Post by elbrittania39 on Sept 21, 2020 3:26:25 GMT
I recently began studying a Swedish sabre treatise from the 19th century.
However, unlike some other systems I've studied, I don't have a very good understanding of Swedish military history or how fencing developed there.
Is there anyone who can provide some insights into Swedish fencing or it's development? I basically want to know what influenced their fencing school of thought, how particular conflicts may have caused them to adopt certain mentalities, what other systems were popular there, etc. I'd be very interested in some reading materials if anyone has recommendations.
Fencing manuals Here is a text that Per Åke has written. It is based on a C-thesis in history he wrote at Stockholm University. There is also a slightly shorter intro text for those who do not like to read long texts. Now the text begins:
Medieval and early modern fencing manuals During the 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th centuries, a large number of instruction books were produced on how to fencing. Basics in chopping, stabbing, guarding, defense and attack, all neatly written down and illustrated. During the 14th and 15th centuries these were handwritten manuscripts, but during the 16th and 17th centuries they were printed books with a large distribution among the nobility and royal houses.
During these four hundred years, military technology changed radically, never before had such great changes taken place on the battlefield. From heavily armored noble cavalry to mass armies with musket-shooting peasant sons. Political geography also changed from feudal small states to the great princes and powers that crystallized in the 17th century. There is no doubt that the change in military technology was a prerequisite for the emergence of the new states.
Even though artillery and large infantry armies changed the map of Europe, the need to learn fencing still survived. In the 14th and 15th centuries, fencing was still an important part of what promoted one's own survival on the battlefield, while in the 16th and especially in the 17th century it became a must for a nobleman to be able to fencing in the social game. But even during the 14th and 15th centuries, fencing was used to settle disputes other than war, legal duels, honor duels and street fights were other areas where fencing skills were probably so important. During the 16th and 17th centuries, however, the duel became something of an epidemic among Europe's nobility, almost all families had lost someone in a duel. This became such a big problem for the kings of Europe that their corps of officers dueled to death, that duels were banned by almost all of Europe's royal houses. Gustav II Adolf even had the death penalty for dueling.
Here in Stockholm, we are sitting on a gold mine when it comes to fencing literature, because we have the Pocket Collection in the Library of the Armory. It was Captain Emil Fick who, after his death in the 1930s, donated his collection of fencing books and riding literature to the library of the Armory where it can now be viewed. Unfortunately, the Fickska collection does not contain handwritten manuscripts, but the oldest book on fencing is Achille Marozzo's book "Opera Nova" from Modea in 1540. This is the second edition of a book that was first published in 1536. The Armory has, however, photographs of previous manuscripts like for example. "Tower Fechtbuch / Ms I.33"from the end of the 13th century and several new prints from the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century by medieval masters such as the Italian master Fiore dei Liberi 's book from 1410 and by the German master Hans Talhoffer from 1443, 1459, and 1467 .
Previous research The British captain Alfred Hutton must be said to be one of the pioneers in research on historical fencing, but also his countrymen Sir Richard Burton and Egerton Castle wrote several works on early modern fencing. Hutton goes e.g. through the basics of guards and ground cuts from Marozzo's book "Opera Nova" from 1536, the Italian side sword, long sword, sword and buckler. Unarmed technicians against knives are also included, as well as later rapier masters such as di Grassi , Thibault, Alfieri and de la Touche techniques, the movements are analyzed and described.
However, Hutton never looks at medieval martial arts, but it is mainly the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries that capture Hutton 's interest. Egerton Castle writes that the real fencing begins with the Renaissance and that the medieval fencing was barbaric based on raw strength and aggression. Another British Cyril Mattey published the English master George Silver's book "Paradoxes of Defense" from 1599 in 1898 and a fencing book bibliography "Cataloge of Works on Fencing and Dueling". All these reprints of old masters generally have long introductory chapters on historical fencing. The first bibliographical works, however, were Carl Timm's 537 - page work "A Complete Bibliography of Fencing and Dueling", London 1896.
