Medieval Leather Armor, A Medieval Meal, And A Medieval Reenactment You Won’t Forget

The Middle Ages was a time of exhilarating excitement, bloody battles, and awesome action that is, no doubt, one of the greatest periods in history. Though this era is now a thing of the past, its legacy and impact is still preserved through historical reenactments.  Reenactments surface in a wide variety ranging from entertaining to educational. There are those seen at Renaissance fairs, and the like that blend history with fantasy with its aim of delighting its audience.  Then there are those that are more than just a group of nerds in medieval leather armor playing with foam weapons, known as living history reenactments.  The goal of this type is to accurately portray civilian life as it was in an authentic manner and its focus is not on public spectacle, but on ensuring the participants have a realistic experience.  Both reenactment genres have their place and offer enlightenment, but let’s go back to the medieval leather armor and foam weapons for a moment to look at Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament, a reenactment experience fitting for the whole family.

Picture this – a replica 11th century castle in grand splendor.  A cast of 75 dressed in medieval leather armor, steel armor, and other fashionable apparel of the Middle Ages.  20 horses doing tricks right in front of your eyes.  A tasty period-style meal that’s guaranteed to beat anything you could get at McDonald’s.  And an evening of medieval games, sword fights, and jousting matches keeping you on the edge of your seat all night.  These are the elements that contribute to make Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament a popular attraction, with nine current locations throughout the United States and Canada, and a memorable evening of fun.

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The evolution of Medieval Times is simple, yet interesting.  The idea was sparked when a guy named Joe Montener started a medieval reenactment dinner theater on his own estate on the island of Majorca in the 1960s.  This led to the formation of a private company, which eventually made its way to the United States and opened the first Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament establishment in Orlando in 1983.  From there, its appeal spread and more locations were gradually put into place.  While the general composition of the show remains intact, changes are made every 5 years.

Now that you have a bit of background on Medieval Times, you may be wondering about the show it’s self.  To begin, you can expect to be greeted by jovial knights, serfs, wenches, and other animated characters upon arrival.  It is also not uncommon for guests to come in costume, so feel free to sport that medieval leather armor and bring those LARP weapons and you’ll feel right at home.  As guests are escorted into the arena, they are served bread and soup while they wait for the action to begin.  As the show begins, the Lord Chancellor, who serves as the master of ceremonies, is introduced.  Guests also get acquainted with the king, the princess, and the knights, as back stories for these characters are revealed.  Next comes the part of the show where the horses get to show off their skills with the Trot in Place, the Passage, and the Capriot. After this is finished, dinner is served which consists of chicken, corn, and potatoes.

After the meal is served, the competition starts to heat up.  Guests behold knights on horseback playing games such as flag passing and throwing lances through rings.  Knights also try to knock each other off their steeds.  These games are thus followed by the jousting matches.  Play continues until the last knight falls and he is declared the winner.  The night ends with a celebration and guests are then ushered out with hearty farewells by the cast.

While Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament may not be the most historically accurate reenactment, it will give you a taste of what the Middle Ages may have been like to some degree. Think of it as a highlights version of the medieval period, encompassing the most thrilling aspects of the time. So, gather your medieval leather armor, weapons, and game face and check out Medieval Times at some point. It will remind you why the Middle Ages is such an endearing part of our history!

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Centurions: More Than Just Average Guys In Roman Soldier Armor

Through the ages, many civilizations have left their mark upon the pages of history.  Among them are the armies of ancient Rome, proving to be powerful and effective in numerous military conquests.  A variety of factors contributed to their success including the Roman soldier armor they wore and their battle strategies.  However, a large component of their strength came from the role of Roman centurions who led their troops from victory to victory.  As common characters in movies and other media, centurions are the most famous officers to emerge from the Roman military.  But what did they actually do and what makes them worthy of such great acclaim?

More than a cool guy in Roman soldier armor, the job of a centurion was no easy task.  He was in charge of managing a cohort of 80 to 100 men and was responsible for keeping order on the battlefield, attending to administrative work, giving out punishments, hiring new officers, and delegating duties to his unit.  Essentially, he served as a sort of father figure and boss to those he was leading.  As a result, all eyes were on him to set an example of upstanding character and true bravery, especially in battle.  There is no doubt he felt a great deal of pressure in his position.

