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Steven Reich




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PostPosted: Wed 14 May, 2008 8:45 am    Post subject: Spada e Imbracciatura         Reply with quote

In Marozzo's treatise, there is a section for Spada e Imbracciatura. Unfortunately, it is the only detail about this combination in all of the Bolognese treatises, and the only information I have about the Imbracciatura comes from the plates in the 1531 and 1568 editions of Marozzo's treatise (see below). Does anyone have any information or know of any surviving historical examples of this type of shield? Other than the fact that it is some sort of dueling shield with a spike on the bottom, I know nothing about it (i.e. construction, etc.).

Steve

From the 1531 edition:



From the 1568 edition:

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Bruno Giordan





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PostPosted: Wed 14 May, 2008 11:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imbracciatura

http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~wew/fencing/marozzo/marozzo_illus.html

Imbracciatura now just means strapping system. In the text, imbracciatura appears to be a type of shield.

"La imbracciatura era un elemento dell'arma difensiva costituita da un grande scudo in legno, ricoperto di cuoio, fissato al braccio sinistro tramite cinghie, atto a coprire il pił possibile la persona."

A big wooden shield covered in leather and strapped to the left arm , apt to cover as much as possible an individual.[/i]
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Stephan Hall




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PostPosted: Wed 14 May, 2008 12:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Bruno are you italian or do you speak italian if it is so could it be that the term imbracciatura just can be translated as the term defense. i ask because you posted the link to wikipedia were they discribe imbracciatura as;
A big wooden shield covered in leather and strapped to the left arm , apt to cover as much as possible an individual
maybe later it was divided into three forms of shields: the pavese, the targe, and a large sqare shield about 1,20m high,
a capa wrapped around the Arm in a duell.
So as said before it is a kind of defense in a non specific form.
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Steven Reich




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PostPosted: Wed 14 May, 2008 12:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bruno Giordan wrote:
http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imbracciatura

http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~wew/fencing/marozzo/marozzo_illus.html

Imbracciatura now just means strapping system. In the text, imbracciatura appears to be a type of shield.

"La imbracciatura era un elemento dell'arma difensiva costituita da un grande scudo in legno, ricoperto di cuoio, fissato al braccio sinistro tramite cinghie, atto a coprire il pił possibile la persona."

A big wooden shield covered in leather and strapped to the left arm , apt to cover as much as possible an individual.[/i]

Well, that's a general use of Imbracciatura. However, in Marozzo, it is presented as a specific type of shield with a spike (I'm actually quite familiar with Marozzo and his text). My question is more to the specific type as presented by Marozzo and as illustrated in his treatise (i.e. is there any information about historical examples).

Steve

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Last edited by Steven Reich on Wed 14 May, 2008 12:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Steven Reich




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PostPosted: Wed 14 May, 2008 12:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stephan Hall wrote:
Hi Bruno are you italian or do you speak italian if it is so could it be that the term imbracciatura just can be translated as the term defense. i ask because you posted the link to wikipedia were they discribe imbracciatura as;
A big wooden shield covered in leather and strapped to the left arm , apt to cover as much as possible an individual
maybe later it was divided into three forms of shields: the pavese, the targe, and a large sqare shield about 1,20m high,
a capa wrapped around the Arm in a duell.
So as said before it is a kind of defense in a non specific form.

In Marozzo, it is a specific form of shield--that's the form I'm asking about (I know what Imbracciatura means as general Italian word).

Steve

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Stephan Hall




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PostPosted: Fri 16 May, 2008 6:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sorry Steve my fault i got the question wrong. So your question refers to the shield on that picture where the shieldbottom is pointing forward. Looks like a rounded kite shield with a spike at the bottom?
Also carring a shield that way seems not very comfortable.
Yours Stephan
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Fri 16 May, 2008 7:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've tried this stance with regular kites and heaters, and it works quite well.
Combined with the corect footwork, it lets you stop high-low attacks by turning towards them. It also alow you to block blows that slide under the sheideld with the sword, or thrust from underneath the sheld.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 16 May, 2008 7:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just looking at the drawing the first and most probable interpretation of the drawing is that it has a spike at the bottom but it is possible to give other interpretations: One comes to mind as a round ? oval ? kite ? shield with a medial ridge ( like a pavise ) or reinforcement terminating into a bottom spike. There could also be a top spike but hard to tell as the head/helm hides a " possible " top spike.

Just based on the drawing it's impossible to be sure, but other pics of period shield types from the period seen from the front or an angle could narrow down the possibilities and probabilities considerably.

The bottom spike in such a large shield might be to plant or rest the bottom of the shield on the ground to rest the shield arm or to use it as a pivot point around which to rotate the shield ? Also, the spike touching or planted in the ground should give some protection and block low attacks from a sword or a long polearm ( partisan in period maybe ). The obvious other use is to thrust with the spike.

I think there is a good explanation of this slanted forward hold for the shield in either SPADA I or SPADA II and that it can be seen as early as in the use of the large Greek shields.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Fri 16 May, 2008 8:00 am    Post subject: Shield Construction         Reply with quote

Hi Steve

I wish I had more info to provide, but I have not come across what I would consider this type of shield in person before. I have seen many, but not this configuration. I have always wondered how wide it is? As the curve seems quite deep I have often thought it would be narrower than what we might first think. This would lighten the item as opposed to it being a kite type shield and one would not need a great width to make this a very effective defense. This of course is conjecture on my part.

