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Norse round shield or Roman Scutum? What would be the most effective shield? Let's compare them.
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image By Einsamer Schütze - Own work, CC BY-SA ,
Shields have varied greatly in construction over time. Sometimes shields were made of metal, but wood or animal hide construction was more common. Many surviving examples of metal shields are generally felt to be ceremonial rather than practical.
Size and weight varied greatly. Lightly armored warriors would generally carry light shields. Heavy troops might be equipped with robust shields that could cover most of the body.
Covering the body from head to foot, the figure-of-eight and tower shield offered most of the warrior's body a good protection in combat.
Round shields were typical in the early European Middle Ages, with light, non-splitting wood usually reinforced with leather cover and occasionally metal rims, encircling a metal shield boss. These shields were supposed to be used in a fighting style where each incoming blow is parried with the boss in order to deflect it. The Normans introduced the kite shield around the 10th century. The kite shield main features were leather straps used to grip the shield tight to the arm. Used by foot and mounted troops alike, it gradually came to replace the round shield as the common choice until the end of the 12th century, when more efficient limb armour allowed the shields to grow shorter, and be entirely replaced by the 14th century. As body armour improved, knight's shields became smaller, leading to the familiar heater shield style.
In Italy, the targa, parma and rotella were used by common people, fencers and even knights.
Shields for protection from armed attack are still used by many police forces around the world.
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Royalty free music by Epidemic Sound:
intro ES_Knights Templar 1 - Johannes Bornlöf
intro 2 ES_Medieval Adventure 01 - Johannes Bornlöf
outro ES_Knights Templar 2 - Johannes Bornlöf
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