The Knight and the Blast Furnace: A History of the Metallurgy of Armour in the Middle Ages & the Early Modern Period

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BRILL, 2003 - History - 954 pages
The suit of armour distinguishes the European Middle Ages & Renaissance from all other periods and cultures. Unlike flexible defences, popular everywhere else in the world, the rigid, articulated, exoskeleton of a "suit of armour" was a more extravagant and less adaptable means of personal protection. It required greater metallurgical resources to make, but offered far better protection against available weapons. This book tells the story from its invention in 14th century Lombardy, which depended on the production of the necessary steel, until its eventual decline in the 17th century, principally because of the development of another military technology, the gun. The metallurgy of 600 armours has been analysed, and their probable effectiveness in battle is assessed by means of mechanical tests.

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The earliest ironmaking

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About the author (2003)

Alan R. Williams, in History of Science, University of Manchester, is a Visiting Research Fellow in the Engineering Department, Reading University.

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