Medieval ships. Illuminated manuscript page of a fleet of medieval ships armed for war. The ships' decks are packed with armoured men. The ships were merchant vessels adapted for war by having a raised section (forecastle) at the bow. Sea batt- les were fought like land battles, with much hand- to-hand fighting. During the middle ages, book illumination with hand-drawn images was considered a high art, with gold leaf being used with paints of animal, plant or mineral origins. The artworks also helped to describe events to the illiterate. Drawing of French and English forces travelling to destroy maritime raiders from Tunis, Tunisia, in 1390. Photographed from an 1844 book.
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