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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Fri 23 May, 2008 6:53 am    Post subject: Correct terminology for one-handed sword Meisterhauen?         Reply with quote

I've been pondering for a few weeks over a translated excerpt of the Andreas Fechtbuch where the text makes a comparison between the mastercuts for the longsword and their Messer equivalents ( http://www.schielhau.org/fechtbuchandreas.html ). I'm particularly curious about how this comparison should apply to the use of one-handed, double-edged swords; should I use the longsword terminology in this case, drawing on the similarities with the longsword's symmetrical double-edged blade, or should I use the Messer terminology instead because, after all, the Messer's false edge makes it effectively a double-edged sword in the portion that gets used the most in striking?
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Fri 23 May, 2008 7:38 am    Post subject: Re: Correct terminology for one-handed sword Meisterhauen?         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
I've been pondering for a few weeks over a translated excerpt of the Andreas Fechtbuch where the text makes a comparison between the mastercuts for the longsword and their Messer equivalents ( http://www.schielhau.org/fechtbuchandreas.html ). I'm particularly curious about how this comparison should apply to the use of one-handed, double-edged swords; should I use the longsword terminology in this case, drawing on the similarities with the longsword's symmetrical double-edged blade, or should I use the Messer terminology instead because, after all, the Messer's false edge makes it effectively a double-edged sword in the portion that gets used the most in striking?


Heh, I ask myself this question all the time. Happy

Here's the thing: It depends a little bit on what exactly you'r working with. If you are focusing mainly Leküchner's messerfechten, then its simple: You use his terminology. Thus its an entrüsthau, not a zwerchhau, because he says so. However, if you are doing Lignitzer's sword and buckler, then you are clearly using a zwerchhau, because that's what he calls it. Leküchner tells you to use a winker, Lignitzer tells you to use a sturzhau. Leküchner tells you to use a geferhau, Lignitzer tells you to use a scheitelhau.

Based on this, I've had people tell me that if its an arming sword, you use the standard Liechtenauer terminology, but if its a messer, you use Leküchner's... except that Talhoffer shows the messer and arming sword being used interchangibly... and certainly, the weapons certainly behave very similarly in usage. So I've never adhered to that train of thought.

I think it mostly just depends on what is your core system. Since Leküchner (and Peter Falkner, as well as Meyer to a certain extent) is a secondary source for me, I use the standard Liechtenauer terminology (Alber rather than Pastey, etc.), with the caveat to my students that Leküchner used different terms to describe certain things. I often explain both, but tell them that, for the sake of not getting too complicated, we'll generally stick to the terminology that we're more familiar with.

But that's just my approach. Its certainly not the only one.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


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Christian Henry Tobler
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PostPosted: Fri 23 May, 2008 7:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Bill,

I struggle with this as well. Kal, Talhoffer, and others prior to the advent of Leküchner's first manuscript (1478) don't use the latter's terminology at all - in fact I can find no trace of that set of names until that manuscipt came out.

We do see terms used for the sword and buckler blows that aren't part of Liechtenauer's verse - Wechselhau, Sturzhau, Mittelhau - but these follow along side-by-side with Liechtenauer's tradition, appearing in diverse places (including in the descriptions for the blows with the dueling shield in 'Gladiatoria').

But, for how absent Leküchner's terminology is prior to his work, it's all over the place after that. His verse and gloss is redacted as the standard messer work. How universally those teachings were applied to regular arming swords is an unknown though.

All the best,

CHT

Christian Henry Tobler
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Author, In Saint George's Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Fri 23 May, 2008 9:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christian Henry Tobler wrote:
But, for how absent Leküchner's terminology is prior to his work, it's all over the place after that. His verse and gloss is redacted as the standard messer work. How universally those teachings were applied to regular arming swords is an unknown though.

All the best,

CHT


Very much agreed. Where I have to content myself is going back to the idea that Greg Mele brings up a lot: None of us is "doing Liechtenauer", we are working within his tradition. As such, I feel that I can describe a krumphau with an arming sword, and even though I can't think of a single reference to this in any of the treatises, I feel that it is still within the framework of the tradition. In this respect I have to be honest to my students that I'm making an inference, but one that I feel is justified.

And in that line of thought, I feel it is fair to apply Leküchner's teachings to the arming sword, since his teachings so closely mirror that of the "mainstream" Liechtenauer tradition. While certain things are slightly different, most of it is so similar, with the exception of some of the names.

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--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Fri 23 May, 2008 7:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Correct terminology for one-handed sword Meisterhauen?         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
I've been pondering for a few weeks over a translated excerpt of the Andreas Fechtbuch where the text makes a comparison between the mastercuts for the longsword and their Messer equivalents ( http://www.schielhau.org/fechtbuchandreas.html ). I'm particularly curious about how this comparison should apply to the use of one-handed, double-edged swords; should I use the longsword terminology in this case, drawing on the similarities with the longsword's symmetrical double-edged blade, or should I use the Messer terminology instead because, after all, the Messer's false edge makes it effectively a double-edged sword in the portion that gets used the most in striking?


You know, I know we like to be accurate with period terminology for the sake of precision, and because it's more historically accurate to use the terms the masters used. But, in a sense, they're just words. So long as they communicate the idea clearly, I'm not sure that it's vital we stick to Leckuechner's terms over Talhoffer's terms. If you said that you were striking a Zwerchhaw with a messer, I'd have a clear idea of what you were talking about, regardless of whose terminology you chose to employ.
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Christian Henry Tobler
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PostPosted: Fri 23 May, 2008 8:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yep - exactly Bill. Whether Leküchner gave these things new names to make his mark in the tradition, or if this was to clarify that things are a bit different, is something we'll likely never know.

That said, the messer does make some things works differently. For instance, a Zwerchhau from the right with the messer isn't particularly great, save for its defensive component. Unless you get lucky and hit him with the clipped short edge, the business version is going to be the follow-on stroke to the other side with the long edge.

So, yes, an Entrusthau is a Zwerchhau, to a point. It's the same...but different. Wink

CHT

Christian Henry Tobler
Order of Selohaar

Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

Author, In Saint George's Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts
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Jörg B.




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PostPosted: Tue 03 Jun, 2008 7:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christian Henry Tobler wrote:
Yep - exactly Bill. Whether Leküchner gave these things new names to make his mark in the tradition, or if this was to clarify that things are a bit different, is something we'll likely never know.
...
So, yes, an Entrusthau is a Zwerchhau, to a point. It's the same...but different. Wink


Hi Christian!

I think both of your statements are correct, surely master Hansen L. from Nuremburg wanted to give his work a bit of a personal touch (hey, even priests a prone to vanity Wink) and I'm pretty sure as well that he wanted to point out that things are done a bit differently and thus named differently, which is what Meyer says pretty much verbatim.

Cheers,
Jörg

Jörg
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