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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Mon 08 Jun, 2009 10:24 am    Post subject: Re: With all due respect to Oakeshott         Reply with quote

Craig Johnson wrote:


Hope this helps and I have not stated things in such a way as to make them difficult to understand. Please let me know if something is not clear.


Hello, Craig
Thanks very much. I have understood your thought.
Your English, I succeed in translating well it.
Maurizio
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Bruno Giordan





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PostPosted: Mon 08 Jun, 2009 11:10 am    Post subject: Re: With all due respect to Oakeshott         Reply with quote

Maurizio D'Angelo wrote:
Craig Johnson wrote:


Hope this helps and I have not stated things in such a way as to make them difficult to understand. Please let me know if something is not clear.


Hello, Craig
Thanks very much. I have understood your thought.
Your English, I succeed in translating well it.
Maurizio


Maurizio, could you post the name of the above professor and a summary of his thoughts in italian? I will try to make a translation.
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P. Cha




PostPosted: Mon 08 Jun, 2009 12:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you get really nitty gritty into it, typologies all fail. The professor in question said pottery can be neatly put into typologies...well I think not. Even a sample from a slave plantation had samples that just did not fit any of the standard pottery typology perfectly in time, usage, crafting method, crafting material or any other factors. And pottery is considered one of the easiest thing to use typology for. The reason that we do such things is so that we don't have to individually describe an item to convey a general idea of the item. It doesn't fit the item perfectly, but it does fit it enough where we can get our meaning across. Is it perfect? No...but any human speech will not be since our mind works like typologies anyways where we categorize and sub categorize words and meaning and items anyways.

Okay so an example of language...

It is a chair
It is a leather chair
It is a leather swivel chair

It is a sword
It is a type XIII sword
It is a type XIII(a) sword

Now try to describe a leather swivel chair without using the word leather or swivel (it is a chair covered in the tanned hide of a cow or bull that is based on a bearing to allow for rotation is how that would work out BTW). It's the same thing with the sword. Any typology is mainly there to help facilitate the communication of a item. So that brings out two points of contention about any typology. 1) it is inaccurate or 2) it is too broad in scope. The first point only really applies when applying typology to the item and that is not the fault of the typology but the individual historian using it. The second point is like saying the word leather covers too many things so you should do away with the word leather. It is absurd.
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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Mon 08 Jun, 2009 4:35 pm    Post subject: Re: With all due respect to Oakeshott         Reply with quote

Bruno Giordan wrote:

Maurizio, could you post the name of the above professor and a summary of his thoughts in italian? I will try to make a translation.


Hi Bruno,
To be correct I cannot publish, here, his name. I can ask if he wants to intervene of person.
I think whether to post in Italian it is not permitted.
In PM. I can send his thought and you translate with a better English of mine.
I don't believe that he will want to intervene seen the air that throws, here. Wink
Ciao, Maurizio
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Mon 08 Jun, 2009 8:19 pm    Post subject: Re: With all due respect to Oakeshott         Reply with quote

Maurizio D'Angelo wrote:
Bruno Giordan wrote:

Maurizio, could you post the name of the above professor and a summary of his thoughts in italian? I will try to make a translation.


Hi Bruno,
To be correct I cannot publish, here, his name. I can ask if he wants to intervene of person.
I think whether to post in Italian it is not permitted.
In PM. I can send his thought and you translate with a better English of mine.
I don't believe that he will want to intervene seen the air that throws, here. Wink
Ciao, Maurizio


Hi Maurizio

While I understand the language issue can be daunting for anyone posting here in a language they are not confident in, I would encourage anyone to try that is willing. It is one of the best ways for us to broaden our core and see different viewpoints and perceptions.

As for the professor if you do decide to invite his participation I would be supportive of this effort. There is a great deal of information out there to explore and there are many paths to follow such knowledge. As in any well informed group of civil individuals we should be able to discuss and celebrate different takes on the world of the Medieval sword. One can enjoy and learn from any conversation that explores an area of interest deeply, even if one decides they disagree with an analysis. This does not mean it has less value but rather it challenges our own perceptions making them more developed. This is almost always a good thing, if done with a searching mind and critical self awareness.

Good discussion.

