Viking Age arms and armour
Knowledge about military technology of the Viking Age is based on sparse archaeological finds, pictorial representation, to some extent on the accounts in the Norse sagas and laws recorded in the 14th century. According to custom, all free Norse men were required to own weapons, as well as permitted to carry them at all times. Indeed, the Hávamál, purported to be sage advice given by Odin, states "Don't leave your weapons lying about behind your back in a field. A wealthy Viking would have a complete ensemble of a spear, a wooden shield, either a battle axe or a sword; the richest might have a helmet. The average farmer was limited to a spear, a common axe or a large knife or seax; some would bring their hunting bows to use in the opening stages of battle. The bow and arrow was used both in battle, they were made from ash or elm. The draw force of a 10th-century bow may have reached some 90 pounds force or more, resulting in an effective range of at least 200 metres depending on the weight of the arrow.
A yew bow found at Viking Hedeby, a full-fledged war bow, had a draw force of well over 100 pounds. Replica bows using the original dimensions have been measured to between 100–130 pounds draw weight. A unit of length used in the Viking Age called a bow shot corresponded to what was measured as 227.5 metres. Illustrations from the time show bows being pulled back to the chest, rather than to the corner of the mouth or under the chin, as is common today. Arrowheads were made from iron and produced in various shapes and dimensions, according to place of origin. Most arrowheads were fixed onto the arrow shaft by a shouldered tang, fitted into the end of a shaft of wood; some heads were made of wood, bone or antler. Evidence for eagle feather flights has been found with the feathers being glued on; the end of the shaft was flared with shallow self nocks, although some arrows possessed bronze cast nocks. The historical record indicates that Vikings may have used barbed arrows, but the archaeological evidence for such technology is limited.
The earliest find of these relics were found in Denmark belonging to the leading-warrior class based on the graves in which they were found. The spear was the most common weapon of the Scandinavian peasant class. Throwing spears were used by the warrior class, they consisted of metal heads with a blade and a hollow shaft, mounted on wooden shafts of two to three metres in length, were made from ash wood. The spear heads could measure between twenty and sixty centimetres with a tendency towards longer heads in the Viking Age. Spear heads with wings are called krókspjót in the sagas; some larger-headed spears were called höggspjót and could be used for cutting. The barbed throwing spears were less decorated than the ostentatious thrusting spears, as the throwing spears were lost in battle; the spear was used both as a throwing weapon and as a thrusting weapon, although there was some specialization in design. Lighter, narrower spearheads were made for throwing. Most evidence indicates. Limited evidence from a saga indicates that they may have been used with two hands, but not in battle.
The head was held in place with a pin, which saga characters pull out to prevent a foe from re-using the weapon. Compared to a sword, the spear can be made with far less metal overall; this made the weapon cheaper and within the capability of a common blacksmith to produce. Despite this, the spear held great cultural significance to the Viking warrior, as the primary weapon of Odin, the king of the Norse gods and the god of warfare, was the spear Gungnir; the Eyrbyggja saga alludes that a customary start to a battle included throwing a spear right over the enemy army to claim it for Odin. Due to its cultural significance, pattern welded blades are common in spear heads, the sockets were decorated with silver inlaid patterns. A polearm known as the atgeir is mentioned in several sagas of other literature. Atgeir is translated as "halberd", akin to a glaive. Gunnar Hámundarson is described in Njáls saga as impaling foes on his atgeir. Several weapons appearing in the sagas are Viking halberds. No weapon matching their descriptions have been found in graves.
These weapons may not have been part of the funerary customs of the Vikings. Two distinct classes of knives were in use by Vikings; the more common one was a rather single edge knife of normal construction, called a knifr. These are found in most graves, being the only weapon allowed for all slaves. Smaller versions served as the everyday utility tool, while longer versions were meant for hunting or combat or both. Weapon knives sometimes had ornamental inlays on the blade; the construction was similar to traditional Scandinavian knives. The tang ran through a more or less cylindrical handle, the blade was straight with the edge sweeping upward at the tip to meet the back of the blade in a point; the knife appar
A crossbow is a type of elastic ranged weapon in similar principle to a bow, consisting of a bow-like assembly called a prod, mounted horizontally on a main frame called a tiller, handheld in a similar fashion to the stock of a long gun. It shoots arrow-like projectiles called quarrels; the medieval European crossbow was called by many other names including crossbow itself, most of which were derived from the word ballista, an ancient Greek torsion siege engine similar in appearance. Although having the same launch principle, crossbows differ from bows in that a bow's draw must be maintained manually by the archer pulling the bowstring with fingers and back muscles and holding that same form in order to aim, while a crossbow uses a locking mechanism to maintain the draw, limiting the shooter's exertion to only pulling the string into lock and release the shot via depressing a lever/trigger; this not only enables a crossbowman to handle stronger draw weight, but hold for longer with significant less physical strain, thus capable of better precision.