But the continent also had several prominent names such as the Austrian Gustav Hergsell, the German Karl Wassmansdorff and the Italian Francesco Novati who also belong to the clique that were active around the turn of the last century to seek clarity in medieval and early modern manuscripts and books on fencing. Hergsell is the man behind the reprints of Tallhoffer's fechtbuch, but he also writes his own work in which he goes through 16th and 17th century masters such as Marozzo , Aggrippa, Giganti, Maier and Mayer and more. Novati also publishes a reprint of Fiore dei Liberi 's book "Flos Duellatorum" from 1410, however Novati has a long introductory chapter in which he talks about the Bologna tradition that dei Liberi founded and whichMarozzo passed on one hundred and twenty years later.
These writers were all the leading figures and founders of the fencing federations in their countries for the new Olympic movement. They were thus the most active people in modern sports fencing, a fencing that is very much based on the French fencing tradition with suit swords. Medieval fencing was difficult to interpret and was far from the type of fencing that they themselves engaged in. This is also clearly noticeable in their texts, medieval martial arts were not something they had high thoughts about. On the other hand, the Italian fencing school that emerged around 1530 was a style where they could see similarities with their own form of fencing, so this is where their interest and great effort lies.
After the First World War, however, there was complete silence among researchers on historical fencing until 1956 when JD Aylward published the book "The English Master of Arms" which is about the English fencing tradition from the millennium to the nineteenth century. In the sixties, ER Oakeshott books also began to come out, Oakeshott was primarily interested in the swords themselves and not so much how they were used. Still, his books contain very good and interesting information even about the fencing itself.
The first printed book on historical fencing books by an academic was not published until 2000 when Dr Sydney Angelo's book "The Martial Arts of Renaissance Europe" was published. In this book, certain chapters cover topics such as sword fighting, fighting with bar weapons, unarmed fighting and fighting with knives and daggers, but also fighting from horseback is treated. Dr. Angelo, who is probably the most widely read living person on the subject, is also much more sympathetic to the medieval martial arts. He also sees that Renaissance fencing is close in technology and tradition to the late medieval masters and does not follow the previous research tradition at all, which claims that medieval fencing / martial arts were just muscle strength and heavy weapons.
In recent years, the American John Clements has also published two books, "Renaissane Swordsmanship" and "Medieval Swordsmanship". In addition, he has written a large number of articles on historical European martial arts. Clements, who first and foremost wants to bring medieval and early modern fencing to life, concentrates mainly on the techniques themselves and often concludes that the techniques of the early manuals remain with the later masters, albeit in a slightly changed form. Guards, shallow cuts and unarmed techniques, all of this is the same but in different guises, he believes.
In Sweden, at the same time as Captain Alfred Hutton , we had a Captain Emil Fick, who was also a great collector of fencing books. Hutton and Fick were good friends and helped each other expand their collections. Got written a bit about fencing for the Swedish audience. In 1917 he wrote an article about the Fencing Art's two first writers in Sweden, a few pages about Karl XI's and Karl XII's fencing master Diedrik Poraths and the Spanish fencing Don Emanuel Fredrik de Bada, fencing master at Lund University from 1733.
Sweden also has Major Nils Hellsten, Hellsten who during the forties and fifties came out with several small writings about historical fencing. Hellsten has had a great influence on recent research here in Sweden, almost everything that is written about early fencing today is in one way or another linked to what Hellsten once wrote. Hellsten was also convinced that medieval martial arts are completely dependent on strength. A shining example of this is when he writes that medieval fencing was the same thing as "giving and taking huge killings, performed in the simplest way". Hellsten believed that due to the armor, the medieval fencing became clumsy. Hellsten further believes that it was thanks to the introduction of the firearm that fencing developed and became more technical. Since the armor no longer had a function in the defense, the movements got it. Hellsten, just like Castle Aggrippa, gives the honor of inventing modern fencing. Hellsten's texts about later fencing are, however, a real pioneering job, even if you guess Hutton and Castle behind the scenes.
Henning Österberg is the Swede who most recently wrote about historical fencing. In his series of articles in the Swedish fencing association's official body, the magazine "Fencing" no. 2/97 in the theme issue "A journey through the history of fencing", he covers fencing history both in Sweden and in the rest of Europe. This is a good review of the early modern fencing masters such as Marozzo and Agrippa and others but also Swedish fencers are treated as Porath. However, Österberg's text is very close to Hellsten's texts and he also makes the classic mistake of dismissing the medieval fencing as clumsy and based on strength.
