Other Free Encyclopedias » 21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia » 21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Arcturus to Augur


mail chain metal century

Armor, protective body covering used in armed combat. The earliest armor consisted of boiled and hardened animal skins, but Roman soldiers wore armor made of iron. By the end of the 11th century, chain mail, a fabric of interlocking metal rings, was the standard form of armor. It provided poor protection against heavy blows, however, and the Middle Ages saw the development of full suits of metal plates with chain mail joints for flexibility. Full armor was used in Europe only until the 16th century. Modern armor employs nylon, fiberglass, and other synthetic materials.

See also: Knights and knighthood.

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