Crossbows played a significant role in the warfare of East Asia and Medieval Europe. The earliest crossbows in the world were invented in ancient China and caused a major shift in the role of projectile weaponry; the traditional bow and arrow had long been a specialized weapon that required considerable training, physical strength and expertise to operate with any degree of practical efficiency. In many cultures, archers were considered a separate and superior warrior caste, despite being drawn from the common class, as their archery skill-set was trained and strengthened from birth and was impossible to reproduce outside a pre-established cultural tradition, which many nations lacked. In contrast, the crossbow was the first ranged weapon to be simple and physically undemanding enough to be operated by large numbers of untrained conscript soldiers, thus enabling any nation to field a potent force of crossbowmen with little expense beyond the cost of the weapons themselves. In modern times, like bows, have been supplanted by the more powerful and accurate firearms in most weapon roles, but are still used for competitive shooting sports and scenarios when shooting with relative silence is important.
A crossbowman or crossbow-maker is sometimes called an arbalest. Arrow and quarrel are all suitable terms for crossbow projectiles; the lath called the prod, is the bow of the crossbow. According to W. F. Peterson, the prod came into usage in the 19th century as a result of mistranslating rodd in a 16th century list of crossbow effects; the stock is the wooden body on which the bow is mounted, although the medieval tiller is used. The lock refers to the release mechanism, including the string, trigger lever, housing. A crossbow is a bow mounted on an elongated frame with a built-in mechanism that holds the drawn bow string, as well as a trigger mechanism that allows the string to be released; the Chinese trigger mechanism was a vertical lever composed of four bronze pieces secured together by two bronze rods. The nu is so called, its stock is like the arm of a man, therefore. That which hooks the bowstring is called ya, for indeed it is like teeth; the part round about the teeth is called the'outer wall'.
Within there is the ` hanging knife' so called. The whole assembly is called ji; the earliest European designs featured a transverse slot in the top surface of the frame, down into which the string was placed. To shoot this design, a vertical rod is thrust up through a hole in the bottom of the notch, forcing the string out; this rod is attached perpendicular to a rear-facing lever called a tickler. A design implemented a rolling cylindrical pawl called a nut to retain the string; this nut has a perpendicular centre slot for the bolt, an intersecting axial slot for the string, along with a lower face or slot against which the internal trigger sits. They also have some form of strengthening internal sear or trigger face of metal; these roller nuts were either free-floating in their close-fitting hole across the stock, tied in with a binding of sinew or other strong cording. Removable or integral plates of wood, ivory, or metal on the sides of the stock kept the nut in place laterally. Nuts were made of bone, or metal.
Bows could be kept taut and ready to shoot for some time with little physical straining, allowing crossbowmen to aim better without fatiguing. Chinese crossbow bows were made of composite material from the start. European crossbows from the 10th to 12th centuries used wood for the bow called the prod or lath, which tended to be ash or yew. Composite bows started appearing in Europe during the 13th century and could be made from layers of different material wood and sinew glued together and bound with animal tendon; these composite bows made of several layers are much stronger and more efficient in releasing energy than simple wooden bows. As steel became more available in Europe around the 14th century, steel prods came into use. Traditionally, the prod was lashed to the stock with rope, whipcord, or other strong cording; this cording is called the bridle. The Chinese used winches for large mounted crossbows. Winches may have been used for hand held crossbows during the
The Zulu are a Bantu ethnic group of Southern Africa and the largest ethnic group in South Africa, with an estimated 10–12 million people living in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. Small numbers live in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique; the Zulu were a major clan in what is today Northern KwaZulu-Natal, founded ca. 1709 by Zulu kaMalandela. In the Nguni languages, iZulu means weather. At that time, the area clans. Nguni communities had migrated down Africa's east coast over centuries, as part of the Bantu migrations The Zulu formed a powerful state in 1818 under the leader Shaka. Shaka, as the Zulu King, gained a large amount of power over the tribe; as commander in the army of the powerful Mthethwa Empire, he became leader of his mentor Dingiswayo's paramouncy and united what was once a confederation of tribes into an imposing empire under Zulu hegemony. Zulu expansion was a major factor of the Mfecane. In mid-December of 1878, envoys of the British crown delivered an ultimatum to 11 chiefs representing the then-current king of the Zulu empire, Cetshwayo.
