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Scott Kowalski




Location: Oak Lawn, IL USA
Joined: 24 Nov 2006

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PostPosted: Sun 19 Sep, 2021 9:29 am    Post subject: I.33 sword type.         Reply with quote

Based on the discussion in this thread http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=39498 what do you feel is the best sword for use with I.33. I agree that the Type XIV is what most people think of when discussing this topic. I know that Angus Trim has been making some Xa's that he says would make good sword and buckler blades. What about Type XIIs and early Type XV's and XVI's? Albion has there I.33 sword that they made for the Royal Armouries that is a Type XII https://www.albion-swords.com/ROYAL%20ARMOURY%20I33.html.

I would love to here people's thoughts on this as well as what they think would make an ideal sword for I.33 at the start of the 14th Century. It would also be great to see examples of what is currently being made that fits your criteria.

Chris Landwehr 10/10/49-1/1/09 My Mom
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Vincent Le Chevalier




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PostPosted: Sun 19 Sep, 2021 12:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I personally never quite got why types XIV would be seen as particularly suited for fencing as in I.33. One of the specificities of the type is shortness of blade, and that's not very helpful in such a context. I think the longer types XII and XVI are a better match.

Trying to assess types in manuscript illustrations is in my opinion misguided. It's hard enough to distinguish types on physical objects, attempting to distinguish XII / XIV / XVI on not-so-stellar drawings is just about impossible. The only information you can gather is that some engagements can only be done when the blade is above a certain length (see on the bottom here for example).

The issue is made even more complex by the fact that handling might be variable within each type; one might be able to find both very nimble or rather more authoritative examples in any of them. Different people might prefer different handling properties, without any of them being more correct than the others!

One thing is certain, I'm quite a fan of my Albion Squire, and I think it matches well enough - assuming I.33 author(s) had sharp blades in mind, which is not at all proven!

Regards,

--
Vincent
Ensis Sub Caelo
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Scott Kowalski




Location: Oak Lawn, IL USA
Joined: 24 Nov 2006

Posts: 818

PostPosted: Sun 19 Sep, 2021 3:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vincent, thank you for the well thought out and thorough reply. I agree with all of the points that you made about why the XIV might not be the best, especially when one takes it shorter length into account.

I also agree that in the art of the time it would be nigh impossible to tell a Type XII/XIV/XVI apart from each other. Added to the fact that the use of typology is a modern construct to allow us to group blades together.

I have had an Albion Squire in the past that I let go because I never really bonded with it. I can see how it would be a good blade for I.33. Relatively light and quick with good point control as well as the ability to deliver a decent cut.

I have attached a picture of the sword that I own that I think would work for me with I.33, and the reason I asked about Type Xa's. The blade is based on Albion's Vigil, which they categorize as a Type X, and which I have also seen called a Xa or XII. Talk about adding to the confusion!



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Chris Landwehr 10/10/49-1/1/09 My Mom
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Sep, 2021 3:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Since I.33 primarily deals with unarmoured single combat, I'd say agility would be the key factor ahead of mass and/or shear cutting power. When I owned a Vigil I thought it would make a dandy I.33 sword for me, maybe not for someone else. I'd think any double-edged, single handed sword the user can execute the proper form with would work just fine, regardless of fitting into any typology.
"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Walter Stockwell




Location: Campbell , CA
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PostPosted: Mon 20 Sep, 2021 4:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vincent Le Chevalier wrote:


One thing is certain, I'm quite a fan of my Albion Squire, and I think it matches well enough - assuming I.33 author(s) had sharp blades in mind, which is not at all proven!

Regards,


I'm not at all an I.33 scholar, but this sentence caught my eye. Why would someone be fencing without sharp blades?

Walter
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Vincent Le Chevalier




Location: Paris, France
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PostPosted: Mon 20 Sep, 2021 11:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Walter,

Walter Stockwell wrote:
I'm not at all an I.33 scholar, but this sentence caught my eye. Why would someone be fencing without sharp blades?

Well if you look at what happens later in history the vast majority of fencing training is conducted with safe blades or other training implements, not the sharp swords you would use to fight with. The frequency of 'real fights' out of armour with sharp swords is something that is still a debated topic - in some periods we know it happened relatively often, in others we just don't have much evidence of it. Fencing for fun, including in a competitive setting, seems to have always existed, and I don't think I've seen any evidence of it ever being done with sharp blades - too dangerous to be fun!