Peter Englund, Uppsala historian and now more Academy member of the Swedish Academy wrote in his book The Invincible a short piece about fencing during the 16th and 17th centuries and the Italian and French school. This is a good and fun read, however, large parts of the text are based on Österberg's article series, so Englund also says that medieval martial arts / fencing is based on "stubborn stubbornness, with the fighters on horseback and in armor, where the weight of the sword and the strength of the bearer made the decision. . "
As for the 17th century dueling, Englund probably delivers the best that has been written on the subject in Swedish. Namely, Englund succeeds in tying the dueling to the emergence of the new nation states and the process of disciplining the nobility from private warring landowners to good officers and civil servants in the royal administration. He also addresses the lack of gentlemanliness among the dueling during this period.
Previous research has, with a few exceptions, dismissed medieval martial arts as clumsy and dependent on strength. What these errors come from is difficult to say, but that Egerton Castle's influence on later researchers has been great is beyond doubt. Castle's mantra that medieval fencing was barbaric and based on brutality and aggression has lived on throughout the 20th century until now. Previous research also believes that with the Italian school, European fencing / martial arts will be smooth, graceful and elegant, and all the credit for this goes to the long stick sword rapiren, which became increasingly common in the middle of the 16th century.
Fortunately, research in recent years has begun to question these old dogmas. Angelo and Clements come up with a slightly more nuanced picture of a martial arts tradition that has a long history in European history all the way to ancient gladiatorial schools and legionnaires' camps. They also question the image of the medieval fencer as an iron-clad knight and provide evidence here that ordinary people, especially city dwellers, also learned various weapons and unarmed techniques for defending body and property but also for being able to fight in legal duels, something that was very common in late medieval cities.
The German school 1290 to 1612 The so-called "Ms.I.33 / Tower Fechtbuch" , from the last decades of the 13th century, is the oldest preserved fencing manuscript. This is a southern German work where apparently two monks fight with swords and dents. On closer inspection, however, it is likely that one of the combatants is a woman. However, this is not entirely clear. No one knows who wrote this fencing manuscript, but the Latin text suggests that it was written in southern Germany. It is clear from the manuscript that sticking is as important as chopping. None of the combatants wears armor, but it is movement and technology that make the decision, so there is nothing clumsy or unwieldy about "Ms.I.33 / Tower Fechtbuch"medieval manuscript. Grips and closures are also similar to those found in later manuscripts / manuals such as dei Liberi 1410, Marozzo 1536 or Agrippa 1553.
At the end of the 14th century comes the second text we know of, that is Liechtenauer, which is considered to form a school, namely the German one. None of Liechtenauer's own texts have been preserved, but several of his students' texts remain and through them you can get a picture of what Liechtenauer's martial arts looked like. In 1389, Hanko Doebringer's work "Ritterlich Kunst des Langen Schwerts" is published, Doebringer was a priest and wrote his text in a difficult rhyme. The techniques he describes are for swords and shields, long swords, daggers, bar weapons as well as wrestling and unarmed techniques.
The little we know about Liechtenauer is that he traveled around Central Europe and trained for various masters of martial arts. Some names mentioned are Lamprecht from Bohemia, Virgily from Krakow and Liegnitzzer in Silesia. Liechtenauer does not form a new school itself, but builds the German school on previous experiences and the knowledge of previous masters. We also see this clearly when we compare Liechtenauer with the almost one hundred years earlier "Ms.I.33 / Tower Fechtbuch" . It is above all Liechtenauer's long sword techniques that live on and here we also see a new weapon and new techniques, techniques that will be repeated over and over until the last manual in the German school was written by Jacob Sutor in 1612.
In 1410, Fiore dei Liberi 's book "Flos Duellatorium" is published in northern Italy. Fiore dei Liberi is probably also a student of Liechtenauer, he traveled at least around southern Germany and northern Italy where he learned martial arts from various masters. He himself says that he was a student of the German master Johannes from Swabian, which is probably Liechtenauer. In "Flos Duellatorium", the Liberi focus mainly on long swords but also axes, spears and unarmed techniques and combat in full armor.
of Liberis texts are very interesting because he has a pedagogical approach where several techniques are based on a basic movement. This applies to both armed and unarmed technicians. Here you also see a clear difference between fighting in armor and fighting without armor. Battle in armor has a much simpler form with two guards in three variations. It is also interesting that when they are wearing armor, there are no cuts at all, but only shocks to areas that there is an opportunity for the tip to get through, such as the eye socket, armrest or between the legs and between the plates in the armor. This shows incredible precision if you are to succeed against an opponent who himself is trying to do the same thing to you.