Under the British terms delivered to the Zulu, Cetshwayo would have been required to disband his army and accept British sovereignty. Cetshwayo refused, war between the Zulus and African contingents of the British crown began on January 12th, 1879. Despite an early victory for the Zulus at the Battle of Isandlwana on the 22nd of January, the British fought back and won the Battle at Rorke's Drift, definitively defeated the Zulu army by July at the Battle of Ulundi. After Cetshwayo's capture a month following his defeat, the British divided the Zulu Empire into 13 "kinglets"; the sub-kingdoms fought amongst each other until 1883 when Cetshwayo was reinstated as king over Zululand. This still did not stop the fighting and the Zulu monarch was forced to flee his realm by Zibhebhu, one of the 13 kinglets, supported by Boer mercenaries. Cetshwayo died in February 1884, killed by Zibhebhu's regime, leaving his son, the 15-year-old Dinuzulu, to inherit the throne. In-fighting between the Zulu continued for years, until Zululand was absorbed into the British colony of Natal.
Under apartheid, the homeland of KwaZulu was created for Zulu people. In 1970, the Bantu Homeland Citizenship Act provided that all Zulus would become citizens of KwaZulu, losing their South African citizenship. KwaZulu consisted in what is now KwaZulu-Natal. Hundreds of thousands of Zulu people living on owned "black spots" outside of KwaZulu were dispossessed and forcibly moved to bantustans – worse land reserved for whites contiguous to existing areas of KwaZulu. By 1993 5.2 million Zulu people lived in KwaZulu, 2 million lived in the rest of South Africa. The Chief Minister of KwaZulu, from its creation in 1970 was Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi. In 1994, KwaZulu was joined with the province of Natal. Inkatha YeSizwe means "the crown of the nation". In 1975, Buthelezi revived the Inkatha YaKwaZulu, predecessor of the Inkatha Freedom Party; this organization was nominally a protest movement against apartheid, but held more conservative views than the ANC. For example, Inkatha was opposed to the armed struggle, to sanctions against South Africa.
Inkatha was on good terms with the ANC, but the two organizations came into increasing conflict beginning in 1976 in the aftermath of the Soweto Uprising. The modern Zulu population is evenly distributed in both urban and rural areas. Although KwaZulu-Natal is still their heartland, large numbers have been attracted to the relative economic prosperity of Gauteng province. Indeed, Zulu is the most spoken home language in the province, followed by Sotho; the language of the Zulu people is "isiZulu", a Bantu language. Zulu is the most spoken language in South Africa, where it is an official language. More than half of the South African population are able to understand it, with over 9 million first-language and over 15 million second-language speakers. Many Zulu people speak Xitsonga and others from among South Africa's 11 official languages. Zulus wear a variety of attire, both traditional for ceremonial or culturally celebratory occasions, modern westernized clothing for everyday use; the women engaged, or married.
The men wore a leather belt with two strips of hide hanging down back. Most Zulu people state their beliefs to be Christian; some of the most common churches to which they belong are African Initiated Churches the Zion Christian Church, United African Apostolic Church, although membership of major European Churches, such as the Dutch Reformed and Catholic Churches are common. Many Zulus retain their traditional pre-Christian belief system of ancestor worship in parallel with their Christianity. Zulu religion includes belief in a creator God, above interacting in day-to-day human life, although this belief appears to have originated from efforts by early Christian missionaries to frame the idea of the Christian God in Zulu terms. Traditionally, the more held Zulu belief was in ancestor spirits, who had the power to intervene in people's lives, for good or ill; this belief continues to be widespread among the modern Zulu population. Traditionally, the Zulu recognize several elements to b
A knight is a man granted an honorary title of knighthood by a monarch, bishop or other political or religious leader for service to the monarch or a Christian church in a military capacity. In Europe, knighthood was conferred upon mounted warriors. During the High Middle Ages, knighthood was considered a class of lower nobility. By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior. A knight was a vassal who served as an elite fighter, a bodyguard or a mercenary for a lord, with payment in the form of land holdings; the lords trusted the knights. Knighthood in the Middle Ages was linked with horsemanship from its origins in the 12th century until its final flowering as a fashion among the high nobility in the Duchy of Burgundy in the 15th century; this linkage is reflected in the etymology of chivalry and related terms. The special prestige accorded to mounted warriors in Christendom finds a parallel in the furusiyya in the Muslim world, the Greek hippeis and Roman eques of classical antiquity.
