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A buckler (French bouclier 'shield', from Old French bocle, boucle 'boss') is a small shield, 15 to 45 cm (6 in to 18 in) in diameter, gripped in the fist; it was generally used as a companion weapon in hand-to-hand combat during the Middle Ages, as its size made it poor protection against missile weapons (e.g., arrows) but useful in deflecting the blow of an opponent's sword or mace.
Specifications of the buckler:
There are two major forms of medievally documented bucklers.
MS I.33, considered the earliest extant armed-combat manual, (around 1300) contains an early description of a system of combat with buckler and sword. Source