New PDF release: Dark Age Warrior

By Ewart Oakeshott

Describes the guns and armor utilized by squaddies throughout the four-hundred-year interval of invasions, wars, migrations, and unrest in Europe that the break-up of the strong styles of the Roman Empire.

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Thick dowelled together edge to edge. Then both front and back surfaces were covered with glue, and a layer of linen put on. Then another coat of glue, and another linen cover, and over the front would go a facing of stout hardened leather, glued on. There was a large boss in the centre made of iron or bronze and often very elaborately decorated, and the front would be reinforced with strips of metal, iron or bronze again, and there was often a rim of metal right round the edge. In the Sutton Hoo burial were the remains of a most magnificent shield, splendidly enriched with a gilded boss and ornaments all inlaid with garnets and coloured glass.

Such swords, which have mostly been dug out of graves, bear about as much relation to the splendid and heroic weapons so greatly loved by the old warriors as a tatty, battered old car-body on a dump bears to the swift gleaming vehicle which once was someone’s pride and joy. It is a great temptation to believe that swords of this remote period were always shapeless and brown or black, but of course it is not so at all. They were magnificent-looking things, their splendid gleaming blades mounted in hilts richly decorated with goldsmith’s or jeweller’s work.

When new, these helmets must have looked magnificent, for the bronze plates were tinned, so that they shone like silver, and the ribbon-hke strips which held them in position were gilded. The iron crests were gilded and inlaid in various 30 Bronze plaques for impressing helmet ways with plates: from Torslunda, Sweden were the eybrows; and in the case of its day was the richest of them all, the nose and close-trimmed moustache too. Under each of the silver-inlaid eyebrows of the Sutton Hoo helmet was a row of square-cut garnets let into the bronze, with similar silver wires; so the Sutton Hoo helmet, which in ones outlining the boar’s head The stylised eyebrows — which looks more like a mouth under between the duck with dragon’s teeth — was the moustache.

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Dark Age Warrior by Ewart Oakeshott

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