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d’archéologie orientale du Caire


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Annales islamologiques 41
2007 IFAO
50 p.
gratuit - free of charge
L’armement entre Orient et Occident au VIe/XIIe siècle : casques, masses d’armes et armures

The weapon is a privileged vector of technological progress, but it also remarkably reveals the exchanges that took place between the Muslim Middle East and Western Europe in the 6th/12th centuries. The Franks and the Muslims’ weapons tended to standardize, even if several types of weapons always coexisted on the battle fields, and if Muslims as well as Franks kept their specificities. The evolution of three weapons is here analyzed: helmets, maces and amours. The Western helmets tended to be thicker and heavier. Those of the Muslims, which were quite as various in form and constitution, also appeared to become more and more effective. The Arabic texts show that the Muslims added a miġfar to them, a typically Eastern (but not unknown in Western Europe) mail curtain or a cap of mail like the one which the Western fighters used to wear. The maces, which were particularly appreciated by the Muslim Turkish riders, spread in Western Christianity, perhaps after their adoption by the Templars, even if the influence of the riders from the steppes of Eastern Europe cannot be ignored. Various types of armour coexisted in the Frank and Muslim armies. Once again, the ones did not hesitate to make theirs the weapons of the others.

Keywords: War, Weapons