A man-at-arms was a soldier of the High Medieval to Renaissance periods, well-versed in the use of arms and served as a armoured heavy cavalryman. A man-at-arms could be a knight or nobleman, a member of a knight or nobleman's retinue or a mercenary in a company under a mercenary captain; such men could serve through a feudal obligation. The terms knight and man-at-arms are used interchangeably, but while all knights equipped for war were men-at-arms, not all men-at-arms were knights. In the Early Medieval period, any well-equipped horseman could be described as a "knight", or miles in Latin. In the course of the 12th century knighthood became a social rank with a distinction being made between milites gregarii and milites nobiles; as a armoured cavalryman could be of a lesser social status than a knight, an alternative term describing this type of soldier came into use which was, in French, homme d'armes or gent d'armes, in English man-at-arms. The term man-at-arms thus denoted a military function, rather than a social rank.
This evolution differed in detail and timeline across Europe but by 1300, there was a clear distinction between the military function of the man-at-arms and the social rank of knighthood. Though in English the term man-at-arms is a straightforward rendering of the French homme d'armes, in the Middle Ages, there were numerous terms for this type of soldier. In France, he might be known as a lance or glaive, while in Germany a Spiess, Helm or Gleve and in various places a bacinet. In Italy, the term barbuta was used and in England from the late 14th century, men-at-arms were known as lances or its English equivalent, spears; the military function that a man-at-arms performed was serving as a armoured heavy cavalryman. In the course of the 16th century, the man-at-arms was replaced by other cavalry types, the demi-lancer and the cuirassier, characterised by more restricted armour coverage and the use of weapons other than the heavy lance. Throughout the Medieval period and into the Renaissance the armour of the man-at-arms became progressively more effective and expensive.
Throughout the 14th century, the armour worn by a man-at-arms was a composite of materials. Over a quilted gambeson, mail armour covered the body and head. During the century, the mail was supplemented by plate armour on the body and limbs. In the 15th century, full plate armour was developed, which reduced the mail component to a few points of flexible reinforcement. From the 14th to 16th century, the primary weapon of the man at arms on horseback was the lance; the lance of the 14th century was a simple spear, 12 ft in length of ash. In response to the development of improved armour, heavier lances weighing up to 18 kg were developed and a new method of using them in conjunction with a lance rest fixed to the breastplate developed; this combination of heavy lance and arrête enabled the mounted man-at-arms to enjoy a new effectiveness on the battlefields of the 15th and 16th centuries Not all men-at-arms in the 15th century carried the heavy lance. A lighter weapon called a "demi-lance" evolved and this gave its name to a new class of lighter-equipped man-at-arms, the "demi-lancer", towards the end of the 15th century.
When fighting on foot, men-at-arms adapted their ordinary cavalry weapons. English men-at-arms in Italy in the 1360s are recorded as advancing in close order with two men holding a cavalry lance. On other occasions, such as at the Battle of Agincourt, men-at-arms cut down their lances to a more manageable size of 5 ft. In the 15th century, the increased protection of plate armour led to the development of a specialist foot combat weapon, the pollaxe; the horse was an essential part of a man-at-arm's equipment. The type of horse, varied according to wealth and status. Andrew Ayton in an in-depth study of English warhorses of the 13th and 14th centuries has shown that three types predominate: the destrier, the courser and an animal known as a "horse". Destriers were both expensive, making up 5 % of men-at-arms horses. Ayton calculated the value of the average man-at-arm's horse in thirteen campaigns between 1282 and 1364, showing it varied between £7.6 and £16.4. In only two campaigns in the mid-14th century did the majority of horses cost more than £10.
