Medieval Combat: A 15th Century Illustrated Manual of Swordfighting and Close-Quarters Combat

Medieval Combat: A 15th Century Illustrated Manual of Swordfighting and Close-Quarters Combat

by Hans Talhoffer, John Clements, Mark Rector
     
 
This brilliant and attractive new book makes one of the most influential fencing manuals of the middle ages available in English for the first time. The authentic fifteenth-century techniques of master-of-arms Hans Talhoffer are illustrated in detail, presenting not only a unique historic record but also a visual guide for modern practitioners. This unparalleled

Overview

This brilliant and attractive new book makes one of the most influential fencing manuals of the middle ages available in English for the first time. The authentic fifteenth-century techniques of master-of-arms Hans Talhoffer are illustrated in detail, presenting not only a unique historic record but also a visual guide for modern practitioners. This unparalleled guide to medieval combat, illustrated with 268 contemporary images, provides a glimpse of real people fighting with skill, sophistication and ruthlessness. Mark Rector, the editor and translator of this work, is an actor, playwright, stage combatant and fight choreographer. He is a founder of the Chicago Swordplay Guild and Associate Director of Swordplay Symposium International. Greenhill

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In 1467, Talhoffer, a Swabian fencing instructor, produced a lavishly illustrated fechtbuch ("fight-book") with 270 illuminations demonstrating techniques for nearly every weapon in the medieval knight's arsenal, as well as techniques for judicial combats between nobles and between peasants. Although long available in German, this is the first English translation of his remarkable how-to. Profusely illustrated--here in black and white--the book offers freeze-frame instructions on medieval martial arts using swords, shields, poleaxes, daggers and wrestling, both on foot and on horseback. Its repeatedly drawn figures are lifelike and even emotive, grimacing in pain or frowning with fierce determination. Many of the plates do not demonstrate step-by-step techniques, preserving instead images of a bout at the moment when one technique has prevailed over another. Without a contemporary instructor as a guide, the drawings can seem arcane and confusing, since they lack explanatory captions. Rector, a founder of the Chicago Swordplay Guild, does provide an introduction and footnotes, and along the way gives practical clarification of German martial arts and a harsh, complex picture of medieval society (particularly medieval justice), if not of specific moves. Aside from their historical merit, Talhoffer's beautiful and austere illustrations provide a visual vocabulary of historical combat that might prove inspirational for directors, artists, re-enactors or stunt coordinators; others should not be surprised to find themselves posing in front of the nearest mirror. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781853674181
Publisher:
Greenhill Books/Lionel Leventhal, Limited
Publication date:
09/15/2000
Pages:
317
Product dimensions:
6.24(w) x 9.66(h) x 1.12(d)

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