Best
Craig
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Bruno Giordan





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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun, 2009 9:50 am    Post subject: Re: With all due respect to Oakeshott         Reply with quote

Maurizio D'Angelo wrote:
Bruno Giordan wrote:

Maurizio, could you post the name of the above professor and a summary of his thoughts in italian? I will try to make a translation.


Hi Bruno,
To be correct I cannot publish, here, his name. I can ask if he wants to intervene of person.
I think whether to post in Italian it is not permitted.
In PM. I can send his thought and you translate with a better English of mine.
I don't believe that he will want to intervene seen the air that throws, here. Wink
Ciao, Maurizio


non credo lo mangi nessuno (I don't think anybody will eat him) . Maybe they will heat him but he won't be eaten.
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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun, 2009 11:42 am    Post subject: Re: With all due respect to Oakeshott         Reply with quote

Craig Johnson wrote:

As in any well informed group of civil individuals we should be able to discuss and celebrate different takes on the world of the Medieval sword. One can enjoy and learn from any conversation that explores an area of interest deeply, even if one decides they disagree with an analysis. This does not mean it has less value but rather it challenges our own perceptions making them more developed. This is almost always a good thing, if done with a searching mind and critical self awareness.

Good discussion.

Best
Craig



I agree with your analysis. I think whether to change opinion is synonymous of growth. None of us, should hold never positions of thought, only for pride.
This is worth for everybody, with or without a degree.
The comparison serves to enrich the knowledge.
I have sent the thought of the teacher to Bruno. We wait for his translation.
Perhaps some shading will be clearer.

Maurizio
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Bruno Giordan





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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun, 2009 1:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

note: I had difficulties at translating his colloquial italian, also because of some regional variations, probably tuscan.

I totally disagree with his conclusions, as they are the product of the abstract mindset that tars our culture apart from some happy islands. I do appreciate Oakeshott for his efforts at de.-romanticizing the study of sword and for having centered it around recognizable patterns based on actual data, while italians still consider swords just as any other archeological object, as a tool to study historical and sociological context.

Pity that swords are of interest to our communities as real objects with a function,as we are going to use them in the very way our ancestors were doing: we are living them, not seeing them as artifacts. So we are knowing them from an engineering point of view, which is far removed from that of archeologists or sociologists


From the professor's mail to Maurizio:


I know that the ones of Oakeshott are classifications, however, whenever I speak of a weapon, I need to put it into an historical and geographic framework so I perform as many confronts as I'm able to do.

In my opinion weapons cannot be schematically classified: it is necessary to verify the weapon and compile a report for each weapon (not for any tipology).

I believe that a typological classification of sword of the same type as it is done for ceramic artifacts be impossible as swords are too linked to the subjectivity of the individual that had to usee them and to that of the one who had to build them.

From the Saint Maurice to the Odescalchi Museum to the Poldi Pezzoli of Milan passing from Bologna, every sword has its history.

No classification will be able to render full justice to the story of that sword.

I believe Oakeshott the master was aware of being writing for the masses, he knew well his typology cold feel too narrow for us scholars who confront the epoch, the territory, the working capability of the place (of finding? construction? translator note) the economy of places.

A sword as we see in a museum may have been manipulated after (its fabrication, translator note) in order to substitute pieces, often sharpened to take away the saw like profile left by fighting. To relate them to a typology can be deviating.

A sword must be studied singularly. Possibly Boccia has meant this way.

If you know well an imperial sword , for example a swabian imperial sword, you don't say this is a type XI. Of such a sword we know all as it is linked to our places, so we can set in our mind the real essence of that sword, it tells us our past.
A simple classification doesn't make that, so it is not for me. I'm not saying that Oakeshott is worthless, his work is good for masses, a scholar must go beyond. In one of his books he tells his stories as if we were in a coffee shop speaking of swords, perhaps he knew that it was the right way to speak to masses, possibly it was also an imperative dictated by the need to sell?

It is out of doubt that his classification is useful for for he who doesn't know a sword, if you know it loses its initial power, it even ceases totally because other informations and comparisons vehemently come to take its place.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun, 2009 2:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

With due respect to that professor, I can say they may not fully understand the point of the system. The Oakeshott system is, as I said, a starting point--that was his intention. One should expect to, in the professor's words, "go beyond" a simple classification.

