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Russ Thomas
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PostPosted: Wed 11 Jun, 2008 1:22 pm    Post subject: Who interests you in history ??         Reply with quote

Hi folks,

Historical, but not specifically arms and armour related admittedly, but............................

I was writing to someone the other day regarding the armour of the Black Prince, he being a figure from history who has always captured my imagination, just as he did to the people in the fourteenth century when he was concidered the very paragon of chivalry. It struck me that I have had an interest in him for some forty five years now. Other figures who interest me deeply are King Henry VIII, Sir Thomas More and Oliver Cromwell.
I wondered who from history particularly captures your interest and imagination, and why ?? Maybe it is their period, their politics, military achievements, personal virtues etc.
I would be interested to hear who, historically, fires your imagination and thirst for knowledge ?

Regards,

Russ

Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero !


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William Goodwin




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PostPosted: Wed 11 Jun, 2008 1:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Spent a few years doing research / collecting data on mortuary swords, the British Civil Wars and alot of study on Oliver Cromwell. Last Summer while on holiday visiting some of wife's relatives in the Cambridge area, I spent a couple of days doing research on Oliver Cromwell & mortuary swords at the Cromwell Museum in Huntingdon and a visit to the Cromwell house in Ely

Two others that peak my interest greatly are:

The legend / myth / stories of Joan of Arc

and Harold Godwinson (one reason is my surname is supposedly derived from his)

Cheers,

Bill

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Mike Arledge




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PostPosted: Wed 11 Jun, 2008 1:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good topic. I have several:

William the Conqueror (Fascinating time-period and overall set of crazy circumstances)
Julius Caesar (love all the history of the fall of the Republic)
Edward III of England

and my newest fav:
Winston Spencer Churchill. I am reading the Manchester Biography right now.

Mike J Arledge

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Thom R.




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PostPosted: Wed 11 Jun, 2008 2:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pre 1600 I find the "rebels of the isles" (some successful, some not) to be a fascinating bunch. Robert Bruce, Hugh O'Neil, Owain Glyn Dwyr, William Wallace. Marlborough sure is an interesting figure in the late 1600s Britain. Also I find the whole Norman invasion of Sicily fascinating - google Robert Guiscard - one of the more fascinating knights of medieval europe imho. I wrote up a review of the book "Kingdom in the Sun" for myArmoury. tr
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Morgan Butler




PostPosted: Wed 11 Jun, 2008 2:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Whenever I get a new sword I usually start researching the period and country of that particular weapon. I am reading a really good book on the Napoleonic wars called "War of Wars". It is very large but formatted into very small chapters that are very digestable.
Some historical personalities that interest me are,

Alexander the Great,

Pizzaro and Cortez,

Maximillan the Great. After all they named a style of armor after him. (I have not been able to find a biography of him. Let me know of any in english)

Richard Francis Burton, Iconoclast ,poet, explorer and considered one of the greatest swordsmen of the 19th century.

Prince Rupert of the Rhine. German Prince, and soldier of the 30 years war, English Civil War and Restoration personality.

I was always interested in Richard the 3rd until he was elected president in 2000

I recently got a 1855 Chatellerault Arsenal French Officers sword but I have already finished my biography of Napoleon the 3rd. A facinating and semi-comedic period of French/European history. I recommend "Napoleon the third and his carnival empire." Really good.

Write now I am also reading the "Alatriste" series. Set in the first half of 17th Cen. Spain. I already hunger for a Spanish Main Guache.

inkothemgard!


Last edited by Morgan Butler on Thu 12 Jun, 2008 8:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jim Adelsen
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PostPosted: Wed 11 Jun, 2008 4:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Cnut the Great
Ragnar Lodbrok
Erik The Red
Erik Bloodaxe
Harald Bluetooth
Harald Fairhair
Harald Hardrada

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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Wed 11 Jun, 2008 7:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Julius Caesar, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, Harald Hardrada, Egill Skallagrímsson, the Bruce and the Wallace....

But my personal favorite was Somerled, 12th century Gaelic / Norse warlord of Western Scotland. Somerled rose from exile with his father to eventually rule Argyll, the Hebrides, and Mann, forming a 'Kingdom of the Isles'. There's a certain wild west frontier aspect to this time and place, where the islanders and highlanders largely maintained independence from the Norse and Scottish kingdoms that argued their over-lordship. In some ways, with the piratical inclinations of this region, extending up to the Orkneys, the Viking age lasted longest here. Somerled eventually ran afoul of the expanding Scottish monarchy one way or another. The details are disputed, but he definitely did not suffer a peaceful death. However his children and grandchildren founded several of the clans that dominated this area for hundreds of years to come.

One bit of trivia: genetic studies suggest that Somerled has more known descendants in the world today than any other historic individual except Ghengis Khan.

