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Bennison N




Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Joined: 06 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Thu 18 Sep, 2008 3:13 am    Post subject: "Side swords"?         Reply with quote

Hey guys.

I want to know everything you know about the type of sword known as a "side sword".

I know they are Renaissance Era, with a good cutting edge, and a good thrusting point. I also know what they look like.

But that's all I know, really...

Can anyone offer any information about these weapons, please?

Thanking you in advance.

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

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Steven Reich




Location: Arlington, VA
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PostPosted: Thu 18 Sep, 2008 4:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The term "sidesword" is a relatively modern one--certainly it wasn't used in the 1500s (at least, it isn't used in any of the 1500s treatises). It usually refers to a complex-hilted sword with a blade somewhat shorter and stouter than the ideal "rapier" form. Here are a few A&A swords that I would consider in this group (for the benefit of readers unfamiliar with this term):

http://www.arms-n-armor.com/rapier111.html
http://www.arms-n-armor.com/rapier162.html
http://www.arms-n-armor.com/rapier121.html

The systems usually associated with these types of weapons are generally Italian systems with surviving treatises written in the 1500s: the Bolognese material (Manciolino, Marozzo, et al.), Altoni, Di Grassi, etc.Meyer's "rappier" could also be considered a "sidesword".

Steve

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William Goodwin




Location: Roanoke,Va
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PostPosted: Thu 18 Sep, 2008 4:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Edwart Oakeshott's book - "European Weapons and Armour from the Reniassance to the Industrial Age" has a small section concerning this type.

http://www.myArmoury.com/review_dw_ss.html


this review has a little info....


also Nathan Robinson has 2 very nice side-swords in his "Collection" page from Phoenix Metal Creations.


cheers,

Bill

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Bennison N




Location: Auckland, New Zealand
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PostPosted: Thu 18 Sep, 2008 4:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks guys.

Yeah, I saw those ones on Nathan's page, so I asked him about the "side sword" type first.

It was on his suggestion that this thread was started, actually, because we both felt we had something we could learn about them.

I was particularly interested to see the list of systems with surviving treatises that use the weapon. I'll definitely be shopping for copies of those. Thanks, Steven.

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

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Steven Reich




Location: Arlington, VA
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PostPosted: Thu 18 Sep, 2008 5:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Unfortunately, most of the treatises are in Italian. However, a few are available in English translation:

1. Meyer is available in modern translation: http://www.amazon.com/Art-Combat-German-Marti...amp;sr=8-1
2. Dall'Agocchie (Bolognese treatise from 1572) is available for free as a pdf in English thanks to Jherek Swanger. This is a very good translation: http://www.drizzle.com/~celyn/jherek/ENGDALLAG.pdf
3. Books I-III of Manciolino (Bolognese, 1531), also translated by Jherek: http://www.drizzle.com/~celyn/jherek/EngManc.pdf
4. Book III of Viggiani (Bolognese, 1575), again by Jherek: http://www.drizzle.com/~celyn/jherek/Schermo.pdf
5. Finally, there is a 1594 English translation of Di Grassi's 1570 work. Note that this is somewhat inaccurate in parts (I've found a few errors from the Italian).

Your best bet is always to read a treatise in the original language, but this isn't always possible.

Additionally, we (the Order of the Seven Hearts) have a page on our site dedicated to Bolognese Swordsmanship.

Bolognese Swordsmanship is my focus, so I'm always happy to talk about it. Additionally, there are other 1500s sources in Italian (Altoni, Lovino, Agrippa & Ghisliero, to name a few) which would fit this classification.

Steve

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Daniel Staberg




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PostPosted: Fri 19 Sep, 2008 3:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"Side sword" might be a translation of the German term "Seitenwehr" (better translated as 'sidearm') a word that was used to describe those types of swords in military texts such as regulations, recruitment contracts and various military manuals. The original term is actually fairly generic and can refere to most swords used as military sidearms in the period
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Steven Reich




Location: Arlington, VA
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PostPosted: Fri 19 Sep, 2008 6:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel Staberg wrote:
"Side sword" might be a translation of the German term "Seitenwehr" (better translated as 'sidearm') a word that was used to describe those types of swords in military texts such as regulations, recruitment contracts and various military manuals. The original term is actually fairly generic and can refere to most swords used as military sidearms in the period


Hmmm...Another use of this term; thus, the confusion. In WMA, Sidesword is usually a translation of Spada da Lato and is used to describe the "typical" sword of the late 1400s and 1500s (i.e. some sort of complex hilt and a blade more suited to cutting than that typically thought of as a rapier blade). However, since it is a non-historical term, it isn't always clear what it means.

Steve

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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Fri 19 Sep, 2008 7:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steven Reich wrote:
In WMA, Sidesword is usually a translation of Spada da Lato and is used to describe the "typical" sword of the late 1400s and 1500s (i.e. some sort of complex hilt and a blade more suited to cutting than that typically thought of as a rapier blade). However, since it is a non-historical term, it isn't always clear what it means.


And not just WMA, either: The term has been used in museum descriptions for quite some time now, and with just as much ambiguity.

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


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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 19 Sep, 2008 10:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Seems to me that any sword of medium and convenient size that would be worn daily for selfdefence as well usually of a finer kind in the way someone today might wear a Rolex to show off some wealth. ( Oh, a gaudy cheap version only looking expensive might also be worn ? ).

In other words more for a type of usage that an actual type and might include some early transitional types of rapiers with the more cut and thrust capable blade ? At least that's my theory. Wink Laughing Out Loud

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