Friday, 28 January 2011

Photo Friday: Norman reenactors making chainmail

I love reenactors. They help me with my books and make great subjects for photographs. This guy is a Norman armorer I met last summer in Durham, a cathedral town in northern England.
The meticulous process involves crimping rivets into links of metal, creating a fine mesh that's very good at deflecting blades. A padded garment would be worn underneath for comfort and a bit of added protection, especially against blunt weapons such as maces. Like all military hardware, chainmail lost its relevance thanks to new advances in weapons technology, namely the longbow. While chainmail was good at stopping a sword stroke, it wasn't nearly as good at stopping a point coming in at high velocity. It was replaced by plate armor, although chainmail continued to be used as a cheaper armor for those who couldn't afford plate. Plate armor, of course, was made redundant by the firearm.
Here are some happy Normans ready to cut me down. My son was very excited to see a young boy participating in the fun. Who knows? Maybe he'll grow up to be a Norman.

For another photo of these guys in action, see my article on breaking into the history market. For more on this lovely cathedral town, check out my article on Durham.

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