Roman Centurion

Centurions were generally selected from the plebian class and then promoted.  As time went on, they also began to emerge from the higher equestrian class.  They were nominated by the Senate and sometimes even directly appointed by the emperor.  To be among the chosen, qualities of leadership and fearless valor had to be demonstrated.  Most centurions stayed in their position for the duration of their career, but it was possible to advance to a higher rank, such as prefect, tribune, or member of the Senate.  Perks for centurions were more pay than the standard soldier and riding on horseback rather than marching on foot.

The attire of a centurion was distinguished from the standard Roman soldier armor and consisted of a leather arming doublet with a mail shirt over it, a helmet with a sideways horsehair crest, a cloak of lavish material, a sword worn on the left side with a dagger on the right, and medals adorning the chest.  Centurions also wore typical pieces of Roman soldier armor such as greaves, which covered the ankle to above the knee and a cuirass, which covered the torso with an attached skirt to protect the lower region of the body.  In addition, centurions were known to carry a special stick, called a vine staff, to help establish their rank.  They would use it to discipline any soldier who was out of line.

roman centurion costume set

Our Roman Centurion Set on Armor Venue

The line of centurions is long in Rome’s history and there have been quite a few that have left a lasting legacy.  One that stands out is Lucius Siccius Dentatus of the 5th century BCE.  His accomplishments include engagement in at least 120 battles and 8 single combat duels.  Another of the greats was Spurius Ligustinus of the 2nd century BCE.  Spanning 22 years in rank, he exhibited the highest level of courage and thus received 34 separate awards for it.  And known for saving Julius Caesar’s life on the battlefield is the valiant P. Sextius Baculus.  The centurions mentions here represent only a miniscule portion of those who are worthy of being in the Roman Hall of Fame.

The Roman Empire was indeed a thriving one for centuries and it wouldn’t have been what it was without the integral presence of centurions.  These men were more than just average guys in Roman soldier armor – they were pillars who laid a foundation to make a civilization great!

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Leather Armor For Sale! Is It Worth It?

If you are someone who likes to engage in historical re-enactments or happen to be an armor enthusiast, there is no doubt you have been to conventions or Renaissance fairs where you have seen steel and leather armor for sale.  As you stand there debating which type to add to your collection next, steel armor may appear to be the obvious choice.  After all, it tends to be the more popular and effective style.  However, like any upstanding consumer, it’s always best to gather all the facts to enable an informed purchasing decision.  With this in mind, don’t overlook the value of leather armor, as well as its place in history.  For your own enlightenment, here’s what you need to know to aid in your decision making process when you see leather armor for sale and wonder if it’s really worth it.

Leather armor has dabbled at various times in various places in armor history.  There is much speculation and argument over its use beyond mere fantasy role playing.  Amidst this back and forth battle, at least one thing can be said with certainty.  Leather armor was present during the Middle Ages.  In particular, this armor type was a strong presence in the early part of the period, but, of course, nothing lasts forever.  By the Late Middle Ages, its presence faded.  Still, leather armor had a good run.

For knights and soldiers, it was a staple of their wardrobe and a “go to”.  This was because it was cost effective and didn’t require a wild goose chase to find it.  In addition, leather armor didn’t require one to be a master armor artisan in order to make and maintain it.  If the armor was damaged, a soldier was able to make repairs himself.  Another advantage of leather armor was its lightweight nature and mobility.  When entering the battlefield, a medieval fighter would not feel the bulkiness and inflexibility of some of the other armor types and thus, he was able to have maximum effectiveness against his opponents.

Leather Armor Celtic

At the beginning stages of the evolution of leather armor, it was used as a stand alone material with no added components.  As time went on, metal plates were added for extra reinforcement.  While this proved to be effective for protection against cutting prowess, it didn’t deliver against punctures.

To remedy this, the next phase of improvement surfaced in the form of boiled leather, also known as “cuir bouilli”.  The way this was done was through boiling leather in oil or molten wax.  After letting the leather marinate for a bit, it was pulled out and shaped into various pieces, like breastplates, gauntlets, etc.  Then it was left to dry and harden.  When all was said and done, a soldier had a much more durable piece of leather that did achieve the goal of withstanding punctures.  As with everything in life, there are drawbacks and the down side to boiled leather was that it didn’t possess longevity.  It had the tendency to crack and rot, especially when exposed to inclimate weather.  Fortunately, as stated above, leather was cheap and easy to fix, so it wasn’t the end of the world.

