We’re embarrassed by riches this week and most of the releases on “old” swords come from hi-tech, academic or modern-social culture sites!
Medieval Armour for Dummies.
WIRED (New York, New York) 13 November 12 How Medieval Arms Race Led to Swords Capable of Killing ‘Tin Can’ Knights (Mark Teppo)
Mark Teppo, contributor to The Mongoliad trilogy, has undertaken intensive research into the development of western medieval armour and weaponry to support the ‘realism’ of the books.
Teppo’s article looks at the type of metal armour that first appeared in battle, and then offers a cheeky assessment as to the ‘why’ of armour development through the medieval ages. While his item does not increase the ‘knowledge base’ for those already having modest experience with such material, he does offer a plausible and entertaining description of the armoured knight’s kit suitable for your non-fighting friends – a ‘Knight’s Armour for Dummies’ if you will.
Your word for the week: gear tweakers
“The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!”
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN (Washington, DC) 15 November 12 (Charles Q. Choi)
While not WMA/HEMA-specific (though it contains a respectful nod to German longswords and the New York Historical Fencing Association), this is an article that any of us that work with good blades/better cutting technique could benefit from.
Mr Choi discusses the science – and romance – behind the ‘sound’ resulting from a proper – and thus lethal – sword swing. And to the trained ear, the sound of your sword moving through air is enough to tell you if your technique is good, and to inform your opponent that ‘it’s clobberin time’!
Being the campus cut-up.
DAILY REVEILLE (Baton Rouge, Lousiana) 14 November 12 Aerial silks, long swording are among the most eccentric leisure classes (David Jones)
Louisiana State University offers more than 100 ‘leisure classes’ each semester; one of which includes Eric Wiggins’ longsword class.
“Most of Wiggins’ students are met with a stark realization upon entering his class — real-life fencing is nothing like it has been depicted in movies.”
The 17 Musketeers
TRIBUNE-HERALD (Waco, Texas) 15 November 12 Swords at sundown: MCC Theatre goes outdoors for ‘Three Musketeers’
For those of you specialising in choreographing stage combat; your task today is to create a believable, energetic, engaging and safe sword fight for two people on a modest-sized stage. Got it? OK, do it again, for 17 fighters … on the same stage!
And just in time for Xmas
ART DAILY (México City, México) 19 November 12 Viking hoard of swords form cutting edge of Bonhams Arms & Armour Sale in London
Among the 24 of swords in a planned Bonhams sale of Antique Arms and Armour are Viking swords dating from the 9th and tenth centuries when the Vikings were invading the British Isles on a regular basis. They range in price from $3,200 to $12,700.
Swords and Roses – The Band
LOS ANGELES TIMES (California) 14 November 12 USC sword-stabbing tradition has no place on the Rose Bowl field (Bill Plaschke)
If you ever wondered if the sword (or its use … or mis-use) had any relevant, modern symbolism to a significant number of North American people, you need look no further than your local sports pages.
WFMZ (Allentown, Pennsylvania) 12 November 12 Jousting, crowns, hennins featured at Phoebe’s Medieval Festival (Jaccii Farris)
Modern jousting is apparently not just a young man’s (or woman’s) game anymore.