It should probably not be seen that the simplification of the techniques was due to the armor preventing the combatants from moving, but rather that due to the protective properties of the armor, there were only a few ways to kill the opponent. Ninety percent of the technicians in Flos Duellatorium are, however, technicians without armor, something that should make it clear that the previous research image of medieval martial arts as an armor battle, first and foremost, can no longer be considered credible. dei Liberi shows here an incredible variety of movements and techniques with different weapons. This should mean that the number of effective techniques is significantly greater against an opponent without armor.
Something that is striking, however, is that whether it is unarmed or knife, sword and buckler, long sword or battle hammer, the basis is the same, it does not matter what weapon you hold in your hand, the movement, the technique and how you use your body weight is that which is important. It is clear that a sharp sword could do more damage than a stick, but it was the basic shape that was crucial. This basic form is then repeated in later Italian manuals such as Vadi 1480, Marozzo 1536 or di Grassi 1570.
One who there is no doubt that he was a student of Liechtenauer is Sigmund Ringeck . He comes out in 1440 with his interpretation of Liechtenauer's technicians. It is above all Ringeck that we can thank for the fact that Liechtenauer's texts and techniques have survived to the present day. Ringeck wrote both his and Liechtenauer's texts next to each other side by side and side down, Ringeck also explained Liechtenauer's very difficult to understand text and then comes up with his own explanation and interpretation of the text and the technique. Ringeck 's strength is that he teaches from the ground up and then makes the training more and more complete for each instruction. Ringecks instructions are clear and simple, much of what he says here is still found two hundred years later by Jacob Sutor in 1612. Although Ringeck may not have founded his own style, he brings clarity to Liechtenauer's texts, a rather important task. You also feel that Ringeck 's techniques are there to survive in a battle of life and death, something that does not feel as obvious when you read Mayer 1570 or Sutor 1612, which seems to be more devoted to martial arts for the sake of martial arts.
The most famous of the medieval masters is Hans Talhoffer who wrote several manuscripts between 1443 and 1467 , one of which is found at KB in Copenhagen . It is probable that Talhoffer was also a student of the Liechtenau school because many of the techniques show great similarities with this one. We know that Talhoffer also studied under a wrestler in Austria Ott Juden.
Talhoffers texts deal with long swords, battle hammers, spears, unarmed techniques and combat in full armor, but also address techniques for legal duels, combat between men and women and combat on horseback. It is important to point out again that almost all pictures show fighting without armor. Only a few pictures show fighting with armor and then there are completely different types of techniques that are used with the long sword than when they do not have protection. This breaks the bones of Castles and Hellsten's reasoning which claims that armor made medieval fencing unreliable and dependent on strength. If the majority of the technicians were without armor, you can not automatically link medieval martial arts with combat in armor as Castles and Hellsten did. It is also added that a medieval one-handed sword does not weigh more than 1 kg to 1,
There are several manuscripts preserved from the 15th century, all clearly influenced by the above-mentioned masters. Sometimes it even seems to be pure copies of previous masters. Paulus Kal 1450, Peter von Danzig 1452, Johannes Leckuechner 1482, Filipo Vadi 1480/87 and Peter Falkner 1490 just to name a few in the same tradition.
Of these writers, Filipo Vadi is very interesting because he had a different view of the fencing he taught. Filipo Vadi saw fencing as a science instead of an art in his book "De Arte Gladiatoria Dimicandi" which was written between 1480 and 1487. Vadi also believes that fencing should not be taught to all classes of society but it is enough if nobility and chivalry can learn themselves this science of the sword because they have sworn an oath to defend the poor, widows and orphans.
Vadi is otherwise very close to dei Liberi in terms of number of weapons and techniques. Vadi also writes about the importance of footwork when chopping and striking with a long sword. Maybe we should see Vadi 's view of fencing as a foretaste of the Renaissance approaching. Vadi 's comment that only the nobility needs to learn this science is a clear indication that even city dwellers learned fighting methods from different masters. This was a class that did not have access to armor or had the time required to learn to fight in armor, thus falling once again the previous research image of medieval martial arts.