In the later years of leather armor, it shifted from being something worn on its own to being a base for other types of armor, such as chainmail or plate armor.  It served as an inner layer for metal armor to provide greater protection and comfort as well.  While leather armor eventually made an exit, there is no denying the foundation it laid for shaping the future of armor as we know it today.

In conclusion, leather armor is far from a thing of fiction.  It is living, breathing, and in some ways, an inspiration. Was it perfect?  Of course not, but then again, what is?  So, the next time you see a booth with steel or leather armor for sale, be sure to give the latter some extra consideration.

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Why You Should Try LARPing

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What is LARPing?

LARP stands for “live action role playing,” and it’s a hobby that’s taking the nation by storm. In LARP, participants dress up and act like specific characters. Whether from a book, movie, game, or completely original, the costumes and actions are all expected to be realistic. Games and battles are reenacted with a group of other LARPers. Whether you dig the attire or are looking to make new friends, there are plenty of reasons to try LARP.

LARP creates an ideal atmosphere to make new connections, especially for those who might be shy. Because you take on the traits of your chosen character, you get to interact behind a mask of sorts. This allows people to break out of their shells where otherwise they might have been withdrawn. Organized gatherings take the pressure out of approaching new people. Plus, interacting with those who have similar interests as you is a way to build healthy bonds that last.

Always dreamt of being a princess or a knight in shining armor? Here’s your chance! Choose your character and get to work. Spend as much or as little as you want on a costume or gear. Fair warning, though—once you start dressing up, you’ll wish you would have bought those accessories you were eyeing. LARP is perfect for those who love to be creative. It gives you the opportunity to develop and create a character. Problem solving, designing, and displaying your hard work pays off when you have the chance to show off your skills on the battlefield.

Not only is LARP great for friendships and creativity, it can keep you healthy, too. Think of LARP as real-life versions of your favorite video and computer games. Usually, a LARP get-together involves a battlefield that can take up a few blocks. Running, jumping, and battling is a great way to stay heart-healthy and shed a few of those extra pounds.

When it comes to creating your perfect LARP persona, look no further than Armor Venue for all of your outfitting needs. Created out of the love of the sport, Armor Venue strives to provide top of the line products to fit any persona.

From Samurais to Roman Soldiers, these historically accurate helmets, shields, sets, and accessories can be made in any size. Whether you are looking for your first costume or for something for your child, Armor Venue has it ready.

Get your LARP on at www.armorvenue.com.

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Chainmail Armor Through The Ages

What do you get when you interlock a series of metal rings together in a pattern?  If you said “chainmail armor”, then you win the prize!  Known as one of the earliest types of protection, it would be fair to say that chainmail armor has had quite a successful run and is, in fact, still used today.

The longevity of chainmail armor comes from its effective prowess, both on and off the battlefield. One of its major appeals was the flexibility it gave the wearer.  It was light and allowed for ease of movement, which was of the utmost importance when engaging in battle.  It also proved to have a great deal of resistance against piercing and thrusting weapons, as well as cutting blows from edged weapons.  In addition, chainmail armor was cost effective and accessible for almost anyone to make.

The earliest impression of chainmail armor dates back to almost 3,000 years ago where it surfaced in Etruscan civilization.  However, this pre-dates other forms of chainmail by 2,000 years and thus, it was most likely not the inspiration for European chainmail.

Flash forward to the 2nd century BC where the Gauls were the first to be spotted wearing European chainmail armor.  The Romans saw this and said, “Hey! That’s cool!” and jumped on the bandwagon.  This manifested its self in a chainmail shirt called the Lorica Hamata that was unique with its technique of using solid punched out rings versus the more common approach of drawn-wire links.  This type of chainmail remained steady through the fall of the Roman Empire into the Dark Ages.

The Middle Ages brought about the next innovation in chainmail armor with its process of crafting wire from steel.  After the wire was formed, it would be shaped into small interlocked rings.  An overlapping ring pattern, consisting of many flat rings, was also characteristic of this period.  When it came to the actual assembly of the rings, it was far from simple.  As most chainmail armor shirts were comprised of roughly 40,000 rings, whoever did this job had their work cut out for them.

CH-chainmailtype

As the Middle Ages came to a close, chainmail armor was confronted by the threat of replacement due to the emergence of plate armor.  For some time, these two armor types worked in conjunction with one another with plate armor making up the main configuration and chainmail being used to protect the joints.  As time went on, plate armor became all-encompassing and by the end of the 16th century, chainmail armor had graciously made its exit.