For example, what's the point in knowing that a sword has a Style 8 guard if you go no further? Knowing the typology and the whole system you can say the following: a Style 8 guard combined with a wheel pommel and Type XV blade means the sword is perhaps more likely to be northern European or English in origin and 14th century in origin, whereas a Style 8 guard with one of the scent-stopper pommel types could imply a more Italian origin, and likely a 15th century one. That's more useful, right? Happy

Happy

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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun, 2009 6:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

hi all,

I don't agree with the thought of the Prof.

Oakesohtt, has not written only for the masses of people.
He loved indeed the swords, the desire to sell is not pertinent.

I don't agree with Bruno, when he says: "while italians still consider swords just as any other archeological object, as to tool to study historical and sociological context."
I don't believe that this is true. The thought of one, is not the thought of everybody.

In myself, the idea that the teacher can be right on a point, starts to consolidate. When he says: "It is out of doubt that his classification is useful for he who doesn't know to sword, if you know it loses its initial power, it even ceases totally because other informations and comparisons vehemently as to take its place."

I have thought without conditionings. I have wanted to become a freelance. The sword from him brought in example, swabian imperial sword. My city has a castle built by Frederich II, in the same castle his child Manfredi is married. I have direct testimonies every day of the domination of the Hohenstaufen in my earth. That sword I love a lot. I know a lot of things on that sword. A lot of other things of that sword, I am studying. The first thing that I have done is to classify it according to Oakesshott. Now, that sword I intimately feel it my, my greatest desire it would be to build it equal. I don't honestly have the tendency to classify it, that sword for me is unique. In this, I perhaps contradict me, 5 or 6 posts above I otherwise thought.

Conclusions:
I think that the system Oakesshott is a good system of classification. We don't have of better for the time being. Some times the importance of his system shade a little. I believe that nobody has been greater than him.

Maurizio
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Neil Langley




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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun, 2009 6:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I really was resisting posting anything here, but…

The Professor’s argument seems to be that: ‘Real experts (professional historians) do not need the use of any typology - but the man in the coffee shop does.’ Why? Apparently because the true expert understands an individual sword so well that his comprehension transcends the need for classification.

Now it is not unreasonable to say that by studying a single sword in depth you may intuit more about it than any attempt at classification can convey. True maybe, but how many swords can an individual ‘know’ in this way, how can you translate this understanding of a given sword to swords in general - and place it in its true perspective? How can you begin to contextualise this knowledge? Furthermore, how can this understanding be conveyed to anybody else (professional historians or otherwise)?

For the sake of argument let us say that a sword has four main dimensions by which it may be understood; its aesthetical properties, its historical background, the way it is constructed and the way it performs as a weapon. Certainly an in-depth knowledge of a given sword may help to understand the individual circumstances that lead to the choices made in making that sword, but this must also translate into information that may be passed on to others or it is of little value to academics or anyone else.

Aside: I am not even sure what ‘understanding’ the professor claims to have here. Has he sufficient experience and had time to handle these (very precious) swords in order to gain a full insight as to how they perform as weapons? I would contend that to ‘fully’ understand a sword he must have done this - it would be interesting to know if this is the case.

Oakeshott seeks to place swords in historical perspective by providing a system by which we may begin to understand how swords develop over time, addressing both the way changes in fashion lead to trends in hilts and providing as a way to understand the underlying functionality of the sword as blade designs change to accommodate the evolution of armour and fighting styles. This does not mean that the system tells us everything about an individual sword, but allows for both the placing of a sword in its wider historical context as well as giving a foundation for any discussion about an individual sword in both form and, by extension, function. I fail to see how the ability to do this becomes, at any point, redundant to the professional historian - no matter how well he ‘knows’ any number of individual swords.

Oakeshott provides firm patterns in his types and sub-types against which individual swords may be compared, but this is still a framework that is flexible enough to allow for the idiosyncrasies of the individual sword-smith. His typology is inherently ‘soft’, it does not attempt to shoe-horn swords into categories based on strict metrics, but by matching them to a pattern, it allows comparison and consensus to be achieved in identifying the major (visual) characteristics of an individual sword within a set of parameters. By providing set of types for blades and the main components of the hilt, not only can the individual elements of a sword be classified, but we can group these individual features into families representative of commonly observed combinations of these components, which may then be more firmly located in history. Should some swords fall outside Oakeshott’s general classifications; ‘it’s not quite a type XVIIIb’, even here we have a reference pattern from which the deviation may be perceived.

