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By Frederick Wilkinson

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Sample text

Most of these bosses were quite plain, but some like that from the Sutton Hoo ship were very elaborate. Viking equipment the Viking warriors relied solely on their shields for defense, but their leaders, no doubt, wore a byrnie (a coat of mail). These bymies had short sleeves and usually reached only to the waist, although some were long enough to reach to the knees. A few may have been strengthened by the addition of metal plates, but it is not clear exactly how these were made. Helmets were not uncommon, and many were surmounted by a figure of a boar.

30 arm of the Norman forces, and the from head to knee, fought with lance, sword, and club and guarded themselves with long, kite-shaped shields. Cavalry formed the main knights, clad in mail Mailed knights The Vikings, after landing from their ships, had frequently rounded up all the available horses and turned themselves into mounted infantry. The Normans developed this into a real cavalry and when William, Duke of Normandy, landed in England in October 1066, the most important section of his army was composed of mailed cavalry.

Surcoat, known as the From about cuirie, made of ctiir-houilli. 1250, horses were protected by mail reaching halfway down two curtains of the legs and covering the neck and head. Such loose mail must have been heavy and restrictive. Since both rider and horse were now well covered it was imperative that some form of recognition be worn, and the use of heraldic devices further increased, with crests painted on helmets and other flat surfaces, including small plates, ailettes, attached to the shoulders.

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