Historical European martial arts
Historical European martial arts refers to martial arts of European origin using arts practised, but having since died out or evolved into different forms. While there is limited surviving documentation of the martial arts of classical antiquity, surviving dedicated technical treatises or martial arts manuals date to the Late Middle Ages and the early modern period. For this reason, the focus of HEMA is de facto on the period of the half-millennium of ca. 1300 to 1800, with a German and an Italian school flowering in the Late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, followed by Spanish, French and Scottish schools of fencing in the modern period. Arts of the 19th century such as classical fencing, early hybrid styles such as Bartitsu may be included in the term HEMA in a wider sense, as may traditional or folkloristic styles attested in the 19th and early 20th centuries, including forms of folk wrestling and traditional stick-fighting methods; the term Western martial arts is sometimes used in the United States and in a wider sense including modern and traditional disciplines.
During the Late Middle Ages, the longsword had a position of honour among these disciplines, sometimes historical European swordsmanship is used to refer to swordsmanship techniques specifically. Modern reconstructions of some of these arts arose from the 1890s and have been practiced systematically since the 1990s; the first book about the fighting arts, Epitoma rei militaris was written into Latin by a Roman writer, Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus, who lived in Rome between the fourth and fifth centuries. There are no other known martial arts manuals predating the Late Middle Ages, although medieval literature record specific martial deeds and military knowledge; some researchers have attempted to reconstruct older fighting methods such as Pankration, Eastern Roman hoplomachia, Viking swordsmanship and gladiatorial combat by reference to these sources and practical experimentation. The Royal Armouries Ms. I.33, dated to ca. 1300, is teaching sword and buckler combat. The central figure of late medieval martial arts, at least in Germany, is Johannes Liechtenauer.
Though no manuscript written by him is known to have survived, his teachings were first recorded in the late fourteenth-century Nürnberger Handschrift GNM 3227a. From the 15th century into the 17th, numerous Fechtbücher were produced, of which some several hundred are extant. Several modes of combat were taught alongside one another unarmed grappling, long knife or Dusack, half- or quarterstaff, pole weapons and combat in plate armour, both on foot and on horseback; some Fechtbücher have sections on dueling shields, special weapons used only in trial by combat. Important 15th-century German fencing masters include Sigmund Ringeck, Peter von Danzig, Hans Talhoffer and Paulus Kal, all of whom taught the teachings of Liechtenhauer. From the late 15th century, there were "brotherhoods" of fencers, most notably the Brotherhood of St. Mark and the Federfechter. An early Burgundian French treatise is Le jeu. 1400. The earliest master to write in the Italian language was Fiore dei Liberi, commissioned by the Marquis di Ferrara.
Between 1407 and 1410, he documented comprehensive fighting techniques in a treatise entitled Flos Duellatorum covering grappling, arming sword, pole-weapons, armoured combat and mounted combat. The Italian school is continued by Filippo Vadi and Pietro Monte Three early natively English swordplay texts exist, all obscure and of uncertain date. In the 16th century, compendia of older Fechtbücher techniques were produced, some of them printed, notably by Paulus Hector Mair and by Joachim Meyer. In the 16th century, German fencing had developed sportive tendencies; the treatises of Paulus Hector Mair and Joachim Meyer derived from the teachings of the earlier centuries within the Liechtenauer tradition, but with new and distinctive characteristics. The printed fechtbuch of Jacob Sutor is one of the last in the German tradition. In Italy, the 16th century is a period of big change, it opens with the two treatises of Bolognese masters Antonio Manciolino and Achille Marozzo, who describe a variation of the eclectic knightly arts of the previous century.
