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Michael Mercier




Location: Durham, NC on my way to Iraq
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PostPosted: Wed 25 Apr, 2007 12:19 pm    Post subject: "historical" story of a pommel         Reply with quote

Before I wave the BS flag, I just wanted to be sure there was no truth to this whatsoever. There is a website of a guy out there who books himself as a "knight" doing talks and things in some nice armor made by Christian Fletcher. He has a section of the page talking about the different pieces as well as his weapons. I'm not going to give his name out yet just in case he is on the forum.

In this section, he has a picture of the pommel of his wallhanger he carries around and it says this:
Quote:
This is the pommel of the sword. It is hollow. The nut on the end is removed when the knight receives his sword and into it he places a lock of his lady's hair and a small scroll on which he has written the verse from Ephesians 6 about the armor of God.


Is there any truth to this or is he blowing smoke up people's butts? I don't know of any swords that had nuts on them. What's the deal???

Of course he has a picture of the dragon on his quillon and has this quote:

Quote:
This dragon is engraved on the handle of my sword. The dragon was a symbol of Satan. The knight's sword was a symbol of the Word of God which is called the Sword of the Spirit in Ephesians 6. Also knights, I believe, did kill dragons back in the early middle ages. These were dragons left over from the era of the dinosaur.


Is this guy actually serious??? He goes around educating cub scout groups, schools and churches???

Mike
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Jonathan Blair




Location: Hanover, PA
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PostPosted: Wed 25 Apr, 2007 1:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The BS flag may wave, but only as far as it flies under the banner of good intentions.

Looking at his website, I have to say his heart is in the right place trying to teach kids about the ideals of chivalry. Although it appears he teaches a fairly Victorian ideal of chivalry with all its biases, some of the particulars are wrong. The pommel thing is one of them. While there were pommels that had hollwed out faces (like the Albion Sovereign, only a bit deeper) in which a relic or small favor could be affixed and covered with a piece of quartz or glass, the pommels from the medieval period were peened in place.

As far as the dragons being dinosaurs, some YEC proponents believe that the dinosaurs lived in a time that overlapped mankind's time on Earth. The smaller ones are explained away as reptiles and such, while the big ones gave rise to the myths of dragons and wyverns and other beasties before being hunted or starved out of existence. This is due to the Paluxy River find, which shows a man's footprint next to a dinosaur footprint in fossilized mud.

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." - The Lord Jesus Christ, from The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, chapter x, verse 34, Authorized Version of 1611
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Hugh Knight




Location: San Bernardino, CA
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PostPosted: Wed 25 Apr, 2007 1:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan Blair wrote:
the pommels from the medieval period were peened in place.


I make no claim to having studied hundreds of swords looking for these details, but I offer this from the Gladiatoria Fechtbuch:
http://www.thehaca.com/Manuals/Gladiatoria/15.jpg
the text that goes with this picture says:
"Note the 12th technique: if you want to end quickly with him, take your spear and sword together and unscrew the pommel of your sword and throw it at him and rush in toward him and use the sword or the spear – whatever is more suitable for you. If he throws a pommel at you then take your spear and catch the throw and take your spear into your right hand for the strike and defend yourself from him rushing at you as he wants to do."

I make no claims about whether this is a good technique (it seems stupid to me even though I teach from this manual!) or whether swords were commonly made this way (which doesn't seem to be the case). I will say that several Fechtbücher use weird, spiky swords which never seem to have actually been used in period; this may be a case of that--imagination on the part of the author.

But as for the web page? Nonsense. There's no support for what he's saying, it's typical Victorian fluff.

Regards,
Hugh
www.schlachtschule.org
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Michael Mercier




Location: Durham, NC on my way to Iraq
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Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 123

PostPosted: Wed 25 Apr, 2007 2:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I understand his good intentions, and I applaud him for that. It is a very impressive story. But as good as his intentions are, his stories probably are riddled with Victorian myths and I hope he does not pass these on to unknowing individuals.

The pommel throwing is quite funny. I never noticed that before. But as this guy mentions "unscrewing the nut and putting the stuff inside the hollow pommel, now I don't know where he got this from, but it seems quite silly to me.

Mike
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Sean Belair
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PostPosted: Wed 25 Apr, 2007 2:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

can you post his site, i want to see this for myself
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David Sutton




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PostPosted: Wed 25 Apr, 2007 4:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Try Googling Knightforhire.com. I just had a quick look over the site its very 'Victorian' as others have noted. As for educating; Might be ok for younger children but much of what it says on the site is clearly, factually wrong. As to the pommel being hollow i think it pretty much defeats the purpose of having one, ie to provide a balance to the blade?

I like the unscrewing your pommel and throwing it at your opponent business Laughing Out Loud. Reminds me of a scene in Saving Private Ryan where Tom Sizemore throws his empty 45 at a German, who does the same thing with his Walther!

'Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all'

'To teach superstitions as truth is a most terrible thing'

Hypatia of Alexandria, c400AD
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
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PostPosted: Wed 25 Apr, 2007 7:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

He is a story teller, not a historian. To keep a layman audience he has to entertain them, that he is bothering to try get them to think a bit here and there about anything, and I think he does, is extra.

There are better windmills to tilt with than a story teller whole makes his tales tall to entertain. In all honesty I find more than a few things to admire about the guy. He sounds eccentric, but he sure seems to be intent on trying to make the world a better place in his own way.

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
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Jonathan Blair




Location: Hanover, PA
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PostPosted: Wed 25 Apr, 2007 9:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hugh Knight wrote:
"Note the 12th technique: if you want to end quickly with him, take your spear and sword together and unscrew the pommel of your sword and throw it at him and rush in toward him and use the sword or the spear – whatever is more suitable for you. If he throws a pommel at you then take your spear and catch the throw and take your spear into your right hand for the strike and defend yourself from him rushing at you as he wants to do."

I make no claims about whether this is a good technique (it seems stupid to me even though I teach from this manual!) or whether swords were commonly made this way (which doesn't seem to be the case). I will say that several Fechtbücher use weird, spiky swords which never seem to have actually been used in period; this may be a case of that--imagination on the part of the author.

Sounds kind of fishy to me. Let me see if I have this straight: while holding your spear, you are supposed to unscrew your pommel to throw it at your opponent, then attack him with either the spear or the sword (which of course is now falling apart). Let me guess, "Please wait while I unscrew my pommel from my sword so I can throw it at you. Thanks."

Anyone live after trying this technique? Or was this the way the master got rid of troublesome students?

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." - The Lord Jesus Christ, from The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, chapter x, verse 34, Authorized Version of 1611
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Hugh Knight




Location: San Bernardino, CA
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PostPosted: Wed 25 Apr, 2007 10:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan Blair wrote:
Hugh Knight wrote:
"Note the 12th technique: if you want to end quickly with him, take your spear and sword together and unscrew the pommel of your sword and throw it at him and rush in toward him and use the sword or the spear – whatever is more suitable for you. If he throws a pommel at you then take your spear and catch the throw and take your spear into your right hand for the strike and defend yourself from him rushing at you as he wants to do."

I make no claims about whether this is a good technique (it seems stupid to me even though I teach from this manual!) or whether swords were commonly made this way (which doesn't seem to be the case). I will say that several Fechtbücher use weird, spiky swords which never seem to have actually been used in period; this may be a case of that--imagination on the part of the author.

Sounds kind of fishy to me. Let me see if I have this straight: while holding your spear, you are supposed to unscrew your pommel to throw it at your opponent, then attack him with either the spear or the sword (which of course is now falling apart). Let me guess, "Please wait while I unscrew my pommel from my sword so I can throw it at you. Thanks."

Anyone live after trying this technique? Or was this the way the master got rid of troublesome students?


It sounds *stupid* to me, and I use Gladiatoria as one of my prime sources for teaching Harnischfechten--I just don't teach this. At the same time, however, there it is.

Hey, it's not as weird as this:
http://www.thehaca.com/Manuals/155.jpg
which is instructions on how to rob a peasant by making him think you've cut his throat when all you really do is poke it a little.

God, I *love* being a German martial artist!

Regards,
Hugh
www.schlachtschule.org
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G Ezell
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PostPosted: Wed 25 Apr, 2007 10:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David Sutton wrote:
Try Googling Knightforhire.com. I just had a quick look over the site its very 'Victorian' as others have noted. As for educating; Might be ok for younger children but much of what it says on the site is clearly, factually wrong. As to the pommel being hollow i think it pretty much defeats the purpose of having one, ie to provide a balance to the blade?


Many if not most migration era swords had hollow pommels, although they were drastically different in form to the one pictured, and certianly could not be unscrewed... Big Grin
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Stephen Hand




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PostPosted: Wed 25 Apr, 2007 11:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan Blair wrote:
This is due to the Paluxy River find, which shows a man's footprint next to a dinosaur footprint in fossilized mud.


The Paluxy River find shows nothing of the sort unless you agree that humans had three toes and feet twice the length of modern humans. Some of the footprints at the site have been vandalised to make them look more like human footprints and in the creationist photos I've seen the dinosaur footprints have been selectively wetted so that the pattern of wet and dry areas looks more like a human footprint. It's rather sad really, but then young earth creationism IS rather sad.

