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Definition of Body, defense of

Body, defense of Definition from Social Science Dictionaries & Glossaries
The Knighthood, Chivalry & Tournaments Arms and Armour Glossary
Prior to the late 13th century, the knight defended his body with a combination defense of mail and underlying padded aketon . At the very end of the century we begin to find references to cotes of plates being occasionally worn in addition to the hauberk defense. By 1350 the cote of plates seems to have progressed more usually into a single globular defense, a breastplate covered or polished . By the end of the century, the breast and backplate had advanced to the point where they were fully encompassing, and with the addition of faulds defended not only the body but the hips as well. During the 15th century this defense was refined only by degree; the basic solution derived in the latter 14th century served well until the second quarter of the 16th C..

Major Developments during the 14th century
- 1275-1350 The cote of plates features the use of several large plates riveted to the inside, or very occasionally, to the outside of a cloth covering.
- 1335-1370 The globose breastplate develops, at first covered with cloth but later a polished piece of iron in one or more (often 2) pieces. Backplates still usually formed from several large plates covered in cloth.
- 1350-1380 Guard chains sometimes attached from the breastplate , sword , dagger and helmet to prevent loss.
- 1360-1400 Brigandines , derived from the cote of plates , also find wide use. The size of the individual plates decreases as the brigandine progresses, until during the late 15th century they become a coat using hundreds of very small plates, a jack.
- 1370's Cloth covered breastplates disappear,covered hip defenses now taking the form of faulds attached directly to the breastplate. Sometimes breastplates are worn without any additional defense for the back or hips except for that provided by the padded gambeson or jupon .
- 1400 The full cuirass is developed in all details.