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Definition Of:

leg harness

Bible DictionaryKnighthood & Chivalry Dictionary
Referring to all of the armour pieces defending the knight's leg, including the cuisse (thigh), poleyn (knee), lames (connecting plates), and greave or shynbald. During the 14th century the transition was made from the mail defenses called chausses to the fully articulated leg harness, although the development was not even from place to place. By 1400 the fully leg harness had developed in the form that would survive until the 16th century. Major Developments during the 14th century:- 1300-1350 Chausses still used to defend the leg , with the addition of plate or leather shynbalds to protect the calf. - 1320-1360 Poleyns are laced directly to the chausse, defending the knee. These poleyns appear to have extended around the knee and to have provided a flared lower edge to ease the transition to the shynbald or chausses for the calf. - 1320-1340 Poleyns are occasionally reinforced with the addition of a small rondel to the side, additional protection for the back of the knee. - 1330-1375 The chausse is eliminated in some harnesses in place of a plate cuisse that defends the thigh. By 1375 this plate was made in a single piece and articulated with the poleyn through the use of two or three lames (only one lame is used to articulate the cuisse to the poleyn; two lames are sometimes used for the demi-greave attachment). - 1340-1400 Instead of a rondel attached by a central rivet , the poleyn itself is extended to form a "wing" on the side of the knee cop, usually some variant on the heart shape. As the century progresses the poleyn is reduced in size and the wing flared in the beginnings of the very broad flair seen on 15th century leg harnesses . - 1340-1400 Plate greaves become increasingly popular, being made in two pieces front and back, hinged on the outer edge and latching by snaps or buckles on the inside. - 1375-1400 The full leg harnesses is complete and becomes fullyadopted throughout Europe.

 

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