From sword and buckler to sword and dagger, sword alone to two-handed sword, from polearms to wrestling, early 16th-century Italian fencing reflects the versatility that a martial artist of the time was supposed to achieve. Towards the mid-century, however and companion weapons beside the dagger and the cape begin to fade out of treatises. In 1553, Camillo Agrippa is the first to define the prima, seconda and quarta guards, whi
Rapier, or espada ropera known as estoque, is a loose term for a type of large, slender pointed sword. With such design features, the rapier is optimized to be a thrusting weapon, but cutting or slashing attacks were recorded in some historical treatises like Capo Ferro's Gran Simulacro in 1610; this weapon was used in Early Modern Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries. The term "rapier" is applied by archaeologists to an unrelated type of Bronze Age sword; the word "rapier" refers to a long-bladed sword characterized by a protective hilt, constructed to provide protection for the hand wielding the sword. Some historical rapier samples feature a broad blade mounted on a typical rapier hilt; the term rapier can be confusing because this hybrid weapon can be categorized as a type of broadsword. While the rapier blade might be broad enough to cut to some degree, it is designed to perform quick and nimble thrusting attacks; the blade might be sharpened only from the center to the tip. Pallavicini, a rapier master in 1670 advocated using a weapon with two cutting edges.
A typical example would weigh 1 kilogram and have a long and slender blade of 2.5 centimetres or less in width, 104 centimetres or more in length and ending in a pointed tip. The blade length of quite a few historical examples the Italian rapiers in the early 17th century, is well over 115 cm and can reach 130 cm; the term rapier refers to a thrusting sword with a blade longer and thinner than that of the so-called side-sword but much heavier than the small sword, a lighter weapon that would follow in the 18th century and but the exact form of the blade and hilt depends on, writing and when. It can refer to earlier Spada da lato and the similar espada ropera, through the high rapier period of the 17th century through the small sword and duelling swords, thus context is important in understanding what is meant by the word; the word "rapier" is a German word to describe what was considered to be a foreign weapon, though it was produced within the Holy Roman Empire. The word rapier was not used by Italian and French masters during the heyday of this weapon, the terms spada, épée being instead the norm.
Because of this, as well as the great variation of late-16th and 17th century swords, some like Tom Leoni describe the rapier as a straight-bladed, two-edged, single-handed sword of that period, sufficient in terms of both offense and defence, not requiring a companion weapon. To avoid the confusion of lumping all swords together, some categorize such swords by their function and use. For example, John Clements categorizes thrusting swords with poor cutting abilities as rapiers, swords with both good thrusting and cutting abilities as cut and thrust swords. Some, look at the rapier in its entire time-line and see that it never fits into any single definition. Across Europe, the weapon changed based on culture and the fighting style, prescribed. One might wear a rapier with a swept hilt and edges on the same day as another might wear one with a cup hilt and an edgeless blade. Rapiers have complex, sweeping hilts designed to protect the hand wielding the sword. Rings extend forward from the crosspiece.
In some samples, rings are covered with metal plates evolving into the cup hilts of many rapiers. There were hardly any samples prior to the 1600s. Many hilts include a knuckle bow extending down from the crosspiece protecting the grip, wood wrapped with cord, leather or wire. A large pommel provides some weight to balance the long blade. Various rapier masters divided the blade into two, four, five or nine parts; the forte, strong, is that part of the blade closest to the hilt. The debole, weak, is the part of the blade which includes the point and is the second half of the blade when the sword is divided into an number of parts. However, some rapier masters divided the blade into three parts, in which case the central third of the blade, between the forte and the debole, was called the medio, mezzo or the terzo. Others used four divisions or 12; the Ricasso is the rear portion of the blade unsharpened. It extends forward from the crosspiece or quillion and gradually integrates into the thinner and sharper portion of the blade.
There was historical disagreement over how long the ideal rapier should be, with some masters, such as Thibault, denigrating those who recommended longer blades. Rapiers are single-handed weapons and
Prague is the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic, the 14th largest city in the European Union and the historical capital of Bohemia. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of 2.6 million. The city has a temperate climate, with chilly winters. Prague has been a political and economic centre of central Europe complete with a rich history. Founded during the Romanesque and flourishing by the Gothic and Baroque eras, Prague was the capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia and the main residence of several Holy Roman Emperors, most notably of Charles IV, it was an important city to its Austro-Hungarian Empire. The city played major roles in the Bohemian and Protestant Reformation, the Thirty Years' War and in 20th-century history as the capital of Czechoslovakia, during both World Wars and the post-war Communist era. Prague is home to a number of well-known cultural attractions, many of which survived the violence and destruction of 20th-century Europe.
