Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search


A Knight's Glossary

June 25, 1990



Move half an inch into the study of armor, and you are likely to find yourself stuck in a mire of unfamiliar terms. Here are a few: Basinet: An open-faced helmet with a globular or conical skull enclosing the sides of the face and neck.

Skip to next paragraph

Breaths: Holes or slits in the visor of a helmet ... for ventilation; also usually permitting a degree of extra vision.

Gadlings: Protruding studs or bosses (sometimes zoomorphic) on the finger and knuckle joints of a gauntlet.

Gauntlet: Defense for the hand in the form of a glove ... initially of mail ... then of plate.

Greave: Plate defense for the leg from knee to ankle.

Lame: A narrow strip or plate of steel, sometimes used in armor to provide articulation.

Mail: A flexible defense constructed of interlinked and rivetted rings of metal.... Each link passes through four others and the garment is shaped by the addition or subtraction of rings in appropriate places.

Pauldron: A laminated plate defense for the shoulder, extending at the front and rear to protect the armpit.

Vambrace: Armor designed for the lower arm. However, the term can be applied to the whole of the arm defense with the exception of the pauldron.

Visor: Protection for the eyes and face; a plate defense pivoted to the helmet skull.

(Abbreviated from the excellent glossary in ``Arms and Armour of the Medieval Knight'' by David Edge and John Miles Paddock, Bison Books Ltd.)