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Anarchy: War and Status in 12th-Century Landscapes of Conflict$
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Oliver Creighton and Duncan Wright

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781781382424

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781382424.001.0001

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Performing Violence: Arms, Armour and Military Apparel

Performing Violence: Arms, Armour and Military Apparel

(p.154) Chapter 6 Performing Violence: Arms, Armour and Military Apparel
Anarchy: War and Status in 12th-Century Landscapes of Conflict

Oliver H. Creighton

Duncan W. Wright

Michael Fradley

Steven Trick

Liverpool University Press

This chapter considers military apparel in in the mid-twelfth century and explores the interrelationship between changes in arms and armour and the creation of knightly identities. Outwardly, the mid-twelfth century knight looked quite similar to the Norman warriors depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry, although with some subtle differences. By the 1130s and 40s the knight was a little better protected with mail covering more of the bodily extremities. A slightly wider range of military personnel would have been armoured, and minor stylistic differences are distinguishable in showier swords, shields, spurs and scabbards. More important in the actual prosecution of warfare was the changing use of the crossbow, which saw widespread use alongside ‘armour-piercing’ bodkin-type arrowheads. The battles of the period were also the first major military clashes in England where heraldic display was visible — in particular on banners and shields, but also more subtly on horse harness pendants. Such devices created a new means for displaying knightly allegiance, rank and affinities to elite social networks.

Keywords:   armour, bow, cavalry, crossbow, helmet, horse, mercenary, shield, sword, tournament

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