Viking Under Armer.

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Post Centurion
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Re: Viking Under Armer.

Post by chrisanson »

Nigel wrote:doubt it Chris cos we all wear padding

the point is tht its expected that maille will be padded and it attracts a proportional forced blow to allow impact to be felt

i know what you mean mate but there are some ot there that dont know what proportional
means, i have fought folk from earlier periods than yours who after the third one that hurt a bit much his knee all of a sudden became very vulnerable if you know what i mean :)

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Re: Viking Under Armer.

Post by Wynflaed »

My understanding was that maille stopped glancing blows with a blade by preventing the edge biting, not stabs, thrusts or blunt force trauma.

Has anyone tried sticking maille on a pig and attacking it? (Preferably one that's dead already, far less morally dubious and less likely to splash). I've seen people demonstrate various weapons on an unarmoured pig this way, quite impressive. Anhyway there is this video on YouTube of people attacking an empty hauberk with various weapons, but they don't say what the maille is made of (it looks like it's butted not riveted):

Re the spears - totally with Benedict on this one. Even if you had a sword you'd use your spear(s) first. Problem is, reenactors like shiny things, so swords tend to dominate :D Personally I think long shafts are much more fun, woof.

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Re: Viking Under Armer.

Post by Hobbitstomper »

Mail can stop stabs, prticularly when it has paddng underneath to soak up the energy of a blow. They still use mail in stab proof armour.

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Thor Ewing
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Re: Viking Under Armer.

Post by Thor Ewing »

Interesting . . . I've been pondering this myself recently, and reading this has meant I can give myself the sort of answer I would give someone else!

There was a workaday Viking garment called a kufl ("cowl") which was probably similar to the cuculla worn by Roman slaves. It was probably sleeveless or short-sleeved and not terribly long, but still long enough to belt. It would typically have been made of coarse woollen cloth. In one saga it is worn over a mailshirt (to hide it), and the term 'battle-kufl' appears in poetry as a kenning for armour. As worn on ship or in the fields, it probably had a hood, but the same garment without a hood would be suitable to wear under a mailshirt.

On the other hand, images of mailshirts on the Bayeux Tapestry seem to suggest that they have an integral lining. The coloured borders for these mailshirts could very well represent some sort of leather or textile under-armour which is actually attached to the armour itself. If the scenes of armour being stripped from naked bodies are taken at face value, these lined mailshirts were worn without shirts or other underclothing; other images from the Tapestry clearly show that lower arms and legs are bound with strips of cloth (OE winningas, ON spjarrar), so there is no absolute necessity for other clothes. If this is right, it would allow me to rework the old joke about the kilt:
HLAEFDIGE: Is there anything worn under the byrnie?
HLAFORD: No, I can assure you it's all in perfect working order!

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