In the late medieval period, new methods of warfare began to render classical knights in armour obsolete, but the titles remained in many nations. The ideals of chivalry were popularized in medieval literature the literary cycles known as the Matter of France, relating to the legendary companions of Charlemagne and his men-at-arms, the paladins, the Matter of Britain, relating to the legend of King Arthur and his Round Table. Today, a number of orders of knighthood continue to exist in Christian Churches, as well as in several Christian countries and their former territories, such as the Roman Catholic Order of the Holy Sepulchre and Order of Malta, the Protestant Order of Saint John, as well as the English Order of the Garter, the Swedish Royal Order of the Seraphim, the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav; each of these orders has its own criteria for eligibility, but knighthood is granted by a head of state, monarch, or prelate to selected persons to recognise some meritorious achievement, as in the British honours system for service to the Church or country.
The modern female equivalent in the United Kingdom is Dame. The word knight, from Old English cniht, is a cognate of the German word Knecht; this meaning, of unknown origin, is common among West Germanic languages. Middle High German had the phrase guoter kneht, which meant knight; the meaning of cniht changed over time from its original meaning of "boy" to "household retainer". Ælfric's homily of St. Swithun describes a mounted retainer as a cniht. While cnihtas might have fought alongside their lords, their role as household servants features more prominently in the Anglo-Saxon texts. In several Anglo-Saxon wills cnihtas are left either money or lands. In his will, King Æthelstan leaves his cniht, eight hides of land. A rādcniht, "riding-servant", was a servant on horseback. A narrowing of the generic meaning "servant" to "military follower of a king or other superior" is visible by 1100; the specific military sense of a knight as a mounted warrior in the heavy cavalry emerges only in the Hundred Years' War.
The verb "to knight" appears around 1300. An Equestrian was a member of the second highest social class in the Roman Republic and early Roman Empire; this class is translated as "knight". In the Roman Empire, the classical Latin word for horse, was replaced in common parlance by the vulgar Latin caballus, sometimes thought to derive from Gaulish caballos. From caballus arose terms in the various Romance languages cognate with the English cavalier: Italian cavaliere, Spanish caballero, French chevalier, Portuguese cavaleiro, Romanian cavaler; the Germanic languages have terms cognate with the English rider: German Ritter, Dutch and Scandinavian ridder. These words are derived from Germanic rīdan, "to ride", in turn derived from the Proto-Indo-European root reidh-. In ancient Rome there was a knightly class Ordo Equestris; some portions of the armies of Germanic peoples who occupied Europe from the 3rd century AD onward had been mounted, some armies, such as those of the Ostrogoths, were cavalry.
However, it was the Franks who fielded armies composed of large masses of infantry, with an infantry elite, the comitatus, which rode to battle on horseback rather than marching on foot. When the armies of the Frankish ruler Charles Martel defeated the Umayyad Arab invasion at the Battle of Tours in 732, the Frankish forces were still infantry armies, with elites riding to battle but dismounting to fight. In the Early Medieval period any well-equipped horseman could be described as a knight, or miles in Latin; the first knights appeared during the reign of Charlemagne in the 8th century. As the Carolingian Age progressed, the Franks were on the attack, larger numbers of warriors took to their horses to ride with the Emperor in his wide-ranging campaigns of conquest. At about this time the Franks remained on horseback to fight on the battlefield as true cavalry rather than mounted in
Ramesses II known as Ramesses the Great, was the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt. He is regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, most powerful pharaoh of the New Kingdom, his successors and Egyptians called him the "Great Ancestor". He is known as Ozymandias in Greek sources, from the first part of Ramesses' regnal name, Usermaatre Setepenre, "The Maat of Ra is powerful, Chosen of Ra". Ramesses II led several military expeditions into the Levant, reasserting Egyptian control over Canaan, he led expeditions to the south, into Nubia, commemorated in inscriptions at Beit el-Wali and Gerf Hussein. The early part of his reign was focused on building cities and monuments, he established the city of Pi-Ramesses in the Nile Delta as his new capital and used it as the main base for his campaigns in Syria. At fourteen, he was appointed prince regent by his father, Seti I, he is believed to have taken the throne in his late teens and is known to have ruled Egypt from 1279 to 1213 BC. Manetho attributes Ramesses II a reign of 2 months.
