The Alexander Nevski Society (now renamed
"Druzhina") is an active reenactment group based mainly in St.
Petersburg. They make every effort to create authentic reproductions of early
Varangian Rus and medieval arms and armor. Some photographs taken at their
events are shown in this section. Click here return to the main page
Russian armor. Click here to return to
Part II on terminology.
One of the most interesting general reference sources with illustrations of
medieval Russian arms and armor is the first volume of the massive history of
Russian uniforms prepared by Viskovatov in the middle 19th century. Some of the
illustrations of individual items of equipment are shown with the definitions.
In this section are illustrations of warriors wearing complete suites of armor.
Click here to return to Xenophon main page for other
subjects about Russian history and general military history.
Alexander Nevski society 1 A warrior wearing bakhterets, shishak,
barmitsa, naruchi, and yelovets . The group has been renamed
"Druzhina" and continues to conduct reenactments .
Tarch Warrior (ratnik) from the 14th to 17th centuries, defending
drawbridge holding a tarch, which is a special kind of shelom
(shield), in left hand and axe in right. He wears a zertsalo over his
kol'chuga. His forearms are protected bynaruchi. Note the nasel
guard raised on the front of the shelom. The background is the Moscow
Kremlin in the 17th century. Return to Top.
Voyevode A Voyevode, commander, wearing two pantsiri
(kol'chuga) and a yerihonka to protect his head. His forearms are
protected by naruchi and his calves by buturliki. On his belt he
carries both nosh and sabel. The bulava in his right hand
is a symbol of his authority.
Two ratniki , warriors, wearing two styles
of yushman, and shishakh. One has a mech and one a
sabel. 14-17 centuries.
Ratnik 1 A warrior wearing
ayushman and misyurka from 14 - 17th centuries. Return to
Archer A warrior wearing a kol'chuga
under a kalantar. He has a barmitsa covering his neck and
shoulders. His shapka bumazhnaya is decorated. He carries a sabel
and tesak in addition to thenaluch and kolchan at his
Voyevoda 1 A mounted voyevoda, commander,
wearing a privolok, under his zertsalo. He wears a
yerihonka on his head. He has ponozhi also called
buturliki - three piece form on his legs and naruchi on his arms. He
carries a sabel. Note too the expensive saddle and blanket. Return to
Boyar A Boyar from 1647. He is wearing the rich
kaftan and heavy coat and hat typical of the wealthy class.
Mounted Ratniki This picture shows two mounted
warriors each wearing a tegliya, and shapka zheleznaya. They are
armed with a rogatina. The man on the right in the picture has a
naluch for his luch and a kolchan full of arrows.
Ratniki This lightly armed warrior is wearing a
kuyak over a kol'chuga. His arms are protected by naruchi.
On his head is a shapka medyana. He carries a sabel. Since he has
a kolchan full of arrows, we can presume his bow is nearby. Return to
Mounted Ratnik This heavily armed warrior from
the 14-17 century is wearing a bakhterets over a kol'chuga, and
a shelom or yerikhonka on his head. (The illustration is not
quite detailed enough to be sure.) He has buturliki on his legs and
naruchi on his forearms. He is throwing a sulitsa and carrying a
djid and naluch on the left side and a kolchan on the
Cavalryman This mounted warrior is wearing a
bakterets over a kol'chuga. He has a shishak with
yelovetz on his head. His face is protected by a misyurka
prilbitsa. He has ponozhi ( single- piece buturliki) covering
his calves. He carries a sabel and kop'ya. Return to
Alexander Nevski Society Warrior with kite shield, holding myech,
wearing barmitsa, shishak, nagovits.
Alexander Nevski Society 3 Group of warriors in variety of armor including
kalantar, bakterets, etc. Return to Top.
Varangians sailing their long boat.
Alexander Nevski society members gather at a bridge.
Varangian warriors fighting in street battle.
Return to Top.
Alexander Nevski Society 4 Warrior wearing shelom, nosh, misyurka,
Alexander Nevski Society 5 Group wearing variety of armor including
kol'chuga, kuyak, kalantar, shelom, lichina.
Alexander Nevski Society assembled at the ancient cathedral in
Periaslavl-Zaleski, birthplace of their namesake and patron.
Alexander Nevski Society Two warriors, one with prilibits covering
face and the other with a full litchina.
Zhiltsi A Zhiltsi, serviceman
assigned to court duty, wearing Polish style coat and shield. 1678.
Shuba Polish style dress, shuba (outer
kaftan, shapka (cap) - 14 to 18th centuries.
Streltzi Streltzi from 1613. Here
is another streltzi group. More pictures of
streltzi will be added as soon as possible.
Here is a fine illustration of medieval Russian combat. It is the Battle of
between Yuri of Moscow and Mikhail of Tver in December 1317.
During our recent visit to Russia we obtained many more documents and
illustrations, that will appear here as soon as possible.
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