Arming swords in the treatises

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Arming swords in the treatises

Postby Taylor » 30 Dec 2015 05:59

I commissioned the sword in the below photo, and I was wondering what is likely the best fit for using it according to the treatises we have? I know in period it most swords where used in conjunction with a shield or buckler, but I think its a logical assumption to assume that a little riding sword like this might have been used by itself in a civilian type context. 

Is there anything for using a single arming sword in a medieval context? Or is Lecküchner's messer the best match for what I'm looking for?

Thanks!
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Re: Arming swords in the treatises

Postby swordflasher » 31 Dec 2015 01:38

Try Talhoffer arming sword in Google
(can't copy links with this phone).
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Re: Arming swords in the treatises

Postby MEversbergII » 31 Dec 2015 05:59

Anything that can be done with a messer can be done with an arming sword.

And then there's anything sword and buckler related!

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Re: Arming swords in the treatises

Postby Michael Chidester » 03 Jan 2016 16:01

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Re: Arming swords in the treatises

Postby Cosmoline » 14 Jan 2016 19:06

Well I see a fuller on it and no complex hilt or nagel, so that says "I.33" to my eye. But I'm biased :D

I suspect that design, which looks Xaish would have been most at home in high medieval fighting in combination with one of the smaller arm-strapped triangular shields in harness. So in broad terms you're either holding your sword back or if you have it out your shield or buckler is protecting that hand. You could use messer techniques with it, but it's not a perfect fit and you'll miss that nagel.
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Re: Arming swords in the treatises

Postby MEversbergII » 15 Jan 2016 01:40

Cosmoline wrote:you'll miss that nagel.


Back when I dabbled in messer work, others and I found that if you have no nagel, rotate the sword backwards a bit and catch blows on the junction of the "false edge" and crossguard. Seems to have worked pretty well.

With an actual arming sword, you could probably just take parries on the "true edge" anyways. I think the nagel is a nice enhancement, but it was only really considered vital back when we were on about taking parries on your flat.

M.
When I was a fighting-man, the kettle-drums they beat,
The people scattered gold-dust before my horses feet;
But now I am a great king, the people hound my track
With poison in my wine-cup, and daggers at my back.

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Re: Arming swords in the treatises

Postby admin » 17 Jan 2016 09:02

I think if someone is coming fresh to HEMA of the medieval one-handed sword, then dussack is a good place to start for basics. Alot of the langesmesser material seems more focussed on fancy stuff for more advanced students to me. Fiore also has a concise little one-handed sword section, which gives you a basic set of techniques to play with. Viggiani goes into a bit more depth and kind of fits with Fiore's techniques. Ultimately you could look at sidesword sources like Manciolino and Marozzo, but for such an early design of sword I think it would be better to stick with the earlier and simpler material, so Fiore, some messer and some dussack. Or you could go straight into sword and buckler sources, which are more appropriate to how this kind of sword would have originally been used most of the time.
http://www.antique-swords.co.uk/

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Re: Arming swords in the treatises

Postby Cosmoline » 20 Jan 2016 18:24

Sure you can do messer work with an arming sword simulator in a pinch, but the nagel is there for a reason. If for example if you parry to your right with the palm up, the nagle catches the blow, and then when you spin the blade to hit the head, it "ejects" the opponent's blade. With an arming sword this doesn't work nearly as well. The weight and balance are also different. Are they ever shown as interchangeable in the sources?
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Re: Arming swords in the treatises

Postby tea » 20 Jan 2016 19:28

Yes - Talhoffer uses the two essentially interchangeably in his sword and buckler artwork. Some figures are depicted with swords, some with messers.
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Re: Arming swords in the treatises

Postby MEversbergII » 20 Jan 2016 21:21

While the nagel is nice for protecting the outside of your hand, it isn't especially vital (as before).

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When I was a fighting-man, the kettle-drums they beat,
The people scattered gold-dust before my horses feet;
But now I am a great king, the people hound my track
With poison in my wine-cup, and daggers at my back.

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