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Aketon (haketon):  A padded tunic. Aketons provided protection from blunt trauma, and limited protection from bladed weapons.  Most soldiers on medieval battlefields wore aketons, which were much less expensive than maille.  Aketons were also worn under maille armour.  (see gambesson)

Arming cap: A padded coif (1) worn under a maille coif (2), providing limited protection against blunt trauma.  An additional arming cap could be worn between the maille coif, and the helmet.

Aventail:  In maille armour, a flap that protects the lower part of the face. The aventail is usually tied to the coif (2) to keep it in place.

Back plate:  A large plate protecting the back.

Bevor: In plate armour; a metal chin guard.  Bevors are often attached to gorgets.  (see gorget)

Boss:  (see Shield boss)

Bracer:  Armour covering the forearm.  Originally used by archers to protect the forearm from the snap of their bowstrings.  Later used by other soldiers.

Breast plate: A large plate protecting the chest (not a photo in Playboy magazine).

Breath: A hole or slit in the face of a helm that allows fresh air to enter for breathing.  An air hole.

Brigandine:  A cloth or leather vest containing metal plates inside.

Byrnie (birnie): A short sleeved shirt of maille.

Buckler: A tiny light shield, resembling a hub cap.

Butted maille:  A modern form of maille, in which the ends of each ring are butted together, but not permanently fastened with rivets.

Camail:  (see Ventail)

Cervellière: A small helmet consisting of just a skull.

Chausse: Maille hose.

Cod piece:  A plate covering the lower abdomen and genitals.

Coif (1): A simple bonnet like linen head covering worn by men throughout the medieval period.

Coif (2): A maille hood.  A maille coif could be worn as a separate piece, or can be attached to a hauberk.

Comb:  A thin crest attached to the skull of a helmet as either decoration or reinforcement.

Conical helmet:  A helmet with a rounded cone shape.

Cowter (couter): A plate protecting the elbow.

Cuirass: In plate armour, a breast plate and back plate worn together.

Cuir bouilli: Leather that has been hardened by boiling in water or wax.

Cuisse (1): Padded “shorts” that protect the thighs and pelvis.

Cuisse (2): Plate armour that protects the thighs.

Dag:  A decorative maille triangle.

Fauld:  Protective covering for the lower abdomen.

Frog mouthed helm (modern term):  A later period version of the Great Helm used primarily in tournament jousting.

Gambesson: A padded jacket worn under maille or plate armour. (see Aketon)

Gauntlet: An armoured mitten or glove.

Gorget: An armoured collar to protect the neck.

Greeve:  A shin guard.  Often includes an additional plate to protect the calf as well.

Great helm:  A large cylindrical helm that encloses the entire head.

Gusset:  A small patch of mail armour worn under each armpit.  Since plate armour could not be used in the underarms, gussets were used to provide a much needed level of defence in this vulnerable weak spot.

Harness:  A full suit of armour.

Hauberk:  A maille coat.  Hauberks were widely used by many cultures.  European hauberks often had coifs, and mufflers incorporated in to them.

Heater shield (modern term): A medium sized shield with a flat top, and a rounded taper towards the bottom.  The name “heater” refers to the shield’s resemblance to the underside of a flat iron.

Hooking shield:  An unusual, cello shaped shield from the late medieval / early renaissance period, that not only acted as a defensive shield, but could also be used as an offensive weapon.  It could be used to to deliver stabbing attacks with a spike at either end, or could be used to trip an opponent, or hook and trap his limbs using the hooking regions along its sides.

Kettle helmet: A helmet consisting of a skull, and a wide brim.  This type of helmet had many variations, and was popular throughout the medieval period, and continued to be used up until the end of World War II.

Kite shield (modern term): A large shield that tapers to a point at the bottom. Earlier versions of the kite shield had round tops.  Later versions had flat tops.  The kite shield eventually evolved into the heater shield. (See Heater shield)

Lame:  In plate armour; a small metal strip, which is combined with other lames to create a piece of plate armour.

Lamellar:  Armour made up of narrow overlapping strips of metal or other hard materials.

Mantle:  A circular piece of maille that protects the neck and shoulders.

Maille (mail, chainmail (modern term)):  A mesh fabric of interlocking rings (usually iron or steel) that provides protection from the cutting and slashing attacks of bladed weapons.  Maille originated around 500 BC, and was used extensively up until the end of the medieval period, when it was largely replaced by plate armour.

Muffler: A maille mitten attached to the sleeve of a hauberk.  The palm of the muffler is made of leather, with a slit in the centre to allow the user to free his hand when needed.

Nasal:  A metal piece projecting downward from the front of a helmet to protect the nose.

Pauldron:  Plate armour for the shoulder.

Phrygian helmet:  A helmet similar to the conical helmet, but with its apex situated closer to the front of the helmet.

Poleyn:  A knee cap.

Pot Helm: A cylindrical helmet.  It is sort of like a cookie tin.

Riveted maille:  The historical form of maille, in which the ends of each ring are overlapped, flattened, and permanently fastened together with a tiny rivet.  Riveted maille usually consists entirely of riveted rings, but may occasionally consist of alternating rows of riveted and forge welded rings.

Sabaton:  A plate armour shoe.

Sallet:  A later period helmet that also provided protection for the back of the neck and the upper part of the face.

Scale:  Armour consisting of small overlapping plates resembling scales.

Shield boss: A metal dome situated in the centre of a shield to provide protection for the hand.

Sugar loaf helm (modern term):  A form of great helm with a conical top. (see Great helm)

Skull:  The portion of a helmet, which protects the top of the head.

Sight:  An opening in a helm or visor for the user to see through.  An eye hole.

Spangenhelm:  A conical helmet made from four sections riveted together.

Surcoat (surcote):  A tunic (usually sleeveless) worn over maille armour.

Suspension harness:  A web like structure inside a helmet.  A suspension harness creates a protective air gap between the helmet and the user’s head.

Targe:  A round shield.

Target: A small round shield.

Tasset:  In plate armour, a short skirt consisting of a series of overlapping plates.

Vambrace:  Plate armour for the forearm, similar to a bracer.

Ventail (camail):  A small curtain of maille attached to the back of a helmet.

Visor:  A plate attached to the skull of a helm that protects the eyes and upper part of the face.

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