Gothic plate armour

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Gothic plate armour

Gothic plate armour (German: Gotischer Plattenpanzer) is a German term for the type of plate armour of steel originating in the regions of Germany and the Holy Roman Empire during the late Middle Ages (15th century) and Renaissance. The armour provided full-body protection to the knight who wore it. Suits of armour were common during the 15th century in central Europe and influenced Italian and English plate armour.

History[edit]

Gothic armour, especially suits made under Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, were modelled with curves, flutings and ridges in order to enhance the strength of the armour and deflect arrows.[citation needed] Such armour was made during the 15th century and reached its peak in the 1480s, when it was considered the best in Europe. Its structure featured points and ridges influenced by Gothic architecture and Gothic art. In addition to steel plates it included mail to protect under the bevor, joints and crotch.

Gothic armour was often combined with a Gothic sallet, which included long and sharp rear-plate that protected the back of the neck and head.[1] A bevor protected the chin.

During the 16th century, under Italian influence, Gothic armour evolved into Maximilian armour.[2][3] This new armour was fashioned rounder and more curved and the ridges were narrower, parallel to each other and covered the entire armour.

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