Estimates of his age at death vary. Ramesses II celebrated an unprecedented fourteen Sed festivals during his reign—more than any other pharaoh. On his death, he was buried in a tomb in the Valley of the Kings. Early in his life, Ramesses II embarked on numerous campaigns to restore possession of held territories lost to the Nubians and Hittites and to secure Egypt's borders, he was responsible for suppressing some Nubian revolts and carrying out a campaign in Libya. Although the Battle of Kadesh dominates the scholarly view of the military prowess and power of Ramesses II, he enjoyed more than a few outright victories over the enemies of Egypt. During Ramesses II's reign, the Egyptian army is estimated to have totaled about 100,000 men. In his second year, Ramesses II decisively defeated the Sherden sea pirates who were wreaking havoc along Egypt's Mediterranean coast by attacking cargo-laden vessels travelling the sea routes to Egypt; the Sherden people came from the coast of Ionia, from southwest Anatolia or also from the island of Sardinia.
Ramesses posted troops and ships at strategic points along the coast and patiently allowed the pirates to attack their perceived prey before skillfully catching them by surprise in a sea battle and capturing them all in a single action. A stele from Tanis speaks of their having come "in their war-ships from the midst of the sea, none were able to stand before them". There was a naval battle somewhere near the mouth of the Nile, as shortly afterward, many Sherden are seen among the pharaoh's body-guard where they are conspicuous by their horned helmets having a ball projecting from the middle, their round shields, the great Naue II swords with which they are depicted in inscriptions of the Battle of Kadesh. In that sea battle, together with the Sherden, the pharaoh defeated the Lukka, the Šqrsšw peoples; the immediate antecedents to the Battle of Kadesh were the early campaigns of Ramesses II into Canaan. His first campaign seems to have taken place in the fourth year of his reign and was commemorated by the erection of what became the first of the Commemorative stelae of Nahr el-Kalb near what is now Beirut.
The inscription is totally illegible due to weathering. Additional records tell us that he was forced to fight a Canaanite prince, mortally wounded by an Egyptian archer, whose army subsequently, was routed. Ramesses carried off the princes of Canaan as live prisoners to Egypt. Ramesses plundered the chiefs of the Asiatics in their own lands, returning every year to his headquarters at Riblah to exact tribute. In the fourth year of his reign, he captured the Hittite vassal state of the Amurru during his campaign in Syria; the Battle of Kadesh in his fifth regnal year was the climactic engagement in a campaign that Ramesses fought in Syria, against the resurgent Hittite forces of Muwatallis. The pharaoh wanted a victory at Kadesh both to expand Egypt's frontiers into Syria, to emulate his father Seti I's triumphal entry into the city just a decade or so earlier, he constructed his new capital, Pi-Ramesses. There he built factories to manufacture weapons and shields producing some 1,000 weapons in a week, about 250 chariots in two weeks, 1,000 shields in a week and a half.
