Armour evolution - plate vs lamellar

Oct 2011
518
Croatia
I have been thinking, why did Western Europe start developing and deploying plate armour by 14th century, yet Eastern Europe - Roman Empire, Bulgaria, Russia, Ottomans etc. - continued to utilize lamellar armour well into 16th century? Was it logistics, metallurgy, tradition, or maybe some combination of these factors?
 
Sep 2017
786
United States
I can't really say for most of them, but at least with the Romans, who were not doing so hot in this period, probably weren't in the condition to begin experimenting with new types of armor. I'm not sure how hard it was for blacksmiths to retrofit their forge to produce plate and all that, but I think a bigger concern for the Romans would be trying to equip their soldiers with armor in general rather than trying to keep up with the latest armor trends.

That's all conjecture though, so if anyone has information to correct that, please do.
 
Oct 2019
45
Near the dogbowl
How much plate vs. other armor was really used in Europe though? Sure the King of France can afford a suit of Milanese plate, but what was happening in real life (TM)? This is not a criticism but a question. Lammellar could be made sufficient to provide very good protection, but on an industrial scale, like chain mail. I don't know if plate could do so in a similar fashion. DId your average skilled mercenary have plate or did your average skilled mercenary have a brigandine / jack of plates with some plate arm pieces and helmet?

How much different is European Brigandine

to Byzantine lamellar?
 
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Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
5,027
Australia
This armour never existed. The Byzantines never used rivets in their lamellar. The "dots" you see in illustrations are embossed domes or small patches of lacing, not rivets.

The answer to the OP is "muntions plate". Good quality ore, blast furnaces, and trip hammer mills enabled plate armour to be produced more cheaply and more quickly than any other kind of armour. It was even cheaper than cloth and leather armour.
 
Oct 2011
518
Croatia
This armour never existed. The Byzantines never used rivets in their lamellar. The "dots" you see in illustrations are embossed domes or small patches of lacing, not rivets.

The answer to the OP is "muntions plate". Good quality ore, blast furnaces, and trip hammer mills enabled plate armour to be produced more cheaply and more quickly than any other kind of armour. It was even cheaper than cloth and leather armour.
When were these developed, though? Because we see Western Europe start moving towards full plate armour as early as late 14th century, and as Spike117 mentions, Byzantines did not use plate armour even after it was developed in the Western Europe. And Ottomans to my knowledge never deployed full plate.
 

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
5,027
Australia
Western Europe had no need for lamellar because plate was cheap and plentiful. Nobody would wear lamellar if plate was available. Re-enators like to ponce around in it but it is a nightmare to maintain on campaign. Before plate, they had no need for lamellar because mail was widely available. There were entire towns in southern Germany and northern Italy dedicated to making nothing but mail. We have orders for batches of thousands of mail shirts with delivery dates within weeks.
 
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Oct 2011
518
Croatia
Western Europe had no need for lamellar because plate was cheap and plentiful. Nobody would wear lamellar if plate was available. Re-enators like to ponce around in it but it is a nightmare to maintain on campaign.
How come Ottomans and Chinese never deployed plate armor? Is it that they never developed techniques required for its production, or there were other factors as well?