The horse was, therefore, a major item of expenditure in the equipment of a man-at-arms. It has been calculated that a French gendarme's horse in the mid-15th century cost the equivalent of six months' wages; the cost of horses meant that the professional soldier might not wish to risk his expensive asset in combat. A system evolved in the 13th century for employers to compensate for horses lost in action. In England this was called by the Latin name restauro equorum and similar systems were in use in France and Italy. In order to secure this insurance scheme, the man-at-arms had the value of his horse assessed and details of its appearance recorded; the assessment system allowed employers to insist on a minimum value of horse be presented at muster. In 14th-century England, the minimum value appears in most cases to be 100 shillings; as early as the late 13th century, Edward I decreed that all his men-at-arms should be mounted on equus coopertus, armoured, or barded, horses. Horse armour was not at that time always made of metal, with leather and quilted fabric armour in use.
Metal horse armours were made from mail or brigandine, with plate reserved for the head in the form of a chamfron. In the 15th century, plate armour for horse
Richard III of England
Richard III was King of England and Lord of Ireland from 1483 until his death. He was the last king of the last of the Plantagenet dynasty, his defeat and death at the Battle of Bosworth Field, the last decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses, marked the end of the Middle Ages in England. He is the protagonist of Richard III, one of William Shakespeare's history plays; when his brother Edward IV died in April 1483, Richard was named Lord Protector of the realm for Edward's eldest son and successor, the 12-year-old Edward V. Arrangements were made for Edward's coronation on 22 June 1483. Before the king could be crowned, the marriage of his parents was declared bigamous and therefore invalid. Now illegitimate, their children were barred from inheriting the throne. On 25 June, an assembly of Lords and commoners endorsed a declaration to this effect and proclaimed Richard as the rightful king, he was crowned on 6 July 1483. The young princes and his younger brother Richard, Duke of York, were not seen in public after August and accusations circulated that they had been murdered on Richard's orders.
There were two major rebellions against Richard during his reign. In October 1483, an unsuccessful revolt was led by staunch allies of Edward IV and Richard's former ally, Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham. In August 1485, Henry Tudor and his uncle, Jasper Tudor landed in southern Wales with a contingent of French troops and marched through Pembrokeshire, recruiting soldiers. Henry's forces defeated Richard's army near the Leicestershire town of Market Bosworth. Richard was slain. Henry Tudor ascended the throne as Henry VII. Richard's corpse was buried without pomp, his original tomb monument is believed to have been removed during the English Reformation, his remains were lost, as they were believed to have been thrown into the River Soar. In 2012, an archaeological excavation was commissioned by the Richard III Society on the site occupied by Greyfriars Priory Church; the University of Leicester identified the skeleton found in the excavation as that of Richard III as a result of radiocarbon dating, comparison with contemporary reports of his appearance, comparison of his mitochondrial DNA with that of two matrilineal descendants of Richard III's eldest sister, Anne of York.
He was reburied in Leicester Cathedral on 26 March 2015. Richard was born on 2 October 1452 at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire, the twelfth of 13 children of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York and Cecily Neville, his childhood coincided with the beginning of what has traditionally been labelled the'Wars of the Roses', a period of political instability and periodic open civil war in England during the second half of the fifteenth century, between the Yorkists, who supported Richard's father, opposed the regime of Henry VI and his wife, Margaret of Anjou, the Lancastrians, who were loyal to the crown. When his father and the Nevilles were forced to flee to Ludlow in 1459, Richard and his older brother, George were placed in the custody of the Duchess of Buckingham, the Archbishop of Canterbury; when his father and elder brother Edmund, Earl of Rutland, were killed at the Battle of Wakefield on 30 December 1460, Richard and George were sent by their mother to the Low Countries. They returned to England following the defeat of the Lancastrians at the Battle of Towton.
They participated in the coronation of Richard's eldest brother as King Edward IV on 28 June 1461, when Richard was named Duke of Gloucester and made both a Knight of the Garter and a Knight of the Bath. Edward appointed him the sole Commissioner of Array for the Western Counties in 1464, when he was 11. By the age of 17, he had an independent command. Richard spent several years during his childhood at Middleham Castle in Wensleydale, under the tutelage of his cousin the Earl of Warwick known as the Kingmaker because of his role in the Wars of the Roses. Warwick supervised Richard's training as a knight: in the autumn of 1465 Edward IV granted Warwick £1000 for the expenses of his younger brother's tutelage. With some interruptions, Richard stayed at Middleham either from late 1461 until early 1465, when he was 12 or from 1465 until his coming of age in 1468, when he turned 16. While at Warwick's estate, it is that he met both Francis Lovell, who would be his firm supporter in his life, Warwick's younger daughter, his future wife Anne Neville.