Attempts for a chainmail comeback surfaced from time to time.  One of them was in the late 19th and 20th centuries where chainmail was used to construct bulletproof vests.  Another was during World War I where chainmail fringes were added to helmets for facial protection.  Both of these implementations didn’t have a lasting presence.  However, chainmail proves to be alive and well today and can be found in gloves for butchers and woodcarvers, suits for scuba divers and animal control officers, electrical and industrial environments, and jewelry and decorations.

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Bringing Definition To The Greek Helmet

When you think of the defining head gear of ancient Greece, the Spartan or Corinthian helmet is most likely the first to enter your mind.  After all, these types tend to be the typical ones seen in film and other media.  However, Greek helmets were vast in their assortment.  Thus it hardly seems fair to call either one of these the dominant Greek helmet of the day.  In taking a closer examination of ancient Greek style, you will notice similarities in each Greek helmet, as well as aspects that set them apart.  In addition, the different styles are telling of the territories conquered and ruled by Greek warriors.

The Corinthian helmet is believed to be the first Greek helmet to emerge in ancient Greece.   Its major appearance is in the 8th century BC, but archeological finds show its first sightings much earlier.  It originated from the city-state of Corinth and was worn both in and out of battle.  It was made of bronze and characterized by full face coverage with limited visibility.  Later versions expanded visibility and the inclusion of protection for the back of the head and neck.  It had a solid run into the 1st century AD.  Bearing strong resemblance to the Corinthian helmet was the Spartan helmet.  Its design was basically the same, but with shorter cheek guards.

Corinthian Helmet

Corinthian Helmet

As an improvement from the Corinthian helmet came the Chalcidian helmet, which had widespread use during the 4th and 5th centuries BC.  It is believed to have emerged from the European city-state of Chalcis, although there is debate over this claim.  This piece was made of bronze and offered better visibility and hearing than the Corinthian.  It was shaped like a hemispherical dome with two hinged cheek pieces, a nose guard, a nose guard, and loops on the sides to fit the ears.  This helmet was often decorative with etchings or elaborate designs and protrusions, such as combs, on the top.  The Chalcidian helmet later gave rise to the Attic helmet, which was almost identical, but lacked a nose guard.

Brass Chalcidian Helmet

Brass Chalcidian Helmet

Another familiar Greek helmet is the Illyrian helmet which came into prominence in the 7th and 8th centuries BC.  Developed in the Peloponnese, this bronze head gear was open faced and comprised of two pieces joined together at the crown.  Though visibility was good, hearing was impaired in the earliest design. Later variations improved on its audible nature and also incorporated coverage for the full head and neck.  Ridges along the sides were also characteristic of this style and aided in extra reinforcement.

In terms of classic Greek helmet types, the Phrygian helmet is as classic as it gets, especially since it originated in Classical Greece.  This bronze head gear was worn all throughout the Mediterranean.  It is characterized by a high and forward pointing apex attached to the skull.  The apex served to protect the upper part of the face and shield the eyes.  Another distinct part of this helmet were the large cheek pieces that were so prominent that they often met at the center with just enough space for the eyes and nose to stick out.  The Phrygian endured from the Classical era into the Hellenistic period.

In addition to the styles discussed here, Greek helmet designs had many other variations.  While the basic designs served as the foundation, it is still nearly impossible to define the head gear of ancient Greece with just one type of Greek helmet.  This is indeed a testament to the sharp minds and innovation of the Greeks.

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The Great Helm: A Medieval Helmet For The Ages

When fighting in the Crusades, all it took was a blow to the head

To ensure a fatal wound that would sometimes even leave you dead.

That is why a medieval helmet was key

Along with armor to have longevity.

Among the most effective head gear to abound

Was one called the Great Helm, the finest around.

It splashed on the scene as the twelfth century moved on,

Worn until the fourteenth century when it was gone.

Sported by heavy infantry and knights,

It protected in a great many fights.

Now you may be wondering “What made this medieval helmet stand out from the rest?”

Well, I’m glad you asked.  Give me a bit of your time to put this question to the test.

 

Famous for being the first medieval helmet to enclose the head in full,

The Great Helm was a flat-topped steel cylinder with max. protection as its goal.

It contained openings for the mouth and eyes

Boasting an appearance of substantial size.

