An education which does not cultivate the will is an education that depraves the mind. – Anatole France
Today’s mystery “what is it?!?” picture is ready for you to guess. Can you tell? Do you know?
What Is It?!?
What Was That?!? Yesterday’s Picture (Day 220)
I’ll admit, yesterday’s picture wasn’t that hard to figure out; Dan was able to guess it right away. “Looks to be a macro of some chain link armor (or a head dress from Cleopatra).” Indeed, what you saw is chain mail armor. I then challenged Dan to name the region or time period this armor originated. And he nailed it by guessing the Renaissance era. And then vastlycurious.com jumped in and guessed chain mail, too. Even Terry gave us a story to go along with the picture. Bonus all around!
This chain mail armor was just one of many displays in the Higgens Armory Museum in Worcester, Massachusetts. This particular piece was a Chain Mail coat from around 1550-1650, probably from Ottoman Turkey. The steel is brass alloy and weighs 17 pounds. Mail armor was used extensively in the late Roman Empire, and was adopted by Islamic armies as one of their chief forms of defense. The rings you see on this armor are stamped with the names Allah, Muhammed, Ali, Fatimah, Hassan, and Hussain. Just think, none of this was machine made, everything was worked by hand. The workmanship is incredible! There must be thousands and thousands of these interwoven links.
And now, Terry’s story!
Chauncey Giannone’s family had been building defensive weapons for fifteen generations.
Their offensive weapons were exemplary but, truth be known, they only produced them for the money. There were numerous mouths to feed and these were violent times.
All through history men have invented new and more efficient weapons, designed to kill and to terrify. And, as fast as men invented and developed these weapons other men invented and developed ways to counter them.
Chauncey held the intricate chain-mail in his hands wondering how men were able to stand up let alone fight in this heavy armour.
At the time it was a reaction to bronze and then iron and more terrifyingly, steel blades.
The chain-mail would afford a degree of protection without restricting movement, but the weight was a problem. Battle was fatiguing enough without the added burden of all that weight.
His ancestors had experimented with different metal alloys, all in an attempt to gain strength and lightness; not an easy task.
The chain-mail he was holding was more ceremonial than military, but if called upon it would have stood up to the task.
Each link was delicately embossed by hand and would have taken months to construct. Only a royal could have afforded such a garment.
Every successful business needs a few rich clients. They provide the cream and this ‘cream’ allows the business to invest in new ideas.
Family legend had it that the money the business received for this suit of chain-mail was the impetus for the development of the family’s most successful product, and the reason that the business was able to last for so many centuries.
Chauncey was sure that his ancestor would have received a lot of pressure to concentrate on offensive weapons. “No one ever went broke taking a profit”. But this man had a vision of the future, and the vision was directed towards defence.
Fear is a great motivator in any age.