To conclude the presentation of the German school, we should mention Joahim Mayer 1570 and Jacob Sutor 1612. These late texts of a medieval fencing tradition clearly show that it is difficult to find any clear dividing lines between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance within the fencing tradition. Despite the fact that for more than fifty years it had been the books of the new Italian civilian lace fencing that had sold the most in Europe, it was still very popular in the German-speaking parts of Europe to learn weapons other than rapier. Joahim Mayers book "Grundliche beschreibung der freyen" from 1570 is a typical example of this where both long sword, dusak and rapir are taught in the same book. Unarmed techniques found in Liechtenauer 1389 and dei Liberi 1410 are beautifully illustrated in Mayer . That it took a long time before the Italian school gained a monopoly is most clearly seen in Jacob Sutor 's book "Neue kunstliches" printed in Frankfurt in 1612, which is a rather bad copy of Mayer . It is interesting to see, however, that there was still a market for this type of fencing manuals as late as the beginning of the 17th century.
The Italian school from 1553 to 1690 During the 17th century, it was the Italian fencing school / method that was dominant at the court in Europe, but also the Spanish school had its golden age during this period.
One of the first Italian Renaissance manuals we know of is Achille Marozzo's book "Opera Nova" which was published in 1536 in Modena. It is this text that previous research says is the start of the new type of fencing that favored shocks rather than bites. Older research goes so far as to say that shocks almost never occurred before Italian lace fencing was founded. This is of course nonsense. Early manuscripts such as "MS I.33" from the end of the 13th century have as much impact as the Italian books of the 16th century ever have. On the other hand, the cut has become significantly fewer. However, this does not apply to Marozzo, who is actually a new edition of dei Liberis old "Flos Duellatorum" from 1410. What Marozzo shows is thus an already established school in 16th century vintage. Marozzo cuts as much as previous writers have ever done with a long sword and a one-handed sword. That Marozzo then becomes the watershed between medieval and early modern fencing may then seem a little strange.
The next manual is that of Camillo Agrippa "Tratto di scienza d'arme" published in 1553 in Rome. At Agrippa , however, it is clear that the new type of lace fencing has blossomed, it is also clear that the renaissance is here for real, for Agrippas combatants are fenced completely natural or sometimes in Roman armor. Here we see how a civilian city fencing has developed, the so-called rapier was the favorite weapon for this type of fencing and is a narrow and long weapon, up to 120 cm long, ie as far as the previously so popular long sword but it weighed slightly less . Above all, the center of gravity was different than on previous swords. This was thus a form of civil fencing, on the battlefield the rougher chopsticks never went out of style. It was therefore not possible to cut as effectively with the rapier as with previous sword types. This also shows Agrippa very clearly by placing the emphasis on the impact. However, the Italian school never stops chopping, something you sometimes get when you read previous research. But as Agrippa puts it, the blow is harder but faster and more deadly and is therefore preferable to the blow.
Agrippa, who in good Renaissance spirit was not only a fencer but also an architect, mathematician and engineer analyzed the body's movements and tried to minimize the number of movements and techniques. Instead of previous schools, twelve guards were content Agrippa four: prima, seconda, terza and quarta. Agrippa , however, has the same closures and precipitations as in previous manuscripts as dei Liberi 1410 or Vadi 1480.
After Agrippa , there will be a plethora of manuals in the Italian rapir school, including Giacomo di Grassi . His book "Ragione di Adoprar sicuramente I arme" printed in Venice in 1570 was the manual that became widespread in Europe during the late 16th century. di Grassi advocated the combination of rapir and left-handed dagger and said that with both dagger and rapir you can defend yourself and attack at the same time. In a more defensive fencing, di Grassi also used a coat / mantle wrapped around his left hand. However, much of what you see in the pictures in di Grassi 's book is reminiscent of the techniques in Marozzo's "Opera Nova" .
Hellsten believes that the legacy of using both hands in fencing was a remnant of previous periods' fencing and as an example he cites Talhoffer 's dagger and wrestling techniques. Here, Hellsten connects the Renaissance fencing to the medieval fencing, but without sacrificing the dogma of the superiority of the Renaissance martial art over the medieval martial art.
