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Defensive battle gear of a Russian Boyar

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  • Alexey Kiyaikin aka Posadnik
    Greetings all! Not that I am going to criticize the whole thing, but some corrections to the article in the Slovo. 1. Like other periods, the armor ran the
    Message 1 of 8 , Jul 14, 2002
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      Greetings all!

      Not that I am going to criticize the whole thing, but some corrections to the
      article in the Slovo.

      1. "Like other periods, the armor ran the gamut from works of art for the Tsar
      , Kniazii (Princes) and Great Boiars to a hodgepodge of captured, inherited and
      antique pieces among the Boiars, to easy..."

      We can't say anything of earlier times of course, as Oruzheinaya Palata was
      burned with all the items of the 14-15 centuries, and now it contains pieces of
      no earlier than late 1400s - early 1500s. Though, parade armor with rich
      ornamentation really comes close to the years of Kazan submission.

      2."A red, knee length caftan over top would complete your look as a streltsy
      soldier in Moscovy."

      The easier thing is that there were different colours for different Streltsy's
      regiments: yellow, red, etc. The colour of the hat also counted.

      3. "a zertsala ('mirror' armor) over top. This was a Persian armor consisting
      of four curved, rectangular shaped plates, the shorter side plates having a
      curve cut on top to accommodate your armpit and the front plates covering chest
      and back from bellybutton to nipples. A strap over each shoulder and crossed
      strapping connecting each plate keeps everything in place, but flexible. It's
      easy, period and can be made of a variety of materials."

      Zertsalo was made in several patterns. The most popular were the Turkish model
      (with a disc or an octagon in the middle of the torso's front) and, much more
      convenient, the Indian (or Perso-Indian???) pattern, consisting of four (front,
      back & sides) rectagonal plates, joined by chainmail (no more than an inch
      between the plates).

      4. "In addition, the Russian kolintar has a row of hand sized overlapping
      plates below the disks and extending around the body to protect hips, lower
      back and lower abdomen..."

      Sorry, a Kolontar' has no overlapping of plates. It's typical of the
      Bakhterets, described in the Slovo 2001, winter issue. Bakhterets is a
      chainmail-joined armor of vertical rows of horizontal plates, quarter
      palm-sized in average. Heavy and clumsy, about 30 kg for a vest. And a
      Kolontar' is a plate armor of palm (half-palm) sized plates joined by
      chainmail. Oruzheinaya Palata contains some pieces of it. The peculiar thing
      with Kolontar' is that the chainmail strips joining the plates stretch
      vertically, not horizontally, as in a normal chainmail shirt.
      The author confuses the Kolontar' with the Turkish Zertsalo, or Koratsin,
      mentioned above.

      5. There is also a tradition of fixing small discs (Misheni) on a shainmail.
      The chainmail of Kniaz Shuiski (circa late 1400s) from the Tsar's armory,
      presented to Ermak in the 16 century, bore two such discs on the breast, with
      the inscription "Kniaza Vasilia Shiiskova" on each.

      6. "Last, we have quilted armors such as the yushman and telegei."
      Yushman and Tegilai are the most different pieces of armor one can imagine.
      Yushman is a chainmail shirt with the front of the belly made of large
      overlapping plates. Very typical of Turkish armor tradition, appeared no
      earlier than Tamerlan's era. Tegilai is a derivate from the Mongol Khatangu
      Degel'("a Coat-Strong-as Steel"), and is no more than an enforced coat.

      7. "The yushman seems to follow the construction of a western suit of jack,
      that is small overlapping plates riveted between two layers of cloth or
      leather..."

      The author confuses Yushman and Kuiak, the derivate of the Mongol enforced
      leather quirass Khuiag and a relative to later Brigandine. The construction of
      the Kuiak is rendered quite correctly.

      8. (about Tegilai)"This armor is quilted throughout with 2-3" wide diamond
      shaped plates sandwiched between layers of felt or cotton padding and a layer
      of outer and inner lining fabric."

      As for a modern device, no objections. As for the original pattern, there were
      no plates inside. At maximum, parts of shainmail or simply pieces of metal. The
      epoch was not rich in metal, that's why even high-positioned people wore
      quilted armor.


      That's all. Sorry for such a long posting.