It is possible that at this early stage Warwick was considering the king's brothers as strategic matches for his daughters and Anne: young aristocrats were sent to be raised in the households of their intended future partners, as had been the case for the young dukes' father, Richard of York. As the relationship between the king and Warwick became strained, Edward IV opposed the match. During Warwick's lifetime, George was the only royal brother to marry one of his daughters, the eldest, Isabel, on 12 July 1469, without the king's permission. George joined his father-in-law's revolt against the king, while Richard remained loyal to Edward though rumour coupled Richard's name with Anne Neville until August 1469. Richard and Edward were forced to flee to Burgundy in October 1470 after Warwick defected to the side of the former Lancastrian queen Margaret of Anjou. In 1468, Richard's sister Margaret had married Charles the Bold, the Duke of Burgundy, the brothers could expect a welcome there. Edward was restored to the throne in the spring 1471, following the battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury, both of which the eighteen-year-old Richard played a crucial role.
During his adolescence
Battle of Bosworth Field
The Battle of Bosworth Field was the last significant battle of the Wars of the Roses, the civil war between the Houses of Lancaster and York that extended across England in the latter half of the 15th century. Fought on 22 August 1485, the battle was won by the Lancastrians, their leader Henry Tudor, by his victory became the first English monarch of the Tudor dynasty. His opponent, Richard III, the last king of the House of York, was killed in the battle. Historians consider Bosworth Field to mark the end of the Plantagenet dynasty, making it a defining moment of English and Welsh history. Richard's reign began in 1483. At the request of his brother Edward IV, Richard was acting as Lord Protector for his twelve-year-old son Edward V. Richard had Parliament declare Edward V illegitimate and ineligible for the throne, took it for himself. Richard lost popularity when the boy and his younger brother disappeared after he incarcerated them in the Tower of London, his support was further eroded by the popular belief that he was implicated in the death of his wife.
Across the English Channel in Brittany, Henry Tudor, a descendant of the diminished House of Lancaster, seized on Richard's difficulties so that he could challenge his claim to the throne. Henry's first attempt to invade England was frustrated by a storm in 1483, but on his second attempt he arrived unopposed on 7 August 1485 on the southwest coast of Wales. Marching inland, Henry gathered support. Richard intercepted Henry's army south of Market Bosworth in Leicestershire. Thomas, Lord Stanley, Sir William Stanley brought a force to the battlefield, but held back while they decided which side it would be more advantageous to support. Richard divided his army. One was assigned to the Duke of another to the Earl of Northumberland. Henry kept most of his force together and placed it under the command of the experienced Earl of Oxford. Richard's vanguard, commanded by Norfolk, attacked but struggled against Oxford's men, some of Norfolk's troops fled the field. Northumberland took no action when signalled to assist his king, so Richard gambled everything on a charge across the battlefield to kill Henry and end the fight.
Seeing the King's knights separated from his army, the Stanleys intervened. After the battle Henry was crowned king below an oak tree in nearby Stoke Golding, now a residential garden. Henry hired chroniclers to portray his reign favourably. From the 15th to the 18th centuries the battle was glamorised as a victory of good over evil; the climax of William Shakespeare's play Richard III provides a focal point for critics in film adaptations. The exact site of the battle is disputed because of the lack of conclusive data, memorials have been erected at different locations. In 1974 the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre was built on a site that has since been challenged by several scholars and historians. In October 2009 a team of researchers, who had performed geological surveys and archaeological digs in the area from 2003, suggested a location two miles southwest of Ambion Hill. During the 15th century civil war raged across England as the Houses of York and Lancaster fought each other for the English throne.
