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F. Carl Holz




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PostPosted: Tue 04 May, 2010 12:42 am    Post subject: spear and shield references         Reply with quote

I'm trying to find sources on using spear and shield together. I believe that there is an italian fight book that includes this but I don't remember which. any info would be helpful, especially available on the web.
Thanks!
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Steven Reich




Location: Arlington, VA
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PostPosted: Tue 04 May, 2010 5:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The closest thing to spear and shield in the Italian sources is the material for Partisan and Rotella in Manciolino and Marozzo. The Partisan is rather like a spear with an over-sized head and apparently, was sometimes thrown.

Steve

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Craig Shackleton




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PostPosted: Tue 04 May, 2010 6:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Gladiatoria books from mid 15th century Germany depict some sort of formalized combat. The combatants are equipped with spears, shields, (specifically ecranches) swords and daggers. The initial phase of the combat revolves around spear and ecranche, but there isn't a lot of detail on use of the shield, and the shields are quickly discarded.

Two versions of the manuscript are posted here:

http://www.hroarr.com/manuscripts_german.html

There are a few more that contain some or all of the same material, although there are always some slight variations.

Ottawa Swordplay
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Tue 04 May, 2010 9:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Spear and shield has its heyday before the period where fencing manuals become common. it is also a battlefield loadout, not something you fight duels with, and as such not within the standard scope of fencing manuals.

One handed spears are pretty intuitive, and function extremely well in a formation setting. One on one, they suffer from low flexibility, but still deliver very fast attacks. As such, body feints and footwork is quite important, as is fast reflexes, to block/avoid the opponents thrusts.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Steven Reich




Location: Arlington, VA
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PostPosted: Tue 04 May, 2010 9:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Elling Polden wrote:
Spear and shield has its heyday before the period where fencing manuals become common. it is also a battlefield loadout, not something you fight duels with, and as such not within the standard scope of fencing manuals.

I don't know, a partisan is very similar to a spear and Manciolino and Marozzo dedicate a reasonable amount of text to Partisan and Rotella from exactly the point of view of a duel.

Steve

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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Tue 04 May, 2010 11:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It seems the Bolognese masters have a wider scope of weapons than most. They also have other stuff that noone else (to my knowledge) has, like the kite shield. Maybe the italian use of citicen militas meant that bolognese students of combat had a larger, more military style armoury...

Another posible explanation is classical influence; The renewed interest in antiquity could also have prompted curiosity on the use of one handed spears. (I know I would have wanted to give it a go, if I lived in the renaisance :P)

At any rate, illustrations of one handed spear use is quite rare in the middle ages, which is worthy of note since literary sources tell us that it was quite common. Obviously, the sword was seen as more prestigeous for single combat.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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