal or other material.
sabaton
See solleret.
sallet
A light, late Medieval helmet with a brim flaring at the neck.
ARMOR: Sallet [ref]
shield
A protective device usually held in the hand or on the forearm. Shields held by the hand frequently had a boss or umbo in the middle. From behind the shield, the boss is where the handle is. From the front of the shield, the boss is a bowl or cone of metal, sometimes with a spike. Shields held on the forearm were held by 2-3 straps called enarmes. A guige was a long strap for transporting a shield across the back. Here are some of the most famous shield designs:
  • Aspis or hoplon or argive shields in Ancient Greek were large, deeply bowled circular shields. These were wood with a thin layer of bronze. These were heavy shields designed to absorb blows rather than deflect them.
  • A pelta shield was like an aspis with a bite taken out of the top forming a thick crescent shape, held like a U. It was a light shield of "barbarians" or Amazonians.
  • Scutum in Latin, scuta plural. Ancient roman shields curved deeply around the user and were roughly 1.2 m = 4 feet tall. Earlier designs were oval but eventually most Roman shield were rectangular.
  • The Celtic shields were flat, tall ovoids, often with a vertical umbo.
  • Flat circular shields roughly 45-55 cm = 18-21 inches in diameter were common in Europe from the 13th to 18th century. Targe in Old English. Rotella in Italian. Rodela in Spanish. This design was used by Vikings, Nordic folk, Anglos, Saxons, and the Scottish.
  • Kite shields were Medieval shields curved lightly around the user, had rounded tops, and the bottom extended to cover the leg (especially from horseback), thus resulting in a long upside down tear drop shape.
  • Heater shields are like kite shields but less curved and the top became flatter and the bottom shorter. Basically body armor improved and the shield was reduced. The heater shield is one of the most famous shield shapes: Either a U or a point-down heating iron as used for ironing clothes. The escutcheon or the shield in the heraldic coat of arms is essentially a heater shield. Most icons of shields are drawn as heater shields.
  • Buckler (from the French bouclier = shield, from Old French bocle = boucle = boss). A shield for hand-to-hand combat (since its size would not offer much protection from arrows). Clearly derived from the boss. A corrugated rectangular version was suggested by Achille Marozzo.
  • A pavise or mantlet is not so much a shield as a portable shelter.
  • Shields from "primitive" cultures are typically poles with a cover over the middle (frequently leaf-shaped).
solleret
Aka sabaton. Armor for the feet.
ARMOR: Solleret; Sabaton [ref]
spanghelm
An early medieval helmet consisting of metal strips called spangen which connected 3-6 metal plates to form a conical shape. Sometimes there were also cheek or nose flaps. Sometimes chain mail was also attached.
ARMOR: Spanhelm [W]
spaulders
Armor for the shoulders. Often covering the collarbone and upper arm.
vambrace
Armor for the lower arm or forearm. See also rerebrace.
ventail
See camail.
vervelles
Hooks or holes along the bottom edge of a helmet for attaching camail.

Page Modified: (Hand noted: 2007-10-16 01:22:32Z) (Auto noted: 2010-12-24 22:53:49Z)