In 1471 the Yorkists defeated their rivals in the battles of Tewkesbury. The Lancastrian King Henry VI and his only son, Edward of Lancaster, died in the aftermath of the Battle of Tewkesbury, their deaths left the House of Lancaster with no direct claimants to the throne. The Yorkist king, Edward IV, was in complete control of England, he attainted those who refused to submit to his rule, such as Jasper Tudor and his nephew Henry, naming them traitors and confiscating their lands. The Tudors tried to flee to France but strong winds forced them to land in Brittany, a semi-independent duchy, where they were taken into the custody of Duke Francis II. Henry's mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, was a great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt, uncle of King Richard II and father of King Henry IV; the Beauforts were bastards, but Henry IV legitimised them on the condition that their descendants were not eligible to inherit the throne. Henry Tudor, the only remaining Lancastrian noble with a trace of the royal bloodline, had a weak claim to the throne, Edward regarded him as "a nobody".
The Duke of Brittany, viewed Henry as a valuable tool to bargain for England's aid in conflicts with France and kept the Tudors under his protection. Edward IV died 12 years after Tewkesbury on 9 April 1483, his 12-year-old elder son succeeded him as King Edward V. Edward V was too young to rule and a Royal Council was established to rule the country until the king's coming of age; some among the council were worried when it became apparent that the Woodvilles, relatives of Edward IV's widow Elizabeth, were plotting to use their control of the young king to dominate the council. Having offended many in their quest for wealth and power, the Woodville family was not popular. To frustrate the Woodvilles' ambitions, Lord Hastings and other members of the council turned to the new king's uncle—Richard, Duke of Gloucester, brother of Edward IV; the courtiers urged Gloucester to assume the role of Protector as had been requested by his now dead brother. On 29 April Gloucester, accompanied by a contingent of guards and Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, took Edward V into custody and arrested several prominent members of the Woodville family.
Vatican City Vatican City State, is an independent city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. Established with the Lateran Treaty, it is distinct from yet under "full ownership, exclusive dominion, sovereign authority and jurisdiction" of the Holy See. With an area of 44 hectares, a population of about 1,000, it is the smallest state in the world by both area and population; the Vatican City is an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical state ruled by the pope who is, religiously speaking, the bishop of Rome and head of the Catholic Church. The highest state functionaries are all Catholic clergy of various national origins. Since the return of the popes from Avignon in 1377, they have resided at the Apostolic Palace within what is now Vatican City, although at times residing instead in the Quirinal Palace in Rome or elsewhere; the Holy See dates back to early Christianity, is the primate episcopal see of the Catholic Church, with 1.3 billion Catholics around the world distributed in the Latin Church and 23 Eastern Catholic Churches.
The independent Vatican City-state, on the other hand, came into existence in 11 February 1929 by the Lateran Treaty between the Holy See and Italy, which spoke of it as a new creation, not as a vestige of the much larger Papal States, which had encompassed much of central Italy. Within the Vatican City are religious and cultural sites such as St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums, they feature some of sculptures. The unique economy of Vatican City is supported financially by the sale of postage stamps and souvenirs, fees for admission to museums, sales of publications; the name Vatican City was first used in the Lateran Treaty, signed on 11 February 1929, which established the modern city-state. The name is taken from the geographic location of the state. "Vatican" is derived from the name of an Etruscan settlement, Vatica or Vaticum meaning garden, located in the general area the Romans called vaticanus ager, "Vatican territory". The official Italian name of the city is Città del Vaticano or, more formally, Stato della Città del Vaticano, meaning "Vatican City State".
