Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Learning to Fight Reply to topic
This is a standard topic Go to page 1, 2  Next 
Author Message
Quinn W.




Location: Bellingham, WA
Joined: 02 May 2009

Posts: 197

PostPosted: Thu 04 Nov, 2010 7:56 pm    Post subject: Learning to Fight         Reply with quote

Preface:
As a medieval history major, it has been wonderful combining academia with my passion for reenactment, but never has this been more true than this quarter, where I've had the opportunity to take a class on Medieval Warfare. For our final essay I have chosen to write about combat training in the 14th century. You guys have helped me out in many ways in the past on various things I have been curious about, so let's just say I'm upping the ante and resting my grade on this one! (Not really; I can manage on my own. But help is always appreciated!)

To the point:
My paper topic is on knightly training. How one trained to become a knight (in the warrior sense only. I'm not focusing on etiquette or learning an instrument unless these somehow play directly into combat) and how he kept his fighting skills sharp off the battlefield.
I think I have most of the basic ideas. I'm planning on covering the use of the tournament as a training tool (by the 14th century it was more of a spectator sport and less of a hands-on battle simulator than in the 12th century, but still certainly applicable), the individual teaching of a knight to a squire, which would, of course, vary greatly from person to person, although I will address common techniques like use of the pell, quintaine, throwing stones, etc., and Schools of arms and surviving manuals (more common in later centuries, but Fiore del Liberi, Liechtenauer and the I.33 are all 14th century, if I'm not mistaken). I've also heard about the use of weighted weapons/armor, although I haven't personally found a source for this yet.
Anyhow, I was wondering if anyone had any contributions to make on the subject. Aspects I missed, or any information on the above as it relates to knights and combat training in the 1300s. Christian Tobler has already generously offered to help me out as I cover Liechtenauer's system, so a shout-out of thanks there!
Additionally, while I'm willing to take your word for the things you say, I don't think my professor would look too kindly on my putting a forum in my bibliography, so sources are appreciated. If you don't remember where you got that information but have something to add, that's fine too. I can use your point as a stepping stone for conduction my own research.
Thank you everyone, you're the best!

-Quinn

"Some say that the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance is dead. The age of chivalry is never past, so long as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth"
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Sean Manning




Location: Austria
Joined: 23 Mar 2008

Posts: 419

PostPosted: Thu 04 Nov, 2010 10:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you haven't already, and have time,I would look up 14th century translations/adaptations of Vegetius, and the various works of Steven Muhlberger on formal deeds of arms in the 14th century.

Vegetius claims the Romans (at some unspecified date, according to some unnamed source he had read) used extra heavy weapons and shields when training. Educated medieval soldiers would have known this, but I don't know if any imitated him.
View user's profile Send private message
Kel Rekuta




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 10 Feb 2004
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 612

PostPosted: Fri 05 Nov, 2010 9:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here are a couple readings that might whet your appetite. (also includes recommendations to train with extra heavy weapons)

http://www.mediumaevum.com/75years/specregal.html

http://www.deremilitari.org/resources/sources/kingsmirror.htm
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
Joined: 19 Feb 2004
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,576

PostPosted: Fri 05 Nov, 2010 4:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I suspect that the Kingsmirror's reference to "wear your armour and use heavy weapons" comment could be more a result of a de facto tendency to do sword and buckler in linen shirts than a military requirement. Kind of like the encouragement to practice rather than drink and hang out with Loose Wenches at the docks "with the rest of the guys".

At the time, the Norwegian kings where trying to import the continental chivalric culture to Norway. Though this was mainly to fit in with the rest of christianity, and reinforce the principles of loyalty to the King, it also included a wish to have high ranking kingsmen train for mounted combat. Practically, this was seldom done, as ships and shieldwalls remained the basis of Norwegian warfare into the 14th c.

(on a amusing side note we practice pretty much at the exact spot where the kingsmen described in the kingsmirror would have done their training. Except in winter, when we train in the bedchamber of the king it was writen to educate.)

"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
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
Allen Foster





Joined: 17 Feb 2008
Reading list: 4 books

Posts: 244

PostPosted: Fri 05 Nov, 2010 7:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You might find this thread from a now dead forum interesting to your study.

http://pendant.forumotion.net/off-topic-f8/pa...g-t459.htm

"Rise up, O Lord, and may thy enemies be dispersed and those who hate thee be driven from thy face."
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Mon 08 Nov, 2010 5:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This one probably has some relevance:

http://www.deremilitari.org/resources/pdfs/gillmor2.pdf
View user's profile Send private message
Kel Rekuta




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 10 Feb 2004
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 612

PostPosted: Mon 08 Nov, 2010 6:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Elling Polden wrote:
I suspect that the Kingsmirror's reference to "wear your armour and use heavy weapons" comment could be more a result of a de facto tendency to do sword and buckler in linen shirts than a military requirement. Kind of like the encouragement to practice rather than drink and hang out with Loose Wenches at the docks "with the rest of the guys".

