Read an Excerpt
Medieval Arms and Armor
A Pictorial Archive
By J. H. Hefner-Alteneck
Dover Publications, Inc.Copyright © 2004 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
It has been my long-standing goal to investigate the influence of art on all human endeavors from the early Middle Ages to recent times. I began by observing the immediate environment of a person's life: clothing, jewelry, and weaponry. The last I found to be particular interesting because weapons served a practical and indispensable defense function yet were also designed with an elevated artistic sense. As the most important aesthetic objects of the knighthood, they give us a sense of the style and design of any given period.
Interest in weaponry has been growing rapidly in the last few years. Thus I thought it a good time to excerpt the sections on weapons from my larger work, Costume, Art, and Tools from the Early Middle Ages to the End of the 18th Century to make the present book. I have rearranged the plates in chronological order and rewritten the accompanying texts to include new research.
I have not used photography in my work for two reasons: when I began the project it wasn't yet advanced enough to implement; and I believe that it presents objects from a somewhat distorted perspective, which doesn't give the reader a proper idea of their form.
As far as sources for my illustrations, I only used original objects that are clearly representative of their time. The absolute oldest sources generally exist in the form of drawings, which are often better understood when the objects that they depict are unearthed. Beginning with the fourteenth century, burial monuments become important, usually depicting the deceased in full knightly regalia with painstaking detail. From the end of the fifteenth century through to the Thirty Years War, extant examples of plate armor are the most authoritative sources for the study of weapons.
DR. J. H. VON HEFNER-ALTENECK
Excerpted from Medieval Arms and Armor by J. H. Hefner-Alteneck. Copyright © 2004 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.