After these preparations, Ramesses moved to attack territory in the Levant, which belonged to a more substantial enemy than any he had faced in war: the Hittite Empire. Ramesses's forces were caught in a Hittite ambush and outnumbered at Kadesh when they counterattacked and routed the Hittites, whose survivors abandoned their chariots and swam the Orontes river to reach the safe city walls. Ramesses, logistically unable to sustain a long siege, returned to Egypt. Egypt's sphere of influence was now restricted to Canaan. Canaanite princes encouraged by the Egyptian incapacity to impose their will and goaded on by the Hittites, began revolts against Egypt. In the seventh year o
A ballistic vest or bullet-resistant vest called a bulletproof vest, is an item of personal armor that helps absorb the impact and reduce or stop penetration to the body from firearm-fired projectiles and shrapnel from explosions, is worn on the torso. Soft vests are made of many layers of woven or laminated fibres and can protect the wearer from small-calibre handgun and shotgun projectiles, small fragments from explosives such as hand grenades; these vests have a ballistic plate inserted into the vest. Metal or ceramic plates can be used with a soft vest, providing additional protection against rifle rounds, metallic components or woven fibre layers can give soft armour resistance to stab and slash attacks from knives and similar close-quarter weapons. Soft vests are worn by police forces, private citizens who are at risk of being shot, security guards, bodyguards, whereas hard-plate reinforced vests are worn by combat soldiers, police tactical units, hostage rescue teams. Body armor may combine a ballistic vest with other items of protective clothing, such as a combat helmet.
Vests intended for police and military use may include ballistic shoulder and side protection armor components, bomb disposal officers wear heavy armour and helmets with face visors and spine protection. Ballistic vests use layers of strong fibers to "catch" and deform a bullet, mushrooming it into a dish shape, spreading its force over a larger portion of the vest fiber; the vest absorbs the energy from the deforming bullet, bringing it to a stop before it can penetrate the textile matrix. Some layers may be penetrated but as the bullet deforms, the energy is absorbed by a larger and larger fiber area. While a vest can prevent bullet penetration, the vest and wearer still absorb the bullet's impulse. Without penetration, heavy bullets deal enough force to cause blunt force trauma under the impact point. Vest specifications will include both penetration resistance requirements and limits on the amount of impact force, delivered to the body. On the other side, some bullets can penetrate the vest, but still deal low damage to its wearer because of speed loss or their small mass/form.
Vests designed for bullets offer less protection against blows from sharp implements, such as knives, arrows or ice picks, or from bullets manufactured with hardened materials, e.g. those containing a steel core instead of lead. This is because the impact force of these objects stays concentrated in a small area, allowing them a better likelihood of puncturing the fiber layers of most bullet-resistant fabrics used in soft armor. By contrast, stab vests provide better protection against sharp implements, but are less effective against bullets. However, soft armor will still protect against most slashing attacks. Textile vests may be augmented with metal, ceramic or polyethylene plates that provide extra protection to vital areas; these hard armor plates have proven effective against a range of rifles. These upgraded ballistic vests have become standard in military use, as soft body armor vests are ineffective against military rifle rounds. Prison guards and police wear vests which are designed against bladed weapons and sharp objects.
These vests may incorporate laminated para-aramid textiles or metallic components. In 1538, Francesco Maria della Rovere commissioned Filippo Negroli to create a bulletproof vest. In 1561, Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor is recorded as testing his armor against gun-fire. In 1590 Sir Henry Lee expected his Greenwich armor to be "pistol proof", its actual effectiveness was controversial at the time. The etymology of "bullet" and the adjective form of "proof" in the late 16th century would suggest that the term "bulletproof" originated shortly thereafter. During the English Civil War Oliver Cromwell's Ironside cavalry were equipped with Capeline helmets and musket-proof cuirasses which consisted of two layers of armor plate; the outer layer was designed to absorb the bullet's energy and the thicker inner layer stopped further penetration. The armor would be left badly dented but still serviceable. One of the first recorded descriptions of soft armor use was found in medieval Japan, with the armor having been manufactured from silk.
One of the first examples of commercially sold bulletproof armour was produced by a tailor in Dublin, Ireland in the 1840s. The Cork Examiner reported on his line of business in December 1847: The daily melancholy announcements of assassination that are now disgracing the country, the murderers permitted to walk away and defy the law, have induced me to get constructed a garment and ball proof, so that every man can be protected, enabled to return the fire of the assassin, thus soon put a stop to the cowardly conduct which has deprived society of so many excellent and valuable lives, spreading terror and desolation through the country. I hope in a few days to have a specimen garment on view at my warerooms. Another soft ballistic vest, Myeonje baegab, was invented in Joseon, Korea in the 1860s shortly after the French campaign against Korea; the Heungseon Daewongun ordered development of bullet-proof armor because of increasing threats from Western armies. Kim Gi-Doo and Gang Yoon found that cotton could protect against bullets if 10 layers of cotton fabric were used.
