Jump to content

Cuirboilli Cuirass


Recommended Posts

@LoïcOne question about the Broigne... Have there been any archaeological finds of groups of small (probably larger than mail) metal rings in one place? For example, has a body been found (grave or battlefield) that had appropriate size metal rings scattered over what would be the torso, both "above" and "below" the torso? I ask, because I haven't heard of any and would love to look at the archaeological excavation illustrations. The same question applies for appropriate size metal plates (as opposed to the rings). In RQIII terms, the former would be "Ring Mail", and the latter "Bezainted" armors. 

Now I do think that reinforced textile armors did exist, and it would be silly to think that someone, somewhere didn't think it was a good idea to sew metal reinforcing bits onto it. I don't think it was that widespread though. More a "Mad Max" attempt at additional protection rather than something that warriors regularly wore. 

SDLeary

Edited by SDLeary
never post before coffee
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 76
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

"The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down

Okay, took no long time of research. The museum of Bayeux itself (and its associated specialists) says there are both the broigne and the cotte de maille (or hauberk) represented on the tapestry, usua

Totally wrong, sorry. As an archaeologist, I can tell you there are several schools of thought in history as in anthropology and archaeology. About many and many topics. The great migrations of Neolit

Posted Images

23 hours ago, Loïc said:

By the bye, other myths about Alesia: Vercingetorix had a roman haircut and no mustache

I am afraid there is irrefutable evidence against this:

image.png.13cfe02988c66c83bbc3f70a3beeb9b9.png

Also, there is a typo in your post:

23 hours ago, Loïc said:

No, some serious researchers (and the Asterix comics)

it should have read (including the Asterix comics)

😀

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/15/2020 at 10:30 AM, Loïc said:

By the bye, other myths about Alesia: Vercingetorix had a roman haircut and no mustache (he was already romanised!), as proves a stater (coin) figuring him. And he never surrendered to Caesar: besieged in Alesia, and after many defeats, his own men gave him up to Caesar (Comentarii de Bello Gallico, Book VII, 7, 89).

Alesia ? never heard that

Oh yeah wait a minute, it is a belgian joke, like waterloo, isn't it ?  Belgium is the great land of jokes.. the truth is both battles never existed. don't spread fake news pleaaase ;)

 

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread is quite lovely.

I've seen Todd of ToddsWorkshop make some cuirbolli (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RO_nG6OpCKg), essentially using hot animal glue to soak leather, like using resin to soak glass fibre. This leather hard is enough to cut softwood with, but didn't perform well against arrows, which he thinks is an indication that some work is needed on his recipe to make is less hard.

The guy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwGW_qwpxYsThis bloke approaches if from a SCA perspective http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Medieval/Articles/Perfect_Armor_Improved.htm and dips leather in 80C water before forming. Tis produces leather resilient enough to be used in full-contact non-sharp combat.

 

Historically, from cuirbolli shield found in Irish bogs to language (cuirass, as someone has noted) to multiple reference of it being used, cuirbolli was a thing, and a thing used for armour.

It seems that we have a classic issue here of people with siloed specialities not getting to look into other silos where people are talking about the same thing.

Makes me want to go buy some veg-tanned leather and play...

As for ring mail, oh I love 18th Century "research". This all too often consists of someone (well, a white male European) sat at a desk reading and then making stuff up as they went along. The differences the different patterns used to portray armour in the Bayeux Tapestry could be no more than an individual embroiderer's taste. In some of the scenes where it varies from circles to squares it's where one individual partially obscures another, making a choice of a different patterns to show 'armour' an obvious artistic choice. Embroiderers were likely neither asked to show the various forms of armour worm on the day or even knowledgeable of the same. Etc..

Again, with ring mail there's a lot of smoke. I don't mind having ring mail. Seems a reasonable form of armour as does stud, I mean bezainited leather 😜 

 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Monty Lovering said:

This thread is quite lovely.