As long as these patterns can be successfully applied to the significant majority of swords (and Oakeshott proves this can be done in both The Sword in the Age of Chivalry and Records of the Medieval Sword et al), this underpins the fact that a typology such as this represents the very essence of good, academic understanding.

As Oakeshott himself points out, his typology is not of itself a basis for dating a sword - indeed that two similar swords cannot automatically be attributed a similar date - but without a means of comparing appearance how do we substantiate this claim? In fact without the capacity to ‘type’ a sword how can we even establish ‘similarity’? We may look at works of art and say that a sword probably dates to a given time period because the pommel, cross and blade are like those we observe in a number of such datable images, but which is the more academically rigorous; to justify a conclusion by stating that in our ‘expert’ opinion (and good luck getting two experts to agree on that!) the swords under analysis ‘look similar’; or to say that they conform to a pattern codified by Oakeshott (or anyone else for that matter).

I know this ‘debate’ is based on second hand evidence and so I am quite willing to be wrong, but I detect a note of snobbery here. Oakeshott was an amateur and did not write like an academic (nothing wrong with that - I make a secondary living as a part time I.T. lecturer, so I feel I have some right to an opinion here - information is an accurate representation of data plus meaning. This holds true regardless of the form of this presentation, only its attribution matters). I feel the Prof’s ideas come across as a touch of professional sour grapes to be honest.

Neil.
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun, 2009 7:02 pm    Post subject: Thank you Bruno         Reply with quote

Thank you Bruno

I think this will help us discuss the idea and not focus on the professor as that is the true wealth of such a discussion as this. Chad I agree completely.

Bruno Giordan wrote:
note: I had difficulties at translating his colloquial italian, also because of some regional variations, probably tuscan.

From the professor's mail to Maurizio:

" I need to put it into an historical and geographic framework so I perform as many confronts as I'm able to do."


I would have to say that Ewart would have made this very statement. If you read his descriptions the starting point (as Chad so rightly pointed out) is to describe the physical piece but then he plunges into the context and history of the period and the type with multiple references. He commented many times that to truly know a sword one must hold it and interact with it. Sadly few of us have the budget or entry to such an in depth exploration of a sword let alone many swords. Ewart's objective was to allow communication across distance and language so researchers and scholars could describe the physical in a common language and move to the context.

Bruno Giordan wrote:

From the professor's mail to Maurizio:I

"in my opinion weapons cannot be schematically classified: it is necessary to verify the weapon and compile a report for each weapon (not for any tipology)."


Not quite sure what his point is here. It would seem to me to not be able to describe the physical aspect of the sword would be to start with a disadvantage and one prone to obfuscation which we saw a great deal of in this area of study in the late 19th century.

Bruno Giordan wrote:

From the professor's mail to Maurizio:

I believe that a typological classification of sword of the same type as it is done for ceramic artifacts be impossible as swords are too linked to the subjectivity of the individual that had to usee them and to that of the one who had to build them.

From the Saint Maurice to the Odescalchi Museum to the Poldi Pezzoli of Milan passing from Bologna, every sword has its history.


I fear he has missed a major point of Ewart's research, the discovery and preservation of each swords history was crucial and vital to him.

Bruno Giordan wrote:

From the professor's mail to Maurizio:

No classification will be able to render full justice to the story of that sword.


This may well be a quote from Ewart himself. He never lost sight that the story of each sword was the point.

Bruno Giordan wrote:

From the professor's mail to Maurizio:

I believe Oakeshott the master was aware of being writing for the masses, he knew well his typology cold feel too narrow for us scholars who confront the epoch, the territory, the working capability of the place (of finding? construction? translator note) the economy of places..


I guess I would alter the above statement that Ewart was writing from the point of the sword user rather than the academic. He was truly an old school gentleman of knowledge who spent his life studying art, language, archeology, history and the physical objects. They are interconnected and impossible to separate if you want the story. If one is forced to place it is the terms the above language seems to use I would state it that Ewart wrote from the masses not to them.

Bruno Giordan wrote:

From the professor's mail to Maurizio:

A sword as we see in a museum may have been manipulated after (its fabrication, translator note) in order to substitute pieces, often sharpened to take away the saw like profile left by fighting. To relate them to a typology can be deviating.


This obviously must be guarded against.