The vests were used in battle during the United States expedition to Korea, when the US Navy attacked Ganghwa Island in 1871. The US Navy captured one of the vests and took it to the US, where it was stored at the Smithsonian Museum u
In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery; the Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early and Late Middle Ages. Population decline, counterurbanisation, collapse of centralized authority and mass migrations of tribes, which had begun in Late Antiquity, continued in the Early Middle Ages; the large-scale movements of the Migration Period, including various Germanic peoples, formed new kingdoms in what remained of the Western Roman Empire. In the 7th century, North Africa and the Middle East—once part of the Byzantine Empire—came under the rule of the Umayyad Caliphate, an Islamic empire, after conquest by Muhammad's successors. Although there were substantial changes in society and political structures, the break with classical antiquity was not complete.
The still-sizeable Byzantine Empire, Rome's direct continuation, survived in the Eastern Mediterranean and remained a major power. The empire's law code, the Corpus Juris Civilis or "Code of Justinian", was rediscovered in Northern Italy in 1070 and became admired in the Middle Ages. In the West, most kingdoms incorporated the few extant Roman institutions. Monasteries were founded; the Franks, under the Carolingian dynasty established the Carolingian Empire during the 8th and early 9th century. It covered much of Western Europe but succumbed to the pressures of internal civil wars combined with external invasions: Vikings from the north, Magyars from the east, Saracens from the south. During the High Middle Ages, which began after 1000, the population of Europe increased as technological and agricultural innovations allowed trade to flourish and the Medieval Warm Period climate change allowed crop yields to increase. Manorialism, the organisation of peasants into villages that owed rent and labour services to the nobles, feudalism, the political structure whereby knights and lower-status nobles owed military service to their overlords in return for the right to rent from lands and manors, were two of the ways society was organised in the High Middle Ages.
The Crusades, first preached in 1095, were military attempts by Western European Christians to regain control of the Holy Land from Muslims. Kings became the heads of centralised nation-states, reducing crime and violence but making the ideal of a unified Christendom more distant. Intellectual life was marked by scholasticism, a philosophy that emphasised joining faith to reason, by the founding of universities; the theology of Thomas Aquinas, the paintings of Giotto, the poetry of Dante and Chaucer, the travels of Marco Polo, the Gothic architecture of cathedrals such as Chartres are among the outstanding achievements toward the end of this period and into the Late Middle Ages. The Late Middle Ages was marked by difficulties and calamities including famine and war, which diminished the population of Europe. Controversy and the Western Schism within the Catholic Church paralleled the interstate conflict, civil strife, peasant revolts that occurred in the kingdoms. Cultural and technological developments transformed European society, concluding the Late Middle Ages and beginning the early modern period.
The Middle Ages is one of the three major periods in the most enduring scheme for analysing European history: classical civilisation, or Antiquity. The "Middle Ages" first appears in Latin in 1469 as media tempestas or "middle season". In early usage, there were many variants, including medium aevum, or "middle age", first recorded in 1604, media saecula, or "middle ages", first recorded in 1625; the alternative term "medieval" derives from medium aevum. Medieval writers divided history into periods such as the "Six Ages" or the "Four Empires", considered their time to be the last before the end of the world; when referring to their own times, they spoke of them as being "modern". In the 1330s, the humanist and poet Petrarch referred to pre-Christian times as antiqua and to the Christian period as nova. Leonardo Bruni was the first historian to use tripartite periodisation in his History of the Florentine People, with a middle period "between the fall of the Roman Empire and the revival of city life sometime in late eleventh and twelfth centuries".
Tripartite periodisation became standard after the 17th-century German historian Christoph Cellarius divided history into three periods: ancient and modern. The most given starting point for the Middle Ages is around 500, with the date of 476 first used by Bruni. Starting dates are sometimes used in the outer parts of Europe. For Europe as a whole, 1500 is considered to be the end of the Middle Ages, but there is no universally agreed upon end date. Depending on the context, events such as the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, Christopher Columbus's first voyage to the Americas in 1492, or the Protestant Reformation in 1517 are sometimes used. English historians use the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 to mark the end of the period. For Spain, dates used are the death of King Ferdinand II in 1516, the death of Queen Isabella I of Castile in 1504, or the conquest of Granada in 1492. Historians from Romance-speaking countries tend to divide the Middle Ages into two parts: an earlier "High" and late