Author Topic: Swiss armour before the Burgundian Wars  (Read 38 times)

Erpingham

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Swiss armour before the Burgundian Wars
« on: July 09, 2019, 12:02:18 PM »
An interesting article on Swiss armour in the late 14th to mid 15th centuries, based on surviving Harnischr√∂del (Armour lists).  As the author notes, it really just scratches the surface on work that might be done looking at the material.  Some very typical medieval interpretation questions (medieval people seemed to have a thing for using the same term for different things) but an insight into how Swiss towns organised their militias and protected their stock of equipment.  It is interesting in passing to note that a complete set of harness for a Swiss soldier never seems to have included leg armour.
  • Anthony Clipsom

Duncan Head

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Re: Swiss armour before the Burgundian Wars
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2019, 01:34:01 PM »
Interesting indeed, thanks.

Quote
It is interesting in passing to note that a complete set of harness for a Swiss soldier never seems to have included leg armour.

So when we see Swiss in leg-harness in Schilling's illustrations (first pic here, for instance), are we to assume:

- He's stylising inaccurately,
- Things have changed by his day,
- Officers and those who could afford it wore heavier armour than legally required?
  • Duncan Head

Erpingham

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Re: Swiss armour before the Burgundian Wars
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2019, 01:56:28 PM »
Interesting indeed, thanks.

Quote
It is interesting in passing to note that a complete set of harness for a Swiss soldier never seems to have included leg armour.

So when we see Swiss in leg-harness in Schilling's illustrations (first pic here, for instance), are we to assume:

- He's stylising inaccurately,
- Things have changed by his day,
- Officers and those who could afford it wore heavier armour than legally required?

Oddly enough, that thought crossed my mind too.  My suspicion would be the last two reasons.  As the article points out, these lists taper away by the mid 15th century, probably because the way armament holdings were being administered.  So we have a bit of an information gap.  This means the period in which Swiss mercenary activity rises (perhaps increasing a market for imports?)  and lots of booty from fighting the Burgundians becomes available isn't covered.  Schilling is well past this era, so it may be more was available by his time.
  • Anthony Clipsom