I've seen Todd of ToddsWorkshop make some cuirbolli (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RO_nG6OpCKg), essentially using hot animal glue to soak leather, like using resin to soak glass fibre. This leather hard is enough to cut softwood with, but didn't perform well against arrows, which he thinks is an indication that some work is needed on his recipe to make is less hard.

The guy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwGW_qwpxYsThis bloke approaches if from a SCA perspective http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Medieval/Articles/Perfect_Armor_Improved.htm and dips leather in 80C water before forming. Tis produces leather resilient enough to be used in full-contact non-sharp combat.

 

Historically, from cuirbolli shield found in Irish bogs to language (cuirass, as someone has noted) to multiple reference of it being used, cuirbolli was a thing, and a thing used for armour.

It seems that we have a classic issue here of people with siloed specialities not getting to look into other silos where people are talking about the same thing.

Makes me want to go buy some veg-tanned leather and play...

As for ring mail, oh I love 18th Century "research". This all too often consists of someone (well, a white male European) sat at a desk reading and then making stuff up as they went along. The differences the different patterns used to portray armour in the Bayeux Tapestry could be no more than an individual embroiderer's taste. In some of the scenes where it varies from circles to squares it's where one individual partially obscures another, making a choice of a different patterns to show 'armour' an obvious artistic choice. Embroiderers were likely neither asked to show the various forms of armour worm on the day or even knowledgeable of the same. Etc..

Again, with ring mail there's a lot of smoke. I don't mind having ring mail. Seems a reasonable form of armour as does stud, I mean bezainited leather 😜 

 

Hah, yeah, "studded leather" is another one of those armors where some now long dead white guy looked at an art piece, and then pulled an idea out of his ass about what the armor really was.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's an article about leather armors: https://www.archeologiedordrecht.nl/wijkensites.dordrecht/up/ZwljtisJE_Leather_in_Warfare_Late-medieval_leather_armour_from_excavations_in_the_Netherlands_Marloes_Rijkelijkhuizen_and_Marquita_Volken.pdf

I had an article about cuirboulli helmets too, but unfortunately I can't find it, I may have lost it a while ago in a hd crash. I've read some other articles too, and looks like that cuirboulli wasn't as sturdy as it is in RQ, and no one used just cuirboulli armor, but it was used on top of other armors. And it wasn't a poor man's substitute for a metal armor.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/11/2020 at 5:09 AM, Akhôrahil said:

We also say ”mail” (from ”maille”) and not ”ring armor”. It’s just how language works - technical terms get imported.

Until recently the two terms meant different things in English. Some time back when scholars looked into a classified armor, they made some assumptions that later were suspect. One of which was interpreting drawings of rings in period artwork as rings of metal atttached to a leather or cloth backing. Hence the term "ring armor". The same scholars also tended to use the term mail with every sort of armor, hence terms like ring mail, plate mail, and chain mail, which are so common in RPGs.

Modern scholars doubt ring armor ever existed, and instead believe the artwork is actually representative of mail armor. It only rather recently in English speaking countries that  we've started using mail (or maille) correctly to refer  exclusively to what most people know as "chain mail". 

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Until recently the two terms meant different things in English. Some time back when scholars looked into a classified armor, they made some assumptions that later were suspect. One of which was interpreting drawings of rings in period artwork as rings of metal atttached to a leather or cloth backing. Hence the term "ring armor".

I made this exact point earlier in the thread. 🙂

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:
2 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Until recently the two terms meant different things in English. Some time back when scholars looked into a classified armor, they made some assumptions that later were suspect. One of which was interpreting drawings of rings in period artwork as rings of metal atttached to a leather or cloth backing. Hence the term "ring armor".

I made this exact point earlier in the thread. 🙂

So good, it was worth repeating.

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

I made this exact point earlier in the thread. 🙂

Yes, you did, and deserve full credit for it. Please take a bow. 

4 minutes ago, soltakss said:

So good, it was worth repeating.

