Back in medieval times, things were pretty rubbish for the normal folk. You ate turnips all day long and everyone smelled of the plague. I suppose if you’d been born back then you wouldn’t have known any different so I guess they didn’t mind. On the plus side you’d drink nothing but booze because the water was rotten so you probably didn’t care at all.
One of the coolest things to come out of the medieval period was body armour. Initially armour would have just been layers of cloth, leather or wooden boards, but once they learned how to control metal they were ready for action. I’ve collected a few pictures here of some of the maddest looking armour I could find. Let’s start with an awesome wolf helmet made by Hans Seusenhofer of Innsbruck, Austria, for King Ferdinand I (1503-1564). Just amazing:
This one is from Italy around 1550:
This next one has a chicken where the nose should be. It was made in Augsburg, Germany all the way back in 1530 would you believe?
Here’s another bird-faced edition, this time an eagle which seems more fitting for battle than a chicken:
Armour was made to measure and made to impose. If you faced a foreign French mob somewhere in Sussex you wanted to strike fear into their hearts before the battle even began. So some soldiers with a bit more cash at their disposal would get bespoke pieces made that were more than a little quirky. The weirdest of the helmets were for display purposes more than battle though. They were pricey so you wouldn’t want to risk getting them dented.
â˜› Next Up: Meet The Plague Doctors