Although the Holy See and the Catholic Church use Ecclesiastical Latin in official documents, the Vatican City uses Italian. The Latin name is Status Civitatis Vaticanæ; the name "Vatican" was in use in the time of the Roman Republic for a marshy area on the west bank of the Tiber across from the city of Rome. Under the Roman Empire, many villas were constructed there, after Agrippina the Elder drained the area and laid out her gardens in the early 1st century AD. In AD 40, her son, Emperor Caligula built in her gardens a circus for charioteers, completed by Nero, the Circus Gaii et Neronis called the Circus of Nero. Before the arrival of Christianity, it is supposed that this uninhabited part of Rome had long been considered sacred, or at least not available for habitation. A shrine dedicated to the Phrygian goddess Cybele and her consort Attis remained active long after the Constantinian Basilica of St. Peter was built nearby; the low quality of Vatican water after the reclamation of the area, was commented on by the poet Martial.
Tacitus wrote, that in AD 69, the Year of the Four Emperors, when the northern army that brought Vitellius to power arrived in Rome, "a large proportion camped in the unhealthy districts of the Vatican, which resulted in many deaths among the common soldiery. The Vatican Obelisk was taken by Caligula from Heliopolis in Egypt to decorate the spina of his circus and is thus its last visible remnant; this area became the site of martyrdom of many Christians after the Great Fire of Rome in AD 64. Ancient tradition holds. Opposite the circus was a cemetery separated by the Via Cornelia. Funeral monuments and mausoleums and small tombs as well as altars to pagan gods of all kinds of polytheistic religions were constructed lasting until before the construction of the Constantinian Basilica of St. Peter's in the first half of the 4th century. Remains of this ancient necropolis were brought to light sporadically during renovations by various popes throughout the centuries, increasing in frequency during the Renaissance until it was systematically excavated by orders of Pope Pius XII from 1939 to 1941.
The Constantinian basilica was built in 326 over what was believed to be the tomb of Saint Peter, buried in that cemetery. From on, the area became more populated in connection with activity at the basilica. A palace was constructed nearby as early as the 5th century during the pontificate of Pope Symmachus. Popes came to have a secular role as governors of regions near Rome, they ruled the Papal States, which covered a large portion of the Italian peninsula, for more than a thousand years until the mid-19th century, when all the territory belonging to the papacy was seized by the newly created Kingdom of Italy. For most of this time the popes did not live at the Vatican; the Lateran Palace, on the opposite side
A pike is a pole weapon, a long thrusting spear used extensively by infantry. Pikes were used in European warfare from the Late Middle Ages to the early 18th century, were wielded by foot soldiers deployed in close quarters, until their replacement by the bayonet; the pike found extensive use with Landsknecht armies and Swiss mercenaries, who employed it as their main weapon and used it in pike square formations. A similar weapon, the sarissa, was used by Alexander the Great's Macedonian phalanx infantry to great effect. A spear becomes a pike when it is too long to be wielded with one hand in combat; the pike was a long weapon, varying in size, from 3 to 7.5 metres long. It was 2.5–6 kg in weight, with sixteenth-century military writer Sir John Smythe recommending lighter rather than heavier pikes. It had a wooden shaft with an steel spearhead affixed; the shaft near the head was reinforced with metal strips called "cheeks" or langets. When the troops of opposing armies both carried the pike, it grew in a sort of arms race, getting longer in both shaft and head length to give one side's pikemen an edge in combat.
The extreme length of such weapons required a strong wood such as well-seasoned ash for the pole, tapered towards the point to prevent the pike from sagging on the ends, although drooping or slight flection of the shaft was always a problem in pike handling. It is a common mistake to refer to a bladed polearm as a pike; the great length of the pikes allowed a great concentration of spearheads to be presented to the enemy, with their wielders at a greater distance, but made pikes unwieldy in close combat. This meant that pikemen had to be equipped with an additional, shorter weapon such as a dagger or mace in order to defend themselves should the fighting degenerate into a melee. In general, pikemen attempted to avoid such disorganized combat, in which they were at a disadvantage. To compound their difficulties in a melee, the pikeman did not have a shield, or had only a small shield which would be of limited use in close-quarters fighting; the pike, being unwieldy, was used in a deliberate, defensive manner alongside other missile and melee weapons.
