interesting information about Medieval Swords, arms and armor
specifically, the Pavise
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were originally made.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
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.
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
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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
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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.