...in which I share some of my favorite medieval research resources and methods for the benefit of others interested in also writing about the Middle Ages

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Medieval Word of the Day

With the release of my new medieval romance, Dangerous Favor, I have some new medieval words to share with you. Since  a medieval tournament plays a large role in my story, let's begin with some of the armor a knight must don for a tournament:

Coif: A hood made from metal rings (i.e., mail), worn beneath a knight’s helmet

Ventail: A piece of mail that protected a knight’s throat and chin

Here's an example of a mail coif
(from CAS Hanwei)

Here's one example of a ventail in the form of a diagonal flap that tied onto the coif to protect the lower part of the knight's face. This flap could be square as well as diagonal.

That looks pretty uncomfortable, especially if all this hardware is worn underneath a metal helmet! Some drawings of ventails show them only covering the throat and chin, like this:

My hero, Etienne, preferred this style of ventail.

View some other parts of a medieval knight's armor from this September 16, 2009 Medieval Word of the Day entry.


Rachel Rossano said...

I knew there was a word for the mail that covered part of the face. Grr! I should have asked you. ;) Oh, well, I described it in "Word and Deed" although I didn't name it.

Rachelle Christensen said...

Interesting. I've never seen a picture of the ventail before. Excited to read your new book!