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Posted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 3:35 pm
by Ariarnia
So Corslet means (approximately) upper body covering?

Posted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 4:02 pm
by Nigel
a good generalisation

Posted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:34 pm
by GuyofBurgundy
Whilst we're (sort of) on the subject of the Welsh- does anyone know of any decent depictions/written accounts of the Welsh circa 1170-1200 aside from Giraldus?
I've been skimming through material and coming up with nothing, although the letter mentioned in Brother Ranulf's post is something new.
Mention of them serving in the Earl of Chester's force during the Anarchy are pretty common, notably Licoln: ''... these men formed a large army which consisted of a full one third Welshmen and united they marched against the king at Lincoln. The now ancient Ordericus Vitalis, the Chronicler monk born in Shropshire, recorded the resultant battle and stated that the Welsh contingent was led by two princely brothers, Mariadoth et Kaladrius. '' ( ... incoln.htm)
But Orderic Vitallis doesn't go into any kind of details (other than how easily they were routed...)

Posted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:57 pm
by Brother Ranulf
Gerald "of Wales" (like me he was only one-quarter Welsh) is the only contemporary source giving any kind of detail for the period you mention - everything else I have come across is later by at least half a century.

It's a fact that the interior of Wales was several separate kingdoms at that time, usually in some kind of dispute against each other. This means that "overviews" of what made the Welsh tick are extremely rare - we are fortunate to have Gerald's several accounts. I should caution against almost all of the extracts posted on the web (specifically anything mentioning "Welsh longbows" during the 12th century) as his work has almost always been misquoted, misrepresented and in several cases deliberately fabricated. The "arrow through a 4-inch door" is one such malicious fabrication.

Lewis Thorpe's translation (Penguin Classics, re-issued 2004) is probably the best and most reliable. No pictures of course, but if read carefully you can glean huge amounts of detail about what life in Wales was like at the time, how people dressed, how they ate, cut their hair and their social conditions.

Otherwise, all I have found is references to Welsh Laws of around 1150, in "A Celtic Miscellany" translated by Kenneth Hurlstone Jackson (almost impossible to obtain these days): these laws give more glimpses into everyday life and customs.

Posted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 11:12 pm
by GuyofBurgundy
Already have a copy of Giraldus Cambrensis; I bought it for a course that the lecturer never really got around to teaching... which I was slightly miffed about.
The only other material I've really looked at is the Guthlac rolls, but they seem to be a bit confused as to what they are depicting to some extent. (I believe I've already mentioned the shields before!)

There is one source that claims to be depicting a 'Welsh archer' and 'Welsh spearman', however, the spearman picture has elsewhere been captioned as a 'Scots spearman', although these images are definately early 13th century. A bit annoying that their supposed subject matter isn't so clear!
The only truly interesting thing about the images is that the spearman appears to be waving a rather large seax around in his off-hand. But without any context, it's a bit of a moot point.