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

L - M

One of the individual plates that makes up a part of plate armour, such as a gauntlet, spaudler, etc.

Lamellar Armour
Personal armour consisting of small plates (lames) which are laced together in parallel rows, usually bottom over top. Lamellar armour evolved from scale armour, from which it differs by not needing a backing for the scales.

Late Middle Ages
A term used by some historians to describe European history in the period of the 14th to 16th centuries (AD 1300�1500). The Late Middle Ages were preceded by the High Middle Ages, and followed by the Early Modern era (the Renaissance). Some start the Renaissance as early as the mid 14th century, however.

Refers loosely to copper alloys, much like brass, used to simulate gold and employed in the Middle Ages and through to the late 18th and early 19th centuries, for items such as decorative effect on borders, rivets or other details of metalwork, particularly armour.

See Roman Legion.

A Roman citizen under 45 years of age who enlisted in a legion for 25 years of service.

Light Cavalry
Lightly armed and armoured troops mounted on horses, as opposed to heavy cavalry, in which the riders are heavily-armoured. Its chief purpose is scouting, reconnaissance, screening, skirmishing, and raiding.

Light Infantry
Soldiers whose job was to provide a skirmishing screen ahead of the main body of infantry, harassing and delaying the enemy advance. [also Skirmishers]

Line Infantry
The soldiers forming the bulk of any dismounted force.

Type of bow that is tall (roughly equal to the height of the person who uses it), is not significantly recurved and has relatively narrow limbs, that are circular or D-shaped in cross section.

A development of the club. Consists of a strong heavy wooden, metal-reinforced, or metal shaft, with a head made of stone, copper, bronze, iron or steel.

A type of armour or jewelry that consists of small metal rings linked together in a pattern to form a mesh. Mail armour in Europe was typically made from links that either had the ends of the circles overlapped and rivetted together after being woven into the other links (not rivetted to each other) or were punched or forgewelded as unbroken rings.

A tactical unit of the Roman legiona and also the name of the military insignia carried by such unit.

Maximilian Armour
A modern term applied to the style of early 16th century German full plate armour apparently first made for the Emperor Maximilian I. The armour is characterized by armets and close helmets often with bellows visors, small fan-shaped narrow and parallel fluting often covering most of the harness (but never the greaves), sometimes with etching work taken from woodcuts and sharply waisted cuirasses and broad toed sabatons.

The middle period (Middle Ages) of the traditional division of European history into three "ages": the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages and Modern Times. Commonly dated from the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century to the beginning of the Renaissance.

Medium Infantry
Ground troops, less heavily armed and armored than heavy infantry, but more so than light infantry.

A type of open helmet used during the 16th and early 17th centuries, usually having a small brim all the way around and a crest from front to back, often of great height. Generally identified with Spanish conquistadors (often incorrectly, as the early Conquistadors did not wear them) but was common among foot soldiers of all nationalities.



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