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Ushio Kawana




Location: Japan
Joined: 17 Aug 2008

Posts: 146

PostPosted: Fri 16 Sep, 2011 4:51 pm    Post subject: About using the dagger for a friendly armoured knight         Reply with quote

Hi Happy

Almost members know how to use the daggers well...
For example... rondel dagger...
http://www.myArmoury.com/feature_spot_rondel.php
Quote:
One feature of rondel daggers that unites them all is the rigid blade and very acute point which underlines their primary function: to stab. The slim, long blades were capable of piercing mail and finding the small openings in the foe's plate armour. Indeed, many period illustrations show soldiers attacking foes with rondel daggers, almost always with a stabbing motion. One of the functions of these daggers (and daggers in general) was to mercifully kill the seriously wounded. From that function stems the alternative name for daggers: misericordes.

It is known that a dagger was used for an enemy in famous battles(Crecy, Agincourt, etc...).
And I read that a dagger was used for the wounded friendly armoured knight.
However, I do not know about this thing...
Are there the famous story or battle?

thanks ^^

I'm interested in Medieval Arms and Armor.
But... My English is very poor ><;
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T. Arndt




Location: La Crosse, WI
Joined: 07 Jul 2011
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Posts: 226

PostPosted: Fri 16 Sep, 2011 8:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My assumption has been this kind of "mercy" would have been reserved for the wounded enemy knights that were injured too badly be ransomed. I doubt that it would have been dispensed to friendly (aka allied) knights unless they requested it. Again, this is just my impression. My only source other than my feeling is that remains of knights show a number of serious wounds that have healed; this would not have been able to happen had they been given "mercy" the first time they were wounded.
Wisconsin Historical Fencing Association (WHFA) - La Crosse
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“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” -Juvenal
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Marik C.S.




Location: Germany
Joined: 16 Feb 2010

Posts: 163

PostPosted: Sat 17 Sep, 2011 2:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This maybe a good time to drag religion into this, wouldn't it be a rather grave sin to kill someone.
If requested this might be seen as a form of suicide which would warrant a trip to hell.
Also it may have been less "mercy" but rather finishing off the wounded before looting. There might be some poor sods who make no exception to looting their own folks.
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Sat 17 Sep, 2011 9:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There could be double meanings here since the dagger might be used for compassionate mercy reasons or the name might be because when someone approached a wounded or captured soldier or knight it might have been a good time to quickly scream " MERCY " as in don't kill me I am rich and can pay a huge ransom !

So Mercy Dagger could be a humorous and sarcastic name for a dagger when used for very much less than merciful reasons. ( Name associate with what one would say when the dagger was pulled: Always meant the end of the encounter leading to death or capture/surrender with or without a promise of ransom ).

Side note: " Mercy " in English sounds exactly the same as " Mercie " in French which means, in modern usage at least,
" Thank you ".

Another linguistic side note: In French, again, " Remercier de ses services " is a phrases used to fire people from their jobs as in " Thank you for your service/work .... now get out you're fired " ! So, this also related word has a certainly the finality of termination, even if in a less fatal way. Wink Razz Laughing Out Loud [/b]

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Marik C.S.




Location: Germany
Joined: 16 Feb 2010

Posts: 163

PostPosted: Sun 18 Sep, 2011 12:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good point, hadn't thought about that linguistic link between French and English.
Although this can only go so far as to explain this partially since said link between "Merci" and "Mercy" works fine for English and French (would make perfect sense for the context of the 100-years war) but the dagger is also associated with Mercy in German - it is sometimes called a "Gnadgott" meaning something along the lines of "Mercyful God" - and we don't know whether this is because of the same association or because it was simply an imported and translated name.

Also while looking for the German names of this type of dagger I found it being called a "Gnadenbringer" - Mercygiver - which makes it sound less likely that the weapon was named after the screams of the wounded enemies.
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Kel Rekuta




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 10 Feb 2004
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Posts: 603

PostPosted: Sun 18 Sep, 2011 8:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting thing to note here... the little seats that flip down in medieval choir stalls, so often richly carved, are also called misericordes. They allowed monks to stay standing during the long and numerous daily services. Perhaps there is a sense of "merciful relief" to the term?
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Len Parker





Joined: 15 Apr 2011

Posts: 261

PostPosted: Tue 11 Oct, 2011 10:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

After reading this, I think Marik C.S. is right about finishing them off before looting.
"The men of arms beat down the Flemings on every side: some had good axes of steel, wherewith they brake asunder bassenets, and some had malles of lead, wherewith they gave such strokes that they beat all down to the earth before them : and as the Flemings were beaten down, there were pages ready to cut their throats with great knives, and so slew them without pity, as though they had been but dogs." http://ehistory.osu.edu/osu/books/Froissart/i...p;dir=0000
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Jean-Carle Hudon




Location: Montreal,Canada
Joined: 16 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Oct, 2011 2:14 pm    Post subject: Misericorde         Reply with quote

Jean,
the name of the dagger you are looking for is a Misericorde, which has to do with the granting of mercy, or forgiveness. It was used to finish off opponents, or anyone else who might benefit from being finished off instead of languishing. The blade is conceived for estoc, long, thin, either four or two sided. Some believe this stiletto styled dagger was conceived to push through slits, visor openings, you get the general picture. The ear daggers, or dagues a l'estratiod would serve similar functions.
Mercy dagger would just be the anglicisation of the french Misericorde. Also Merci in the french language means thank you in the modern french vernacular, but meant Mercy (in the english sense) back in the langue d'oil of France in the Middle Ages.
A bientôt,
Jean-Carle

Bon coeur et bon bras
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