Indeed. Especially when most old RPG designers used the aforementioned inaccurate interpretations for their armor types. Even today RPGs come out that use terms like "ringmail" "chainmail" and "platemail", as those are the terms they are familiar with. "Ring armor" probably didn't exist, "chainmail" is just mail, and "Platemail" could be just plate armor (i.e. what we think of knights wearing),, plated mail (a form of mail armor with small pieces of plate attached, but usually of lower quality that standard 4-in-1 mail so it's probably a wash), or "Plate & Mail" (a combination  armor consisting of mail with various bits upgraded to or overlapped with plate, that something of a transtional armor as smiths figured out how to make full plate).

While we're on the topic "studded leather" probably didn't exist either, but instead was a misinterpretation of brigadine (which has bits of plate riveted to layers of cloth or leather). RQ's "Bezainted" armor is also in a grey area but it seems there is some evidence to support it's existence, plus flat coin-like disks would be more effective than studs.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/10/2020 at 2:24 PM, Jape_Vicho said:

Seems like neither chest, chest & abdomen or abdomen have cuirboilli, I'm guessing it's because boiled leather is completely rigid and if worn in a part of the body that is suposed to move

Except that they did make Plate Curisasses, which are also rigid. There were curiboilli curiasses in RQ2. Stats were identical to the Linen Cuirass except that they cost 40L instead of 25L.

The Cuirboilli Cuirass was probably dropped because no one is going to spend nearly twice the price for functionally identical armor. Especially when Ring Mail protects better for 50L.

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

While we're on the topic "studded leather" probably didn't exist either, but instead was a misinterpretation of brigadine (which has bits of plate riveted to layers of cloth or leather).

Brigantine/Coat of Plates strikes me as the way movies should go if they want to combine realism with a ”cool” black leather look.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Brigantine/Coat of Plates strikes me as the way movies should go if they want to combine realism with a ”cool” black leather look.

Not to mention very good protection on the cheap. Since it could be made from scavanged pieces of plate, and plate could be produced faster and cheaper than mail, brigadine was probably the best protection for the price. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Except that they did make Plate Curisasses, which are also rigid. There were curiboilli curiasses in RQ2. Stats were identical to the Linen Cuirass except that they cost 40L instead of 25L.

The Cuirboilli Cuirass was probably dropped because no one is going to spend nearly twice the price for functionally identical armor. Especially when Ring Mail protects better for 50L.

Except ring is noisy and linen problematic in the wet or extremely hot environments.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd totally agree that studded leather was very much not a tin and is the result of the rivets in a coat of plates being misinterpreted in visual representations.

But splinted armour  - where strips of metal are added to a leather or linen base - was very much a thing, even if only for limbs and maybe helmets.

I'll argue extensively about medical armour as that what I now a bit about. I don't know if there is any proof of splinted armour in the Ancient world.

It is not exactly rocket science - making a cuttable material less cuttable by putting ruddy great strips of metal along it. Hard to believe no one thought of it until the transitional period of Medieval armour.

Anyone better informed than me about this? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/15/2020 at 6:18 PM, SDLeary said:

@LoïcOne question about the Broigne... Have there been any archaeological finds of groups of small (probably larger than mail) metal rings in one place? For example, has a body been found (grave or battlefield) that had appropriate size metal rings scattered over what would be the torso, both "above" and "below" the torso? I ask, because I haven't heard of any and would love to look at the archaeological excavation illustrations. The same question applies for appropriate size metal plates (as opposed to the rings). In RQIII terms, the former would be "Ring Mail", and the latter "Bezainted" armors. 

Now I do think that reinforced textile armors did exist, and it would be silly to think that someone, somewhere didn't think it was a good idea to sew metal reinforcing bits onto it. I don't think it was that widespread though. More a "Mad Max" attempt at additional protection rather than something that warriors regularly wore. 

SDLeary

To sum up, and add a few references...

