Online Encyclopedia

PAVIS, or PAVISE

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V20, Page 972 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PAVIS, or PAVISE, a large convex shield, some 4 to 5 ft. high and sufficiently broad to cover the entire body, used in medieval warfare, as a protection against arrows and other missiles. The word appears in innumerable forms in Old French, Italian and Medieval Latin, and is probably to be referred to Pavia, in Italy, where such shields were made. The term " pavisade " or " pavesade " was used of a portable screen of hurdles behind which archers might find protection, or of a similar defensive screen formed by linking together " pavises," especially on board a ship of war extending along the bulwarks, and hence in later times of a canvas screen similarly placed to conceal the rowers in a galley or the sailors on other types of ships.
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