Bruno Giordan wrote:

From the professor's mail to Maurizio:

I'm not saying that Oakeshott is worthless, his work is good for masses, a scholar must go beyond. In one of his books he tells his stories as if we were in a coffee shop speaking of swords, perhaps he knew that it was the right way to speak to masses, possibly it was also an imperative dictated by the need to sell?


Hmmm, it might also be the way the makers, users and appreciators in period also discussed and told the story of their swords.

Bruno Giordan wrote:

From the professor's mail to Maurizio:

It is out of doubt that his classification is useful for for he who doesn't know a sword, if you know it loses its initial power, it even ceases totally because other informations and comparisons vehemently come to take its place.


As with any learning one starts with the basics and builds to fuller understanding, what I have seen over the years is often one realizes the depth the basics take you over and over again. It is not that one moves past them but gains the ability to understand them with more truth.

I hope no one takes any of the above as an attack in any way. They are my personal opinions along a line of reasoning that I felt was being communicated in the above text that Bruno did an admirable job of moving from one language to another. I think there is much that the professor and I would agree on and I hope some that he would find interesting and possibly illuminating on Ewart's work.

Thank you again all for a good discussion.

Best
Craig
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun, 2009 7:27 pm    Post subject: Great stuff Neil         Reply with quote

Neil Langley wrote:


Oakeshott provides firm patterns in his types and sub-types against which individual swords may be compared, but this is still a framework that is flexible enough to allow for the idiosyncrasies of the individual sword-smith. His typology is inherently ‘soft’, it does not attempt to shoe-horn swords into categories based on strict metrics, but by matching them to a pattern, it allows comparison and consensus to be achieved in identifying the major (visual) characteristics of an individual sword within a set of parameters. By providing set of types for blades and the main components of the hilt, not only can the individual elements of a sword be classified, but we can group these individual features into families representative of commonly observed combinations of these components, which may then be more firmly located in history. Should some swords fall outside Oakeshott’s general classifications; ‘it’s not quite a type XVIIIb’, even here we have a reference pattern from which the deviation may be perceived.

As long as these patterns can be successfully applied to the significant majority of swords (and Oakeshott proves this can be done in both The Sword in the Age of Chivalry and Records of the Medieval Sword et al), this underpins the fact that a typology such as this represents the very essence of good, academic understanding.


Excellent description Neil I was going to add something similar to my post above but you said it so well. I will only add that I often describe it to people as think of the system as bubbles that can over lap. It is not linear.

Best
Craig
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Jun, 2009 12:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Maurizio D'Angelo wrote:
hi all,

I don't agree with the thought of the Prof.

Oakesohtt, has not written only for the masses of people.
He loved indeed the swords, the desire to sell is not pertinent.

I don't agree with Bruno, when he says: "while italians still consider swords just as any other archeological object, as to tool to study historical and sociological context."
I don't believe that this is true. The thought of one, is not the thought of everybody.

In myself, the idea that the teacher can be right on a point, starts to consolidate. When he says: "It is out of doubt that his classification is useful for he who doesn't know to sword, if you know it loses its initial power, it even ceases totally because other informations and comparisons vehemently as to take its place."

I have thought without conditionings. I have wanted to become a freelance. The sword from him brought in example, swabian imperial sword. My city has a castle built by Frederich II, in the same castle his child Manfredi is married. I have direct testimonies every day of the domination of the Hohenstaufen in my earth. That sword I love a lot. I know a lot of things on that sword. A lot of other things of that sword, I am studying. The first thing that I have done is to classify it according to Oakesshott. Now, that sword I intimately feel it my, my greatest desire it would be to build it equal. I don't honestly have the tendency to classify it, that sword for me is unique. In this, I perhaps contradict me, 5 or 6 posts above I otherwise thought.

Conclusions:
I think that the system Oakesshott is a good system of classification. We don't have of better for the time being. Some times the importance of his system shade a little. I believe that nobody has been greater than him.

Maurizio


Maurizio, all our archeologists apart from few are uninterested in experimental archeology. What we do is experimenting with reproductions in order to regain a lost knowledge, the art of using swords: this is done by studying period manuals. The use of period manuals in reconstructing historical fencing along with the study of artifacts from the point of view of their engineering can be fully considered experimental archeology .

In italian academia part from few exception there is not even an understanding of this matter, showing another time if necessary that our culture is still deeply distant from experimental science.