The controversy: in a first time, no one questioned the reality of broignes made of stitched scales, plates or rings. Next, in the 1930s, the controversy appeared. Two schools: some said it never existed and all images (Bayeux of course) were showing classic interlaced chain mails ; the others said the two (broignes and chain mails) were coexisting. I asked my colleague (an archaeologist specialist of medieval weaponry). Archaeology deeply changed since the 1970s/1980s, with the appearence of "rescue archaeology". This permits (at least in France, where it is the more developed) to discover more sites than ever. And of course, in the 1970s appeared professional archaeologists and not only "informed amateurs" or just historians. Now historians and archaeologists are more and more working together.

Now, the "anti-broigne" tend to nuance their critics. There are many problems about the rings' or mails' discoveries:

  • most of times, you find weapons (swords, scramasaxes...), eventually shields' umbos, but never pieces or armors. These are probably too expensive to be buried along with the body. That's the case for most of periods (roman, merovingian, carolingian and later), except for gaulish graves.
  • archaeology of battle fields doesn't really exist: most of time, you don't know there was a battle in this specific location. And if you can locate a battle (Alesia, Castillon...), it's all cleaned-up! (loot of the winner side, scavengers...). In ancient times, metal is very expansive, so nothing must be lost...
  • sometimes you find mails (out of graves)! Yes! Great! See what it looks like (this is chainmail)gjermundbu_hemd.jpg.c04864ef3ec76a63ccbbd0821f0ea3ef.jpg... and it was restored!!!!
  • ...and finally, there is the discover of just rings, in graves or elsewhere. Great! I have rings! What the f*** is that??? It can come from harness, belts... or stitched ring broignes... This is the most difficult: you can find many and many rings at the same time, and not interlaced, and then it can be many things, even in a battle fiel context. And the rings' size is not a criterium, since even the Chanson de Roland talks about the size of the rings (the smaller the better...). Still, many texts have been studied again and again and seem to be quite explicit (La chanson de Roland, Charlemagne's capitularia...) and do distinguish between broignes and chainmails, even with broigne rings... Generally, in archaeological reports, we just write "rings" or eventually "parure" (clothes accessories), to stay neutral.

BUT (of course, there's a "but"): broignes made of iron plates are proved. Here are a few references:

http://aquitania.u-bordeaux-montaigne.fr/_jumi/pdf/133.pdf (p31, 33, 57)

https://fr.calameo.com/read/0014628167911637988be (p187)

https://docplayer.fr/72260206-Landarc-cahiers-landarc-n-3-moyen-age-les-plaques-de-brigandines-antiquite-tardive-moyen-age-moderne-contemporaine.html (for later periods)

Each time you find plates of broignes, there are just a few, about 2 or 3 a time, sometimes a dozen if you're lucky enough. Complete plates broignes are never seen (from what I saw). Then, when you find rings that could possibly come from a broigne, it's roughly the same number...

Now, my colleague said to me he was speaking of "mails" only for chainmails, and of "rings" when they aren't interlaced. What's a ring? It can be a thin iron rod you curve and then weld. Or it can be a round plate you're piercing in the middle. The both are OK to form a broigne, from the moment you're stitching them on a leather or flax clothe.

So, now the specialists of medieval weaponry, especially archaeologists (and quite a few historians also), do not question the reality of broignes made of rings, as for plates or scales broignes. There is no real archaeological proof (as SDLeary would love to see...), but a body of elements that confirm what good sense imposes... In fact, the defenders of the reality of ring broigne do have much more arguments/elements/deductions than its detractors. These laters' only argument, since the 1930s, is a St Thomas reasoning: "never saw that, so it doesn't exist". But as I said, this controversy is now tending to be outdated, even if you will always find hardliners or, of course, obsolete datas on the web... as for any topic.

Then, even if I do defend the ring broigne, I'm in no way its prophet!!!! Each one must of course form his own opinion! I just hope the few elements will help you, whatever opinion you'll choose!

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Monty Lovering said:

Except ring is noisy and linen problematic in the wet or extremely hot environments.

The Roman army beared the cost of it when they began to colonize North Africa.... They quickly understood light cavalry was more efficient than the legions! 😁

9 minutes ago, Monty Lovering said:

I don't know if there is any proof of splinted armour in the Ancient world.

