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

N - R

Nasal Helm
A design of helm popular in the late Dark Ages through to the Early Medieval period. The nasal helm was a basic skull-cap design, with a single protruding strip that extended down over the nose to provide additional facial protection.

An opening in a visor that is made for the purpose of providing vision.

A component of plate armour which evolved from spaudlers in the 15th century. As with spaudlers, pauldrons cover the shoulder area, but were much larger, usually overlapping the breastplate and backplate.

Armour intended to protect a horse's chest and forelegs.

A rectangular mass military formation, usually composed entirely of heavy infantry armed with spears, pikes, or similar weapons. Hallmark of ancient Greek warfare, and also much of the warfare in the 16th and 17th centuries.

A pole weapon, a very long thrusting spear used two-handed, and used extensively by infantry both for attacks on enemy foot soldiers and as a counter-measure against cavalry assaults.

Plate Armour
Personal armour made from large metal plates, worn on the head, chest and sometimes the entire body.

See Pole Weapon.

Pole Weapon
A pole weapon or polearm is a close combat weapon in which the main fighting part of the weapon is placed on the end of a long shaft, typically of wood, thereby extending the user's effective range. They were used with both hands.

A component of medieval and renaissance armor that protected the knee. During the transition from mail armor to plate armor, this was among the earliest plate components to develop. They first appeared in the mid-thirteenth century and remained in use until the mid seventeenth century.

Pollaxe (modern form, Poleax
A type of European polearm, varying in length that often had an ax blade, a thrusting spike, and a hammer head on the back, but sometimes had a back spike like a halberd, or a warhammer type spike and a hammer head with a thrusting tip. It was often used by heavy infantry in the 14th and 15th century. Its popularity waned in the 16th century.

A counterweight at the end of a sword handle.

A cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th through the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. It considered itself an attempt to 'resurrect' tbe Classical World. (French for "rebirth"; Italian: Rinascimento)

Roman Army
A set of land-based military forces employed by the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and later Roman Empire as part of the Roman military.

Roman Legion
The Roman Legion (from Latin legio "military levy, conscription", from lego � "to collect") is a term that can apply both as a transliteration of legio ("conscription" or "army") to the entire Roman army and also, more narrowly (and more commonly), to the heavy infantry that was the basic military unit of the ancient Roman army in the period of the late Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. It could vary from 3000 to 6000 infantry with variable numbers of cavalry.

A circular piece of steel, as part of an armour harness, that normally protects a vulnerable point. Also often called a 'besague'.



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