All kinds of medieval decorative shields, Romans, Celts, Vikings, shields, scutum, buckler, shield.
Learn about Medieval Factory's medieval, Roman and Viking shields
The shape of the medieval shields, their weight and the way to hold it depended on the warrior's fighting style. No intact pieces have arrived, and we have to rely on artistic representations, such as the Bayeux tapestry, to give us an idea in general about its appearance and use.
The shield was the first defensive team invented by man and remained for millennia in the panoply of warriors. The last troops to be equipped with a shield were, during the French invasion of Russia in 1812, the Cossacks and the Asian nomadic cavalry enlisted in the Tsar's army.
Evolution of the medieval shields
In the dawn of the Middle Ages, the shield was the most popular and cheap defensive armament: its price was only one third of a helmet and one sixth of a chain mail.
For combat purposes, the medieval shield had the umbo, which could be used to hit. The umbo is a metal hemisphere placed in the center of the shield and integrated with the clamping handle.
The Frankish warriors carried a round shield of concave wood similar to the Greek hoplón. The carolingian shield is on average larger than the other altomedieval shields, with a diameter between 50 and 80 cm.
During the tenth century a type of shield appears, derived from the round, in the shape of a comet, drop or almond. A Norman invention was created and used without distinction by gentlemen and infants. The elongated lower end allowed the warriors to support him on the ground and form a wall.
It was the most popular shield until the beginning of the 13th century. It never changed the size, shape and materials of manufacture. It was used from Poland to Spain and from Scandinavia to Italy, and during the first three crusades.
Towards the end of the 12th century, the shield adopts a triangular shape. Infantry and cavalry no longer share an identical shield, since the cavalry uses a reduced version.
Also at the end of the 12th century, certain noble families began to use blazons to emphasize their status. The best place to paint heraldic symbols was the shield, with its large and visible surface. This practice became popular, and soon any family with a certain lineage exhibited its emblazoned shields.
At the end of the 15th century, the evolution of arms and armor caused the shield to stop being used in combat.