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Greave
Time Period: 7th century BC to 17th century AD
Location: Worldwide
Common Construction: Leather, Bronze, Iron, Steel based on time period

Greaves are a general term for armor that protects the shins, and sometimes the knee. The first archaelogical evidence of greaves comes from the Greeks in the 7th century BC. However it is conceivable that there were greaves before this time period made of less durable materials that would not survive to the present day.

In Greek warfare the hoplon covered the soldier from the knee to the neck, and only a helmet and greaves were needed to provide complete coverage. These were made of bronze, and some examples have an extended upper portion that covered the knee. The greaves were likely strapped on with leather cords, although ancient literature mentions that some greaves had such curvature that they bent around the wearer's legs and stayed in place without assistance.

Ancient greaves only covered the front of the leg. It was not until the middle ages that greaves covered the entire leg, and were attached to a knee cop or poleyn (which was in turn attached to a cuisse to provide full leg protection).

Armor, BCE 01st Century, BCE 02nd Century, BCE 03rd Century, BCE 04th Century, BCE 05th Century, BCE 06th Century, BCE 07th Century, CE 01st Century, CE 02nd Century, CE 03rd Century, CE 04th Century, CE 05th Century, CE 06th Century, CE 07th Century, CE 08th Century, CE 09th Century, CE 10th Century, CE 11th Century, CE 12th Century, CE 13th Century, CE 14th Century, CE 15th Century, CE 16th Century, CE 17th Century, Greece, History, Legs, Medieval Europe


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