The Portfolio; Monographs on Artistic Subjects... Volume 31-34

The Portfolio; Monographs on Artistic Subjects... Volume 31-34

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1897 edition. Excerpt: the Bayeux tapestry, and as he certainly did when assisting William in his war against Conan of Brittany. Handsome presents of Norman arms and armour were then made to him by Duke William. A little later we have the curious testimony of Anna Comnena, 1083-1146, that this mail, made entirely of steel rings riveted together, was wholly unknown in Byzantium, and only worn by the inhabitants of Northern Europe. The definite conversion of the Northmen from sea-rovers to mounted men-at-arms when they settled in Normandy enabled them to lengthen their coats-of-mail, as well as their shields, lances, and swords, and to adopt many French manners and customs. But in facing the infantry wedge at Hastings, the time-honoured fighting formation of Teutonic stocks from the days of Tacitus, they did not disdain to fall back on the old Viking tactics of a pretended flight and rally, practised already by them during two centuries of warfare in England. That the English should have allowed their impenetrable ranks to be broken by so threadbare a stratagem is indeed extraordinary. The Norman Conquest introduced into England a permanent mailclad cavalry as the chief strength of the battle, as in France, and infantry was discredited until the disputes of the sons of the Conqueror led once more to an English infantry force taking the field. The mail coat of the cavalry had in the meantime been further lengthened, and changed into a complete sheathing of steel by the addition of long sleeves and mufflers falling over the hands; leggings covering the thighs, shins, and feet; and a capuchin-like hood only leaving the eyes and nose exposed, but which could be thrown back. Thus enveloped, with a Fig. 2.--Norman knights in mail hauberks and conical helmets. more

Product details

  • Paperback
  • 189 x 246 x 6mm | 200g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 123698370X
  • 9781236983701