Was it possible to “aim for the epaulette boys” during the Middle Ages?

How many peasants could a knight fight?

The knight could initially kill one or two peasants with little or no damage to himself. Even if they “overran” him, it would take much longer for a peasant to strike a fatal blow against an armored knight, than for the knight to kill an unarmored peasant.

Could a man at arms become a knight?

A man-at-arms was a soldier of the High Medieval to Renaissance periods who was typically well-versed in the use of arms and served as a fully armoured heavy cavalryman. A man-at-arms could be a knight, or other nobleman, a member of a knight’s or nobleman’s retinue, or a mercenary in a company serving under a captain.

What is the difference between knights and men at arms?

Knights were the traditional feudal elite paid in land tenure so they could have enough income to purchase his own heavy armor, weapons and a war horse. A Man at arms would be usually a non-knight who fought as heavy cavalry, perhaps a mercenary or a household troop of some Lord.

What did soldiers in the Middle Ages wear?

This is how a 15th-century soldier would have dressed for battle. He wore a thick tunic, or “jack,” iron gauntlets and arm splints, and a helmet to protect his head.

Did knights abuse peasants?

Knights burned the fields, villages, and manors held by their rivals, ending the lives of peasants in the process. And sometimes knights even targeted their own peasants. In France, during the disastrous Hundred Years’ War, French knights vented their rage at the peasants.

Could a peasant defeat a knight?

I was recently asked how movies about the Middle Ages often show that it was fairly easy for a peasant to fight and kill a knight in battle. That a heavily armoured knight could be dragged off his horse and just struck dead with a dagger.

What was some of the earliest armor knights wore?

Among the earliest metallic armor to be worn by medieval knights was chainmail armor, consisting of tens of thousands of interlocking rings woven painstakingly by hand to form a shirt, coif, or leggings.

Can a commoner become a knight?

A knight had to be born of nobility – typically sons of knights or lords. In some cases commoners could also be knighted as a reward for extraordinary military service.

How many men-at-arms would a knight have?

At Agincourt (1415) the English reportedly had 1,500 men-at-arms (aka: Knights) and 7,000 longbowmen. That would be a ratio of nearly 5 longbowmen per knight. The French side has a lot of conflicting estimates of size, but by all accounts was very heavily weighted toward men-at-arms.

Could a peasant become king?

TL:DR; It wouldn’t be possible for a peasant to become a king, but it was certainly thought possible for him to become a minor noble, even if such a thing was seen as a very bad thing by our aristocratic writers.

Could a peasant become a samurai?

This system wasn’t rigidly enforced until the rise of the Tokugawa Shogunate- up to that point, many peasants, artisans, and merchants could take up arms, distinguish themselves in battle, and become samurai (see the case of Toyotomi Hideyoshi).

How did medieval knights know who to fight?

However, since they are individual identification neither crests nor heraldric colors helps identify which side someone is on unless you know which side he is on, indvidually. That said, heraldry and crests served another important role – when soldiers were captured for ransom, it allowed their easy identification.

How did knights go to the toilet?

While wearing all that, a knight desperate for the toilet would have most likely needed the assistance of his squire to lift or remove the rear culet, so that he could squat down.

Did knights fight on foot?

Yes, they fought on foot quite frequently. The italicized line is a quote from a French knight named Philippe de Commynes who thought that the English had brought the practice of dismounted knights to France. At Agincourt the vast majority of the French and English knights fought on foot.

Is medieval armor bulletproof?

In the early Middle Ages, armour would be classified by the blows it could withstand, being certified as proof against swords, axes, and arrows. As firearms emerged as battlefield weapons, armour would be tested against them, as well, from which came the modern term “bulletproof”.

Why is knight armor no longer used?

Armour lasted well into the age of firearms from the 15th century CE and was even tested against bullets fired at close range but the age of the knight was by then nearly over, soon to be replaced by the cheaper-to-equip soldier who needed far less skill in firing guns and canons.

Will chain mail stop a bullet?

Chainmail , and even the kind of full armor that knights wore, is useless against firearms. Or, as they say, yes, chainmail will stop a bullet, as long as you don’t throw it too hard. Soft body armor, whether made from silk or paper, is actually more effective than metal armor.

Can chainmail stop a sword?

When the mail was not riveted, a thrust from most sharp weapons could penetrate it. However, when mail was riveted, only a strong well-placed thrust from certain spears, or thin or dedicated mail-piercing swords like the estoc, could penetrate, and a pollaxe or halberd blow could break through the armour.

Can katana cut through plate armour?

A katana is NOT able to cut through plate nor mail armour. Soldiers were equipped with other weapons to deal with armored targets. But even polearms can’t pierce plate.

Can you stab through chainmail?

Although chain mail can stop a stab from a fat blade, a thin blade can push through some chain mail hauberks (mostly those of low quality). As a complete armor system (mail+gambeson), chain mail was fairly warm to wear. This caused problems for the Crusader armies and the 1066 Norwegian army that invaded England.

Can a mace break a sword?

With a mace one can break armor, smash shields, and shatter swords without having to worry about preserving a fragile edge.

Why did armor stop being used?

Armour cuirasses and helmets were still used in the 17th century, but plate armour largely disappeared from infantry use in the 18th century because of its cost, its lowered effectiveness against contemporary weapons, and its weight.

Did swords pierce armor?

Swords defeat armor by going around it, not through it. Other weapons on the other hand, CAN punch through armor as that is what they were designed to do.

Why spears are better than swords?

It can sneak around shields and makes it easy to hit the head, torso, or lower leg with equal ease, again at the range. A spear can cut, slice, and thrust with extreme effectiveness. It can be used to beat swords and soldiers to the ground. It can even be thrown with deadly efficiency when balanced in the right hands.

Can an axe beat a spear?

An axe, due to it’s smaller reach but heftier material, can simply step inside a spears range and murder the wielder.

Why use an axe over a sword?

An axe holds two main advantages over a sword: (a) it is cheaper and easier to make, as only the axehead is made from metal, and (b) it can deliver a blow with greater force, which may be desirable if the foe is armoured.

Why did the Romans stop using the Gladius?

The Romans shortened the gladius based on their experience in the Roman civil wars of the Late Republic. Because Romans fought each other during this period, the traditional Roman military superiority had lost its advantage.

Why did the Romans use swords not Spears?

A steel spear point is only moderately better than a bronze spear point, but a steel sword is much better than a bronze sword. Since most of their opponents were equipped with bronze weapons, the Romans could maximize the effect of their possession of steel by using swords.

How heavy was a Roman gladius?

0.7–1 kg

Mass 0.7–1 kg (1.5–2.2 lb)
Length 60–85 cm (24–33 in)
Blade length 45–68 cm (18–27 in)
Width 5–7 cm (2.0–2.8 in)

What replaced the gladius?

The spatha

The spatha apparently replaced the gladius in the front ranks, giving the infantry more reach when thrusting.

Why did Roman soldiers carry daggers?

Officials of the empire took to wearing ornate daggers in the performance of their offices, and some would wear concealed daggers for defense in contingencies. The dagger was a common weapon of assassination and suicide; for example, the conspirators who stabbed Julius Caesar used pugiones.

What did the Roman soldiers call their spear?


The pilum (Latin: [ˈpiːɫʊ̃]; plural pila) was a javelin commonly used by the Roman army in ancient times.