Later designs saw a curved top which offered greater deflection

From adversaries’ weapons and various types of projection.

The head gear was secured in place with a strap under the chin

While an adjustable liner and padding was found within.

The Great Helm was worn over a mail coif and bascinet

Ensuring comfort and protective layering was set.

 

Further enhancement came from the helmet’s decoration,

Being multi-purposed with visual stimulation.

Cross shaped ventilation holes were pierced on the front, adding a nice pious touch,

In which a chain, attached to a belt or cuirass, could be threaded through and such.

Since the head was fully covered, warriors could not be easily recognized.

Thus crests and facial décor were adorned to have identities emphasized.

Indeed this medieval helmet emerged into a thing of fashion-

No longer just a protective piece in the heat of fighting passion.

Crusader Medieval Battle

 

The Great Helm may have been inspired by the Viking mask.

Since their civilization is gone, we can’t really ask.

What we know is the twelfth century Nasal Helm paved the way

For the grand entrance of the Great Helm to have a lengthy stay.

The Nasal Helm was of short, conical form,

In which only nose protection was the norm.

As heads were getting attacked, a need arose

For complete head coverage, not just fort the nose.

This is what brought about a change,

Expanding the protective range

To the full face rather than merely a part.

You must admit this design was pretty smart!

 

Medieval Helmet Great Helm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Century twelve is done. Enter thirteen

Where new developments here can be seen.

Protection for the back of the neck was also included,

Highlighting the excellent protection this helmet exuded.

In addition, ventilation holes increased

Allowing more breathing to be released.

Moving ahead to the fourteenth century, the Great Helm had reached its height

With moveable, removable, and pivoting visors coming to light.

Reinforced cross-bars were enhancements as well

And a shoulder length Great Helm had cast its spell.

When the fourteenth century closed, this medieval helmet said “goodbye!”

As the bascinet came into its own, hoping for its chance to fly.

 

Flash forward to today and the Great Helm is still around

Go to modern day re-enactments. There it can be found.

Or look in art and media- there also it does appear

As an iconic medieval helmet we cherish most dear.

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Gladiators or Knights in Roman Armour

There were no televisions.  There were no movie theaters.  And the internet was still many centuries away.  Alas, what was a person to do for entertainment in ancient Rome?  Fortunately there were fights…gladiator matches to be exact.  They were the hottest ticket in town and kept spectators on the edge of their seats.  More than a mere sporting event, gladiator matches were a true spectacle highlighted by flashy costumes and various types of Roman armour.  Similar to athletes in today’s world, the combatants of these popular arena fights became stars with their portraits being seen in public places and some even becoming sex symbols.

While the life of a gladiator had potential to resemble that of a Hollywood celebrity, they had to survive first.  Their glory came at a cost, as their lives were always on the line.  Although not every battle was a fight to the death, fatal wounds were pretty much a guarantee.  After all, these men (and occasionally women) were fighting wild animals who were unpredictable and trained opponents who were aggressive.  As a result, the life span of a gladiator was fairly short.  According to historical records, most gladiators only survived to their mid 20’s.

Roman Armour Gladiator

To keep an even playing field, there were various classes that gladiators were categorized into and each match faced off fighters of similar stature and skill.  Other distinguishing factors for classification were victory records, experience, fighting style, and weaponry used.  In addition of gladiators included free men, slaves, criminals, captives from Roman Empire conquered lands, and even Roman emperors at times.  The Roman armour sported by gladiators in the arena aided in showing class association as well.

AV Blog - Roman Armour arena 2

Gladiators combined traditional Roman armour style with styles of the territories won over in Roman conquests.  This blend culminated in a vast array of armour that pleased spectators, as they took great pride in being reminded of Roman victories.  Among the many different variations worn into the arena, there were a few pieces of Roman armour commonplace to all gladiators.  The cassis, or helmet, was essential for maximum head protection against fatal blows.  While gladiator head gear differed in their appearance, metal construction was consistent throughout all pieces.  The galea, a helmet with a visor, was the most popular and worn by most gladiator classes.  Another crucial armament was the balteus, or sword belt, which contained a sheath and hung conveniently at the wearer’s front.  This ensured quick and easy access to a sword, which was of utmost importance.  Along with the balteus was the cingulum, a leather belt (often reinforced with metal plates) which guarded the waist from injury.  The cuirass, or breastplate, was comprised of a single metal plate that protected the gladiator’s front and chest area.  The galerus, or shoulder guard, was usually constructed of metal and offered shoulder covering, as well as some for the neck and head.  The ocrea, or leg guard, was a metal piece that covered the front of the leg from the knee or thigh to below the shin.  These were the basic Roman armour ensemble typically worn by gladiators in all classes.  However, the specific design of these pieces varied and alterations and additions to this composition were not uncommon.