The I.33 depicts an obvious training setting with a teacher and his pupil(s), without many hints about the context of application. It could have been training in case you need the skill with a sharp blade and deadly intent, but it just as well might have been a cool game to play, just like fencing is nowadays. In which case thinking of the ideal sword for I.33 in terms of sharp sword types may not be pertinent.

It's one of the frustrating things in HEMA: we just have so little information about the actual modalities of the practice for the martial arts described in source texts. And the earlier you go, the worse it gets...

Regards,

--
Vincent
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Walter Stockwell




Location: Campbell , CA
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PostPosted: Tue 21 Sep, 2021 8:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vincent Le Chevalier wrote:
Hello Walter,

Walter Stockwell wrote:
I'm not at all an I.33 scholar, but this sentence caught my eye. Why would someone be fencing without sharp blades?

Well if you look at what happens later in history the vast majority of fencing training is conducted with safe blades or other training implements, not the sharp swords you would use to fight with. The frequency of 'real fights' out of armour with sharp swords is something that is still a debated topic - in some periods we know it happened relatively often, in others we just don't have much evidence of it. Fencing for fun, including in a competitive setting, seems to have always existed, and I don't think I've seen any evidence of it ever being done with sharp blades - too dangerous to be fun!

The I.33 depicts an obvious training setting with a teacher and his pupil(s), without many hints about the context of application. It could have been training in case you need the skill with a sharp blade and deadly intent, but it just as well might have been a cool game to play, just like fencing is nowadays. In which case thinking of the ideal sword for I.33 in terms of sharp sword types may not be pertinent.

It's one of the frustrating things in HEMA: we just have so little information about the actual modalities of the practice for the martial arts described in source texts. And the earlier you go, the worse it gets...

Regards,


Thank you for the interesting reply. I can see analogies to bokken, shinai or iaitos where one would not practice with a sharp sword, but the practice is still aimed at using a sharp sword. Even single stick is in theory training for a backsword. Similarly I'd expect that even if I.33 does not depict people using sharp swords their practice would be aimed at using a sharp sword. But like you say -- the truth is obscured by the past.

Walter
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R. Kolick





Joined: 04 Feb 2012

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PostPosted: Sat 25 Sep, 2021 9:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

so as someone who practices I:33 i want to lead my answer with this. we know very little about it, in reality the amount we dont know likely makes what we do know a rather insignificant percentage so i recommend taking any statements someone makes about the manuscript with a lot of salt including this.

now onto what sword is used for I:33. the short answer is any sword that likely existed between 1250 and 1330 (roughly a generation before its earliest estimated creation date and a decade after the latest. the long answer is people use roughly three forms of evidence for their choice
1. historical viability: is has to be from around the time of the manuscript since if it isnt its unlikely it was used with the system since fencing systems change and adapt to new needs and fashions as time goes on (doesnt mean you cant use a sword from outside that time zone but it will give slightly different results)
2. artwork: honestly this isnt a very useful one since the swords shown could be anything from what we call a type XI, XII, XIV, XV, XVI, or maybe even and XVIII though that ones unlikely do to the period. so if you want to find evidence in the artwork yoou can make any argument you want the art isnt really good enough to make a distinction in the typeology of the swords used. basically if its a double edged one-handed sword with a simple hilt, and no ricasso the art agrees.
3. Personal preference: honestly this is the one most people use to pick a sword for I:33. we have no idea the context for the manuscript, no idea what swords they used, and we honestly have dont have anything resembling a consensus on interpretations of it. the number of variations in interpretations of I:33 equals the number of practitioners, so most people choose a sword that they like and they think works best for their interpretations.

personally i have used many different swords of varying lengths the shortest blade being a 27.75 inches type XIV and the longest being a 32 inch type XV and several others including the standard I:33 from albion and their royal armories version. i can tell you all of them have worked well. so my answer to which is the best sword is try as many as you can and if it fits the period its the right sword. if nothing else you are no less right than anyone else and probably more right than people who say it was only one specific type of sword

my recommendations for possible options are
historical originals
royal armories swords
IX. 5501 https://collections.royalarmouries.org/object/rac-object-47642.html
IX.2141 https://collections.royalarmouries.org/object/rac-object-7997.html
IX.13 https://collections.royalarmouries.org/object/rac-object-29.html
the famous Solingen sword

training swords
albion I:33
the albion royal armoires I:33
the malleus martialis makes a lovely type XIV https://malleusmartialis.com/
kvetun arms
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