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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

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PostPosted: Mon 12 Sep, 2011 7:44 am    Post subject: the macejowski bible         Reply with quote

we all know or have seen the macejowski bible...

heres the thingthough since we very commonly see people being torn to shreds, helmts literally chopped into nearly all the way through, we see a man being ripped in half be a long glaive while wearing a hauberk, we also se numerous shots of people being stabbed throuh their maile.

.....havent we had several very long winded discussions o this forum explaining EXACTLY how close to IMPOSSIBLE it is for those those things to happen..

looking at it now, it looks like everyone in that book has 18-20 guage helms and butted mail. even then youd still be safe from the glaive. at least from being choppen nearly in half
i.e like the events of a hollywood movie where mail and plate can often by pierced like a cotten t-shirt.

does anyone have an idea what the deal is with these illustrations and why they depict things so impausible.
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Bartek Strojek




Location: Poland
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PostPosted: Mon 12 Sep, 2011 8:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
does anyone have an idea what the deal is with these illustrations and why they depict things so impausible.


From the same reason why Hollywood movies, popular novels, animation and what not depicts very implausible stuff.
Filtrated with period mentality obviously.

People love flashy/gore detail, and while depicting legendary, biblical, sacred and generally important figures one would like do depict them in impressive manner.
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Marik C.S.




Location: Germany
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PostPosted: Mon 12 Sep, 2011 8:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To quote from a Youtube video about Spears: "Using vase Paintings as a was of studying how people fought is a bit like studying modern infantry tactics by watching Rambo movies."

I think the good man who made this video put it rather nicely and this point surely holds true for this bible.
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Christian Henry Tobler
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Location: Oxford, CT
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PostPosted: Mon 12 Sep, 2011 9:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello William,

The likely reason we see so many implausible actions in the Mac Bible is because they're being performed by biblical heroes: they can do impossible things because God is empowering them to do so.

Cheers,

Christian

Christian Henry Tobler
Order of Selohaar

Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

Author, In Saint George's Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

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PostPosted: Mon 12 Sep, 2011 9:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bartek Strojek wrote:
Quote:
does anyone have an idea what the deal is with these illustrations and why they depict things so impausible.


From the same reason why Hollywood movies, popular novels, animation and what not depicts very implausible stuff.
Filtrated with period mentality obviously.

People love flashy/gore detail, and while depicting legendary, biblical, sacred and generally important figures one would like do depict them in impressive manner.


... admittedly i did not know that this was a book depicting the ACTUAL bible but just dressing everyone in contemporary clothing and weapons.

so i was right in thinking that it IS essentially the medieval version of a hollywood retelling of history. kind of like retelling the story of macbeth using the imagery of a modern crime feud in australia (such a movie was indeed made)

ive always thought the same about weapons in movies that would in reality be really heavy.. thats what makes the characters even MORE badass, is tht we know that thing should weigh a ton yet hes using it like it weighs half as much as it should i.e this guy is really really strong and skilled.
like the recent conan movie, people have suggested that the sword is too heavy for anormal person.. therein lies the key word..NORMAL. it speaks to every person on the battlefield that.. i am SO strong and so skilled i can wield this ridiculously heavy item like it weighs nothing.
in the animal worldsuch showing off is called lekking.
its alot likethe legendary challange of odyssius to string and shoot his bow.
like in thefinal fantasy series, cloud strfe is known for wielding the buster sword a weapon that would need a small crane to even lift off the ground, yet he wields it with ease, and has sliced the odd boulder in half with it.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Mon 12 Sep, 2011 10:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Mac Bible (actually a collection of illustrated Bible stories and not a complete Bible) is hardly unusual for the time. We see those implausible feats of strength often in period art for the purposes of furthering the story's aim, glorifying the person who commissioned the work, etc.

Consider also that this original manuscript was made up entirely of pictures when first created. Captions were added at a few different occasions and in different languages. So the pictures have to be very obvious in telling the story since there were no words (not a problem since many people would have been illiterate) and because they had just a few frames to tell an entire Bible passage. So the good guys have to very obviously destroy evil. If it depicts a sword bouncing off a helm, you don't know if the bad guy is injured or dies. But if it's split in half down to the neck..... Happy

And like many manuscripts of the period, everything is depicted in roughly contemporary dress, arms, and armour except when it doesn't further the story or distinguish the players in the story. There was no serious efforts at archeology at this point (mid 13th century), and lifespans were short and hard, so trying to nail down the dress in the BC era 15 or more centuries later wasn't going to happen. In many ways, science and archeology in particular are luxuries of the kind of world we live in now.

I wouldn't bring Hollywood into this; it demeans the artists of long ago. Happy I don't see the things in this manuscript relating to modern movie-making in any way. It's an apples to armadillo comparison.

Also, see this thread for a very similar discussion: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=14456 . I may merge them, in fact.

Happy

ChadA

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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

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PostPosted: Wed 14 Sep, 2011 8:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
The Mac Bible (actually a collection of illustrated Bible stories and not a complete Bible) is hardly unusual for the time. We see those implausible feats of strength often in period art for the purposes of furthering the story's aim, glorifying the person who commissioned the work, etc.

Consider also that this original manuscript was made up entirely of pictures when first created. Captions were added at a few different occasions and in different languages. So the pictures have to be very obvious in telling the story since there were no words (not a problem since many people would have been illiterate) and because they had just a few frames to tell an entire Bible passage. So the good guys have to very obviously destroy evil. If it depicts a sword bouncing off a helm, you don't know if the bad guy is injured or dies. But if it's split in half down to the neck..... Happy

And like many manuscripts of the period, everything is depicted in roughly contemporary dress, arms, and armour except when it doesn't further the story or distinguish the players in the story. There was no serious efforts at archeology at this point (mid 13th century), and lifespans were short and hard, so trying to nail down the dress in the BC era 15 or more centuries later wasn't going to happen. In many ways, science and archeology in particular are luxuries of the kind of world we live in now.

