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Anders Kramer




Location: Denmark
Joined: 16 Feb 2006

Posts: 44

PostPosted: Fri 07 Jan, 2011 1:52 pm    Post subject: Can anyone explaine this plate?         Reply with quote

I just stumbled over this plate when i was looking through the Talhoffer Ambrasser Codex (anno 1459). Is there anyone who can explain to me just whats going on?

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3814349/talhoffer.jpg

Anders Happy



 Attachment: 157.78 KB
plate.jpg
Talhoffer Ambrasser Codex (anno 1459)
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Dan P




Location: Massachusetts, USA
Joined: 28 Jun 2007

Posts: 208

PostPosted: Fri 07 Jan, 2011 2:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is probably the crazy explanation but here goes:

Talhoffer is showing off his creativity by illustrating that a perfectly ordinary crossbow can in fact be used to save a man drowning in a river or fallen off a ship. The three men are demonstrating this technique for the reader.

As depicted, the shooter has just fired his blunt, padded bolt past the man in the water, placing a heavy line within his reach so he can be saved. The shooter's assistant has a knife, to cut the line in a hurry so it can be retied to another bolt and launched again if the first man missed. He also has a cup of wine or brandy for immediate medical application after the rescue.
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Tjarand Matre




Location: Nøtterøy, Norway
Joined: 19 Sep 2010

Posts: 158

PostPosted: Fri 07 Jan, 2011 2:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

They could also have had the wine first ;-)
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Chuck Russell




Location: WV
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Jan, 2011 7:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

didn't Talhoffer know it's illegal to kill prey in the water! hehehe
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Anders Kramer




Location: Denmark
Joined: 16 Feb 2006

Posts: 44

PostPosted: Sat 08 Jan, 2011 2:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan P wrote:
This is probably the crazy explanation but here goes:

Talhoffer is showing off his creativity by illustrating that a perfectly ordinary crossbow can in fact be used to save a man drowning in a river or fallen off a ship. The three men are demonstrating this technique for the reader.

As depicted, the shooter has just fired his blunt, padded bolt past the man in the water, placing a heavy line within his reach so he can be saved. The shooter's assistant has a knife, to cut the line in a hurry so it can be retied to another bolt and launched again if the first man missed. He also has a cup of wine or brandy for immediate medical application after the rescue.


I was thinking something similar, but it just seems like a weird way to show it. Especially since a text would have explained the technique better than several steps drawn in one picture.
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Stephane Rabier




Location: Brittany
Joined: 13 Nov 2006

Posts: 104

PostPosted: Sat 08 Jan, 2011 4:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi
I was thinking of sending a rope across the river so the soldiers can cross it safely (still used nowadays) but you must be right : I didn't notice the brandy Big Grin
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Mackenzie Cosens




Location: Vancouver Canada
Joined: 08 Aug 2007

Posts: 238

PostPosted: Sat 08 Jan, 2011 12:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I vote for Yet another fun Medieval early Renaissance Drinking Game.

Let me make up some rules for this game best played in the heart of Winter

1: Chip a hole in the ice & stake a rope across the hole
2: One player strips and the tight-rope walks across hole
3: His friend takes shots at him with a blunted cross-bow attempting to knock him off the rope
- Note: the rope is tied to the quarrel because quarrels cost money
4: If he first man makes to the other-side he gets to drink the whole glass of hot mulled wine, but if he is knocked senseless the crossbow man splits the glass with the man holding the wine.
-Note: the guy holding the wine uses a knife because its 1470ish and everybody has a knife. Don't you hold your glass with a knife?
5: They each take turns crossing the hole until someone dies of hypotherma

mackenzie
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Craig Shackleton




Location: Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 20 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Sat 08 Jan, 2011 2:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've heard an interpretation that there are two separate things going on here; The use of the crossbow to rescue someone in the water, and applying poison to a knife. IIRC, a nearby page shows a man mixing something in a container that might be medicine or poison.

I'm not sure about any of it, but I suspect Talhoffer originally intended to add captions to some of these images.

Ottawa Swordplay
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sat 08 Jan, 2011 4:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A) Man in the water wins if he can swim to the other side on the pond.

B) Man with crossbow wins if he can knock out the swimmer with the blunted crossbow bolt.

C) Man with knife cuts throath of the loser ??? Gives someone a good shave later. Confused Laughing Out Loud

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David Teague




Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Joined: 25 Jan 2004

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PostPosted: Sat 08 Jan, 2011 5:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Proof that Lysergic acid diethylamide was first uncovered in the 14th century.
This you shall know, that all things have length and measure.

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James Head





Joined: 09 Mar 2008

Posts: 127

PostPosted: Sat 08 Jan, 2011 5:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Anders, I'm sure you already know that this segment of Talhoffer comes from Conrad Kyeser's book on siege engines, pyrotechnics and other secrets called Bellifortis. I also think that the plate is showing two entirely different things to save space.

Getting a rope across a body of water using a crossbow seems like a very reasonable explanation for the first half of the image. But I have no clue what the guy with the dagger is doing. Worried
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Anders Kramer




Location: Denmark
Joined: 16 Feb 2006

Posts: 44

PostPosted: Sun 09 Jan, 2011 3:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the many amusing interpretations guys! Big Grin

James Head wrote:
Hi Anders, I'm sure you already know that this segment of Talhoffer comes from Conrad Kyeser's book on siege engines, pyrotechnics and other secrets called Bellifortis. I also think that the plate is showing two entirely different things to save space.

Getting a rope across a body of water using a crossbow seems like a very reasonable explanation for the first half of the image. But I have no clue what the guy with the dagger is doing. Worried


Actually i Didn't know that. Happy Thanks a lot!

