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The breastplate, now of a solid, single-piece construction, rounded and bulbous in form (again reflecting clothing fashions), had a skirt of articulated plates (the. fauld) that protected the abdomen, whilst a mail skirt protected the groin. The limbs were almost fully encased. The arms were covered by rerebraces and vamb races for the upper arid lower arms respectively, the elbow joint protected by the couter. The shoulder might still only have the small cap-like spaulder, but larger and more complex pauLorons, which flared out in order to protect the shoulder through the full range of its movement, were also to be found.

OTHER MELEE WEAPONS Besides the sword and cut-down lance a wide variety of other hand weapons were also available to the medieval knight fighting on toot. The long-hafted axe, traditionally seen as a Norse or Anglo-Saxon weapon, was used in the 11th and 12th centuries. At the climax of the battle of Lincoln in 1141, fought during the civil war between King Stephen and Matilda, the daughter of Henry I, Stephen stood 'like a lion' fending off his enemies with just such an axe. By the 14th century the dominant weapon was some form of hafted weapon that had evolved out of farming tools.

It might be wholly metal or made of a wooden and leather body with a metal boss, and was held in the fist by a single bar grip. Being too small to stop a blow directly, its primary use was as a means of deflecting them and protecting the wielder's sword hand. 33 — shows it also being used aggressively to strike the opponent's hands or punched directly into his face. sword and buckler from The figures depicted in the text using the sword and buckler are a monk, a scholar and a woman. Whilst it would be wrong to take the illustrations literally (some observers have created fantastic stories that the monk is a real figure, a retired knight turned warrior monk: a tale that owes more to Eastern martial arts traditions and the novelist Ellis Peters than to medieval European society and culture) their appearance does suggest that this weapon combination had a civilian context.

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