People originally went into battle naked. I’m not kidding. You know that movie about the Spartans? Picture them with even less clothing. (If you’re excited about that, you’re either female or gay, and I’d like to point out that relatively few of them would have CGI abs. Sorry.) As a man, I can assure you that there are very few things in the universe more terrifying than the possibility that some jerk might deliberately aim low and lop off your tackle. Guys, you know what I mean. Ladies, you’ll just have to take my word for it. This being the case, armor was developed fairly early in warfare, and was generally given a higher priority than weapons, since brave didn’t mean stupid, and people were as fond of their hides back then as they are now.
The first armor was simply heavy animal hides, which will turn most, but not all, pointy things and give you an opportunity to stab with your own pointy thing. Whatever that might happen to be. The trouble was, as evidenced by the fact that a man was wearing it, rather than, say, a cave-bear, there must be some pointy things that can get through it. Bear-skins were therefore discarded in favor of leather armor, except for the nordic Berserkers, who took their name from the Bear-Sarks (cloaks) that they wore, at a time when everyone else was wearing leather and steel to go into battle. This had the curious effect of scaring the hell out of their enemies: if they were willing to charge into battle naked they must either be A) bat-shit crazy, or B) damned fine warriors – in either case, no one wanted to cross them!
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