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Jeff Smith




Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 11 Apr 2006

Posts: 26

PostPosted: Fri 21 Apr, 2006 9:28 pm    Post subject: Movie recommendations?         Reply with quote

Hey all,

I'm interested in learning more about medieval warfare, both tactics and about those who fought. Are there any movies that are even remotely close to reality that you might recommend that depict clothing, armor, weapons, tactics, etc properly?

How about books - history, fiction, etc? I'm interested in the way people lived in ca. 14th century Europe.

Thanks!
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Will Thompson




Location: Utah
Joined: 18 Nov 2005

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri 21 Apr, 2006 10:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Movies that are truly historically accurate in their depictions of medieval warfare are few and far between, sadly. In fact, no outstanding examples really come to mind. But if you want books on the history of the 14th century that detail how people lived in the 14th century, I highly recommend "A Distant Mirror" by Barbara Tuchman.
Swords, not words!
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Greyson Brown




Location: Windsor, Colorado
Joined: 22 Nov 2004
Reading list: 15 books

Posts: 790

PostPosted: Sat 22 Apr, 2006 2:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You are going to have more luck with books. Looking at members' reading lists is a really good place to start. Also the Paper Armoury and Bibliography pages that are linked on the left side of the Book Store (just click Books at the top right, just below the myArmoury.com logo, of almost any page).

If you want something that focuses on entertainment more, I would recomend Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The White Company. I recomend buyig it through the Book Store here at myArmoury.com, but it can also be found free of charge at www.literature.org (just click on the link in my signature) if you want to read a bit of it before you decide whether or not to buy. It is historical fiction, and I wouldn't put too much faith in the combat (some parts are better than others in that respect). It takes place in 1366-67, and because of the circumstance that the main character is in, you get an intersting perspective on both the church and lay life. It still needs to be combined with other research to get the most out of it, but it can be a fun alternative.

-Grey

"So long as I can keep the path of honor I am well content."
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The White Company
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Ken Rankin




Location: North Carolina
Joined: 12 Mar 2006

Posts: 69

PostPosted: Sat 22 Apr, 2006 5:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Though I am certainly no expert, the one film that comes to mind when one asks about films that deal with medieval life is:

Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

I always thought that, despite the silliness, the mood of the film and the way it was shot always gives the setting that one would expect of the harshness of life in those times, although the film is set in the 900's, I believe, which of course is inaccurate in inself. The final battle at the end of the film looked authentic to me, at least until the police show up.

Actually, we hope to meet an extra from the film today. He went on to become a Herald Painter at the Court of the Lord Lyon, and he Deputy Secretary of the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs. He's the guest of honor at our local Highland Games today, if we can avoid getting rained on.

Ken
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Jared Smith




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

Spotlight topics: 3
Posts: 1,532

PostPosted: Sat 22 Apr, 2006 7:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have always liked the movie "Conan the Barbarian". This actually has almost no tacticts. However, one of the things I remember about the hype around the time of the movie's release was that Arnold spent several weeks actually training to handle the massive sword.

There were actually two swords produced (I believe one stainless design originally weighed 12 lbs, another 8 lbs.. something like that anyway.) Few people could have pulled off what he did with a sword like that.

Having watched this movie probably something like 20 times, I am more impressed now that I understand how hard it is to handle a lighter sword like that. Some of the moves are actually pretty good as far as basic 1 on 1 combat, guard positions and counter attacks. Given that he started at probably zero skill, I think the movie deserves a little credit for having payed attention to some sparring fundamentals.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
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Posts: 3,970

PostPosted: Sat 22 Apr, 2006 8:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

An excellent novel, The Lords Of Vaumartin, by Cecelia Holland covers France in the XIVth century - the battles of Crecy and Poitiers, the Black Death, what it was like to live in Paris as a noble and as a commoner. She has a very readable style, does research to get things right, and really tries to get into the Medieval head. Her characters are much more than people with modern minds wearing period clothes and waving swords.

Edit to put the X in XIV. Thank you Mr. Goff for pointing out its absence.


Last edited by Roger Hooper on Sat 22 Apr, 2006 10:05 am; edited 2 times in total
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Carl Goff




Location: Florida
Joined: 27 Sep 2005
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 196

PostPosted: Sat 22 Apr, 2006 9:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
An excellent novel, The Lords Of Vaumartin, by Cecelia Holland covers France in the IVth century - the battles of Crecy and Poitiers, the Black Death, what it was like to live in Paris as a noble and as a commoner.


Quote:
covers France in the IVth century...the battles of Crecy and Poitiers


Quote:
IVth century...Crecy and Poitiers


Quite the typo there. Razz I'm interested in finding good novels, though-I'll have to check that out.

Oh, East of sands and sunlit gulf, your blood is thin, your gods are few;
You could not break the Northern wolf and now the wolf has turned on you.
The fires that light the coasts of Spain fling shadows on the Eastern strand.
Master, your slave has come again with torch and axe in his right hand!
-Robert E. Howard
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Jeff Smith




Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 11 Apr 2006

Posts: 26

PostPosted: Sat 22 Apr, 2006 9:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger,

Thanks for the tip... I just ordered "The Lords of Vaumartin" from Amazon and found a used hardcover version in Like New condition for $1.10 and with shipping will arrive here for a whopping $4.59! hehe...

I look forward to reading it, sounds very interesting. The 14th century must have been such a very very different world than what we know today - but in some ways not so different at all I bet...

Books I also have on order are...

Fighting with the German Longsword

The Sworsman's Companion - a manual for training with the medieval longsword

Comments on these books? They appear to be good starters for a novice from the reviews I saw on them. My new Crecy should be arriving Monday the 24th via UPS!! I'm going crazy awaiting it's arrival...
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Bill Grandy
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Alexandria, VA USA
Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Reading list: 43 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 4,148

PostPosted: Sat 22 Apr, 2006 10:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeff Smith wrote:
Books I also have on order are...

Fighting with the German Longsword

The Sworsman's Companion - a manual for training with the medieval longsword


You couldn't have picked two better choices for introduction books. These are fantastic for the novice. You may also want to check out the DVD The Longsword of Johannes Liechtenauer that's being distributed by Chivalry Bookshelf. (It's often referred to as the "Ochs DVD" because the two guys in it are members of the group Ochs.) That's another fantastic way to get a good primer into historical swordsmanship.

You'll find all three have differences in approach (particularly Windsor's book because he's showing Italian guards instead of the German ones of the other two sources), but all ultimately will teach you many excellent things and give more than enough of an understanding to decide whether or not it's something you want to pursue seriously.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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