Download All Things Medieval: An Encyclopedia of the Medieval World by Ruth A. Johnston PDF

By Ruth A. Johnston

All issues Medieval: An Encyclopedia of the Medieval World covers the widest definition of "medieval Europe" attainable, now not by way of overlaying historical past within the conventional, textbook demeanour of directory wars, leaders, and critical historical occasions, yet via providing unique alphabetical entries that describe the artifacts of medieval Europe. by means of studying the hidden fabric tradition and by means of featuring information regarding issues that few books cover—pottery, locks and keys, sneakers, weaving looms, barrels, toys, pets, ink, kitchen utensils, and lots more and plenty more—readers get worthy insights into the character of existence in the course of that point interval and area.

The heartland eu areas resembling England, France, Italy, and Germany are lined commonly, and data concerning the items of areas corresponding to Byzantium, Muslim Spain, and Scandinavia also are integrated. for every subject of fabric tradition, the access considers the entire scope of the medieval period—roughly 500-1450—to provide the reader a old point of view of comparable traditions or innovations and describes the craftsmen and instruments that produced it.

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The shields were about the size of a pizza—14 inches to 30 inches at the largest. They had a hole cut in the center large enough to fit a hand. A metal boss covered this hole; it had a handgrip bar at the back. It was nearly cone-shaped, with a point to deflect blows. Very few wooden shields have survived, but many shield bosses have been found in pagan graves. The Norman invasion in 1066 brought a new style of shield. The shields shown on the Bayeux Tapestry are large and kite-shaped, carried on the left arm.

Because Carolingian scribes copied a very large number of old texts that were falling apart, their script became universal and dominant. They also used some of the older scripts from the material they were copying in order to set off headings and first letters. During the 11th century, a new script, now called Gothic, came into use. Gothic letters were narrower, in order to fit more letters on a page of parchment. They were written quickly, and the style included serifs—lines left as the pens were lifted at an angle.

Blades, arrows, or bullets were used on the newly made armor to prove it was strong. This was called “armor of proof,” and it was guaranteed to work. The full harness was temporarily assembled, too, to check if it had been properly fitted. It was finished, but it was black, rough, and dented. The pieces of plate armor were polished, either by hand or on a waterdriven polishing wheel. The steel began to shine like glass. For luxury armor, the pieces were etched with acid or plated with gold. Finally, the master armorer finished the harness.

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