I like the late viking-early medieval historical period, but I guess being a Scottish/Scandinavian mix myself, and having distant ancestors in Western Scotland, brings the topic home for me.
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Wed 11 Jun, 2008 9:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Richard Coeur de Lion, Kaiser Friedrich I "Barbarossa" and Kaiser Friedrich II are high up on my list. So too is Johannes Liechtenauer. I like the first two kings because they were both, in their own ways, paragons of kingship in the 12th century. As for Friedrich II, he was a man ahead of his time, able to speak nine languages (if I'm not mistaken), a patron of artists and scholars, and at one point, he was nominally in control of the greatest areas of territory in the high middle ages.

As for Liechtenauer, he's the guy who gave us what we know about the Kunst des Fechtens (insofar that he sparked a tradition which has numerous commentators on his writings) and as von Danzig said, he's the high master of the Art. While Fiore and Filippo are interesting, neither of their works is as comprehensive as the German tradition (I'm thinking mostly of the long sword) since a lot of their stuff is incrossada, rather than discussing striking outside of this context. Filippo is a bit better in that regard, but he's still not as comprehensive as the German tradition.
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G Ezell
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PostPosted: Wed 11 Jun, 2008 9:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are many, but the two that stand head and shoulders above the rest:
Charlemagne, and Genghis Khan.
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Bennison N




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PostPosted: Wed 11 Jun, 2008 10:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's a short list:

Alexander III of Macedon (Megas Alexandros) - He's the man. You can't argue with that.

Rameses II (Ozymandias, User-maat-re Setep-en-re) - 3rd Emperor of the 19th Dynasty of Egypt.

Salah al-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub (Saladin the Great) - Islamic Master Tactician and my ancestor on my Mother's side.

Ying Zheng (Qin Shihuang) - Unifier and First Emperor of China.

Zhu Yuanzhang - Beggar, Monk, Leader of the Red Turbans, Undefeated Martial Artist and first Emperor of the Ming Dynasty.

King Leonidas I of Sparta & Themistocles of Athens - Teamwork. They get equal billing in my eyes.

Oda Nobunaga (The Demon King Ma-O) - Anyone who can massacre Ninja on their own turf, decimate armies of fanatical Ikko-Ikki and obliterate whole monasteries full of naginata-swinging Sohei is interesting to me.

"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance" - Confucius

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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Thu 12 Jun, 2008 3:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, Sweyn Asliefson (an ancestor), Stonewall Jackson and Pvt. Linington Robinson of Co. E, 28th NC, who was my gggrandfather, killed at the Battle of Fredericksburg.

I also have great affection for and interest in Sir Winston Churchill, who may have been the greatest man of the 20th c., or at least my father thought so.

And...of course, Robert E. Lee.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Etienne Hamel




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PostPosted: Thu 12 Jun, 2008 5:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

definitely the Countess Elizabeth Báthory and vlad the impaler.

two of the bloody characters of history.
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Russ Thomas
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PostPosted: Thu 12 Jun, 2008 6:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi folks,

Thanks for the input ! Happy There is indeed a diverse collection of people here, from Alexander, to Winston Chruchill via Vlad the Impaler! Laughing Out Loud
My great aunt, was one of Churchills secretaries during WWII, I didn't know this until about ten years after Churchills death, when she told me that she had just burnt a load of his private letters (most signed or initialed!), that she had had in her possesion ! Cry
William, when you were in the museum in Huntingdon, which is great isn't it !, did you get to buy a copy of the pamphlet by Claude Blair 'Some Swords Associated with Oliver Cromwell' ?
Cromwell is a really fascinating character, much maligned by history. Apart from his military achievements, the way that he managed to hold all the various religious sections relatively in check was artful. Unfortunately, in England we are pretty much taught that he was the baddie!
Possibly it would be fair to add Bertrand du Guescelin and The Chavalier Bayard to the list too ??
Bennisson, would you really put Oda Nobunaga above Hideyoshi ? Hideyoshi, like du Guescelin, came to greatness from very humble origins, which in Japan was an even greater achievement than it was in medieval France !

Thanks for the insight folks, this is proving interesting-as I hoped it would! ..............keep 'em coming ! Happy

Russ

Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero !


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William Goodwin




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PostPosted: Thu 12 Jun, 2008 6:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Russ Thomas wrote:



William, when you were in the museum in Huntingdon, which is great isn't it !, did you get to buy a copy of the pamphlet by Claude Blair 'Some Swords Associated with Oliver Cromwell' ?
Cromwell is a really fascinating character, much maligned by history. Apart from his military achievements, the way that he managed to hold all the various religious sections relatively in check was artful. Unfortunately, in England we are pretty much taught that he was the baddie!




Russ


I was there in late June of 2007. Had arranged a meeting curator John Goldsmith, who was very freindly & helpful in my research of Cromwell and his swords. I've had an old photo-copy of the article someone sent to me long ago...good stuff yes.

