How A Man Shall Be Armed: 11th Century

How A Man Shall Be Armed: 11th Century


Throughout the middle ages, knights, men at arms, and foot soldiers wore armour to protect themselves in battle. During these centuries, armour had to constantly evolve and improve to counter the threat from better and more sophisticated weaponry. Metal armour required high levels of skill to produce and as a result, it was expensive and highly prized so only the rich could afford to equip themselves with the best protection. So from the 11th to the 15th centuries, metal armour was the province of the knight, the nobleman, and the professional man at arms. For this Norman knight of the late 11th century, the arming process is not particularly difficult or time-consuming. He would begin by putting on an arming shirt – a padded garment designed to cushion some of the weight of the mail armour on top and to prevent it from chafing. A padded arming cap would also be worn on the head. Once these undergarments are in position the knight is helped into a long mail coat known as a hauberk. A hauberk is made of many thousand of iron rings, skilfully linked together in a pattern where one ring passes through four others forming a highly flexible metal cloth. The sleeves of the hauberk cover the arm down to the elbow. The hauberk was quite heavy to wear, but the padding of the arming shirt helped to make it more comfotable and bearable. To reduce the weight on the shoulders, the mail could also be bagged over a tightly fastened belt around the waist. The same belt could also be used to carry the knight’s sword. Together the hauberk and arming shirt provided good protection against cutting and slashing weapons. According to some pictorial evidence from the period, such as the Bayeux Tapestry. Some hauberks were fitted with a rectangular feature on the chest. It has long been a matter of debate as to what this might be and a current theory is that it was an additional piece of mail That would be raised up and fastened to either side of the head to protect the lower face and throat. This flap would be secured in place by fastening the chin strap of the helmet underneath it. Protection for the head is provided by a helmet. Which at this time was usually fitted with a nasal to give some protection to the face. The domed or pointed shape of the helmet helped to deflect blows away. The best and most expensive helmet at this time were forged out of a single piece of iron like this example which was a highly skilful manufacturing technique. The final piece of defensive equipment was the long, kite-shaped shield. This was made of wood, leather and rawhide, and was designed to protect the left side and leg of the knight as he sat on his horse or fought on foot in a shield wall. Once he was suitably protected the knight would need weapons with which to fight. His principal weapon was a lance or long spear. He would also carry a straight, double-edged, one-handed sword. They were intended primarily for delivering heavy, slashing blows, but were well balanced and had a sharp point for thrusting. Some knights also used axes or percussive weapons such as clubs and maces.

100 Replies to “How A Man Shall Be Armed: 11th Century”

  1. This hauberk is a cheap one. A rich knight would have bought a thicker, more dense hauberk with more interconnected rings.

  2. This is an amazing series, i would greatly appreciate a series like this from the 4th till 10th century, its always hard to imagine how we got from late rome to this state.

  3. just watched the video about Roman equipment. it's pretty cool to see how armor evolved over the centuries

  4. Chaffing…that's never good word to hear no matter what you are wearing. No wonder it was feudal these dudes needed some good boxers.

  5. Why would you put the leather chin strap OVER the chain mail flap? Why not tuck it under to prevent any cutting blows from separating the strap?

  6. I don't know, that rectangle piece covering the throat seems impractical. Like it would mess with your head movement way too much.

  7. Come on man, there is a north to harry out there we must ensure the English are suppressed and worship the Jewish god as our masters require, we must establish ursary into the Teutonic society!

  8. I believe that the square arrangement on the chest (see Bayeux Tapestry) were leather straps to help the armourer (squire) lift the chain mail ( using vertical straps) for the knight to put on the mail and the two horizontal straps could be used (two handed) to take the mail off whilst the knight bent forward or took the mail off himself.

  9. History:
    Knights in medieval times, wore mail armor during the 11th century.

    TV shows:
    THEY ALL WEAR LEATHER, AND FACES MUST BE MUDDY

  10. The average youtube troll would live about 6 seconds in that era: "HAHAHA DRESS YOURSELF SLUT" get puts to the sword

  11. The HAUBARK was not of chainmail, but scale on leather………… The NORMAN Knights started to use chainmaIL as A CLOSE FIT ARMOR, PROTECTING THE BODY FROM TOP TO TOWS!!!!!

  12. I’ve been reading about battles with knights being captured but don’t understand how given how heavy armour is, did the enemy literally rip armour off of them or were they allowed to take it off as a matter of respect given the chivalry code?

  13. fuck these weak faggot pussies. they couldnt beat the vikings without having some wiener float by in a barrel and stab the one giant berserker defending stamford bridge from behind. the closing of the age of saga and the dawn of chivalry was heralded by cowardice

  14. Where is the scene of the English king in Armour at 0:41 from? He looks really cool, in his embroidered surcoat, armour and crown. It kinda looks like maybe King Henry V?

  15. I know this is old-ish content now – but could you enable the option to submit translated subtitles, please?

  16. The arming coat is also armor… they make it sound like it's there solely for comfort, but it's armor all on its own.

  17. Every Renascence based game ever:
    Knight: Dear farmer, I am on a noble quest for his Majesty The King, would you please assist me in informing me where are the whereabouts of the next village?
    Farmer: Yes I would, but I need you to do something for me.
    Knight: What is it?
    Farmer: I have a rat problem, they are eating my crops for this season. Help me kill them and replant those crops, and I will guide you to the next village.
    Knight: Very well, I shall noble sir.

  18. That doesn't look like a very well made gambison. The gambison would have still been considered armor whose purpose was providing just as much protection as the mail placed over it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *