Subject: druzhnik armed guard
Setting: Russia 12th - mid-13thc
Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)
* May 2007 p148
"Druzhina [were] the companions and retainers of a Rus' prince. They formed the core of the prince's army and typically fought as heavy cavalry."
* Vuksic/Grbasic 1993 p78
"In the eleventh and twelfth centuries, Russia consisted of a number of independent principalities with economic and feudal relationships different from those in the west. Until the Mongol invasion, a military-feudal nobility existed, and was organized in over 100 druzhinas. The druzina, which retained the name formerly used by a chieftain's bodyguard, was a prince's retinue of personal warriors. Members, called druzhyniks, were granted estates (pomestiia) in exchange for their services. Once granted, ownership of these estates was free of all obligations, and if a druzynik decided to switch allegiances, he took his land with him to the new prince's state. The estates were thus allodial, not feudal."
* Nicolle 1996 p37
"During the 12th and 13th centuries Russia was a melting pot of eastern and western military systems. Ancient infantry traditions survived, but Russian cavalry had also developed in the 10th century in response to the threat posed by steppe civilizations to the south. This included a large number of light cavalry, including some horse-archers drawn either from the steppe nomads themselves or from steppe influenced borderland Russians. During the 12th and 13th centuries a disciplined cavalry elite was modelled on that of the Byzantine army, armed with close-quarter weapons. Even so cavalry as a whole was more typical of southern and perhaps central Russian states than of northern Novgorod. "Armies of the states of Kievan Russia were generally in three parts: the princely druzhina; urban militias that had largely replaced the old Russian tribal levies; and assorted non-Slav auxiliary or allied contingents. The druzhina itself evolved as a result of wars with the steppe nomads. Bound by oaths of loyalty to its knez, the druzhina was highly mobile, well trained and well equipped. Two levels of druzhina were developed in the 11th century: a senior druzhina comparable to the 'household' of a western European prince, and a junior druzhina consisting of armed retainers. The distinction between senior and junior steadily became more pronounced, but the old concept of a free association remained, whereby a druzhina's members could leave if they wished. In fact the knez retained their loyalty only as a result of his own personality and success."
* Nicolle/Shpakovsky/McBride 2001 p36
"It was now quite characteristic for Russian helmets to incorporate partial face-masks with nasals, or even sometimes complete face-masks. These were used in addition to the mail aventail which protected a warrior's face and neck."
* Личины 2000 online
"По всей видимости, в результате поиска новых форм усиления защитных свойств боевого наголовья к началу 13 века в русско- половецком ареале (Поросье, причерноморские степи, Поволжье), был выработан вариант полной защиты лица с помощью жесткого металлического забрала, получившего название личина. Сам термин, встречающийся в древнерусской литературе, как нельзя лучше характеризует назначение предмета – второе, ненастоящее лицо (в переносном смысле этот термин широко используется и в наше время). И это как раз подчеркивает тот факт, что изначально забрало получило свое название из-за антропоморфной формы. При этом наряду с высокими защитными свойствами железная маска, выкованная в форме «холодного» человеческого лица, своей строгой невозмутимостью и пустыми черными глазницами на фоне блестящей стали, не могла не оказывать ужасающего психологического воздействия на противника. Особенно это проявлялось в разгар жаркого рукопашного боя, когда застывшее бесстрастное лицо разительно контрастировало со всей окружающей обстановкой схватки, перенасыщенной неимоверным напряжением душевных и физических сил, перехлестом эмоций и кипучих страстей бойцов в пылу яростной вооруженной борьбы. По всей видимости, именно этот фактор воздействия на врага казался одним из наиболее значимых для восточноевропейских оружейников. И даже ограничение обзора и ухудшение качества вентиляции под личиной (по сравнению, например, с синхронными западноевропейскими горшкообразными шлемами, имеющими специальные прорези для дыхания), не остановило их боевого применения."
* Vuksic/Grbasic 1993 p78
"The Russian principalities waged practically continuous warfare against a series of Asiatic nomadic tribes, among them the Pechenegs, Cumans, Uzes, and the Mongol conquest in 1240 was the culmination of these protracted hostilities. These prolonged contacts ensured that Russia would, in military matters, gravitate towards the east, and not towards Europe, and the equipment worn by Russian warriors illustrates this. Another feature was the nobles' conservatism: thirteenth century-style equipment was still in widespread use in the 16th century: scale armour with or without coif, lamellar or leather corselets with stitched-on rings and long mail corselets."
* Gorelik 1995 p33
"Judging from archaeological finds and pictoral evidence, the Russian men-at-arms of the 13th century wore mail and armour made of plates either sown to a leather or cloth base or else attached to each other by thongs. They also wore mail solerets of a type borrowed from Europe. From the late 13th century onwards, helmets with masks or half masks in the shape of a human face came into vogue both in Europe and in Asia, and Russian warriors took up this fashion."
* Nicolle/Shpakovsky/McBride 2001 p38-39
"The basic defensive panoply consisted of a mail hauberk, though by the 13th century almost all elite warriors also wore a lamellar or scale cuirass over their mail. The cuirass itself was of a laced lamellar construction like those seen in Asia and the Byzantine Empire, or sometimes of scales attached to a cloth or leather base. European-style chausses were also used to protect the legs. Shields were either round or of the elongated Byzantine type. The rest of a warrior's equipment consisted of a helmet, often with a half-mask across the face. From the end of the 12th century a sort of full face-mask with two eye-holes became fashionable. This had parallels in both Europe and Asia."
* Nicolle/Shpakovsky/McBride 2001 p35-38
"The Russian bodyguards' armament derived from both the steppe and European traditions. These included swords, which were almost identical to those used in the rest of Europe and were sometimes imported from the west; also war-axes, spiked maces, sabres, fighting knives and smaller daggers. The mace or kisten had been copied from the nomads of the northern Black Sea regions. This kisten had a metal head, sometimes hollow with moulten lead poured inside it. A leather strap was attached to its wooden handle."
* Gorelik 1995 p33
"In Russia the set of war-gear was getting heavier and, simultaneously, its elements were becoming standardized and simplified, a process akin to that taking place in Europe. Swords became narrower, battle-axes became heavier, spearheads more massive."