Peso das armaduras pode explicar derrotas na Idade Média

Direito de imagem BBC World Service
Image caption A equipe de pesquisadores da Universidade de Leeds, na Grã-Bretanha, analisou o impacto das armaduras nos cavaleiros medievais.

Medieval armour was so heavy that it could have seriously impacted on a soldier's performance, a study from the University of Leeds suggests. According to the research, the protective suits may have influenced the outcome of battles.

Reportagem de Rebecca Morelle.

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As weapons became more and more sophisticated in medieval Europe armour also evolved, and by the 15th century soldiers would have been clad top-to-toe in up to 50kg of bulky steel.

Researchers have always suspected that this would have been tough to move around in. But now with the help of volunteers wearing replica medieval armour - and a treadmill - they've been able to confirm this.

They found that walking or running in it used up huge amounts of energy, restricted breathing and bore intense pressure on the legs.

The effect was so great the team suspects it could have played a part in France's defeat in the battle of Agincourt.

In this famous conflict of 1415 - despite heavily outnumbering the English - the French were beaten.

The scientists say the fact that the French knights had to trek through a muddy field while wearing their heavy armour - to meet a stationary English line - would have left them so exhausted, it probably led to their downfall.

Escute as palavras

clad top-to-toe in - something - (vestindo algo dos pés à cabeça) wearing something from head to foot

bulky (grande e difícil de manejar) large and difficult to manage

tough (difícil) difficult

a treadmill (esteira de corrida, uma máquina para se manter a forma correndo ou andando) a fitness machine used for walking and running

restricted (restrito, limitado) limited

played a part in- something - (ter participação ativa em algo) been partly reponsible for

outnumbering (ter muito mais soldados do que o oponente) having many more soldiers

to trek (percorrer um trajeto devagar e difícil) to make a slow and difficult journey

exhausted (muito cansado, exausto) very tired

downfall (perder a batalha) losing the battle