The Weapons and Armor of the Renaissance

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, UndergraduateA+, January 1996

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'There is no avoiding war, it can only be postponed...' (Machiavelli) Indeed, this is true, as war has been a part of human culture since the beginning of time. Battles will be fought and wars will wage on; there is nothing that can be done. No matter how many pacts are signed, no matter how extraordinary the leader is, and no matter what race or religion, fighting is as unavoidable as the plague.

The Renaissance brought tremendous enlightenment and development across Europe. Individuals were becoming more interested in the importance of self-expression, scholastic achievement, literature, the sciences, art, and the world as it began to emerge. Renaissance men, such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Descartes, and Bocaccio gave contributions to society that are still appreciated today. Even with all of these positive and exciting changes, man's fatal flaw reared its ugly head throughout this period. A plethora of wars and battles tarnished the Renaissance.

The Thirty Years War, the Wars of Religion, St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, the English Civil War, and the Peasant's War were responsible for only a fraction of the lives that were wasted across Europe in the 15th to mid-17th centuries.

The focus of this essay is not the wars that occurred during the Renaissance. Rather, it is the implements of these wars. In any fight, a man must be able to defend himself and be able to attack when the time is right. In a battle or war, certain tools or devices are used in order to gain an advantage. In the heat of battle, when thousands of men are killing each other, an unarmed man is a dead man. During the Renaissance, many new creative weapons and extravagant forms of armor were formed. Although these creations did a lot for the...