Bill

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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Thu 12 Jun, 2008 7:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Baldwin IV, King of Jerusalem. Not many kings were lepers and yet fought at the head of the army like he did. He was also very intelligent, brave and a great strategist.
Nikola Zrinski, Petar and Nikola Zrinski (grandsons of the first Nikola), Krsto Frankopan, Fran Krsto Frankopan, Nikola Jurišić, Petar Kružić - all great fighters against Ottoman invasion in Croatia and southern Hungary...
I won't list names that has already been listed here...
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 12 Jun, 2008 7:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Maximilian I, a very interesting character. We share an Austrian connection (however tenuous) and a passion for arms and armour. He cultivated and rewarded armourers and shared the fun with his English counterpart. He apparently had a sense of humor, as the famous horned and bespectacled armet he sent to Henry VIII is thought by some to represent the emperor himself, with his distinctive underbite and impressive honker.

He was a very active man with a love of hunting and martial arts, but also relatively forward-thinking (relative to the times, of course). He was learned and an important patron of learning. From Wikipedia:

Maximilian was a keen supporter of the arts and sciences, and he surrounded himself with scholars such as Joachim Vadian and Andreas Stoberl (Stiborius), promoting them to important court posts. His reign saw the first flourishing of the Renaissance in Germany. He commissioned a series of three monumental woodblock prints - The Triumphal Arch (1512-18, 192 woodcut panels, 295 cm wide and 357 cm high - approximately 9'8" by 11'8˝"), and a Triumphal Procession (1516-8, 137 woodcut panels, 54 m long) which is led by a Large Triumphal Carriage (1522, 8 woodcut panels, 1˝' high and 8' long), created by artists including Albrecht Dürer, Albrecht Altdorfer and Hans Burgkmair.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Morgan Butler




PostPosted: Thu 12 Jun, 2008 8:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

[quote="Russ Thomas"]Hi folks,
-My great aunt, was one of Churchills secretaries during WWII, I didn't know this until about ten years after Churchills death, when she told me that she had just burnt a load of his private letters (most signed or initialed!), that she had had in her possesion ! Cry "
Possibly it would be fair to add Bertrand du Guescelin and The Chavalier Bayard to the list too ??
Bennisson, would you really put Oda Nobunaga above Hideyoshi ? Hideyoshi, like du Guescelin, came to greatness from very humble origins, which in Japan was an even greater achievement than it was in medieval France.

Russ,
That Churchill letter story is a killer! Ahg! But a great story.

I like your picks of Guescelin and Bayard. I think I will put them on my list of historical biographies to read. Do you have any recomendations/titles/authors?
I would like to add Yagu Munenori, A great 17th cen Japanese swordsman and a contemporary of Mushashi .( who I would like to include as well) Munenori became the sword master to the Shogun and wrote a great treatise on swordfighting and zen philosphy called "The Book of Family Traditions on the Art of War."

inkothemgard!
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Nick Tolimieri





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PostPosted: Thu 12 Jun, 2008 9:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greetings,
I almost never post here, but I do read frequently. This topic caught my interest. My top three choices in chronological order...

Fulk III Nerra, Count of Anjou. The great builder. Built a lot of 'castles' and was instrumental in creating the county of Anjou

William Marshall, Earl Pembroke and Regent to Henry III. Starts as a landless knight, makes a name for himself on the tournament field, and moves up in the world.

Sir John Hawkwood, English adventurer. Had a long and illustrious career as a mercenary captain in Italy.

There are pretty good books about all three.
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Matt Lewis




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PostPosted: Thu 12 Jun, 2008 9:54 am    Post subject: historical personalities         Reply with quote

For me It would be Edward I (longshanks)
Edward III
Black prince
Henry V
HenryVIII
Ghengis Khan
Vlad Tepes
Miyamoto Musashi
Julius Ceaser

Just off the top of my head

M.
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Russ Thomas
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PostPosted: Thu 12 Jun, 2008 10:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Morgan Butler wrote:

I like your picks of Guescelin and Bayard. I think I will put them on my list of historical biographies to read. Do you have any recomendations/titles/authors?



Hi Morgan,

Unfortunately I don't have any recommendations for these two formidable soldiers. It is just that as I read more about the Hundred Years War, du Guescelin crops up frequently, as does Bayard in the complicated era of the reign on Henry VIII.
I recently read Jasper Ridley's excellent biography of Henry VIII, ' Henry VIII; The politics of Tyranny ', in there it mentions that Bayard was actually captured at the Battle of Guingatte (1513), but such was Henry's regard for the legendary Bayard, that he immediately released him without ransom, on the sole proviso that he did not take up arms against the English for six weeks. Which he didn't.


Regards,

Russ

Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero !


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