Last week, I put up a post – with a link to a much older one – that discussed pragmatic and realistic medieval arms and armor for the benefit of the fantasy writer that doesn’t happen to also be a historian.
Both of those posts were based on the assumption that “pragmatic” and “realistic” were one and the same, and in many cases, that’s true. But this week’s Sartorially Smart Heroines gives us a discussion of ceremonial armor that reminds us that there are perfectly realistic reasons that armor wouldn’t be pragmatic at all (though as it happens, our heroine-for-the-week’s mostly is, if certain assumptions are correct). Check it out, and check out the comment section for further discussion.
“The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road to either safety or ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.” —Sun Tzu
Another area of discussion I keep meaning to place more focus on (I really need to stop finding these areas) is the functionality of ceremonial armor. Armor designed for formal or ceremonial occasions doesn’t necessarily have to be sturdy or functional in battle. Jeweled pauldrons, gold trim, even boob-plate aren’t necessarily inappropriate when the armor is never intended to see combat. Plates, scales, and chain can be made from precious metals; sculpting that makes repairs difficult or creates angles that inhibit absorption or deflection are perfectly acceptable; protrusions that risk getting hung up in the brush or being used as a handhold…
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