Letter: A chink in the article

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 30 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

I was saddened to see that the article on the Battle of Tours published Oct. 11 spread several misconceptions about the Middle Ages.

In it, the author quotes a source that says Frankish armor weighed almost 70 pounds and would cause the soldiers to "lumber." This was not the case.

A full plate harness weighs around 60 pounds, and the mail haubergeons of the Franks (the armor shown in the illustration) would have weighed about 25 pounds. Throw in another 12 for the helmet and mail coif, plus another 12 for weapons (I'm being generous here, swords are not nearly so heavy as the general public believes) and the armor is approaching 50 pounds. Even with the buckler, it would have been well under 70 pounds.

For comparison, modern infantry loads can easily be in excess of 100 pounds. Do marines lumber? No.

So please, check your sources before spreading misconceptions about history. Anyone who has had hands-on experience with medieval arms and armor would have noticed these flaws easily, and though scholarly research is great, there's only so much one can learn without personal experience in a field.

Timo Elliot

Springville

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