In 1606, Nicoletto Giganti's book "Scola overto teatro" was published in Venice. Giganti further simplifies the fencing, the shock gets more space in front of the chop that had almost disappeared with Giganti. Something that previous research has almost completely omitted to mention is that both Agrippa , di Grassi and Giganti can be depicted with medieval long swords. Agrippa and di Grassi also have instructional chapters with long swords in their books. This shows that long-distance fencing was not extinct at all in Renaissance Italy, as previous research has claimed.
Around the same time as the Italian school, a form of rapir fencing emerged in Spain that became so special that it died out as a tradition within a hundred years. The Spanish school "got lost early in a maze of systematized movement patterns, philosophy and mystery and died out" says Österberg. The most widely circulated book in the Spanish school was written by the French fencer Girard Thibault, who wrote "Academie de l'espee" in 1628/30 in Leyden. Thibault believes that rapir can be used to advantage against long swords and with that statement he clarifies that in France in the 1620s one could still encounter long swords in fencing contexts, something that previous research would not say was possible because such heavy weapons as a long sword do not used in the 17th century.
However, the Spanish school did not survive into the 18th century. The Italian school also gave way to the French school, which saw the light of day in the mid-17th century and which became most widespread in the 18th century, but not in the Italian-speaking part of Europe which remained in its own tradition throughout the 18th century. -the number.
In Germany, rapier fencing never formed its own school, but the texts that came out in German-speaking Europe were based on the old German medieval tradition which was first written down by Liechtenauer in the last half of the 14th century and which was printed for the last time in 1612. During the 16th century, it was mainly Joachim Mayer 's highly artistic book "Grundliche beschreibung der freyer" from 1570, Strasburg, which had the greatest circulation and which showed how the German school quickly incorporated the Italian rap techniques into its own tradition.
According to Österberg, Mayer is a student of Marozzo . Mayer 's book, however, shows both long-range fencing, dagger, pole and rap techniques, ie both medieval German and Italian Renaissance fencing in the same book. The German manuals contain more unarmed techniques and wrestling and seem to be more focused on self-defense than on duel than the Italian manuals are. A good example of unarmed combat is Fabian von Auerswald's book "Die Ringer kunst" from 1539. The techniques against knife and sword are thus self-defense, but many of the techniques are also pure wrestling, ie training / competition techniques. Most of Fabian von Auerswald's technicians appear in both Fiore dei Liberi 1410, Sigmund Ringeck1440, Achille Marozzo 1536 and later with Jacob Sutor as late as 1612. In other words, we have a clear example of how little the techniques change. As late as 1674, Niclaus Petter publishes a book on unarmed techniques and wrestling "Der Kunstliche ringer" which, despite its clear baroque character in style and dress, still shows off old known techniques.
However, the new fencing had its critics, in England George Silver wrote his book "Paradoxes of Defense" and "Brief Instructions on my Paradoxes of Defense" in 1599 as a direct response to the Italian Giacomo di Grassis book "His true Arte of Defense" which had been published in the English language in 1594. What Silver annoys is that English youths forget their own tradition and prefer to learn a new foreign system just because it is fashionable. Silver advocates the old English card value over the long Italian. He believes that the rapier's lack of ability to cut makes the defense itself much worse with the new style. He is also critical of the fact that only rapir and left-handed daggers are trained and not, as in his time, when a getleman would master both swords, knives, rods, polyx and unarmed techniques to be able to call himself a fencer. Silver's cry echoed in vain, however, England's nobles went over to the Italian school in the 17th century to fall for the French in the 18th century."The School of the Noble and Worthy Science of Defense" is mentioned as completely distancing itself from George Silver's book and previous fencing. Joseph Swetnam claimed the superiority of rapier over all previous types of swords.
Salvator Fabris was a Bolognese who in 1606 in Copenhagen published his book "Schermo overo scienzad arme". Fabris had studied with Marozzo in his youth but later also for Agrippa , di Grassi and Viggiani, all big names in the Italian school. Fabris then traveled around Europe's courts and instructed and acquired more knowledge. Eventually he ended up at the court in Copenhagen in 1590 and became fencing master for Christian IV.
The interesting thing about Salvator Fabri's fencing is that many of the guards and technicians show great similarities with "MS I.33" sword and dent fencing. More than three hundred years have thus passed between the two manuals, but Salvator Fabri's way of hiding behind swords and daggers is largely the same as in "MS I.33" swords and buckling. This shows a fencing with a long history in European martial arts tradition.
