Griffin de Stockport wrote:So, after digging around in the library for a few more hours this weekend, I'm going to go for Carolingian during the high time of Charlemagne (so essentially early 800s).
Okay - you first need to look at contemporary pics of what Carolingians show themselves as wearing. Look particularly at sources like the Golden Psalter
of St Gallen (otherwise known as the Psalterium Aureum
of St Gall. There are quite a few other contemporary illustrations of warriors, and you should look at them before you start to make anything.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Stainless (or mild depending on cost) scale shirt with 1/4 arm sleeves covering to top of hips - possibly with side slits for mobility or I may just flare it out a little
The Golden Psalter warriors (which are apparently a bit later than Charlemagne, but things don't seem to have changed all that fast) have mail shirts with wide sleeves reaching almost to the elbows. They are almost knee length (though other contemporary pics show shorter ones), and maybe split at the front and back for mounted fighting. There is
a contemporary representation in the Osprey book with side
slits in the hauberk, but they seem fairly rare.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Armour-grade leather tassets on shoulders
Why? The only Carolingian pics I know that show pteruges
at the shoulders also show "muscled" armour, suggesting they are copied from Classical models. I wouldn't use them - I don't think you can rely on the evidence.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Concealed stainless elbow cops under a coarse heavy linen trimmed tunic
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Concealed stainless & leather sport spaulders
Both of these are fine, except that I would use a heavy wool
tunic, over a fairly fine linen shirt.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Splint vambraces (as one source indicated but I think it may have been Osprey and I couldn't find anyone else to support or refute it)
No - the only reliable evidence for these we have is for Hungary and Eastward - Byzantium, the steppes etc. Use hidden vambraces instead. And note that the sleeves seem to be very tight at the wrist.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Concealed stainless knee cops under heavy linen trousers
Again, I'd recommend wool rather than linen. Otherwise ok. Make the trousers as close to the leg as possible (considering that you're hiding armour under there, that can be rather difficult). The Franks of Charlemagne's time wore either VERY tight trousers or, more likely, hose (woollen stockings).
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Concealed stainless demi-cuisses over leather thighs
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Concealed leather greaves under trousers/leg wraps
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Wooden 2ft x 4ft heater-style shield
Nope - Carolingian shields were circular - in fact they seem almost without exception to have been bowl-shaped, where it's possible to see them in three dimensions. See http://www.aaf.org.au/Members/lacheadon/conshields/
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Regulation SCA leather gorget
Best if you can hide it, as they didn't have them at the time.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Spun-top helm (for now as that was what our group made and it cost me all of $30 to have done) with scale or leather tassets/aventail around on the brow line to shoulders
The jury is out on this one. There seems to be some
evidence that the Carolingians used scale armour, but I'd err in favour of mail.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Regular issue rattan sword for now - but with thoughts to a more Fransisca-style axe in the future (possibly for throwing too?)Any opinions for changes - especially a helm upgrade for the future? It's difficult finding quality sources for armour depictions. Any suggested psalters that may help with a Western Frankish armour pics?
Definitely a helm upgrade in the future. There is an interesting "morion" style helmet that crops up over and over in the Carolingian sources. None have been found, but than no
helmets at all
have been found from this time and place. I made one once. Very cool - see below, but I really don't think it would be suitable for SCA use. However, they are also shown in conical and hemispherical helmets - with and without nasals. See the pics below. How are you planning to handle the [blench]bar-grill[/blench] issue?
TassilosRache was right about the francisca. The Franks used them in the 6th century. By the 9th they were heavily cavalry-based, with a completely different way of waging war.
You might also try doing a Google search under Maccabees or Makkabaer, as there's a Carolingian psalter by that name with nice military pics.
Have fun with it. The only thing I'd say is use the pics as a guide - see how closely you can make yourself resemble them. With a bit of work, you should be able to make yourself look almost like you'd stepped out of a Psalter.