I think your partially right in that Talhoffer is trying to save space. I don't however think that the image shows different things entirely, as I find it more likely that the plate shows a sequence rather than different things.

The interpretation of a man trying to get rope to a drowning man is correct, in my opinion. But I don't understand the Rope the man clings to. I guess it shows the intention of shooting the rope out. What I cant figure out is why the rope is tied to poles, and especially on the other side of the water. What's the point if your trying to save him?

The man with the glass confuses me completely.
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Stephane Rabier




Location: Brittany
Joined: 13 Nov 2006

Posts: 104

PostPosted: Sun 09 Jan, 2011 10:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Anders Kramer wrote:
The man with the glass confuses me completely.

it looks like he's trying to find an angle over the horizontal (water surface of the glass) using the blade as a sight. (sounds silly? Blush )
If those pages concern artillery and engineering it could make sense.
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James Head





Joined: 09 Mar 2008

Posts: 127

PostPosted: Sun 09 Jan, 2011 11:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Anders Kramer wrote:

The interpretation of a man trying to get rope to a drowning man is correct, in my opinion. But I don't understand the Rope the man clings to. I guess it shows the intention of shooting the rope out. What I cant figure out is why the rope is tied to poles, and especially on the other side of the water. What's the point if your trying to save him?


I don't think it is a rescue as much as a crossing. Imagine a spy has returned from his mission and is on the other side of the river. Both he and the crossbowman would be able to stick poles into the banks of the river. After the bolt and rope had been shot over, the lone man would tie the rope to his pole, take off his clothes, perhaps send them over first, and then cross the river.
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Anders Kramer




Location: Denmark
Joined: 16 Feb 2006

Posts: 44

PostPosted: Sun 09 Jan, 2011 1:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

James Head wrote:
Anders Kramer wrote:

The interpretation of a man trying to get rope to a drowning man is correct, in my opinion. But I don't understand the Rope the man clings to. I guess it shows the intention of shooting the rope out. What I cant figure out is why the rope is tied to poles, and especially on the other side of the water. What's the point if your trying to save him?


I don't think it is a rescue as much as a crossing. Imagine a spy has returned from his mission and is on the other side of the river. Both he and the crossbowman would be able to stick poles into the banks of the river. After the bolt and rope had been shot over, the lone man would tie the rope to his pole, take off his clothes, perhaps send them over first, and then cross the river.


But why would he need to out a pole in the ground? Wouldn't one on the side with the crossbow be enough (if any)?

@ Stephane; Sounds plausible, but it doesn't seem to involve artillery.
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Robert Hinds




Location: Whitewater, Wisconsin USA
Joined: 15 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Sun 09 Jan, 2011 3:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Anders what site is that plate from? Maybe seeing the plates previous to and after would help. Of course I don't know if the nearby plates are related.

I showed this to my parents, and they seem to think its some sort of medical treatment, their conclusions are:

1) He's in the water because he has a fever.

2) The guy with the knife and cup is going to bleed him.

3) no explanation for the crossbow...

But then again wouldn't at least the guy with the knife be wearing physicians clothes/hat?

My dad also seems to think there is some kind of symbolism with the guy having the knife in his mouth, but since it's a manuel trying to teach, why have symbolism that would just make it less understandable?

I don't know...maybe talhoffer/talhoffer's artist got drunk in the middle of drawing a picture on how to get a rope across a pond... Razz

"Young knight, learn to love God and revere women; thus your honor will grow. Practice knighthood and learn the Art that dignifies you, and brings you honor in wars." -Johannes Liechtenauer

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Scott Hrouda




Location: Minnesota, USA
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PostPosted: Sun 09 Jan, 2011 4:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Personally, I think David's theory of LSD remains in first place.
...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped. - Sir Bedevere
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Stephane Rabier




Location: Brittany
Joined: 13 Nov 2006

Posts: 104

PostPosted: Mon 10 Jan, 2011 12:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi,
LSD, yes, maybe some contaminated rye bread Big Grin
The answer could be in the text on the previous pages, could anyone here read it?
http://www.kb.dk/da/nb/materialer/haandskrift...2_290.html
(our plate is on Page 30)
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Till J. Lodemann





Joined: 15 Jan 2007

Posts: 97

PostPosted: Mon 10 Jan, 2011 3:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

According to the webpage, the images are neither part of the Fechtbuch by Talhoffer nor the Bellifortis by Kyeser. The section is listed as Bildkatalog, catalogue of pictures, on the browsing list left side of the webpage.

Accordingly, the first bit of written text on a previous page is found on 24 and is the last part of Talhoffers Fechtbuch, dealing with judical duels and the aftermath. The next bit of text on a following page, on 34 is already part of the Bellifortis and deals with the war chariot depicted on the same page.

Interestingly, a similar vessel like the one the man with the knife is holding, can be seen on the previous page being destroyed by a man with a club. But honestly, I have no idea what these pictures could mean.

There are lots of strange pictures in this codex, f.e. on page 26 were you can argue that a man gets a tattoo.
Or the lawn-mower-of-death on page 48! Big Grin
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Craig Shackleton




Location: Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 20 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Mon 10 Jan, 2011 4:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A pdf of the full manuscript and a translation by Jeffry Hull is available HERE. He includes comments on possible interpretations of the images, which is where I previously heard the poisoned knife theory.

I currently like the theory that the knife is being used for a sight line off the level surface of the water in the cup. My guess is that he's holding it in his mouth either as a set reference point for a specific known angle, or to steady the end of the knife, or both.

Perhaps this is an early stage of building some sort of bridge and they are looking for a place where the opposite bank is relatively level with the near bank?

Ottawa Swordplay
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