There is:

No leather under the strips of metal, but of course you coudn't wear this straight on your skin. The contemporary texts are quite unanimous (for the Roman army) about woolen or flax clothes (tunics) - probably depending on the climate and/or season.

Don't know for Greeks, sorry!

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Not to mention very good protection on the cheap. Since it could be made from scavanged pieces of plate, and plate could be produced faster and cheaper than mail, brigadine was probably the best protection for the price. 

Agree, Coat of Plates always strikes me as a very doable armor.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Loïc said:

The Roman army beared the cost of it when they began to colonize North Africa.... They quickly understood light cavalry was more efficient than the legions! 😁

There is:

No leather under the strips of metal, but of course you coudn't wear this straight on your skin. The contemporary texts are quite unanimous (for the Roman army) about woolen or flax clothes (tunics) - probably depending on the climate and/or season.

Don't know for Greeks, sorry!

I think we might call a Lorica Segmentata splinted (or perhaps banded armor) in the gaming world, but its classified as Laminar Armor. 

Splinted armor, as such, I visualize much more along the lines of limb armor. Metal strips, parallel to the direction of the limb, similar to the way you would use a medical splint to stabilize a broken arm.

SDLeary

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Loïc said:

The Roman army beared the cost of it when they began to colonize North Africa.... They quickly understood light cavalry was more efficient than the legions! 😁

There is:

No leather under the strips of metal, but of course you coudn't wear this straight on your skin. The contemporary texts are quite unanimous (for the Roman army) about woolen or flax clothes (tunics) - probably depending on the climate and/or season.

Don't know for Greeks, sorry!

 

No, that's lorica segmentata. Not what I meant.

What is generally understood by the term splint mail is something like this:

image.png.427ddf79cc4011903057e81ecfe9f6d9.png

Basically thick leather greaves or vambraces with relatively thin strips of metal running along their length. In part the transition period (from full maille armour to full plate armour) they were very much a thing (along with brigantines) and as an ensemble would look like this.

Set-Splinted3--1.jpg

Obviously this is as Ancient as a grenade launcher (looks at Mostali), but equally obviously taking heavy leather vambraces and greaves and adding strips of metal is not high tech -  they'd just not have couters or poleyns (elbow and knee protection).

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh... I misunderstood "splinted", sorry (Frenchmen, you know... 😁), as much as I misunderstood "ancient times" (for archaeologists, it means Antiquity...). Got to to review my lessons!!! 😨

So, for this kind of armor, I don't know anything, I'm afraid, it's too "modern" for me... 😄

Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, SDLeary said:

Those papers will take a bit to look through. Have to get some translation going. 🙂

SDLeary

Sorry... But remember: Google translate is your friend! (Very useful to me when I have to read a german study in archaeology... 😉)

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Loïc said:

Sorry... But remember: Google translate is your friend! (Very useful to me when I have to read a german study in archaeology... 😉)

Oh, I understand!

Re: Montfort

The section talking about the metallic items found at the site, specifically the lames:

The two somewhat (or potentially) circular pieces (no 1 and 2, p174) could be from reinforced coats. Though the author does state that similar pieces have been found at other sites (Andone castrum sounds like an interesting site), I would think that actual classification would be difficult as similar items could be used on horse harness for decoration. In fact, another pit on the site yielded a spur.

Items 3 through 6 do appear to be scales; number 5 from a coat (two fixation points), and the others (owing to their single fixation point) from a coif or cape, or perhaps from an area overlapping with the shoulder or elbow. If this assessment is correct though, the author appears to be using the term "broigne" in its widest sense, an armored coat. On the other hand, 5 could have more fixation points on the other side of the lames which have corroded away, and this would make it more likely to be a broigne plate.

The issue, as I see it, is the scarcity of plates within a single context. If you discover a number of plates (or rings) on a site within a single context (all in the same trench or pit, within a reasonable vicinity) then its much easier to postulate as to their use. Short of finding the plates or rings for a whole shirt in situ, I don't think this debate will ever be solved. 

I'll take a look at the other papers later today.

SDLeary

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...