By Frederick Wilkinson
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Extra resources for Arms and Armor
A vari- was available, and any type might be worn ety of helmets with the armor, including the great helm and the simple kettle hat. Heraldry was established and oped, and Mail, plate, its a now well well-devel- effects were to padded aketon, coat of plates make up the defenses worn by Sir John de Creke (c. 1325); by this date many knights were carrying a much smaller shield. and a , be seen in many walks of life. Early in the fourteenth century the ailettes were discarded, but the practice of carrying banners was still observed by many knights.
The spears of the Saxons and Vikings, used both for thrusting and throwing, had a shaft of ash about seven feet long. One end was tipped with iron, and the leaf-shaped head fitted on the other by means of a long socket which had two side bars. Since the spear was a favorite hunting weapon, these bars served to prevent too deep a penetration into wild boar and other prey. Even more deadly was the great, two-handed Danish axe; the wedge-shaped head with its curved edge was fitted to the end of a six-foot haft.
Helmets were not uncommon, and many were surmounted by a figure of a boar. Many helmets were conical with a wide brim, and it seems that often some kind of badge was painted on the front to assist recognition. Despite a romantic belief that all Viking helmets were decorated with wings or horns, there is only scanty evidence that such helmets were Many of ever used. Viking swords were cleverly designed for easy use in action, this was achieved by tapering the blade toward the point — it meant that there was less weight at the point, so permitting freer movement.