I wouldn't bring Hollywood into this; it demeans the artists of long ago. Happy I don't see the things in this manuscript relating to modern movie-making in any way. It's an apples to armadillo comparison.

Also, see this thread for a very similar discussion: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=14456 . I may merge them, in fact.

not really apples to armadillos, the basic principle is to showcase just how powerrful the protagonists are, and since most millitary men at the time would have an idea that their hauberk is pretty damn good at protecting them or their helmet is effective, to them, seeing helmets chopped in half, a glaive cutting a mail hauberk in half etc, would relay a powerful message as to just how endowed by god these israelites were, to be able to achieve such feats.

like i said, the idea of giving final fantasies character cloud strife a massive sword and then have him wield it with ease, sends the message that he is no ordinary man.
or legolas being able to shoot with such near impossible accuracy time after time, or just like frodo being stabbed by the spear in moria with a blow that 'would have skewered a wild boar' and the fact that the mithril stopped it so effectively is a testement to just how strong mithril supposedly was.
its largely projecting the same message.
though the fact it is a biblical style illustration settles, for me, why things are shown that way
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Nat Lamb




Location: Melbourne, Australia
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Sep, 2011 12:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

just to throw a cat amoung the pidgeons...
There was a recent investigation into the the speeds that trirmes moved at (sorry, cant remember who conducted the study). Used some pretty good sluething to get verification of the speeds they achieved. The study also got some elite modern rowers (pretty sure they were olympic or commonwealth games athletes) and compared them. Conclusion was that the trireme crews were rowing for hours at a significantly higher top speed than the moderd elite athletes could handle for a few minutes. Study looked at possible reasons for this and couldn't come up with anything better than "compared to our ancestors, we are puny sissy girly-men"

There is also the example of some fosilised footprints here in Oztrahya that are about 30k+ years old, boffins have calculated that the idividual who layed them down was A) running prety close to Usian Bolte speeds B) barefoot C) in the mud, and most impresively D) was still accelerating when the strides left these imprints. Again the conlusion was "Some random guy in the ancient past was faster than our top modern athlete, except barefoot in the mud"

So perhaps the Mac bible is showing feats we consider to be superhuman because our conception of "human" has been skewed by our impoverished abilities...

(by the way, I do not actually believe that people really were cleaving each other and horses in half through mail, just throwing it out there)
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Sep, 2011 9:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nat Lamb wrote:
just to throw a cat amoung the pidgeons...
There was a recent investigation into the the speeds that trirmes moved at (sorry, cant remember who conducted the study). Used some pretty good sluething to get verification of the speeds they achieved. The study also got some elite modern rowers (pretty sure they were olympic or commonwealth games athletes) and compared them. Conclusion was that the trireme crews were rowing for hours at a significantly higher top speed than the moderd elite athletes could handle for a few minutes. Study looked at possible reasons for this and couldn't come up with anything better than "compared to our ancestors, we are puny sissy girly-men"

There is also the example of some fosilised footprints here in Oztrahya that are about 30k+ years old, boffins have calculated that the idividual who layed them down was A) running prety close to Usian Bolte speeds B) barefoot C) in the mud, and most impresively D) was still accelerating when the strides left these imprints. Again the conlusion was "Some random guy in the ancient past was faster than our top modern athlete, except barefoot in the mud"

So perhaps the Mac bible is showing feats we consider to be superhuman because our conception of "human" has been skewed by our impoverished abilities...

(by the way, I do not actually believe that people really were cleaving each other and horses in half through mail, just throwing it out there)


ill take your word for it regarding the trireme rowing,
BUT....
for the footprint, the depth of footprints only indicates how much force was applied to the ground, theres a great deal of possibility that this guy might just have been HEAVIER than normal, which can be potentially misrepresented as going faster, a heavier person will leave a deeper imprint in the ground,
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Aleksei Sosnovski





Joined: 04 Mar 2008

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PostPosted: Thu 15 Sep, 2011 11:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stronger people -> heavier, beefier swords (or otherwise they would break too often) -> heavier armor (to defeat these heavy swords, strong people can wear heavy armor, can't they?) -> still too difficult to cut through a helmet. I can believe that a professional trireme rower who was doing it 14/7 could row better than a modern day athlete. I can believe that a human who was running for his life 10/7 could run better than a modern day athlete (until his joints wear out that is). I can also believe that human species have physically changed in 3000 years. But in 700 years? I doubt it. Well, I also can't help suspecting that the results of the trireme tests and especially analysis of the footprints are not very precise. But I haven't seen them so cannot comment. But the biggest question is why medieval weapons and armor don't seem too heavy for us? And why does armor get heavier in the 16th century (when people should become weaker, if we assume that the degradation was a gradual process)? Why was is relatively light in the 13th century? The only reason I can think of is that it was enough.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Sep, 2011 12:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P wrote:
for the footprint, the depth of footprints only indicates how much force was applied to the ground, theres a great deal of possibility that this guy might just have been HEAVIER than normal, which can be potentially misrepresented as going faster, a heavier person will leave a deeper imprint in the ground,

When a person runs his toes make a deeper impression than when he walks. The distance between footprints is a lot greater also.
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