Fabris, just like di Grassi, likes to use a mantle or coat as a defensive weapon in his left hand, but without wrapping it around his arm but more loosely hanging where he sometimes makes the attack behind the mantle. This trick can be seen in more classic Greek vase paintings from the 400s BC. We have here a clear example of how long the tradition is that fencing works within.
After Fabris, we have a large number of writers in the Italian fencing tradition. However, these did not shed any new light on the Italian school with the exception of a few names such as Bonaventura Pistofilo and Francesco Alfieri. Their books provide an interesting insight into a more military side of the otherwise clearly civilian Italian rapir school. Bonaventura Pistofilo "Oplomachia, Nella quale", Siena 1621 and "Il Torneo", Bologna 1627 are good examples of the fact that the firearm did not rule alone on Europe's battlefield. "Oplomachia, Nella quale" shows techniques and exercises with cock, hilibard and musket. This book should perhaps be seen more as a "soldier in the field" handbook and not confused with the Italian school. But in Pistofilo's next book "Il Torneo" we see techniques for cock, battle hammer and sword. Here is a fantastic mix between the German and the Italian schools, maybe you can call it the Italian school in the field.
Francesco Alfieri published three books "La Picca, e la Bandiera" in 1641, "L'Arte di ben maneggiare la spada" in 1653 and "Lo Spadone" also in 1653. "La Picca, e la Bandiera" describes how to fencing with rapir while holding a regimental flag. This in our eyes somewhat strange combination was something that really required great skill on the part of its practitioner. At the same time, keeping the regimental flag visible on the battlefield and fencing with the enemies who want to take the flag from you is probably not an easy task. "La Picca, e la Bandiera" shows, however, that rapier could be used on the battlefield and should not just be seen as a civilian weapon, something that previous research has claimed. The book also shows exercises with cock and also the combination of cock and rapir.
Alfieri 's next book "L'Arte di ben maneggiare la spada" is a pure rapir book that addresses fencing with rapir, rapir / dagger and rapir with kappa in the civil classical rapir school. But "Lo Spadone", Alfieri 's next book, makes us realize that there really are no watertight shots between the former German and the younger Italian martial arts school. "Lo Spadone" is an instruction book in two-handed swords, a field battle weapon typically from the early 16th century and should, according to previous research, have been an extinct form of combat.
The French school 1653 to 1817 Eventually, both the German and Italian schools went into oblivion. But many of their technicians lived on in the French school, which had its golden age at the end of the 17th century and during the 18th century. Fencers as Wersson de Liancour published his work "Le maistre d'Armes" in 1686 became something of a fencer's bible for the French school, de Liancour wrote his book primarily for other fencers and not for the ordinary fencer. In his book "The School of Fencing", Henry Angelo taught techniques with the French costume sword. In "The School of Fencing", Angelo teaches fencing with sword, sword and dagger, sword and coat as well as sword and lamp. Angelo was of Italian descent but active in London.
The French school lived a dwindling existence in the 19th century until the Olympic movement revived it, albeit with a lot of changes and simplifications.
Conclusion There is no doubt that the techniques of medieval fencing lived on into the 16th and 17th centuries when one looks more closely at the early modern manuals and compares them with the medieval manuscripts. However, there is a big difference between the German school's all-round martial arts and the Italian school's civil duel for rapir and left-handed dagger. The fact that the Italian school fencing emerged from a need to be able to defend itself in the narrow alleys of the northern Italian cities of the Renaissance, where stabbing was not as effective as a shock, is clear. But out on Europe's battlefield, the chopping and the more complete methods of struggle continued to live on, as we can clearly see in Bonaventura Pistofilo's and Francesco Alfieri 's books.
Although there are clear differences between medieval fencing and early modern fencing, there are also clear similarities, that effective techniques were not removed should probably be taken for granted. This is most clearly seen in shocks with swords and in daggers as well as unarmed techniques. Now one could perhaps argue that human physiognomy means that there can not be as many ways as to do violence to another human being. This argument, which is sometimes encountered, only confirms the even stronger theory that the difference between medieval fencing and early modern fencing cannot be made too large. If you look at the source material, you have to state that the early modern fencing was much more multifaceted than previous research has wanted to claim. Wherever we turn, we see that previous traditions coexist with newer types of weapons and technologies. It is not a clear crime between the two schools if you look at the whole and not as previous research has done only looked at individual manuals / masters.
