Buckler: Medieval fist shield

Buckler, also known as the “fist shield”, is one of the most popular attributes of European fencers of the Middle Ages. Despite its size, this shield turned out to be extremely useful during duels and was actively used as a means of defense and even attack. Today we will tell you his history and explain why the buckler gained such popularity.

Buckler: Medieval fist shield

Classic European Buckler

Indian buckler

Buckler (him. Faustschild, fr. Boce, bocete, rondelle de poing, um. Brochiero) - small, 20 − 40 cm in diameter (8 − 16 inches), most often a metal round shield with a rounded protrusion (umbo) in the center. Mainly it was auxiliary weaponworn with a sword or sword. The main difference of the buckler is that if a regular shield was attached to the forearm with belt loops, the buckler was held by a special handle with a fist grip, which is why he received the nickname “fist shield”. In combat, it was used both for defense and for striking.
The history of the buckler is not so easy to trace: small shields were spread almost everywhere, since this design provides the warrior with quite good protection and mobility, vital in the heat of battle. Although the mention of the fist shields are found in the Celts and the Franks, it is considered that bucklers appeared in Byzantium and in the Middle East as an independent type of shield. Assyrians, practicing mostly offensive tactics, used the buckler as an auxiliary weapon, for which they supplied him with blades and steel spikes. Most likely, it was from the Byzantines that they came to Europe, where they became widespread.

A quick shield parry made the opponent open up.

The earliest extant sources describing the sword and buckler combat technique are currently the fencing textbook of Royal Armories Ms. I.33, dating from the XIII-XIV centuries. This technique was very popular in Spain. In Germany and England, the buckler was used exclusively for martial arts. In the 16th century, the Italian school of fencing, also using the buckler combat technique, acquired a powerful influence in the nobility. Buckler came into vogue. Young people of that time carried him everywhere with them, hanging them up to a sagging belt. The shield was worn on a belt or hook at the waist, sometimes on the hilt of a sword, in which case it was hung with a handle on the handle. By the end of the 16th century, the Venetian fencing school abandoned the fist shield, since its left arm was armed with dagoy. This event marked the decline of the sword and buckler vehicles.

When peaks, halberds and crossbows appeared in service, the infantry had to practically abandon the use of bucklers - they could not provide effective protection against such an arsenal. Catching the arrow with the buckler was incredibly difficult, and it was no good for repelling heavy weapons, since it was too easy. Conversely, wearing even a small shield made it difficult for the pikeman to do his job. However, in the "individual" infantry battle, paired with a cord, such a shield was still very useful.
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  1. +2
    25 September 2016 15: 29
    It will not be enough
    1. +5
      25 September 2016 15: 44
      Quote: M0xHaTka
      It will not be enough

      1. 2-0
        30 September 2016 11: 30
        I kaneshna, wildly apologize for expressing my little thought, but I think that the "battle" of the "knights" in the video has nothing to do with chopping down medieval knights, from the word "in general". Like boxing in helmets and bloody street brawls.
        So, came out to wave with glands ....
  2. 0
    25 September 2016 15: 39
    What disgusting faces in the picture. Two "old ladies".
    1. 0
      25 September 2016 15: 54
      Slkva comrade is a sad-maso. I’m on the ear, and he smiles. And if they have swords, and not super-mega-gig falchions, then I ... keep quiet.
  3. PKK
    25 September 2016 16: 04
    If I had a buckler, with his help I could disperse the parade of gays and lesbians.
    1. +12
      25 September 2016 16: 10
      Quote: PKK
      Would I have a buckler

      Take the lid from the pan; I had so many bucklers in my childhood. Yes
      1. +10
        25 September 2016 16: 26
        There’s a lid in the hand, a saucepan on the head, a soup ladle in the second hand, and here he is the gastro knight of our time :))
        1. +4
          25 September 2016 19: 59
          In the hand cover, pan on the head, in the second hand soup ladle

    2. +3
      30 September 2016 15: 32
      Quote: PKK
      If I had a buckler, with his help I could disperse the parade of gays and lesbians.

      The number of gays and lesbians on the game parade is always more than 100 individuals ... it’s scary to imagine what embittered gays will do to you by twisting you ... In general, your friends will stop greeting you ...) And for attacking this parade of perverts, banditry is soldered, and also will be planted! And there ... And there, too, they will not greet you later))))
      PS If you turn on the brain, then you can not make such "bold" statements about overclocking alone with the help of only one shield)
  4. VP
    25 September 2016 19: 01
    With your left hand with a buckler, star on the left cheek of the enemy, at this time, with a sword to get on the right hand of the adversary ... The anatomy artist did not even think about concentrating on writing out his pants.
    Yes, and he seems to write swords with a two-handed man))
    1. bad
      25 September 2016 21: 27
      ... heh .. of course the author is not Rafael .. but then how many centuries ago was ..but look Malevich-black square .. everything is immediately clear .. laughing
  5. +2
    26 September 2016 15: 10
    When peaks, halberds and crossbows appeared in service, the use of bucklers by infantry had to be practically abandoned - they could not provide effective protection against such an arsenal.
    I cried, well, how can I write such nonsense. PopMech really fell in my eyes. That is, based on the article, spades, halberds and crossbows entered the everyday life of armies at the end of the 16th century.
  6. 0
    4 November 2016 19: 22
    People ... oh ...
    I started writing when I read all the comments. At one time.
    Well, are you attached?
    Once again, Oyropa wants to be in front of everyone, and you are fumbling ... dishonestly, brothers.
    This is Ivrop's live. The rudiment ... and spermato ... oh, not there .... well, the beginning of everything, in short.
    And the fact that the Mamelukes and Assyrians had exactly shields the size of an elbow ..., then that the Moroccan warriors had the same mini-shields ... that the Arab legendary army was controlled by the "bucklers" .. this is so, in passing.
    To look at the light infantry of the times of linear constructions - all without exception, they are operating with bucklers. Because the sling with argiroaspid will be somehow hard to twist.
    Here is the entertainment, to understand the intricacies of light-protective weapons.
    Who needs it, why .....
    It’s easier to write an article, and instead of thrown out gas masks they stuffed it into a pouch during the Second World War.
    And it will be more informative.
    What is a "liquor-chassis", for example. What is "awl" ... northerners please do not bathe ...
    Wrap your hand in a cloak - no buckler is needed.
    And on the brush - a glove of shark skin.
    Galimatia, the right word.

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