My name is Ian LaSpina, and I’d like to personally welcome you to my home on the web!
I’ve always had a fascination with the Middle Ages. When I was a kid I lived just outside of Manhattan, New York. My parents took me to the Metropolitan Museum of Art as a young boy and I will never forget the overwhelming sense of awe that struck as I entered the courtyard that serves as the entrance to the Arms and Armor Exhibition. I never quite came back from that trip. Several years ago I took that fascination to the next level and began doing medieval living history. My personal impression is that of a landed esquire of England, in service to a minor knight during the Hundred Years War. Through living history and re-enactment, we gain a unique insight into what it may have been like to actually use the objects and feel in our hands the tools that we are otherwise restricted to wondering about in a purely intellectual way. Through carefully researched experimental archaeology we can test whether or not the things we think make sense actually work in real life.
The original goal behind this project was to create a resource that contained the information I wish I had when I was starting out as a new re-enactor. I believe it has grown into something more. I want to share my experience and my knowledge, while also continuing to learn from you so that we may all benefit from a greater understanding of the Middle Ages.
I’m not a professional historian, and I have no formal training in historical research or historiography. I consider myself a historical enthusiast, who is mostly self-taught. I do have the benefit of knowing many people much better at this than I. That being said I still think I have something to offer the community. I hope to bring to the table high quality, well-researched information and opinions on various Medieval topics to include armor, weapons and more mundane material culture and topics and basically whatever I feel like writing about! I’m trying to chip away at many of the widely held misconceptions about Medieval armor and other material culture so that we may all benefit from a better understanding of this period. Whether your interest is in re-enactment, academic study, gaming, or is artistic in nature, I believe you will all find something of interest here. Most of us have had our knowledge of the Middle Ages informed by modern entertainment and pop culture through media like movies, role playing games and video games. I was no exception! When I began to study the real objects several years ago, I quickly discovered that most of what we think we know about our Medieval counterparts is wrong! Let’s change that!