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Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
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PostPosted: Tue 25 May, 2010 8:09 pm    Post subject: earliest use of phrase "hand and a half"         Reply with quote

In the interest of possibly knowing the origin of what might be a modern term "hand and a half sword", I am wondering how early such a phrase existed in historical manuscripts? I could care less if the actual historical subject is factually known to have measured only 1" in length, or if it spanned a continent. I just want to know about the historical authenticity and earliest dated use of the literal phrase "hand and a half" with respect to swords.
Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Vincent Le Chevalier




Location: Paris, France
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PostPosted: Thu 27 May, 2010 8:02 am    Post subject: Re: earliest use of phrase "hand and a half"         Reply with quote

Jared Smith wrote:
In the interest of possibly knowing the origin of what might be a modern term "hand and a half sword", I am wondering how early such a phrase existed in historical manuscripts? I could care less if the actual historical subject is factually known to have measured only 1" in length, or if it spanned a continent. I just want to know about the historical authenticity and earliest dated use of the literal phrase "hand and a half" with respect to swords.

I don't know the earliest use but the phrase is used in Lovino's manuscript c. 1580: "spada di una mano e meza". It is used to distinguish it from the true two-handed sword which has a longer blade and handle, just like we do today.
I guess the need for the distinction only became apparent when the bigger swords appeared...

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Vincent
Ensis Sub Caelo
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Thom R.




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PostPosted: Thu 27 May, 2010 10:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

We talked about this in 07 if I recall, because I bookmarked a page from ARMA that I thought you had pointed us to on the discussion of "Epee Batarde" The ARMA page states a Spanish reference slightly earlier than Vincent's

D. Enrique de Leguina gives a 1564 reference to una espada estoque de mano y media,

However there is a logical inconsistency here in my way of thinking since we do have several references to epée a deux mains and spada da due mani from early 1400s and I would think if you are going to use a term like "two hand sword" its not that illogical to consider that you might call another sword a "hand and a half" sword. I dunno its a good question................. that might not be answered solely through examination of weapon treatises but rather this is where we need our scholars like Dr Moffett who have read a lot of other types of period documents, wills, court documents etc, to help us
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