      -----------------------------------------------
      Молоток: от Фаберже до неглиже
      http://r.mail.ru/cln1942/molotok.ru/
    • Tim Nalley
      Thanks for the corrections in my article. It was meant as an illustrative work based on information taken directly from the several Kremlin Armory books I ve
      Message 2 of 8 , Jul 14, 2002
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        Thanks for the corrections in my article. It was
        meant as an illustrative work based on information
        taken directly from the several Kremlin Armory books
        I've collected over the years. What I really wish
        would be that Alexey would post pictures of the many
        other sets of armor not usually found in thes museum
        books. That would be a HUGELY constructive improvement
        for the rest of us.
        The problem is that our resources are limited,
        which is obviously not the case with our friend. For
        example, several sources have mentioned layers of
        plates sandwiched between layers of padding for the
        telegei, but no one has had access to any resources to
        confirm actual material artifact construction. Alexey,
        are you aware of any such artifacts or and
        de-constructioin research of an actual period telegei?
        John Sloan has an excellent website, utilizing a
        pre-revolutionary work (look under Russian Armor of
        Lisa Keis excellent website) and both the London Tower
        Russian artifact exhibit book and Peter Nevill's 1962
        "Treasures in the Kremlin" go a long way towards
        correcting this information gap, but all of them only
        hint at the full collection.
        I have actually made the bakherets and am in the
        process of recreating the Turkish version koratsin,
        complete with chainmail joining the plates. Mine is
        military grade aircraft aluminum (don't ask how I
        snagged it!) joined with 12 guage aluminum chainmail
        links, doubled in Turkish fashion. I'll have it on the
        field at Pennsic and at the SIG meeting Monday night
        for all interested parties, along with my furlined
        shuba.
        Mikhial had the real life Russian Koratsin based
        direction on the one in the Armoury made for him in
        Calontir (10 kg) and fought in it for almost two years
        in the shieldwall. That was heavy and clumsy, mostly
        because it didn't conform to or move with the body
        very well.
        BUT, contrary to popullar opinion, the bakterets
        is niether heavy nor clumsy. What it is is supple,
        protective and highly flexible with the protective
        qualities of plate and the flexibility of chainmail. I
        wore a life sized one for several hours of fighting a
        day, at twenty of more events last year before testing
        it at Pennsic and Gulf Wars this past year in "live"
        combat. I'd be happy to lend it to anyone for the
        duration of Pennsic this year for a personal "test
        drive". Its vest size and a little over 8 kg. Upkeep
        is a bitch though, so I've moved on, grudgingly.
        How about it, Alexey? You're on the ground there
        and have direct access to the armour display. There is
        a growing interest in Russian armors here in the
        States. Want to help us out and write some articles /
        post some comprehensive, detailed pictures?
        'dak

