James Arlen Gillaspie

Artist Metalsmith       

Glossary of Medieval Armour and Armour-Related Terms

A - B
Armet to Burgonet

Campaign to Cullet

D - G
Early Middle Ages to Greave

H - K
Halberd to Knight

L - M
Lamellar Armour to Morion

N - R
Nasal Helm to Rondel

Sabaton to Sword

T - Z
Tang to White Armour

A - B

An arming garment that takes its name from the cotton used to pad it.

A word used by English speakers as a label for a helmet developed in the early 15th century, most likely in Italy. It was distinguished by its construction, which consisted of a shallow skull, hinged plates that folded down and covered the rest of the head except for the face, and in most cases, a visor.

Armor, armour
Armour could be considered to be any protective clothing intended to defend its wearer from any sort of harm, but is usually restricted to that used in war during combat and military engagements, typically associated with soldiers or men-at-arms.

A smith who specializes in manufacturing and repairing arms, but often used also for those who make and/or repair armour. [also Armorer]

Generic term for the word shield. Carried by Greek infantry (hoplites) of various periods and often referred to as a hoplon.

The standing non-citizen corps of the Roman army of the Principate (30 BC - 284 AD), alongside the citizen legions.

Flexible curtain of (chain)mail on a helmet that extends to cover the neck and shoulders. The mail could be removed for cleaning or storage, and attached to the helm through use of a leather cord that was threaded through brass loops at the edge of the helm.
[also Camail]

Tool used for millennia to shape, split and cut wood, harvest timber, and as a weapon and ceremonial or heraldic symbol. The axe has many forms and specialized uses but generally consists of an axe head with a handle, or helve. It is considered a simple machine.
[also Ax]

A term often used for visorless war helmets of fourteenth and fifteenth century Italian design, sometimes with distinctive "T" shaped or "Y" shaped openings for the eyes and mouth. The barbute resembles classical Greek helmets and may have been influenced by a renewed interest in ancient artifacts. Also often called a 'celata'.

A type of polearm used in medieval and renaissance Europe, especially in Eastern Europe and Russia. [also long poleaxe]

A general term for a complete horse armour. A 'full bard' typically consists of a chanfron, crinet, peytral, flanchard, and crupper.

A simple medieval European open-faced military helmet, used through much of the 14th and 15th centuries, typically fitted with an aventail and hinged visor. It evolved from the cervelliere.

Circular plates designed to protect the gap between the breasplate and shoulder defences, as part of a harness of plate armour. Armour without besagews might employ larger shoulder defenses, such as winged pauldrons, or simply leave the mail beneath exposed.

A piece of plate armour designed to protect the chin. It also often includes protection for the neck, like a gorget, as well. A bevor can be made of a single solid piece or multiple articulated lam�s around the neck and chin.

A device worn over the front of the torso, either as protective armour or as an item of religious significance. If armour, it is usually plate armour.

A cloth garment, generally canvas or leather, lined with small oblong steel plates riveted to the fabric. A form of body armour.

Any of a broad range of copper alloys, usually with tin as the main additive, but sometimes with other elements such as arsenic, phosphorus, manganese, aluminium, or silicon. The tin alloys are very strong and can be harder than mild steel.

A late medieval/early modern combat helmet. It was the successor of the Sallet. The Burgonet helmet was also referred to as a Burgundian sallet. It was characterized by a bill or visor like a baseball cap.



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