-- Pavise
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Pavise (also known as the Pavis)
Time Period: 15th-17th century
Location: Europe
Common Construction: Wood covered in Leather

The pavise is a very large shield that was developed after most knights had abandoned shields in favor of two handed weapons. However, the pavise was not used by knights, it was used by crossbowmen. Early crossbows were very powerful, but they were also very difficult and time consuming to reload. The average crossbowman could only fire half as fast as a competent archer.

The pavise acts as a body shield similar to the old Roman scutum. It has a kickstand that allows it to rest on the ground, or can be held up by an assistant known as a Pavisor. The crossbowman reloaded from behind the safety of the pavise, increasing his firing speed and survivability.

CE 15th Century, CE 16th Century, CE 17th Century, History, Medieval Europe, Shield

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