        --- Alexey Kiyaikin aka Posadnik
        <Posadnik@...> wrote:
        >
        > Greetings all!
        >
        > Not that I am going to criticize the whole thing,
        > but some corrections to the
        > article in the Slovo.
        >
        > 1. "Like other periods, the armor ran the gamut from
        > works of art for the Tsar
        > , Kniazii (Princes) and Great Boiars to a hodgepodge
        > of captured, inherited and
        > antique pieces among the Boiars, to easy..."
        >
        > We can't say anything of earlier times of course, as
        > Oruzheinaya Palata was
        > burned with all the items of the 14-15 centuries,
        > and now it contains pieces of
        > no earlier than late 1400s - early 1500s. Though,
        > parade armor with rich
        > ornamentation really comes close to the years of
        > Kazan submission.
        >
        > 2."A red, knee length caftan over top would complete
        > your look as a streltsy
        > soldier in Moscovy."
        >
        > The easier thing is that there were different
        > colours for different Streltsy's
        > regiments: yellow, red, etc. The colour of the hat
        > also counted.
        >
        > 3. "a zertsala ('mirror' armor) over top. This was a
        > Persian armor consisting
        > of four curved, rectangular shaped plates, the
        > shorter side plates having a
        > curve cut on top to accommodate your armpit and the
        > front plates covering chest
        > and back from bellybutton to nipples. A strap over
        > each shoulder and crossed
        > strapping connecting each plate keeps everything in
        > place, but flexible. It's
        > easy, period and can be made of a variety of
        > materials."
        >
        > Zertsalo was made in several patterns. The most
        > popular were the Turkish model
        > (with a disc or an octagon in the middle of the
        > torso's front) and, much more
        > convenient, the Indian (or Perso-Indian???) pattern,
        > consisting of four (front,
        > back & sides) rectagonal plates, joined by chainmail
        > (no more than an inch
        > between the plates).
        >
        > 4. "In addition, the Russian kolintar has a row of
        > hand sized overlapping
        > plates below the disks and extending around the body
        > to protect hips, lower
        > back and lower abdomen..."
        >
        > Sorry, a Kolontar' has no overlapping of plates.
        > It's typical of the
        > Bakhterets, described in the Slovo 2001, winter
        > issue. Bakhterets is a
        > chainmail-joined armor of vertical rows of
        > horizontal plates, quarter
        > palm-sized in average. Heavy and clumsy, about 30 kg
        > for a vest. And a
        > Kolontar' is a plate armor of palm (half-palm) sized
        > plates joined by
        > chainmail. Oruzheinaya Palata contains some pieces
        > of it. The peculiar thing
        > with Kolontar' is that the chainmail strips joining
        > the plates stretch
        > vertically, not horizontally, as in a normal
        > chainmail shirt.
        > The author confuses the Kolontar' with the Turkish
        > Zertsalo, or Koratsin,
        > mentioned above.
        >
        > 5. There is also a tradition of fixing small discs
        > (Misheni) on a shainmail.
        > The chainmail of Kniaz Shuiski (circa late 1400s)
        > from the Tsar's armory,
        > presented to Ermak in the 16 century, bore two such
        > discs on the breast, with
        > the inscription "Kniaza Vasilia Shiiskova" on each.
        >
        > 6. "Last, we have quilted armors such as the yushman
        > and telegei."
        > Yushman and Tegilai are the most different pieces of
        > armor one can imagine.
        > Yushman is a chainmail shirt with the front of the
        > belly made of large
        > overlapping plates. Very typical of Turkish armor
        > tradition, appeared no
        > earlier than Tamerlan's era. Tegilai is a derivate
        > from the Mongol Khatangu
        > Degel'("a Coat-Strong-as Steel"), and is no more
        > than an enforced coat.
        >
        > 7. "The yushman seems to follow the construction of
        > a western suit of jack,
        > that is small overlapping plates riveted between two
        > layers of cloth or
        > leather..."
        >
        > The author confuses Yushman and Kuiak, the derivate
        > of the Mongol enforced
        > leather quirass Khuiag and a relative to later
        > Brigandine. The construction of
        > the Kuiak is rendered quite correctly.
        >
        > 8. (about Tegilai)"This armor is quilted throughout
        > with 2-3" wide diamond
        > shaped plates sandwiched between layers of felt or
        > cotton padding and a layer
        > of outer and inner lining fabric."
        >
        > As for a modern device, no objections. As for the
        > original pattern, there were
        > no plates inside. At maximum, parts of shainmail or
        > simply pieces of metal. The
        > epoch was not rich in metal, that's why even
        > high-positioned people wore
        > quilted armor.
        >
        >
        > That's all. Sorry for such a long posting.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > -----------------------------------------------
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        > http://r.mail.ru/cln1942/molotok.ru/
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      • Alexey Kiyaikin aka Posadnik
        Greetings Mordak! ... One problem with Kremlin Armory books is that even the secondary (based on the primary) sources have little convergence. One of the most
        Message 3 of 8 , Jul 14, 2002
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          Greetings Mordak!

          >
          > Thanks for the corrections in my article. It was
          > meant as an illustrative work based on information
          > taken directly from the several Kremlin Armory books
          > I've collected over the years. What I really wish
          > would be that Alexey would post pictures of the many
          > other sets of armor not usually found in thes museum
          > books. That would be a HUGELY constructive improvement
          > for the rest of us.
          One problem with Kremlin Armory books is that even the secondary (based on the
          primary) sources have little convergence.
          One of the most common confusions is that Kolontar' and Bakhterets are often
          confused with each other. I have a book based on the Armory and a book based on
          the Kulikovo battle museum, and they call different things a Kolontar'. As for
          the postings, I'll do what I can. I have no scanner of my own, so without a
          webcam it's a slow business.
          > The problem is that our resources are limited,
          > which is obviously not the case with our friend. For
          > example, several sources have mentioned layers of
          > plates sandwiched between layers of padding for the
          > telegei, but no one has had access to any resources to
          > confirm actual material artifact construction. Alexey,
          > are you aware of any such artifacts or and
          > de-constructioin research of an actual period telegei?
          Nothing yet. Though, I'll ask somebody.

          > John Sloan has an excellent website, utilizing a
          > pre-revolutionary work (look under Russian Armor of

          What's the URL?

          > Lisa Keis excellent website) and both the London Tower

          ???