Although gladiators lived with death looming at their doorstep, they were influential in uniting the people of ancient Rome.  They ushered in a sense of widespread pride, exciting a society with something to cheer for.  These fighters were truly hometown heroes and while their lives may have been cut short, their legacy lives on!

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Memorial Day Weekend Sale 2016 at Armor Venue – Save 15% Now Through 5-31!

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Armor Venue Memorial Day Sale 2016

Coupon Code Details

This coupon code is good until Tuesday, May 31st. Get an instant 15% off your order using the coupon code “memorial15” at checkout or on the billing/shipping page. Discount will be immediately applied to eligible items in your cart.

Exclusions and Terms:

  • Coupon code cannot be applied to sale or clearance items including those in the Bargain Dungeon section of the site. Other items such as suits of armor may not be eligible.
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Start Shopping with Our Most Popular Categories Now:

Medieaval Breastplates, Arm Guards, and More
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Medieval Shields: More Than Meets The Eye

During the Middle Ages, shields were a hot commodity to one’s armament.  Both mounted knights and foot soldiers alike sported these defensive pieces.  Not only shields offer protection against opponents’ blows, they also boasted an attractive appearance with ornate images and designs in vibrant colors.  Their artistic flair was a major characteristic that put medieval shields in a class of their own.  However, they didn’t have cool designs just for the sake of being artsy.  The symbols (also known as heraldry) and colors on these pieces actually served the vital purpose of identification for knights in battle.

Seeing as how knights were heavily armored with helmets that covered their entire face, they were virtually unrecognizable to family, friends, and adversaries.  If it wasn’t for the heraldry of the medieval shields they carried, one knight would like exactly like another.  Therefore, each shield design was not random, but featured symbols and colors that were specific to an individual knight, identifying their character, accomplishments, family order, and lord or king.  More often than not, these things were encompassed in a coat of arms decoratively displayed on the shield’s surface.

Among the revealing aspects of medieval shields was color.  Through the centuries, additional meanings were attached to each color, but the base quality still remained the same.  White represented purity and peace while black stood for wisdom, prudence, and mystery.  Cruising down the rainbow, red was the color of passion, confidence, and strength.  Orange signified ambition and happiness.  Yellow was representative of optimism and creativity.  Green meant growth, abundance, and independence.  Blue indicated loyalty, trust, and inner calmness.  And purple was associated with royalty and depth.  Other colors, such as silver or gold, were occasionally spotted on shields, but the main palette was derived from the colors mentioned.

SCA Medieval Battle Shields

In addition to colors, symbols were another component of identification on medieval shields.  There was a wide array of possibilities to choose from, including shapes, plants, animals, structures, and other objects.  Each symbol was chosen with care and had a specific meaning.  Among the most common emblems used was a sun representing glory, a heart indicative of honesty and charity, a cross standing for faith and protection, a crown signifying authority, a dagger standing for power and honor, and a helmet for wise defense.  Popular animal symbols on shields included an eagle for a person of action and lofty affairs, a horse for strength and loyalty, a lion for courage and justice, a dragon for discovery and protection, and a bear as a symbol of the great warrior.  As was the case with colors, these heraldic symbols were given multiple meanings and some of them changed over time.  These, however, are still associations that have stuck.

Along with colors and symbols, line patterns were also given special meanings on medieval shields.  For example, wavy lines signified water while zig zag lines indicated fire.  Additionally, thicker lines, or stripes, played a role in dividing a shield into different sections and even this component was not void of meaning.  A few of these worth mentioning are a horizontal stripe representing honor and a vertical stripe representing military strength.  An angled stripe was a symbol of protection and loyal service while a diagonal stripe was a symbol of defense.  Each line and stripe was selected to compliment the rest of the shield’s design.

As you can see, medieval shields were not just mass produced carbon copies of one another, but individual works of art.  Each shield was unique and truly embodied a person’s character, history, and legacy.  A thorough examination of one of these shields will prove there is indeed more than meets the eye!

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