I have also thought it might well have evolved into the targone, the Italian weapon/shield used in the civic combats.
Here are a few pics:







Many more on this site Pisa

These are obviously very simple and smaller but I have seem some images of them in use and they seem to be held in a similar manner. The period ones were more complex in some cases. I have a piece of art depicting there use somewhere but can not find it at the moment.

Sorry I do not have more.

Best
Craig
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Steven Reich




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PostPosted: Fri 16 May, 2008 8:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau, Elling Polden, Stephan Hall, et. al:

Okay, to remove unnecessary speculation (I should have stated all this in my initial question). I am very familiar with Marozzo and the Bolognese system, so I'm not asking about how it would be used, etc. I don't need to speculate on that because Marozzo tells me how it was used. He also tells me how to use the spike (it isn't speculation on my part, it's there). That's why my question is on this forum and not on the Off-Topic Talk forum. What I'm asking for is photos and/or information about surviving historical examples of this type of shield. Not that there's anything wrong with speculation on form and technique, but that's not why I started this thread.

Craig,

This one would also have been used in Judicial Duels (in fact, I doubt it was used on the battlefield in Marozzo's time, if ever); I suspect that it is a variation on the theme of the German dueling shield. What I'm wondering, besides its specific form, is how and from what it would be constructed. Given the fact that the spike is used offensively in Marozzo's instructions, I doubt that it could have been too heavy (but of course, we usually find that most arms and armor weren't all that heavy). The curve is very deep, and in both plates--I agree that it probably wouldn't need to be very wide (you always have your sword to defend what your shield can't cover).

Steve

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Christian Henry Tobler
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PostPosted: Fri 16 May, 2008 9:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Steve!

I hope I'm not further derailing your intended discussion in asking this but, how is the arm strapped there. That is, in the illustrations you posted, how is the left arm oriented?

All the best,

Christian

PS. It's funny this came up, as I'm just now working on some shield curricula.

Christian Henry Tobler
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Steven Reich




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PostPosted: Fri 16 May, 2008 9:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christian Henry Tobler wrote:
I hope I'm not further derailing your intended discussion in asking this but, how is the arm strapped there. That is, in the illustrations you posted, how is the left arm oriented?

I can only conjecture based on a few things. Based on the plates, it looks like the arm is vertical to the Imbracciatura, so that if you extend your arm directly forward, the spike will be directly forward. However, that is only conjecture. Since it is called an Imbracciatura, that implies that there is a handle similar to that of a Rotella (i.e. you hold on with more than just your hand in contrast to the buckler and targa). I suspect that it has another strap that you slip your arm through which is above the handle proper. Other than that, I just don't know much about the construction except that given the techniques Marozzo describes for the Imbracciatura, it must be fairly light (it is often held out so that it is extended directly at the opponent).

Steve

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Stephan Hall




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PostPosted: Fri 16 May, 2008 12:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is a nice pic of a statue made by Donatello in the 15th century. It shows saint George with a relative narrow shield in front of him.


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Bruno Giordan





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PostPosted: Sun 18 May, 2008 6:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stephan Hall wrote:
Hi Bruno are you italian or do you speak italian if it is so could it be that the term imbracciatura just can be translated as the term defense. i ask because you posted the link to wikipedia were they discribe imbracciatura as;
A big wooden shield covered in leather and strapped to the left arm , apt to cover as much as possible an individual
maybe later it was divided into three forms of shields: the pavese, the targe, and a large sqare shield about 1,20m high,
a capa wrapped around the Arm in a duell.
So as said before it is a kind of defense in a non specific form.


Thats' exactly the meaning of the wikipedia article.

i don't know how reliable is the source, though.

I do not think there are surviving examples in our museums, they would be amply photographed..

there is an Achille Marozzo school in Italy, perhaps they could know more about surviving examples.

http://www.achillemarozzo.it/drupal/it/schermaantica

contacts here

http://www.achillemarozzo.it/drupal/it/contatti
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William J. Cameron




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PostPosted: Tue 20 May, 2008 1:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Andre Schulze's book,
Mittlealterlich Kamphfsweisen, Der kreigshammer, Schild und Kolben,
based off of Tahoffers Fechtbuch from 1467,
has a section on the pointed Ground Shield.
From page 130 to 150 this odd shield and it's fighting methods are covered, in colored pitcures.
This shield in military units was like a front wall, in battle, and of course was showed in individual warfare also.
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Fri 23 May, 2008 5:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Could this be a consciously Neoclassical design based on a mishmash of Greek and Roman forms? The high probability of a horizontal grip brings memories of the scutum, except for the similar probability of the presence of a second "grip" for the forearm to pass through, while the placement of the shield relative to the body looks quite similar to certain scenes in Greek illustrations involving the large, round, bronze-faced aspis. It becomes an even more intriguing theory when we take account of the fact that one of the illustrations seems to be trying to depict a bare-legged Roman soldier, although the length of the sword in his hand sort of spoils the effect. (And the burgonet, but then wasn't the burgonet designed along Neoclassical lines too?)

(The St. George statue seems to have some Neoclassical elements, too, although it's hard to be sure from this angle.)

BTW, the figure at the far left of the last picture in the first post of this thread may show a gripping system that bears some resemblance, direct or indirect, to that of the imbracciatura.
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