          > Russian artifact exhibit book and Peter Nevill's 1962
          > "Treasures in the Kremlin" go a long way towards
          > correcting this information gap, but all of them only
          > hint at the full collection.
          > I have actually made the bakherets and am in the
          > process of recreating the Turkish version koratsin,
          > complete with chainmail joining the plates. Mine is
          > military grade aircraft aluminum (don't ask how I
          > snagged it!) joined with 12 guage aluminum chainmail
          > links, doubled in Turkish fashion. I'll have it on the
          > field at Pennsic and at the SIG meeting Monday night
          > for all interested parties, along with my furlined
          > shuba.
          > Mikhial had the real life Russian Koratsin based
          > direction on the one in the Armoury made for him in
          > Calontir (10 kg) and fought in it for almost two years
          > in the shieldwall. That was heavy and clumsy, mostly
          > because it didn't conform to or move with the body
          > very well.
          And also, the Zertsalo of that type isn't the height of the armorers' craft. It
          has too many details, and weights too much. An original piece of that pattern
          is between 22-25 and 30 kg, according to the Armory booklet.
          > BUT, contrary to popullar opinion, the bakterets
          > is niether heavy nor clumsy. What it is is supple,
          > protective and highly flexible with the protective
          > qualities of plate and the flexibility of chainmail. I
          > wore a life sized one for several hours of fighting a
          > day, at twenty of more events last year before testing
          > it at Pennsic and Gulf Wars this past year in "live"
          ??? What was it made of? A real steel bakhterets brought to a LARP by
          Buelorussian re-creators in 1995 weighed up to 20 kg and was no longer than a
          life vest. About same weight are the Armory pieces, according to booklets and
          books.
          > combat. I'd be happy to lend it to anyone for the
          > duration of Pennsic this year for a personal "test
          > drive". Its vest size and a little over 8 kg. Upkeep
          ??? Same aircraft aluminium?
          > is a bitch though, so I've moved on, grudgingly.
          > How about it, Alexey? You're on the ground there
          > and have direct access to the armour display. There is
          > a growing interest in Russian armors here in the
          > States. Want to help us out and write some articles /
          > post some comprehensive, detailed pictures?

          I'll do what I can.

          bye,
          Alex.
        • Lisa Kies
          ... //www.xenophongi.org/rushistory/medievalarmor/parti.htm ... Thank you for the compliment, Mordak. The URL for my website is:
          Message 4 of 8 , Jul 19, 2002
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            On Mon, 15 Jul 2002, Alexey Kiyaikin aka Posadnik wrote:

            > > John Sloan has an excellent website, utilizing a
            > > pre-revolutionary work (look under Russian Armor of
            >
            > What's the URL?

            //www.xenophongi.org/rushistory/medievalarmor/parti.htm

            > > Lisa Kies excellent website) and both the London Tower
            >
            > ???

            Thank you for the compliment, Mordak. The URL for my website is:
            //www.strangelove.net/~kieser/Russia

            In Service,
            Sofya la Rus
            mka Lisa Kies
          • Alexey Kiyaikin aka Posadnik
            Gretings Sofya! Fine site. I found out I came across it once (then my comp said he was dead, with all its links and bookmarked pages). The only problem (same
            Message 5 of 8 , Jul 20, 2002
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              Gretings Sofya!

              Fine site. I found out I came across it once (then my comp said he was dead,
              with all its links and bookmarked pages).

              The only problem (same with Sloan)is the obsolete sources in weapons' section.
              There are more than one you must NEVER rely on.

              (About the referances on arms/armor you wanted to check out)

              Viskovatov, vol.1, about Old Rus. Disgusting, silly and over-imaginative, but -
              the second book on such theme in Russia (the first one was more naive and
              silly, being devoted not to historians but to theatre men, staging Pushkin's
              Ruslan & Lyudmila or like). The imagination of a man who wrote long pages about
              the Rus of 9-10 centuries, having just 1 pair battle mittens, 2 helms, several
              chainmails, etc - all from the _15_ century and no earlier, of course no
              archaeology dig-outs, all that were samples from Oruzheinaya Palata - deserves
              only four-letter words. The public DEMANDED the 1st volume be re-written yet in
              - nota bene - 1900. The author never did that.

              fon Vinkler, "Oruzhiye". A nice book for a collection-owner, that helps to tell
              a fake from a true oldie. No other use. The author is a professional in -
              Heraldry, and nothing else. He didn't write anything of his own. He copied some
              European sources from no later than 1880s, and in the chapter about the Russian
              arms/armor he copied Viskovatov, even using same illustrations. Nice book for
              1992, when it was reprinted in Russia - then there were no books on weapon
              history. Already 3 years later nobody wanted that book even as a gift.

              (about the Baidana)
              "The rings were either fixed one upon the other, or on a nail or spike (?)
              resulting in a fairly stable joint. (Sloan)"
              That meant the form of the rivet, "nail" (gvozd') is a regular shape rivet,
              while "spike", or, more to the spot, "thorn" (shyp) meant conical rivet that
              didn't show much over the riveted surface => the chainmail less tore the
              undergarment. Sloan cites the old, old book that 2/3 "Russian cranberry"
              history books also do (usually being unable to explain what that means), maybe
              it's Viskovatov, never made myself read him in full.


