Armor: covered the body, part of the legs and all or part of the arm. It was made up of a type of leather coat fastened by a belt and fabric made of metal sheets in overlaying areas, overlapped by strips of leather. In central Asia, one finds the first attestation to the use of a large glove for the protection of the forearm. At times one also notes a protective plate for the groin area. Footwear: boots. Weaponry: bow, arrows, lance, also with flaming arrows. A single or double-headed ax, long or short sword with decorative carvings. Helmet: various forms of protection for the throat and the neck, and also a ridge to protect the base of the nose.
Armor: made of scales, plates or mesh; also at times even for the horse. Shield: round, square or oval. All these elements merged mostly in the Roman and Byzantine world and then were found again in the West in late Middle Ages. The Gauls: their helmet could also have horns for the god of war, who was a bull, with or without a visor; the shields were large and oval or hexagonal with a border of iron covered with leather; they had arrows and lances with a point in the shape of a large leaf, also shaped with a slight ripple, with decorative crossbars. The sword had a simple grip, more or less large and hung on the belt or the bandoleer. There was also a manlike clasp with small and raucous trumpets cornix likewise very high, with a pointed curve and flared like a throat of an imaginary animal. Every Gallic brigade had its own insignia. They draped the heads of their slain enemies along their horses’ necks, according to the custom of Eastern peoples.
The Germans had a short and fastened tunic, rather tight trousers, a beard and long hair as was already said, heavy shoes, and a cloak. Their weapons were as follows: the lance, the heavy, long or short sword. They usually carried an often-rounded shield, with a central knob at the end, a bow and a helmet, which perhaps replaced a previous hairy beret. The Franks had double-edged and long knives, shoes of leather and a part of their legs were naked. The sleeves of their cowls only came down to their forearms. Their swords hung from their bandoleers and a large belt of skin with knobs on their loins. The lances had a tip with backward flaps.
There were few helmets; they did not have armor and leg bands when riding their horses. By preference, the soldiers were naked to the waist and had bands of linen or skin for their legs and trousers; the shield was on the left. They used axes and lances in place of bows and arrows. Later, the military attire of the Franks changed through the influence of Roman military garb. Through contact with first the Byzantine and then the Roman world, the Goths also lost the characteristics of their original military attire, concerning which, however, we do not have much information.
Theodoric, in fact, was clothed in armor with small metal plates through bands on his legs, and Totila had a skullcap helmet with a nose cone with iron bands running across. With respect to the Longobards, we should note, for example, that on the Triumph of Agilulf, many men in armor appear with areas of metal bands; their helmet has a panache, protecting the back part of the head, the cheeks and the throat. The shields are round and they ward off a lance. The legs are perhaps covered by leggings of leather in bands ocrea, impilia. The following were among the furnishings discovered: sword, at times with a golden sheath and decorations; rather short lances, tips and arrows; straps and simple belts; shields wood covered with leather or metallic layers; helmets rare; spurs; fragments of shoes the Longobards first covered their shin bones with bands of leather, then they used leggings: see above; bracelets; metal basins; bags for fodder or for washing horses; large round shields; and semispherical umboni, culminating with a stud at which crosses or zoomorphic swastikas reached their apex. The Celts were first naked, then they had a short tunic or fur coat, buckled on the shoulders.
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