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Jonathan Harton





Joined: 07 Aug 2005

Posts: 51

PostPosted: Tue 03 Apr, 2007 1:37 pm    Post subject: Roots of Medieval Myths, help needed         Reply with quote

Hey guys,

I'm working on some research that requires me to look into the historiography of the past opinions of scholars on the evolution of Medieval weapons and armour. Having always been directed towards those scholars who are now widely considered to have gotten things right, Oakeshott, David Nicolle, Alan Williams, etc, I have found myself in the strange but problematic position of not knowing where the old myths of clumsy medieval warriors weighed down by armour, with little definable martial talent, and with heavy swords, etc originated.

Can anyone put me on the track of scholars who have written in agreement with these myths?
Thanks for the help,
Jonathan.
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Felix Wang




Location: Fresno, CA
Joined: 23 Aug 2003
Reading list: 17 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 394

PostPosted: Tue 03 Apr, 2007 2:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Victorians get much of the credit. Researchers of that era did invaluable ground work in basic collection and translation of sources, but they did get a number of things wrong. For misunderstanding mail, I think Ashdown is the major person to blame. For the idea of knights needing cranes to get into horses, this was a joke of Mark Twain's (Conneticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court) which was accepted as fact. For the clumsiness of medieval swords, we need to look at the fencers of the 19th century, who were generally convinced that their brand of swordsmanship was the acme of a linear progression of history.
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Jonathan Harton





Joined: 07 Aug 2005

Posts: 51

PostPosted: Tue 03 Apr, 2007 4:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Felix, any specific titles from those areas you recommend?
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Tue 03 Apr, 2007 4:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Egerton Castle's book is not a bad place to start: http://www.myArmoury.com/books/item.php?ASIN=0486428265
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,158

PostPosted: Wed 04 Apr, 2007 6:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Apparently the myth about winches can be traced back to the time of Henry VIII when he was winched into his saddle for a tourney. It had nothing to do with the weight of his armour and rather a lot to do with his copious obesity. The addition of armour to his royal fatness made little appreciable difference to the total weight.
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Steven H




Location: Boston
Joined: 10 May 2006

Posts: 545

PostPosted: Wed 04 Apr, 2007 9:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Apparently the myth about winches can be traced back to the time of Henry VIII when he was winched into his saddle for a tourney. It had nothing to do with the weight of his armour and rather a lot to do with his copious obesity. The addition of armour to his royal fatness made little appreciable difference to the total weight.


"His royal fatness" Big Grin

Kunstbruder - Boston area Historical Combat Study
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Lennon R. Clotild





Joined: 06 Mar 2007

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed 04 Apr, 2007 3:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The honor goes to Mark Twain and his A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, this is the book that put the idea of the whole "winch" thing into the popular mind
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