Arms and Armor of the Medieval Knight

Arms and Armor of the Medieval Knight

By Eric Clayton, Erik DeVolder, James Justin Fyles and Jonathan E.H. Hayden

Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 2008

Abstract: The medieval knight was the deciding force on the battlefield during the Middle Ages, due primarily to his specialized arms and armor and his extensive training. This project tells the story of the knight through the arms and armor at his disposal. The team’s substantial research document on the knight’s historical context, weapons, armor, and equestrian equipment formed the basis of a 15-minute video documentary that will be shown hourly to the public at the Higgins Armory Museum.



History and Context of the Middle Ages

  • Ruling Structure
  • Feudalism and Manorialism: a Modern Perspective
  • Context of Feudalism in Medieval Society

History of the Knight

  • The Pre-History of the Mounted Soldier
  • The History of the Knight as a Social Class
  • The Knight in the Early Middle Ages
  • The Knight in the High Middle Ages
  • The Knight in the Late Middle Ages

Cultural World

  • Chivalry
  • Tournaments
  • Heraldry

Upbringing of the Knight

  • Pre-adolescence
  • The Page Years
  • The Squire Years
  • Dubbing of the Knight

Arms of the Medieval Knight

Daggers, Grappling and the Medieval Knight

  • Grappling
  • The Dagger

Swords of the Medieval Knight

  • European swords before the 11th Century
  • Swords in the 11th Century
  • Swords in the 12th Century
  • Swords in the 13th Century
  • Swords in the 14th Century
  • Swords in the 15th Century
  • Sword fighting Techniques

Blunt Weapons and Polearms of the Knight

  • The Mace
  • The War Hammer
  • Other Polearms

Ranged Weapons of the Medieval Period

  • The Longbow
  • The Crossbow
  • Gunpowder Weapons in the Medieval Period

The Medieval Horse

  • The Horse
  • Horse Domestication
  • The Saddle
  • The Spur
  • The Bridle
  • The Horseshoe
  • Barding
  • Horsemanship
  • The Medieval Horse
  • The Joust
  • The Lance

Armor of the Medieval Knight

Armor Pre-1400

  • Mail
  • Helm
  • Shield
  • Plate

Armor Post-1400

  • Introduction – Textiles and Mail
  • Italian Armor
  • German Armor
  • The Decline of Plate Armor

Wearing Armor

  • Putting on Armor
  • Fighting in Armor

Armor Production

  • Metal
  • Mail
  • Plate Armor
  • Heat Treating
  • The Knight’s Armor
  • The Armorer’s Mark


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