              BTW, what is a "pick"?

              "Russian soldiers also used the axe, the spear (a boar-spear up to sixty cm
              long with a wide tip), the small metal spear-sulitsa, the pick (used by common
              soldiers with wooden handle up to 30 cm long and a weight hanging from it by a
              short chain), the oak staff with its ends nailed with iron (called oslopi), the
              flail (kisteni), and the bow and arrow. (Stamerov and Kireyeva)"

              bye,
              Alex


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            • Lisa Kies
              Spasibo, Alexey, for the information about those sources. That will be very helpful if I get a chance to go to the library today. Sloan s website has moved
              Message 6 of 8 , Jul 21, 2002
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                Spasibo, Alexey, for the information about those sources. That will be
                very helpful if I get a chance to go to the library today.

                Sloan's website has moved around a couple of times in the last couple of
                years. (Although the illustrations were still in the same place?!?) It's
                the best organized source I've seen, even if some of the references are
                weak. It helped me sort through some very confusing terminology.

                The question about the pick is a good one. Generally I would assume that
                the author was refering to a chekan, but then the description sounds more
                like a flail, kisten. I should re-read the source and then fix it.
                (Generally, a pick is a heavy, pointed tool for digging in dense, rocky
                soil. Also known as a pick-axe.)

                In Service,
                Sofya la Rus
              • Renata Dobrowolska
                ... This seems very unclear. PICK-AXE? I do not know reference for such a weapon. It is a two-handed tool. You mean T-shaped pole weapon? In POlish it is
                Message 7 of 8 , Jul 23, 2002
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                  On Sun, 21 Jul 2002, Lisa Kies wrote:

                  > Spasibo, Alexey, for the information about those sources. That will be
                  > very helpful if I get a chance to go to the library today.
                  >
                  > Sloan's website has moved around a couple of times in the last couple of
                  > years. (Although the illustrations were still in the same place?!?) It's
                  > the best organized source I've seen, even if some of the references are
                  > weak. It helped me sort through some very confusing terminology.
                  >
                  > The question about the pick is a good one. Generally I would assume that
                  > the author was refering to a chekan, but then the description sounds more
                  > like a flail, kisten. I should re-read the source and then fix it.
                  > (Generally, a pick is a heavy, pointed tool for digging in dense, rocky
                  > soil. Also known as a pick-axe.)
                  >
                  > In Service,
                  > Sofya la Rus

                  This seems very unclear.
                  PICK-AXE? I do not know reference for such a weapon. It is a
                  two-handed tool. You mean T-shaped pole weapon? In POlish it is called
                  'nadyak' and was used when pole-axe became not fashionable in
                  XVIcentury in service of Polish infantry and then Polish cavalry used
                  nadyak until late XVIII century.


                  Wojciech
                  www.bog.org.pl
                  POlska
                • Lisa Kies
                  ... A pick-axe is, indeed, a two-handed tool and therefore has only superficial similarities to the Russian weapon, chekan, than is sometimes translated into
                  Message 8 of 8 , Jul 26, 2002
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                    On Tue, 23 Jul 2002, Renata Dobrowolska wrote:

                    > > The question about the pick is a good one. Generally I would assume that
                    > > the author was refering to a chekan, but then the description sounds more
                    > > like a flail, kisten. I should re-read the source and then fix it.
                    > > (Generally, a pick is a heavy, pointed tool for digging in dense, rocky
                    > > soil. Also known as a pick-axe.)
                    >
                    > This seems very unclear.
                    > PICK-AXE? I do not know reference for such a weapon. It is a
                    > two-handed tool. You mean T-shaped pole weapon? In POlish it is called
                    > 'nadyak' and was used when pole-axe became not fashionable in
                    > XVIcentury in service of Polish infantry and then Polish cavalry used
                    > nadyak until late XVIII century.

                    A pick-axe is, indeed, a two-handed tool and therefore has only
                    superficial similarities to the Russian weapon, chekan, than is sometimes
                    translated into English as "pick". A chekan is a sort of light warhammer
                    with a pointy end. I was explaining the mundane definition of "pick" for
                    those of our readers who might not be as fluent in English. Actually, a
                    chekan is more like an ice axe than a pick axe (neither of which is to be
                    confused with an ice pick). *sigh*

                    I don't know anything about Polish weaponry, much less late period Polish
                    weaponry.

                    I hope this helps.

                    Sofya la Rus
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