Stephen Hand
Editor, Spada, Spada II
Author of English Swordsmanship, Medieval Sword and Shield

Stoccata School of Defence
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Reinier van Noort





Joined: 13 Dec 2006

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PostPosted: Thu 26 Apr, 2007 12:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's good to not be the only geologist around Cool . And creationists are really funny sometimes Big Grin , though not when vandalising outcrops etc.

Back slightly more-on-topic:

Some of my favourite fechtbuch illustrations are in Lecküchner - Kunst des Messerfechtens - BSB Cgm 582 - (dated 1482).
http://www.digitale-sammlungen.de/~db/bsb0000...ml?seite=1

Pages 186 and 187 show somebody playing a game, while holding his opponent in a vice, and 3 guys shoving a fourth headfirst into a sack. Then the ms continues normally again.

Illustrations like this really make me wonder what the author/illustrator was thinking at the time he made the pages...

School voor Historische Schermkunsten

www.bruchius.com
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Michael Mercier




Location: Durham, NC on my way to Iraq
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PostPosted: Thu 26 Apr, 2007 5:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hugh Knight wrote:

Hey, it's not as weird as this:
http://www.thehaca.com/Manuals/155.jpg
which is instructions on how to rob a peasant by making him think you've cut his throat when all you really do is poke it a little.
God, I *love* being a German martial artist!


Come on now Hugh, being a German martial artist, have you worked with this technique http://www.thearma.org/Manuals/49.jpg
The one where you make your opponent "happy". I swear that has to be the funniest WMA manuscript picture I have ever seen, despite what the technique actually is.

Back to the topic on hand, I truely can appreciate what this guy is doing. Educating our youth on morals is important and something that seems to be lacking these days. He is going about it in a wonderful way. If I could afford a complete Fletcher suit I would certainly go around in an attempt to show it off! But I hope that he is doing it as a storyteller and not a self-proclaimed historian.

Mike
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Reinier van Noort





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PostPosted: Thu 26 Apr, 2007 6:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you think that was funny...

http://jfgilles.club.fr/escrime/bibliotheque/...es/098.jpg

Laughing Out Loud

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Thu 26 Apr, 2007 7:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Folks,
Let's not let this thread digress into snickering about period images that could be looked at sexually. We're not in middle school any more.

Happy

ChadA

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Jonathan Blair




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PostPosted: Thu 26 Apr, 2007 9:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stephen Hand wrote:
The Paluxy River find shows nothing of the sort unless you agree that humans had three toes and feet twice the length of modern humans. Some of the footprints at the site have been vandalised to make them look more like human footprints and in the creationist photos I've seen the dinosaur footprints have been selectively wetted so that the pattern of wet and dry areas looks more like a human footprint. It's rather sad really, but then young earth creationism IS rather sad.

I didn't say it was right; I just reported the reasoning that some YEC proponents use, which touched on the original post. Most YEC proponents have rejected the Paluxy River find for the same reason you gave. Besides as the writer of the book of Hebrews said, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (11:1 - AV1611). Trying to prove faith in something like a young Earth is a daunting and sometimes impossible task.

Anyways, YEC versus OEC versus Theistic Evolution versus Athiestic Evolution isn't what this site is about.

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." - The Lord Jesus Christ, from The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, chapter x, verse 34, Authorized Version of 1611
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Michael Mercier




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PostPosted: Thu 26 Apr, 2007 10:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sorry Chad. My appoligies.

Mike
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David Sutton




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PostPosted: Thu 26 Apr, 2007 2:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

G Ezell wrote:

Many if not most migration era swords had hollow pommels, although they were drastically different in form to the one pictured, and certianly could not be unscrewed... Big Grin


This actually occured to me not long after I had written my post. Late period Roman Gladii were commonly of a ring hilt type (where the tang is drawn into a loop) as where a number of Germanic swords. But how well were these swords balanced? A gladius might get away with it only being fairly short but what about a Spatha type; And then there are those Irish ring hilts? Do these swords use greater distal taper to transfer more mass towards the hilt to lighten the handling or where they just accepted to be very blade heavy?

'Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all'

'To teach superstitions as truth is a most terrible thing'

Hypatia of Alexandria, c400AD
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Philip C. Ryan




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PostPosted: Thu 26 Apr, 2007 6:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Earlier swords were not actually very well balanced at all. These swords were designed as hacking/slashing weapons....made to splinter wooden shields and crush through the advanced maille armors of the time. Even into the "Viking Age", swords were still "end heavy". It wasn't until the introduction of more advanced, stronger, and more impenetrable armors like coats-of-plates and full plate harnasses, that swords developed into more balanced weapons. They had to be, as getting around, or through, the armor now required more thrusting and point work. This resulted in smiths designing a more balanced...i.e.controllable....weapon.
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Reinier van Noort





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PostPosted: Fri 27 Apr, 2007 1:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad, you are absolutely right; my apologies as well.
School voor Historische Schermkunsten

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