However, better-trained troops were capable of using the pike in an aggressive attack with each rank of pikemen being trained to hold their pikes so that they presented enemy infantry with four or five layers of spearheads bristling from the front of the formation. As long as it kept good order, such a formation could roll right over enemy infantry but it did have weaknesses; the men were all moving forward facing in a single direction and could not turn or efficiently to protect the vulnerable flanks or rear of the formation. Nor could they maintain cohesion over uneven ground, as the Scots discovered to their cost at the Battle of Flodden; the huge block of men carrying such unwieldy spears could be difficult to maneuver in any way other than straightforward movement. As a result, such mobile pike formations sought to have supporting troops protect their flanks or would maneuver to smash the enemy before they could be outflanked themselves. There was the risk that the formation would become disordered, leading to a confused melee in which pikemen had the vulnerabilities mentioned above.
According to Sir John Smythe, there were two ways for two opposing pike formations to confront one another: cautious or aggressive. The cautious approach involved fencing at the length of the pike, while the aggressive approach involved closing distance, with each of the first five ranks giving a single powerful thrust. In the aggressive approach, the first rank would immediately resort to swords and daggers if the thrusts from the first five ranks failed to break the opposing pike formation. Smythe considered the cautious approach laughable. Although a military weapon, the pike could be effective in single combat and a number of 16th-century sources explain how it was to be used in a dueling situation. George Silver considered the 18 ft pike one of the more advantageous weapons for single combat in the open, giving it odds over all weapons shorter than 8 ft or the sword and dagger/shield combination. Although long spears had been used since the dawn of organized warfare, the earliest recorded use of a pike-like weapon in the tactical method described above involved the Macedonian sarissa, used by the troops of Alexander the Great's father, Philip II of Macedon, successive dynasties, which dominated warfare for several centuries in many countries.
After the fall of the last successor of Macedon, the pike fell out of use for the next 1000 or so years. The one exception to this appears to have been in Germany, where Tacitus recorded Germanic tribesmen in the 2nd century AD as using "over-long spears", he refers to the spears used by the Germans as being "massive" and "very long" suggesting that he is describing in essence a pike. Caesar, in his De Bello Gallico, describes the Helvetii as fighting in a tight, phalanx-like formation with spears jutting out over their shields. Caesar was describing an early form of the shieldwall so popular in times. In the Middle Ages, the principal users of the pike were urban militia troops such as the Flemings or the peasant array of the lowland Scots. For example, the Scots used a spear formation known as the schiltron in several battles during the Wars of Scottish Independence including the Battle of Bannockburn in
A ceremonial weapon is an object used for ceremonial purposes to display power or authority. They are used in parades and as part of dress uniforms. Although they are descended from weapons used in actual combat, they are not used as such, their form and their finishing and decoration are designed to show status and power and to be an impressive sight, rather than for practicality as a weapon. Quite ceremonial weapons are constructed with precious metals or other materials that make them too delicate for combat use. With ceremonial swords, an example of this is. However, many ceremonial weapons were capable of actual combat, most notably in the military. Maces, halberds and swords are the most common form of ceremonial weapons, but in theory any weapon can become ceremonial; the Sergeant at Arms in some parliaments carries a ceremonial mace. The Swiss Guard in the Vatican carry 21st century weapons. Mid 20th century rifles such as the American M14 and the Russian SKS, fitted with polished wood stocks, chrome plating and other decorative finishes, are common ceremonial weapons for honor guard units.