It is an old defect coming from the influence of Croce, who had a distaste for mathematics, being unable to understand it himself.
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Jun, 2009 7:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bruno Giordan wrote:


From the professor's mail to Maurizio:


...I believe that a typological classification of sword of the same type as it is done for ceramic artifacts be impossible as swords are too linked to the subjectivity of the individual that had to usee them and to that of the one who had to build them...




Great discussion! Happy

Though it is often hard to understand thoughts taken in isolation, I believe the quote that I have isolated above may help understand the starting point. And if not, it is an interesting thought even in isolation. If the standard of comparison in sword typologies is pottery typology and chronology... then that is indeed a high standard to meet for most any classification system.


Some of the important differences that stand out to me:

1. Beginning with the insight of the professor:
The subjectivity on the part of the one who commissioned the work and on the other side, the one who crafted the artifact.
One of the more salient points here is that pottery was most often mass produced and traded along well developed trade routes. While this did happen with swords, more than likely it was much less common than ceramics.

Trade conditions and traditions most likely put more objective constraints on the craft industry and market expectations in the form of pottery forms as prestige items, could also reduce subjective elements on the side of the buyers. As such, forms become more standardized, making for more clear type boundaries.

2. Pottery was much cheaper to produce and more widely used so it would appear more ubiquitous throughout society and more likey to appear in different forms and contexts.

3. Pottery is much more resistant to disintegration, especially relative to iron as opposed to bronze (may be one of the reasons that typologies are much more robust for Bronze Age weapons than Iron Age and later (IMO).
(If this is indeed true, the fact that bronze age craftspersons used molds, as opposed to free hand forging, may have made mass production easier and so swords could be mass produced and traded along well defined routes. This would put swords of Bronze closer to the category mentioned for pottery in number 1 above)

4. In the past, selecting a table setting of ceramics did not require consideration of protection of life and limb. In other words a change in form of a pot, or what form you chose, may be more or less convenient or prestigious, however, it might not cost you your life. More particular choices might require more particular desires that would hinder strict standardization.

5. Pottery Typology and Chronology has become one of the most, if not the most, important dating techniques in archeology and has been developed rigorously for many generations.


Considering these differences, and others not mentioned, a statement that sword typologies do not, and even cannot, equal those of ceramic typologies is more understandable.

Thanks for the translation work and working with second languages. This has allowed conversation around statements from academia. I think that these types of connections and interactions are very valuable... and could lead to conversations with those in academia. All of this is in the spirit of Oakeshott’s life work IMHO.

take care

ks

Two swords
Lit in Eden’s flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Wed 10 Jun, 2009 12:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bruno Giordan wrote:


Maurizio, all our archeologists apart from few are uninterested in experimental archeology. What we do is experimenting with reproductions in order to regain a lost knowledge, the art of using swords: this is done by studying period manuals. The use of period manuals in reconstructing historical fencing along with the study of artifacts from the point of view of their engineering can be fully considered experimental archeology .

In italian academia part from few exception there is not even an understanding of this matter, showing another time if necessary that our culture is still deeply distant from experimental science.


hi, Bruno
Everything, thanks for your the translation.


3° Scientific Conference. Domenica 14 June. Palagianello. Taranto. times 9.30
The war in the tall middle-age
They will intervene:
Prof. Domenico Caragnano. manager of the museum of Palagianello. (TA) Puglia.

Prof. Raffaele Licinio (ordinary of History Medieval University in Bari), starting so a run of hold collaboration between academic world and experimentation technician practical (that that many call “experimental archaeology”).

Doctor Stephen Latorre (Graduate in Medieval History near the university in Bari)

Doctor Stefania Sivo (Graduate in Economic and Social History of the Middle Ages near the university in Bari)

Prof. Giovanni Amatuccio: Studious of medioevo and ancient techniques.
He has published numerous works on the arc and the oriental techniques of fight. He has written Perì Toxeias, the manual of training of the Byzantine troops of the sixth century, and for the Arrows D'Arco the hunting with the arc in the Middle Ages. It throws with an oriental composite arc with the rigorous technique of the thumb ring. He works to the superintendence BAPSAD of Salerno and it is teacher to the university Sister Orsola Benincasa of Salerno. And' Member of the Scientific Committee of the association Paleoworking for the experimental archaeology.

