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Wolfgang Armbruster





Joined: 03 Apr 2005

Posts: 322

PostPosted: Sat 18 Feb, 2006 5:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is really a very interesting discussion. I can't really contribute to it since it looks like everything has already been discussed, but I found this pic on hd. Don't remember where I got it from (maybe the arma hp), all I remember is that it's a 15th century woodcut, probably German.

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Joachim Nilsson





Joined: 29 Sep 2003

Posts: 510

PostPosted: Sat 18 Feb, 2006 6:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow Wolfgang. Awesome picture. Thanks a lot for posting it. I haven't seen that one before actually. I'm saving it to my HDD right away. Very interesting.

Both the swords as well as the combatant's relative positions to each other are very interesting. Reminds me a lot of a certain plate in Talhoffer. You have no possibility to perhaps check the origin of this woodcut?
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Wolfgang Armbruster





Joined: 03 Apr 2005

Posts: 322

PostPosted: Sat 18 Feb, 2006 7:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm really sorry, but I can't say with certainty where I got this picture from. I'm pretty sure that it was either posted on swordfourm ( http://forums.swordforum.com/ )or on the arma hp. IIRC that was almost a year ago. I'll try and locate that pic, but I doubt that I'll find it considering the vast amount of topics.

However, if we examine the pic closely it reveals a lot of things.
It's clearly a judicial duel. Note the two Panzerstecher / Dreyecker lying on the ground. On the other hand, these weapons seem to widen towards the tip like those "sword-clubs" shown in the Talhoffer Thott manual. I really have no idea what this stuff is.

Is that a burning pyre in the upper right corner? If yes, then the woman being held by the two guys is probably accused of witchcraft and they're just waiting to burn her alive as soon as her defender looses. It looks like she's only wearing a white under-tunic.
And who's the guy on the left? Judging from his hat and his clothing he could be a Jew. Maybe the father of the girl they want to burn? Very mysterious, that is.

Another interesting aspect is the armour worn by the two duelists. It looks like the typical gothic armour, but unlike in the Talhoffer manuals they're not wearing Sallets and Bevors. The left helmet looks like an Armet and the other one could be a Great Bascinet.

When I imagine that whole scenario, it gives me the creeps.
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Joachim Nilsson





Joined: 29 Sep 2003

Posts: 510

PostPosted: Sat 18 Feb, 2006 2:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Although my mainly looked at the martial aspects of the woodcut (as it pertains to halfswording in general and the Mortschlag in particular), you did bring up some interesting points. And even though I feel they would be more appropriate handled in a separate thread, I'd still like to comment them.

Quote:
However, if we examine the pic closely it reveals a lot of things.
It's clearly a judicial duel. Note the two Panzerstecher / Dreyecker lying on the ground. On the other hand, these weapons seem to widen towards the tip like those "sword-clubs" shown in the Talhoffer Thott manual. I really have no idea what this stuff is.


They do resemble the clubs more than Panzerstecher. What's slightly confusing to me is that I've been under the impression that the clubs were reserved for combatants below the knightly class. But perhaps they are neither clubs nor Panzerstecher. They seem to feature unmistakable hilts as well as blades with spines. They almost look like Spathas. Eek! Confused

Quote:
Is that a burning pyre in the upper right corner? If yes, then the woman being held by the two guys is probably accused of witchcraft and they're just waiting to burn her alive as soon as her defender looses. It looks like she's only wearing a white under-tunic. And who's the guy on the left? Judging from his hat and his clothing he could be a Jew. Maybe the father of the girl they want to burn? Very mysterious, that is.


Since initially looking only at the combatants, their positions and how they handled their swords, I totally overlooked that part of the woodcut. What you point out rings horribly true though. The man on the left though... I'm not too sure of his ethnical background. He doesn't resemble the Jew in Talhoffer's manuscript. But then again I'm not too well versed in civial clothing from the time in particular. At least not to the extent that I lets me make any such decisions. But what you say doesn't strike me as entirely improbable. The big question to me is: What were to happen to the woman if her defender actually won?

Quote:
Another interesting aspect is the armour worn by the two duelists. It looks like the typical gothic armour, but unlike in the Talhoffer manuals they're not wearing Sallets and Bevors. The left helmet looks like an Armet and the other one could be a Great Bascinet.


At first it almost looked like the fighter on the left was wearing a Sallet. But know that you pointe dit out and I studied the picture more closesly, it does resemble an Armet more than a Sallet. To me though, it looks like the fighter on the right is wearing a dog-faced Bascinet.
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Wolfgang Armbruster





Joined: 03 Apr 2005

Posts: 322

PostPosted: Sat 18 Feb, 2006 3:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh, sorry for getting off-topic!
The details just struck me after I posted the picture, so I couldn't help but posting them.

However, what caught my eye is that the fighter on the right is gripping the blade very closely to the tip with both hands in order to achieve more leverage and force. Most depictions in the talhoffer manuals show the fencer with the right hand closer to the hilt. Maybe that position is better for hooking and wrenching techniques.
The combatants also bend their knees to be more stable.
It's interesting to see how high they can rise their hands despite being in full plate. I doubt such high guards would be possible with later 16th century bigger shoulder plates / pauldrons.

On the guy in the upper left corner: I guess you're right. It's more likely that he's some kind of judge since he's holding a staff-like object. My imagination just played a trick on me ...again! Laughing Out Loud
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Joachim Nilsson





Joined: 29 Sep 2003

Posts: 510

PostPosted: Sat 18 Feb, 2006 3:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wolfgang Armbruster wrote:
Oh, sorry for getting off-topic!
The details just struck me after I posted the picture, so I couldn't help but posting them.


No need to apologize, Wolfgang! You did after make me aware of the other details in the picture after all. Happy

Quote:
However, what caught my eye is that the fighter on the right is gripping the blade very closely to the tip with both hands in order to achieve more leverage and force. Most depictions in the talhoffer manuals show the fencer with the right hand closer to the hilt. Maybe that position is better for hooking and wrenching techniques.


It definately is. In most instances in the Talhoffer manuscripts where the fighter is gripping his sword closer to the hilt, the Mortschlag has actually already taken places and he is preparing to/or is already doing a hook, wrench or thrust with the pommel. What interesting with the particular pic you posted is that the fighter on right does not seem to be actively throwing his mortschlag. It rather looks like he begun to throw a Mortschlag but stopped and/or is just moving around in a Mortschlag "version" of Vom dach, actively trying to judge what his opponant reactions might be, or trying to lure him into action. The reason I'm getting that particular reaction is because I've often found myself in a position similar to that when in sparring. This is also a position I ended up in almost instinctivly.

Quote:
It's interesting to see how high they can rise their hands despite being in full plate. I doubt such high guards would be possible with later 16th century bigger shoulder plates / pauldrons.


Agreed. had they been wearing Maximilliam armours, I doubt such motions would have been possible.

Quote:
On the guy in the upper left corner: I guess you're right. It's more likely that he's some kind of judge since he's holding a staff-like object. My imagination just played a trick on me ...again! Laughing Out Loud


Imagination has got the uncanny tendency to get the best of us at times. Laughing Out Loud
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