When you read the medieval manuscripts, you wonder how previous research could even conclude that medieval martial arts were based on strength and explosiveness. If you read, you realize that movement, timing and technology make the difference. The armor that, according to Egerton Castle and Nils Hellsten, made medieval martial arts a clumsy push with heavy weapons that required a large dose of muscle power to be able to be used, is only very sparsely described in the medieval manuscripts. The majority of, well maybe up to ninety percent of all techniques in medieval manuscripts are techniques without armor. Legal duels were usually decided without armor and only the very rich could afford a whole armor in the field. In other words, we can state that medieval martial arts and armor were not the same thing. If you look at"MS I.33" , dei Liberi or Talhoffer , one realizes that it is timing, movement and technology that are crucial and that strength is highly secondary. Not even combat in armor is clumsy, it may go a little slower than modern sports fencing today but it is at least as advanced if not more. Due to the protective ability of the armor, the number of techniques in armor combat was limited to stabs and blows with one of the ends of the sword, but also locks, throws and closures occurred in armor combat. Modern experiments show that it is possible to cycle and do somersaults in armor.
The problem that can arise when doing such a study is that previous research's worldview affects their image was medieval martial arts. Social Darwinist doctrine had taken hold of the world of ideas of the research world, and the European colonial powers seemed to confirm the supremacy of white Europe. The Social Darwinist ideas also affected the way we looked at time. This meant that the late 19th century was seen as the crown of history and everything they did then, including the fencing of that time, was the best the world had ever seen. That the masters of ancient times would have a higher knowledge of fighting with firearms was for these gentlemen an unthinkable thought. Medieval fencing was dismissed entirely as a barbaric way where raw strength and aggression were crucial. It was first with Marozzo in 1536as they could see techniques reminiscent of their own time and therefore Marozzo was named the father of modern fencing. The big problem is that these ideas unfortunately live on in many of the historians even today.
christain: What she doesn't know is that I have a little nest-egg in a secret bank account. (SSSHHHH!)
Jan 15, 2021 23:06:29 GMT
christain: I hope this year shapes up better than the last. Living on mine and the wife's Social Security checks can be a stretch sometimes. We eat lots of Ramen noodle soup.
Jan 15, 2021 22:58:09 GMT
seth: Happy new year to you too Sir
Jan 15, 2021 15:39:20 GMT
Ouroboros: Brother Knight, whats up in the world?
Jan 15, 2021 14:01:37 GMT
treeslicer: Welcome back, Christain!!
Jan 15, 2021 7:19:48 GMT
nerdthenord: Hey Sir Knight! Long time it's been!
Jan 15, 2021 5:54:49 GMT
christain: What I want and what I get are two different things though.
Jan 15, 2021 2:55:12 GMT
christain: Happy belated New Years everyone. This year will find me making some cool new purchases, including a Medieval-style crossbow. Maybe a dagger or two, some sick armor pieces, and a new sword.
Jan 15, 2021 2:51:46 GMT
seth: An albion svante? If only my government stimulus check had been $2000 instead of $600, I could have used mine and my wife's to buy it.
Jan 13, 2021 18:33:16 GMT
grubbsdal: Hey guys, just thought I'd let you know, there's an Albion Svante in stock on KoA right now.
Jan 13, 2021 14:45:33 GMT
AndiTheBarvarian: Me Too! Btw: This said Talbot in Schiller's Maid of Orleans, Talbot died in the Battle of Castillon. So a sword thing too!
Jan 7, 2021 12:18:59 GMT
treeslicer: Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens -- Schiller. Right, Andi?
Jan 7, 2021 8:07:52 GMT
Robert in California: 2020 sucked...2021+ is shaping up to be a much bigger suck.
Jan 7, 2021 3:55:39 GMT
nerdthenord: Ordered a Purpleheart synthetic i33 sword and buckler
Jan 6, 2021 16:39:21 GMT
unistat76: Really nice. I have almost that exact same setup but my Rossi is 18".
Jan 5, 2021 15:14:42 GMT
saxyjeff2001: The Type XIV still available? If so, I'll take it.
Jan 2, 2021 22:32:43 GMT
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