Prof. Cosimo D'Angela
University of Bari
Faculty of Magistero
Institute of classical studies and Christians

Prof. Cristian Guzzo, been born in Turin in 1971 it is graduated in jurisprudence. You has been occupying for about one decade of studies on the crusades with particular attention to the history of the order templare. It is student of the subject in History of the Italian right near the Faculty of jurisprudence in Bari and it collaborates with the magazine of studies on the monastic-military orders Sacred Militia, directed by Franco Cardini.

Prof. Vito Maglie, president of the association for the experimental archaeology. Construction of a medieval trabucco, verification on the usury of the materials, destructive test to individualize the number of sustainable throwing. (I have seen this trabucco, with my eyes).

Alexander Strinati studies various musical tools together with Franco Gervasio. Search of the ancient sonorities.
Share of the students of the Courses of degree in letters and Culture of the Territory and science of the Cultural Good for the tourism and the environment, center Taranto.
You can find their names on internet.
If you want, I can continue.

Bruno Giordan wrote:

It is an old defect coming from the influence of Croce, who had a distaste for mathematics, being unable to understand it himself.


Luckily our culture has had Benedict Croce. Philosopher, writer, historical. We would not be what we are without Him. If we had had another as him, the Fascism in Italy there would not have been. If they had had 3 Benedetto Croce in Germany nothing would not have happened.
The Croce theory, is historicity strongly. For this, if we wanted to reassume with a formula the Croce philosophy , this it would be absolute historicity or rather the conviction that everything is history, affirming that the whole reality is spirit and that this is unfolded in its entirety inside the history. The history is not therefore a capricious sequence of events but the realization of the Reason.
If I have understood Oakesshott, I find Benedetto Croce very next to his thought.



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Bram Verbeek





Joined: 27 Mar 2007

Posts: 217

PostPosted: Wed 10 Jun, 2009 2:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

First of all, I am firmly set in quantising as much of a subject as possible, every measurement is a good one, and I do think that with enough information about a historical piece, you can reproduce it quite similarely. I love calculating moment of inertia with each sword form I come across, though distal taper and fuller depth are often poorly documented. What I love even more, is handing someone a good reproduction and letting them feel what a sword should weigh (while I have made a nice blade shape, I failed at heat treating, and am thus unable to use it other than for this purpose)

When finding a sword, it always is a piece of history that is irreplacable, you can't test how good it would perform against armour, you can't even measure moment of inertia easily for fear of bending.

The only way to know how a museum example would perform, is to painstakingly reproduce each item, making guesses of how much of the steel has corroded and how much wore away during its service, in essence, you can only guess, and this will be a very, very expensive method.

The typology made by mr Oakeshott helps a lot with this, it is possible to find something with similar statistics, and test results, thus enhancing the understanding of the piece.

While this may be offensive to many, I think it is inaccurate to do any study of an artifact without having an idea of how it was used.

I do applaud the professor for urging people to do an investigation as unbiased as possible, but history is educated guessing, and guidelines will help, if only for ease of comparison. (do not take this as an insult, there are no absolute thruths, and the study how to estimate history is one I take seriously)

While time taken to find a comparable sword may seem like a non-issue, do not forget that there is a lot to be investigated, and those who can do so are preciously few, something that might help using the available manpower (and thus funding) better is valuable.
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Bruno Giordan





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PostPosted: Wed 10 Jun, 2009 10:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Maurizio D'Angelo wrote:
Bruno Giordan wrote:


Maurizio, all our archeologists apart from few are uninterested in experimental archeology. What we do is experimenting with reproductions in order to regain a lost knowledge, the art of using swords: this is done by studying period manuals. The use of period manuals in reconstructing historical fencing along with the study of artifacts from the point of view of their engineering can be fully considered experimental archeology .

In italian academia part from few exception there is not even an understanding of this matter, showing another time if necessary that our culture is still deeply distant from experimental science.


hi, Bruno
Everything, thanks for your the translation.


3° Scientific Conference. Domenica 14 June. Palagianello. Taranto. times 9.30
The war in the tall middle-age
They will intervene:
Prof. Domenico Caragnano. manager of the museum of Palagianello. (TA) Puglia.

Prof. Raffaele Licinio (ordinary of History Medieval University in Bari), starting so a run of hold collaboration between academic world and experimentation technician practical (that that many call “experimental archaeology”).

