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Medival Armor - Research Paper Example

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Medieval Armor Cover Page Outline I. Introduction II. Background on Medieval time period a. Medieval Life b. Feudalism III. Medieval Warfare a. Reasons for going to war b. Type of combat c. Soldiers IV. Medieval Weaponry a. Bladed Weapons b. Staff Weapons c…
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Medival Armor

Download file to see previous pages... The term “medieval” refers to the time from the 11th century AD until the end of the 15th century, known as the “Middle Ages,” as it is the “middle” period in time, separating the antiquity from modernity. This paper will investigate the different types of armor used in warfare during the Middle Ages, from small pieces of low-strength armor to the fully-enclosed suits of armor worn by the wealthiest of soldiers. In order to understand the types of armor used during the Middle Ages and the purpose behind each, it is necessary to understand some of the background behind the Middle Ages. Characterized by economic dislocation, plague, war, social upheaval and increased violence, the Middle Ages are sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages (McKay, Hill, Buckler 379). The middle ages began after the fall of the classical Roman Empire, and with that fall, the political organization of Europe was relinquished in favor of a much more fragmented style of governance – feudalism (Weapon 56). This system was based upon the division of the peoples into smaller land factions under the leadership of a noble. The noble would provide his subjects with a parcel of land in exchange for military service or protection. The people were responsible for providing their own arms and armor, and could be called upon to serve at any point in time. Domestic work, such as farming and household duties were left to the woman of the home (Stephenson 2). During the time period, war was often fought for religious causes and attacks from mounted nomad tribes (Weapon 56). After the invention of the riding stirrup in the 8th century, soldiers no longer arrived at the battle on horse and fought on foot, but rather they fought on horseback, since the stirrup provided much better stability when using a spear or sword (Weapon 57). Large battles known as “pitched battles” were fought usually in open spaces, between enormous masses of infantry and cavalry. The opposing infantries attempted to break the ranks of their enemy, and once this feat was accomplished, the mounted cavalry would enter the battle, slaying as many infantrymen as possible, while further disrupting the enemy ranks (“Medieval Warfare”). In addition to pitched battles, forces often utilized siege warfare to breach the fortifications of the enemy. In order to understand the armor used during the middle ages, it is necessary to understand what types of weapons were used against the armor. There were three main categories of weapons used: bladed weapons, staff weapons, and the bow and its variations. The weapon of choice for most soldiers was the sword – a heavy cutting weapon used to hack through anything in its path (Weapon 62). In addition to the typical long and flat sword, there were sharply-pointed thrusting swords with blades that became progressively longer as armor developed accordingly (Weapon 62). The next major weapon of choice was the staff weapon – basically, a combination of either the spear or lance with an axe, hammer or mace. The result of this combination was a weapon that could be used like a lance during a charge or like an axe during close hand to hand combat (DeVries 29). In addition to bladed and staff weapons, bows and its variations were fairly common during combat. Longbows were capable of firing an arrow up to 360 yards (Weapon 78). Even more capable than the longbow was the crossbow, a weapon with a horizontal bow attached to a stock. The bow was held in place with a latch, and would fire at the pull of a trigger, at ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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