Glossary Of Armour and Armour Parts

[Home]  [16th Century Battle Armour]  [Armour Hohenschwangau]  [Italian Gothic Armour]  [Gothic Harness - Kienbusch Collection]  [Armour Diagrams]  [Armour Glossary]

UPDATED September 16th, 2019


Latest update September 16, 2019. Description of parts of a medieval armour. Under construction.

Arming points. Laces or leathers sewn on arming doublet. Many parts of plate armour are tied to these points. Examples include rerebraces or vambraces which are often tied to the arming points when armour is worn. Holes are punched in the armour or through leathers riveted to the edges of the armour, through which the points or laces are tied.

Arming Doublet. Padded coat worn under armour. Protects wearer from discomfort of wearing armour and also supports various arming points to which some pieces of armour are tied, and also may have pieces of chainmail sewn to it to cover gaps in plate armour protection.

Besagew, Besagues, Besagne, Rondelle. Round plate covering front of lower exposed joint of pauldron or spaulder.

Celate, Celata. See Schalern.

Couter. Elbow cop or plate armour defense for the elbow. Early examples were a simple plate fastened to the chainmail armour with arming points and later examples made of multiple plates articulated and riveted to the plate armour of the arm.

Cowter. See Couter.

Cuisse. Plate armour for upper thigh. Worn directly on the leg and hung from arming points on the arming doublet and secured around the leg with belts and buckles.

Culet. Articulated plates fastened to the lower edge of the backplate. Articulated to allow wearer to move on horseback.

Fauld. Articulated plates fastened to the lower edge of the breastplate. Articulated so wearer can bend forward.

Gardbrace. Reinforcement plate worn over the front of a pauldron. Usually tied on with arming points or snapped onto the main or center plate of the pauldron.

Gauntlet. Armour worn on the hand.

Greave. Plate armour worn on the lower leg below the knee.

Pauldron. Articulated plate armour defense for the shoulder joint.

Passguard. Large plate guard which fastens over the front left side of the armour of the left arm to reinforce defenses of that joint.

Placart, placard. Extra reinforcing plate for lower breast plate. Worn over outside of lower breastplate, and often riveted to the breastplate as a single articulate defense. Seen most often on gothic period armours.

Points. See arming points.

Poleyne. Knee cop or plate armour for the knee. Early examples were a simple plate secured with arming points to the chainmail armour over the knee. Later examples were articulated and of multiple pieces riveted to the plate armour of the leg.

Rerebrace. Plate armour worn on the upper arm between the elbow and shoulder defenses. The rerebrace was secured to the wearer's arm with arming points on the padded arming doublet as seen on 15th century armours, or secured with belts and buckles to the lower lame of the pauldron.

Rondelle. See Besagew.

Sabaton. Plate armour for the foot. Notable for its broad or wide toe shape. Begins to be used in early 16th century.

Sallad, Salet, Salade. See Schalern. Italian version of late 15th century German gothic style helmet.

Schalern. Helmet for late 15th century gothic German style armour. Covers top half of face and slopes down toward rear of head to cover back of neck. Usually used with Buffe or Bevor which covers wearer's lower face and throat.

Solaret. Plate armour worn on the foot, 15th century gothic armours only, narrow toe design terminating in a point in the front, often found displayed with a very long extension fastened to the front which was removed when the armour was worn by a man. When displayed with the fancy long extensions tied on the toe, the style was known as an 'a la poulaine'.

Soleret. See Solaret.

Tasset, taces. Upper thigh defenses of multiple plates which are hung from the lower part of the breastplate or fauld. Multiple plates articulated and riveted together. Covers the upper thigh between the fauld and upper cuisse.

Tuille. Pointed thigh guard worn suspended from the fauld of a gothic breast plate to protect the wearer from hip to thigh. Tuille is German for a slate shingle used on houses in the medieval period and this defense gets its name from its similar shape or appearance. Tuilles are the high-gothic period equivalent of Tassets used on later armours.

Vambrace. Plate armour worn on the forearm. Secured to the arm of the padded arming doublet with points or riveted to the multiple plates of late period arm armour. Vambraces closed completely around the lower arm and were secured shut with either a set of belts and buckles or spring snaps.

Latest update 16 September, 2019.

Readers can locate these terms and definitions for themselves in a variety of books on medieval armour including the following; A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armor by George Cameron Stone ISBN 0-517-065878 and The Armourer and His Craft by Charles Ffolkes ISBN0-486-25851-3.

Page created on November 27th, 2001.