Doctor Stephen Latorre (Graduate in Medieval History near the university in Bari)

Doctor Stefania Sivo (Graduate in Economic and Social History of the Middle Ages near the university in Bari)

Prof. Giovanni Amatuccio: Studious of medioevo and ancient techniques.
He has published numerous works on the arc and the oriental techniques of fight. He has written Perì Toxeias, the manual of training of the Byzantine troops of the sixth century, and for the Arrows D'Arco the hunting with the arc in the Middle Ages. It throws with an oriental composite arc with the rigorous technique of the thumb ring. He works to the superintendence BAPSAD of Salerno and it is teacher to the university Sister Orsola Benincasa of Salerno. And' Member of the Scientific Committee of the association Paleoworking for the experimental archaeology.

Prof. Cosimo D'Angela
University of Bari
Faculty of Magistero
Institute of classical studies and Christians

Prof. Cristian Guzzo, been born in Turin in 1971 it is graduated in jurisprudence. You has been occupying for about one decade of studies on the crusades with particular attention to the history of the order templare. It is student of the subject in History of the Italian right near the Faculty of jurisprudence in Bari and it collaborates with the magazine of studies on the monastic-military orders Sacred Militia, directed by Franco Cardini.

Prof. Vito Maglie, president of the association for the experimental archaeology. Construction of a medieval trabucco, verification on the usury of the materials, destructive test to individualize the number of sustainable throwing. (I have seen this trabucco, with my eyes).

Alexander Strinati studies various musical tools together with Franco Gervasio. Search of the ancient sonorities.
Share of the students of the Courses of degree in letters and Culture of the Territory and science of the Cultural Good for the tourism and the environment, center Taranto.
You can find their names on internet.
If you want, I can continue.

Bruno Giordan wrote:

It is an old defect coming from the influence of Croce, who had a distaste for mathematics, being unable to understand it himself.


Luckily our culture has had Benedict Croce. Philosopher, writer, historical. We would not be what we are without Him. If we had had another as him, the Fascism in Italy there would not have been. If they had had 3 Benedetto Croce in Germany nothing would not have happened.
The Croce theory, is historicity strongly. For this, if we wanted to reassume with a formula the Croce philosophy , this it would be absolute historicity or rather the conviction that everything is history, affirming that the whole reality is spirit and that this is unfolded in its entirety inside the history. The history is not therefore a capricious sequence of events but the realization of the Reason.
If I have understood Oakesshott, I find Benedetto Croce very next to his thought.


Croce hated mathematics, that's the point. I do not know your professor or his work but from what I gather reading archeologiacal essays I feel there is nothing comparable to the work made by experimenters in the anglo-saxon world and in Northern Europe.

I stood to the letter you gave me and I found that the writer is interested in the history of objects, in the sociological context, not in their engineering history. Oakeshott's classification works well as it gives a clear idea of an object from an objective point of view.
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Maurizio D'Angelo




Location: Italy
Joined: 09 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Thu 11 Jun, 2009 5:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bruno Giordan wrote:

Croce hated mathematics, that's the point. I do not know your professor or his work but from what I gather reading archeologiacal essays I feel there is nothing comparable to the work made by experimenters in the anglo-saxon world and in Northern Europe.
I stood to the letter you gave me and I found that the writer is interested in the history of objects, in the sociological context, not in their engineering history. Oakeshott's classification works well as it gives a clear idea of an object from an objective point of view.



hi, Bruno
Benedetto Croce, has not been killed by the Fascism because very appreciated by the European community of the time. He was above all a philosopher. You are right, nothing mathematics.
it is possible that I have not understood anything of the thought of Oakesshott. But was the message that Oakesshott has left each other, mathematical? I think that the great teacher, has given us a key to understand the complex world of the swords. He has given us a flexible system to find more easily comparisons and common words. Himself tells that not everything we can take as absolute. The archaeological experimentation is a mean, but alone it is not enough, some times, the history is a whole lies, it is to us to find the truth.
The sword of Saint Casilda in Madrid. Guy Laking considers this sword a forgery, Oakesshott it considers it original and datable in 1300
Gladius XXII, 2002-David Nicolle-pag.168
The Sword in the Age of Chivalry - Ewart Oakeshott - pag. 124-134-135.
A vision more widened of the history, is always not wrong, in some cases, it is the only way to find the truth. This is Croce.
Ciao, Maurizio
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