(on a amusing side note we practice pretty much at the exact spot where the kingsmen described in the kingsmirror would have done their training. Except in winter, when we train in the bedchamber of the king it was writen to educate.)


Interesting comment on former - waaay cool on the latter! Cool
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
David Clark





Joined: 10 Feb 2009

Posts: 129

PostPosted: Mon 08 Nov, 2010 8:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, I can't quite remember which century it is from, but a contemporary author said something along the lines of, "a young man/knight must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack in order to be fully prepared for battle."
I know I paraphrased that; but such a statement deffinitely implies that their (French or English?) combat training was very intense. Sorry for such a vague post, but I don't have the book in front of me right now. The quote came from English Weapons and Warfare, 449-1660 by Norman and Pottinger.

Edit: FOUND IT!
"No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack under the fist of his adversary, and when he is thrown to the ground he must fight with all his might and not loose courage... Anyone who can do that, can engage in battle confidently. "

Roger of Hoveden, 1174-1201
View user's profile Send private message
Quinn W.




Location: Bellingham, WA
Joined: 02 May 2009

Posts: 197

PostPosted: Mon 08 Nov, 2010 8:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks a ton, everybody!
These are all fascinating ideas and links. Even the parts that may not apply directly to my paper are all things I know I'll have to read on my own time later.
Looks like I"ll need to look some more into Vegetius in particular. I didn't realize how applicable his work still was in the 14th century. My own research has confirmed this, and I found a great depiction from a 14th century French copy of the De Re Militari depicting practice with the pell in full armor.

"Some say that the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance is dead. The age of chivalry is never past, so long as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth"
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Douglas S





Joined: 18 Feb 2004

Posts: 177

PostPosted: Mon 08 Nov, 2010 9:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"The Poem of the Pell" is often assumed to be a medieval adaptation of Vegetius' De Rei Militari. Was Vegatius translated and read in those days, or were they both describing a training methodology that existed before either works existed? (After all, Vegetius' Romans copied more then they invented.)
View user's profile Send private message
A. Elema





Joined: 09 Nov 2010

Posts: 38

PostPosted: Tue 09 Nov, 2010 1:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Quinn, that's a great topic and one that needs to be studied more in academia. I'll warn you, however, that it's going to be very challenging to write an undergraduate paper about it because there aren't yet many scholarly articles or books that mention the subject and much of the good stuff isn't in English.

To help you out, go over to the Schola Gladiatoria forum where we've been collecting medieval English references to sword training in this thread (http://www.fioredeiliberi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=15700). The quotes come with references to books you can cite, but do credit the website as well if someone online translated the material into English.

Now here's what you need to do in order to take the paper into 'A' territory: ask yourself whether and why we can trust any of these sources to be accurate reflections of medieval sword training as it was actually practiced. Who wrote these texts and who was their audience? Can we tell anything about the authors' motives? What genre did the texts belong to (e.g. legal records, romances, scholarly philosophical tracts, etc.), and how did that influence the way in which the subject was portrayed?
View user's profile Send private message
E Stafford




PostPosted: Sat 13 Nov, 2010 5:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

W00T! I'm also an undergraduate looking to do a paper in WMA, so this is very timely. My thesis, however, will be on rapier fencing, as opposed to knights. I'm taking the prerequisite next term. Hopefully I can hammer something out and contribute to the WMA community. The problem I'm going to run into is the papers perception as "macho", so I'm going to have to figure out a way around that. In the meantime, favoriting this thread. Big Grin Cool
View user's profile Send private message
Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 3
Posts: 1,532

PostPosted: Sun 14 Nov, 2010 12:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In the 12th and 13th century, group melee tournament was described by some as "essential" preparation for knightly combat. As you get into the 1300's, there was an interruption or decrease in that particular type of earlier contest in Northern France. Jousts and tournament more in the style of "one on one" were still popular though. (Quite a few nobles died in them. At least one family lost 3 successive generations all in tournament mishaps.) I would not overlook tournament as a way that training was applied and tested.
Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
View user's profile Send private message
Christian G. Cameron




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 07 Dec 2009
Likes: 13 pages
Reading list: 4 books

Posts: 193

PostPosted: Sat 20 Nov, 2010 6:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Don't skimp on De Charny. His questions are informative as to expected levels of training and so on. At the same time, I've become interested in the minutae of training in period--what did they wear? What form did bated weapons take EXACTLY? Did they in fact practice with sharps? (look carefully at the pages of the Getty Fiore mss..) Where EXACTLY did they train? Outdoors? Indoors?

I, too was a Medievalist in University, and I'm still interested in the answers to these questions... a sa specific example of what interests me (and I'm hogging yr thread, so pardon) if a young knight of 180 was expected (as Gaston Phoebus suggests) to get practice of war by, say, killing a boar with his longsword--at what point in his training is he eligible to try? And so on. The devil, as one of our American politicians once said, is in the details.

