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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Corslet \Cors"let\ (k[^o]rs"l?t), n. A corselet. [Obs.]


n. (alternative form of corselet English)


n. a piece of body armor for the trunk; usually consists of a breastplate and back piece [syn: corselet]


A corslet is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "a piece of defensive armour covering the body." In Ancient Greek armies, the ' hoplite', or heavy infantryman, wore a bronze corslet or known as the thorax (or a linen version known as the linothorax) to protect his upper body. The corslet consisted of two plates connected on the sides via hinges and bronze pins. By the 16th century, the corslet, also spelled corselet, was popular as a light-half-armour for general military use, e.g., by town guards. It was made up of a gorget, breast covering, back and tassets, full arms and gauntlets.

In the 10th and 11th century AD depicts some Byzantine troops wearing a metallic corselet lamellar armour (besides the lorikion scale armour that was widely used by the Stratioti) shown in the Skylitzes and Madrid Skylitzes chronicles and of the menologion of basil II. There were also seen to be used by the imperial guardsmen in Constantinople. The armour itself fell into disuse in the 12th century as the infantry preferred lamellar armour over it, as it is composed of iron plates.

The word 'corslet' was adopted as a so-called 'occupational surname,' later altered to Coslett, Cosslett, Coslet, etc., following the arrival of an expert in the manufacture of osmond iron, Corslet Tinkhaus, to Wales from his native Westphalia in 1567.

According to Webster's Third New International Dictionary, corslet also refers to a soldier equipped with a corslet.

Category:Western plate armour Category:Personal armour

Usage examples of "corslet".

With him they came, fleet of foot and wearing their hair long behind, brave warriors, who would ever strive to tear open the corslets of their foes with their long ashen spears.

Thereon Antiphus of the gleaming corslet, son of Priam, hurled a spear at Ajax from amid the crowd and missed him, but he hit Leucus, the brave comrade of Odysseus, in the groin, as he was dragging the body of Simoeisius over to the other side.

Idomeneus meanwhile smote Oenomaus in the middle of his belly, and broke the plate of his corslet, whereon his bowels came gushing out and he clutched the earth in the palms of his hands as he fell sprawling in the dust.

The son of Priam hit the breastplate of Menelaus's corslet, but the arrow glanced from off it.

He then struck the middle of the son of Phyleus' shield with his spear, setting on him at close quarters, but his good corslet made with plates of metal saved him.

Menesthius of the gleaming corslet, son to the river Spercheius that streams from heaven, was captain of the first company.

He lifts, he turns, he poises, and admires The crested helm, that vomits radiant fires: His hands the fatal sword and corslet hold, One keen with temper'd steel, one stiff with gold: Both ample, flaming both, and beamy bright.

The spear kept on the fatal course, unstay'd By plates of ir'n, which o'er the shield were laid: Thro' folded brass and tough bull hides it pass'd, His corslet pierc'd, and reach'd his heart at last.

And lifted high the flaming sword appears, Which, full descending with a frightful sway, Thro' shield and corslet forc'd th' impetuous way, And buried deep in his fair bosom lay.

Give me to tear his corslet from his breast, And from that eunuch head to rend the crest.

There beryl, pearl, and opal pale, And metal wrought like fishes' mail, Buckler and corslet, axe and sword, And shining spears were laid in hoard.

The silver corslet shimmered before his eyes like the light upon a rippling sea.

Their golden hair was braided on their shoulders the sun was blazoned upon their green shields, their long corslets were burnished bright, and when they rose taller they seemed than mortal men.

His scarlet robes were tattered, his corslet of overlapping brazen plates was rent and hewn, his black plaits of hair braided with gold were drenched with blood.

No Nazarene—I crave your forgiveness, Sir Knight—no Christian leech, within the four seas of Britain, could enable you to bear your corslet within a month.