Main attractions include Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Old Town Square with the Prague astronomical clock, the Jewish Quarter, Petřín hill and Vyšehrad. Since 1992, the extensive historic centre of Prague has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites; the city has more than ten major museums, along with numerous theatres, galleries and other historical exhibits. An extensive modern public transportation system connects the city, it is home to a wide range of public and private schools, including Charles University in Prague, the oldest university in Central Europe. Prague is classified as an "Alpha −" global city according to GaWC studies and ranked sixth in the Tripadvisor world list of best destinations in 2016, its rich history makes it a popular tourist destination and as of 2017, the city receives more than 8.5 million international visitors annually. Prague is the fourth most visited European city after London and Rome. During the thousand years of its existence, the city grew from a settlement stretching from Prague Castle in the north to the fort of Vyšehrad in the south, becoming the capital of a modern European country, the Czech Republic, a member state of the European Union.
The region was settled as early as the Paleolithic age. A Jewish chronicler David Solomon Ganz, citing Cyriacus Spangenberg, claimed that the city was founded as Boihaem in c. 1306 BC by an ancient king, Boyya. Around the fifth and fourth century BC, a Celts tribe appeared in the area establishing settlements including an oppidum in Závist, a present-day suburb of Prague, naming the region of Bohemia, which means "home of the Boii people". In the last century BC, the Celts were driven away by Germanic tribes, leading some to place the seat of the Marcomanni king, Maroboduus, in southern Prague in the suburb now called Závist. Around the area where present-day Prague stands, the 2nd century map drawn by Ptolemaios mentioned a Germanic city called Casurgis. In the late 5th century AD, during the great Migration Period following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, the Germanic tribes living in Bohemia moved westwards and in the 6th century, the Slavic tribes settled the Central Bohemian Region.
In the following three centuries, the Czech tribes built several fortified settlements in the area, most notably in the Šárka valley and Levý Hradec. The construction of what came to be known as Prague Castle began near the end of the 9th century, growing a fortified settlement that existed on the site since the year 800; the first masonry under Prague Castle dates from the year 885 at the latest. The other prominent Prague fort, the Přemyslid fort Vyšehrad, was founded in the 10th century, some 70 years than Prague Castle. Prague Castle is dominated by the cathedral, which began construction in 1344, but wasn't completed until the 20th century; the legendary origins of Prague attribute its foundation to the 8th century Czech duchess and prophetess Libuše and her husband, Přemysl, founder of the Přemyslid dynasty. Legend says that Libuše came out on a rocky cliff high above the Vltava and prophesied: "I see a great city whose glory will touch the stars." She ordered a town called Praha to be built on the site.
The region became the seat of the dukes, kings of Bohemia. Under Holy Roman Emperor Otto II the area became a bishopric in 973; until Prague was elevated to archbishopric in 1344, it was under the jurisdiction of the Archbishopric of Mainz. Prague was an important seat for trading where merchants from all of Europe settled, including many Jews, as recalled in 965 by the Hispano-Jewish merchant and traveller Ibrahim ibn Ya'qub; the Old New Synagogue of 1270 still stands in the city. Prague was once home to an important slave market. At the site of the ford in the Vltava river, King Vladislaus I had the first bridge built in 1170, the Judith Bridge, named in honour of his wife Judith of Thuringia; this bridge was destroyed by a flood in 1342, but some of the original foundation stones of that bridge remain in the river. It was named the Charles Bridge. In 1257, under King Ottokar II, Malá Strana was founded in Prague on the site of an older village in what would become the Hradčany area; this was the district of the German people, who had the right to administer the law autonomously, pursuant to Magdeburg rights.
The new district was on the bank opposite of the Staré Město, which had borough status and was bordered by a line of walls and fortifications. Prague flourished dur
Center of mass
In physics, the center of mass of a distribution of mass in space is the unique point where the weighted relative position of the distributed mass sums to zero. This is the point to which a force may be applied to cause a linear acceleration without an angular acceleration. Calculations in mechanics are simplified when formulated with respect to the center of mass, it is a hypothetical point where entire mass of an object may be assumed to be concentrated to visualise its motion. In other words, the center of mass is the particle equivalent of a given object for application of Newton's laws of motion. In the case of a single rigid body, the center of mass is fixed in relation to the body, if the body has uniform density, it will be located at the centroid; the center of mass may be located outside the physical body, as is sometimes the case for hollow or open-shaped objects, such as a horseshoe. In the case of a distribution of separate bodies, such as the planets of the Solar System, the center of mass may not correspond to the position of any individual member of the system.
The center of mass is a useful reference point for calculations in mechanics that involve masses distributed in space, such as the linear and angular momentum of planetary bodies and rigid body dynamics. In orbital mechanics, the equations of motion of planets are formulated as point masses located at the centers of mass; the center of mass frame is an inertial frame in which the center of mass of a system is at rest with respect to the origin of the coordinate system. The concept of "center of mass" in the form of the center of gravity was first introduced by the great ancient Greek physicist and engineer Archimedes of Syracuse, he worked with simplified assumptions about gravity that amount to a uniform field, thus arriving at the mathematical properties of what we now call the center of mass. Archimedes showed that the torque exerted on a lever by weights resting at various points along the lever is the same as what it would be if all of the weights were moved to a single point—their center of mass.
In work on floating bodies he demonstrated that the orientation of a floating object is the one that makes its center of mass as low as possible. He developed mathematical techniques for finding the centers of mass of objects of uniform density of various well-defined shapes. Mathematicians who developed the theory of the center of mass include Pappus of Alexandria, Guido Ubaldi, Francesco Maurolico, Federico Commandino, Simon Stevin, Luca Valerio, Jean-Charles de la Faille, Paul Guldin, John Wallis, Louis Carré, Pierre Varignon, Alexis Clairaut. Newton's second law is reformulated with respect to the center of mass in Euler's first law; the center of mass is the unique point at the center of a distribution of mass in space that has the property that the weighted position vectors relative to this point sum to zero. In analogy to statistics, the center of mass is the mean location of a distribution of mass in space. In the case of a system of particles Pi, i = 1, …, n , each with mass mi that are located in space with coordinates ri, i = 1, …, n , the coordinates R of the center of mass satisfy the condition ∑ i = 1 n m i = 0.
Solving this equation for R yields the formula R = 1 M ∑ i = 1 n m i r i, where M is the sum of the masses of all of the particles. If the mass distribution is continuous with the density ρ within a solid Q the integral of the weighted position coordinates of the points in this volume relative to the center of mass R over the volume V is zero, ∭ Q ρ d V = 0. Solve this equation for the coordinates R to obtain R = 1 M ∭ Q ρ r d V, where M is the total mass in the volume. If a continuous mass distribution has uniform density, which means ρ is constant the center of mass is the same as the centroid of the volume; the coordinates R of the center of mass of a two-particle system, P1 and P2, with masses m1 and m2 is given by R = 1 m 1 + m 2. Let the percentage of the total mass divided between these two particles vary from 100% P1 and 0% P2 through 50% P1 and 50% P2 to 0% P1 and 100% P2 the center of mass R moves along the line from P1 to P2; the percentages of mass at each point can be viewed as projective coordinates of the point R on this line, are termed barycentric coordinates.
Another way of interpreting the process here is the mechanical balancing of moments about an arbitrary point. The numerator gives the total moment, balanced by an equivalent total force at the center of mass; this can be generalized
In the European High Middle Ages, the typical sword was a straight, double-edged weapon with a single-handed, cruciform hilt and a blade length of about 70 to 80 centimetres. This type is depicted in period artwork, numerous examples have been preserved archaeologically; the high medieval sword of the Romanesque period developed from the Viking sword of the 9th century. In the Late Medieval period, late forms of these swords continued to be used, but as a sidearm, at that point called "arming swords" and contrasting with the two-handed, heavier longswords. Though the majority of late-medieval arming swords kept their blade properties from previous centuries, there are surviving specimens from the 15th century that took the form of a late-medieval estoc, specialised for use against more armoured opponents. After the end of the medieval period, the arming sword developed into several forms of the early modern one-handed straight swords, such as the side-sword, the rapier, the cavalry-focused Reiterschwert and certain types of broadsword.
The term "arming sword" is first used in the 15th century to refer to the single-handed type of sword after it had ceased to serve as the main weapon, was on its way to being used as a side-sword. "Arming sword" in late medieval usage refers to the when worn as a side-arm, but as a modern term it may refer to any single-handed sword in a late medieval context. The terms "knight's sword" or "knightly sword" are modern retronyms to specify the sword of the high medieval period. Period terminology for swords is somewhat fluid; the common type of sword in any given period would be referred to as "sword". During the high medieval period, references to swords as "great sword" or "small" or "short sword" does not indicate their morphology, but their relative size. Oakeshott notes that this changes in the late medieval period, beginning towards the end of the 13th century, when the "bastard sword" appeared as an early type of what would develop into the 15th-century longsword; the term "romanesque sword" does not see significant use in English, but it is more current in French, German and in Slavic languages, identifying the swords by them being contemporary with the corresponding Romanesque period in art history.
The knightly sword develops in the 11th century from the Viking Age sword. The most evident morphological development is the appearance of the crossguard; the transitional swords of the 11th century are known as Norman swords. In the 10th century, some of the "finest and most elegant" of the Ulfberht type of "Viking" swords began to exhibit a more slender blade geometry, moving the center of mass closer to the hilt to improve wieldability; the one-handed sword of the high medieval period was used with a shield or buckler. In the late medieval period, when the longsword came to predominate, the single-handed sword was retained as a common sidearm of the estoc type, came to be referred to as an "arming sword" evolving into the cut and thrust swords of the Renaissance. At the end of the medieval period, the estoc arming sword develops into the Spanish espada ropera and the Italian spada da lato, the predecessors of the early modern rapier. In a separate development, the schiavona was a heavier single-handed sword used by the Dalmatian bodyguard of the Doge of Venice in the 16th century.
This type influenced the development of the early modern basket-hilted sword which in turn developed into the modern cavalry sword. The most widespread typology for the medieval sword was developed by Ewart Oakeshott in 1960 based on blade morphology. Oakeshott introduced an additional typology for pommel shapes. A more recent typology is due to Geibig. Geibig's typology focusses on swords from continental the transitional period from the early to the high medieval period and does not extend to the late medieval period. Blade length was from 69 to 81 centimetres. Pommels were most of the'Brazil-nut' type from around 1000–1200 AD, with the'wheel' pommel appearing in the 11th and predominating from the 13th to 15th centuries. However, Oakeshott is emphatic on the point that a medieval sword cannot conclusively be dated based on its morphology. While there are some general trends in the development of fashion, many of the most popular styles of pommels and blades remain in use throughout the duration of the High Middle Ages.
The common "knightly swords" of the high medieval period fall under types X to XII. Type X is the Norman sword as it developed out of the early medieval Viking sword by the 11th century. Type XI shows the development towards a more tapering point seen during the 12th century. Type XII is a further development, typical throughout the Crusades period, showing a tapering blade with a shortened fuller. Subtype XIIa comprises the longer and more massive "great-swords" which developed in the mid-13th century designed to counter improvements in mail armour. Type XIII is the knightly sword typical of the 13th century. Swords of this type have l
Paulus Hector Mair
Paulus Hector Mair was an Augsburg civil servant, active in the martial arts of his time. He collected Fechtbücher and undertook to compile all knowledge of the art of fencing in a compendium surpassing all earlier books. For this, he engaged the painter Jörg Breu the Younger, as well as two experienced fencers, whom he charged with perfecting the techniques before they were painted; the project was costly, taking a full four years, according to Mair, consumed most of his family's income and property. Three versions of his compilation, one less extensive manuscript, have been preserved. Not only did Mair spend huge sums on his collections and on his projects, he had a expensive lifestyle hosting receptions for the more important burghers of Augsburg, his own income was not sufficient for this, during many years, he misappropriated funds from the city treasury, with the supervision of which he had been entrusted since 1541. His embezzlements were discovered in 1579, Mair was hanged as a thief at the age of 62.