Christian G. Cameron

Qui plus fait, miex vault

www.hippeis.com
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Mark T




PostPosted: Sat 20 Nov, 2010 1:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quinn,

If you haven't already, check out The martial arts of renaissance Europe, Sydney Anglo (Yale University Press, 2000); while focussing on late medieval/renaissnace, it might have some relevant sections.

http://www.bookdepository.com/book/9780300083...nce-Europe

Chief Librarian/Curator, Isaac Leibowitz Librarmoury

Schallern sind sehr sexy!
View user's profile Send private message
Quinn W.




Location: Bellingham, WA
Joined: 02 May 2009

Posts: 197

PostPosted: Sat 20 Nov, 2010 2:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you very much, everyone. I have obtained a copy of a book on Charny and tournaments in 14th c France, which has proved invaluable. I still need to do more direct research into Vegetius, but I have assembled Liechtenauer, Fiore dei Liberi and the I.33. I will look into "The martial arts of renaissance Europe" as well. The Schola Forum has also yielded many applicable results.
Your help has been invaluable to me. Anything else anyone has is appreciated, and I will in turn do my part by making my paper available online after it has been turned in.
I realize this is a difficult area of study for an undergraduate, but this is my fifth medieval class from the same professor and each time my papers have become more complex as I strive to challenge myself and push toward my own areas of interest within the Middle Ages.
For reference, my other papers have been on The English knight during the early phases of the Hundred Years War, French and English chivalry in the 13th c as it related to warfare, and on the non-combat side, early medieval religious conversion techniques, and the Italian doctor in the second half of the 14th c. While I'm at it, I can put those online as well. Each one has received a respectable grade and what I feel is a fair amount of research for an undergrad (69 footnotes in 14 pages in the case of my Italian Doctor paper).

"Some say that the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance is dead. The age of chivalry is never past, so long as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth"
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Mackenzie Cosens




Location: Vancouver Canada
Joined: 08 Aug 2007

Posts: 238

PostPosted: Sun 21 Nov, 2010 9:18 am    Post subject: slightly off topic         Reply with quote

It won't help you with this semester's paper, but is sounds like you have caught the sword bug and Bellingham is so close to Vancouver, I hope you are planning to coming to www.vancouverswordplay.com, February 1113, 2011. The instructor list is impressive, and should be well worth attending.


Mackenzie
View user's profile Send private message
Quinn W.




Location: Bellingham, WA
Joined: 02 May 2009

Posts: 197

PostPosted: Sun 21 Nov, 2010 10:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I looked into that link to the Schola Forum and foun many 14th c references to Fencing Schools in England being shut down and their teachers/members fined or imprisoned. Does anyone know the reasoning for this? Was it because it promoted unrest or the formation of gangs? Also, if these schools were looked down upon, then were teachers like Liechtenauer looked down upon as rabble-rousers also?
Would knights or aspiring knights have attended these city-schools? Liechtenhauer catered to a knightly audience, but it seems that this might be one difference between his school and the ones that were shut down. Or was the difference simply that Germany had a different opinion of this sort of thing than England did?
The link, posted above by A. Elema, copied again here:
http://www.fioredeiliberi.org/phpBB3/viewtopi...mp;t=15700

Mackenzie, I didn't know about the Vancouver event, but it is conveniently close and looks fascinating. Perhaps it's too late to help with this paper, but my interest in the subject doesn't end the moment I finish taking my final exams. And while it may be at the limits of this college student's budget, I will certainly see what I can do.

"Some say that the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance is dead. The age of chivalry is never past, so long as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth"
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Quinn W.




Location: Bellingham, WA
Joined: 02 May 2009

Posts: 197

PostPosted: Fri 07 Jan, 2011 1:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To provide some sort of conclusion to this thread, I would like to post the final (and graded) draft of my paper you have helped me so much with. Thanks again to Christian Tobler, who let me quote him in the work.
Since this is directed toward a different audience than the myArmoury community I felt the need to explain a few basic things that most of you are likely already familiar with.
While the grade has already been received and the class is over, (I received an A both overall and in the paper!) I still welcome any suggestions. As I have said before, this topic interest me well beyond the purely academic level.
Enjoy!

UPDATE: Unfortunately, this forum does not support the attachment of .doc files within a post! Does anybody know a good way for me to make my work available?

"Some say that the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance is dead. The age of chivalry is never past, so long as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth"
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Tom Kinder





Joined: 27 Nov 2008

Posts: 148

PostPosted: Fri 07 Jan, 2011 6:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

host it somewhere else on the web and link to it?

I would really like to read your paper, thank you for sharing (or trying to)

I actually learned a lot just reading this thread and the thing linked to in it.
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Learning to Fight
Page 1 of 2 Reply to topic
Go to page 1, 2  Next All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum