Slim Spaniards wielding slimmer swords make up this week’s slim pickings.
A resolution by ‘judicial duel’ would have been … quicker … and probably more entertaining … to say nothing of satisfying (for the winner).
PÚBLICO (Madrid, Spain) 04 January 13 Condenado el marqués de Falces por vender la Tizona, la espada del Cid
An update from a previous report, ownership of ‘Tizona, the sword of El Cid, has been resolved … in court … in the new-fangled way.
Hi Tech in an Old Venue
EL CORREO (Bilbao, Spain) 12 December 12 La espada de carbono de Manzanares – El diestro desarrolla un innovador estoque de muerte fabricado con este material, mucho más ligero y flexible que el habitual de acero
Bullfighter Jose Maria Manzanares will be the first matador to use a new carbon-fiber blade in the ring. Claimed to be 75% light than steel, and more flexible; the hope for the new sword is that it will improve Manzanares ease of movement and aesthetic form.
Totally ignoring the ethics of bullfighting, We’re of two minds about this sort of high-tech development’s potential add to the WMA/HEMA science/art.
1. It would be nice to have hi-end, low-weight armour inserts to place over vulnerable places; anything that adds safety to a sport that encourages fighters to ‘really lean into each other’ has to be a bonus. And that goes for the possible use of impact resistant carbon-fiber in training swords as well – hopefully a composite won’t have the same sort of ‘catastrophic failure’ that we sometimes see with fatigued metal during drills.
2. On the other hand, we are into the serious study of medieval/renaissance swordplay to explore and recreate as best we can the conditions of battle / duelling that our ancestors used. Using a rapier/long sword that is ‘75% lighter’ would probably result in attacks/parries that; while effective; would not have been consistently possible historically. (Note; personally, We’re a big fan of the Roman Legion use of ‘heavier representative weapons’ during sword and pilum training to develop muscles and weapon control.)
Perhaps carbon-fiber swords with weighted inserts to give a ‘historically correct’ heft?
GIZMODO (Richmond, Texas) 02 January 13 Can Chainmail Sneakers Possibly Be Comfy? (Andrew Liszewski)
The German company ‘Gost’ thinks there’s still a place for fashionable and functional chainmail in modern society. And ‘no’, it’s not a bikini and bra set.
From the Dustbin of History:
“When somebody is pierced by a sword or lance, give him to drink tepid beer with serpent’s fat.”
Prioreschi, Plinio. A History of Medicine: Medieval Medicine. Horatius Press, Omaha, Nebraska. 2003 p.571
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