Another example is the use of a firearm to signal the start of a race. Guns are used in celebratory gunfire. Armes d'honneur Ceremonial mace Drill purpose rifle Schläger Staff of office Sword of justice Sword of Saint Wenceslas – the coronation sword of Bohemia Sword of state Toy gun Tumi Indonesian ceremonial bronze axes Media related to Ceremonial weapons at Wikimedia Commons
Armour or armor is a protective covering, used to prevent damage from being inflicted to an object, individual or vehicle by direct contact weapons or projectiles during combat, or from damage caused by a dangerous environment or activity. Personal armour is used to protect soldiers and war animals. Vehicle armour is used on armoured fighting vehicles. A second use of the term armour describes armoured forces, armoured weapons, their role in combat. After the evolution of armoured warfare, mechanised infantry and their weapons came to be referred to collectively as "armour"; the word "armour" began to appear in the Middle Ages as a derivative of Old French. It is dated from 1297 as a "mail, defensive covering worn in combat"; the word originates from the Old French armure, itself derived from the Latin armatura meaning "arms and/or equipment", with the root armare meaning "arms or gear". Armour has been used throughout recorded history, it has been made from a variety of materials, beginning with the use of leathers or fabrics as protection and evolving through mail and metal plate into today's modern composites.
For much of military history the manufacture of metal personal armour has dominated the technology and employment of armour. Armour drove the development of many important technologies of the Ancient World, including wood lamination, metal refining, vehicle manufacture, leather processing, decorative metal working, its production was influential in the industrial revolution, furthered commercial development of metallurgy and engineering. Armour was the single most influential factor in the development of firearms, which in turn revolutionised warfare. Significant factors in the development of armour include the economic and technological necessities of its production. For instance, plate armour first appeared in Medieval Europe when water-powered trip hammers made the formation of plates faster and cheaper. Modern militaries do not equip their forces with the best armour available because it would be prohibitively expensive. At times the development of armour has paralleled the development of effective weaponry on the battlefield, with armourers seeking to create better protection without sacrificing mobility.
Well-known armour types in European history include the lorica hamata, lorica squamata, the lorica segmentata of the Roman legions, the mail hauberk of the early medieval age, the full steel plate harness worn by medieval and renaissance knights, breast and back plates worn by heavy cavalry in several European countries until the first year of World War I. The samurai warriors of feudal Japan utilised many types of armour for hundreds of years up to the 19th century. Cuirasses and helmets were manufactured in Japan as early as the 4th century. Tankō, worn by foot soldiers and keikō, worn by horsemen were both pre-samurai types of early Japanese armour constructed from iron plates connected together by leather thongs. Japanese lamellar armour reached Japan around the 5th century; these early Japanese lamellar armours took the form of leggings and a helmet. Armour did not always cover all of the body; the rest of the body was protected by means of a large shield. Examples of armies equipping their troops in this fashion were the Aztecs.
In East Asia many types of armour were used at different times by various cultures, including scale armour, lamellar armour, laminar armour, plated mail, plate armour and brigandine. Around the dynastic Tang and early Ming Period and plates were used, with more elaborate versions for officers in war; the Chinese, during that time used partial plates for "important" body parts instead of covering their whole body since too much plate armour hinders their martial arts movement. The other body parts were covered in cloth, lamellar, or Mountain pattern. In pre-Qin dynasty times, leather armour was made out of various animals, with more exotic ones such as the rhinoceros. Mail, sometimes called "chainmail", made of interlocking iron rings is believed to have first appeared some time after 300 BC, its invention is credited to the Celts. Small additional plates or discs of iron were added to the mail to protect vulnerable areas. Hardened leather and splinted construction were used for leg pieces; the coat of plates was developed, an armour made of large plates sewn inside a textile or leather coat.
Early plate in Italy, elsewhere in the 13th–15th century, were made of iron. Iron armour could be case hardened to give a surface of harder steel. Plate armour became cheaper than mail by the 15th century as it required much less labour and labour had become much more expensive after the Black Death, though it did require larger furnaces to produce larger blooms. Mail continued to be used to protect those joints which could not be adequately protected by plate, such as the armpit, crook of the elbow and groin. Another advantage of plate was; the small skull cap evolved into a bigger true helmet, the bascinet, as it was lengthened downward to protect the back of the neck and the sides of the head. Additionally, several new forms of enclosed helmets were introduced in the late 14th century; the most recognised style of armour in the world became the plate armour associated with the knights of the European Late Middle Ages, but continuing to the early 17th