Facts and interesting information about Medieval Swords, arms and armor
specifically, the Pavise
Definition of Pavise Shield
The Pavise were used as 'Wall Shields on battlefields. They were long enough to stand upright on the ground and provide cover for the men-at-arms, especially the crossbow men. The Pavise was therefore the name given to the shields used by the Crossbow men. The word 'pavise' originates from Pavia, in Italy, where pavise shields were originally made. The following image illustrates a crossbow man preparing a crossbow for action, he would clearly need some cover when undertaking this task.
The Archers Medieval Shields - The Pavise
On the battlefield the English Medieval crossbowman was particularly vulnerable when he was reloading his crossbow. Crossbowmen therefore protected themselves with a tall shield which was known as a pavise. The crossbowman would duck behind the pavise to re-load his crossbow during a battle.
Description of the Pavise Shield
The pavise was a a large convex shield, measuring 4 to 5 ft. high and broad enough to cover the entire body. A pavise shield would be carried slung on the back of the crossbowman. These shields were then propped up in front of them, in a permanent position, before the Medieval battle commenced. The pavise shields of the crossbowman could also be used as defensive screen formed by linking pavise shields together. Such a defensive screen was known as a 'Pavisade'. These shields were also known as Wall Shields.
Pavise Shield Decorations
The Medieval times of the Middle Ages was strongly religious. English Crossbowman would have fought in crusades, as well as battles in England. Many Pavise shields were therefore painted with religious scenes. The crossbow archers hoped that the enemy would believe that they were committing a sacrilegious act if the Holy images on the shields were damaged.
Medieval Weapons and Armor - Pavise Shield
The Medieval Life and Times website provides interesting facts, history and information about the swords and armor used in the battles and warfare in the history of the times, including the Pavise, which scatter the history books. The Medieval Times Sitemap provides full details of all of the information and facts about the fascinating subject of the lives of the soldiers and knights and their swords and armor who lived during the historical period of the Middle Ages. The content of this article on Pavise provides free educational details, facts and information for reference and research for schools, colleges and homework for history courses and history coursework.