Mair compiled a voluminous, encyclopedic compendium of the martial arts of his time, collected in 16 books in two volumes. The compendium survives in three manuscript copies; the subject matter treated is: Volume 1: A. German longsword B. Dussack C. Staff D. Pike E. Halberd F. Fighting with the scythe G. Fighting with the sickle H. Unarmed combat Volume 2: I. Dagger K. Spanish rapier L. Battle axe M. Joust, mounted combat for sport N. Tournament history and rules O. Judicial combat P. Mounted combat, serious Q. Fencing in plate armour three copies of the compendium, in two volumes each: German version: Saxon State and University Library, Mscr. Dresd. C 93/94, after two volumes, 244 +328 folia. Online facsimile: Digital Collections of the SLUB Dresden Latin version: Bavarian state library, München cod. icon 393, after 1542, two volumes, 309+303 folia. This is the most luxurious production of Mair's, he sold it to duke Albert V. of Bavaria for the enormous sum of 800 fl. in 1567 ( online facsimiles: De arte athletica Tome I, De arte athletica Tome II, daten.digitale-sammlungen.de bilingual Latin-German version: Austrian national library, Codex Vindobensis 10825/26 after 1542, two volumes, 270+343 folia.
Online facsimiles: microfilm scans Jörg Breu Sketchbook, Augsburg city archive, Schätze B2 Reichsstadt, 1553, 110 folia, illustrated by Heinrich Vogtherr, based material acquired from Anthon Rast of Nürnberg. Online facsimile: media.bibliothek.uni-augsburg.de, gesellschaft-lichtenawers.eu Knight, David James and Brian Hunt. Polearms of Paulus Hector Mair. Paladin Press, 2008. ISBN 978-1-58160-644-7. Historical European Martial Arts German school of swordsmanship transcription of the longsword treatise Paulus Hector Mair's entry on wiktenauer.com English translation of Mair's preface
A ricasso is an unsharpened length of blade just above the guard or handle on a knife, sword, or bayonet. Blades designed this way appear at many periods in history in many parts of the world and date back to at least the Bronze Age. There were many reasons to make a blade with a ricasso, in Europe longswords, claymores and other lengthy swords had this feature. One simple influence presently and is fashion, which answers this question for blades where the presence or lack of a ricasso has no effect on how it is used. Leaving a ricasso can save the blade maker's time - a section of blade that would not be used given the purpose of the piece does not have to be shaped and sharpened. In many cases however, they are quite functional. Ricassos were present on medieval and early Renaissance swords; the basic function was to allow the wielder to place their index finger above the crossguard, which allowed for greater grip strength and torque. This technique was a factor in the evolution of compound hilts which are iconic of rapiers and other Renaissance swords, as the compound hilt allows a ricasso grip while still protecting the hand.
Some of the best known historic examples of ricassos are on large European swords used with two hands. When used aggressively with adequate space to build up swinging momentum, the weapon would be held at the end of the grip for the best reach and power; some experts on historical combat believe this technique of sustained blade swinging was used as a tactic for swordsmen to penetrate pike formations. However, once the pike line was broken, the swordsman used the ricasso on his sword to shorten his grip, allowing the sword to be more manoeuvred in the tight press within the enemy ranks as well as offering more leverage and ability to thrust; the ricassos of two-handed swords have a second, smaller set of quillons past the ricasso creating a secondary grip. This technique is similar to the half-sword technique which involves gripping the sharpened midsection of the blade to turn the blade into a sort of lever weapon, it is possible without gauntlets to hold a sharpened blade safely, with proper technique.
Today, many knives seen outside of the kitchen include a bevel section, though the term is used. These ricassos may serve purely decorative purposes, may offer greater blade strength at a high-stress point, or be intended to be gripped to provide greater control when performing precise cutting. A sub-hilt, is a related feature sometimes found on knives instead of a ricasso. Depending on design, it can offer many of the same advantages in versatility but makes the choked up grip more comfortable; some blades may have both a sub-hilt and a ricasso, thus offering two possible forward grip positions