Medieval Combat: A Fifteenth-Century Manual of Swordfighting and Close-Quarter Combat Paperback – 7 April 2014
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
About the Author
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Simply put I was expecting more content/material/interpretation.
My other half when I had opened the amazon packaged asked why I had bought a colouring book as I flicked through the pages, and I was quite dissapointed in what I had bought.
As a pure translation of Talhoffer it is very good as you read through the captions that accompany the plates, as such it has grown on me and is a useful accompaniment to understanding or interpreting swordplay - therefore the score has increased as have gone through this more to the point where I would recommend this to anyone interested in the sword and related fighting arts.
My complaint about the layout would be that the plates with accompanying translation are laid out in landscape, these plates are then accompanied by the commentary (also divided by the two sections) which is at the end of the book in a separate section in portrait - this results in a lot of having to flick back and forth whilst twisting 90 degrees to see what the explanatory comment is. These comments could have been easily included as footnotes on the page they referred to without distracting from the image and translation. Secondarily to this, some of the notes refer to other notes by number, this is straightforward to find the corresponding note, however the plate that the note refers to is not listed meaning that you have to flick though all the pages to find the superscript reference number... and then give up as you want to continue with where you were at to keep the picture of actions in your mind. Probably what I am trying to say is that the comments section should cross-reference back to the text.
All that aside, I do like this book and would recommend as a reference for anyone studying or learning medieval sword and other weapons and the context of their practice
The techniques were written by a master who was writing at what may have been the height of the European close combat tradition so obviously I am not qualified to pass any kind of judgment on them (but I do like them!).
These are not techniques for the beginner and the longsword section in particular can be very hard to decipher. It takes a while and many readings to really "get into" the writers' style. The poleaxe, dagger and other weapons are quite easy to follow for the martial artist. Lots is omitted from the work and it requires a good grounding in the European martial tradition to get the most from it. It is a great work to cross reference with contemporary treatises.
Top international reviews
A note about the work Its self: If you are a student of Liechtenauer, have messer experience, or are interested in Historic manuscripts for their own merit and place in history then this book will be useful to you. If you are a beginner with the longsword, messer, etc. then this is not a book for you. Talhoffer did not write the book as a step to step guide. It was more of a visual teaching aid and a "Catalog" of the knowledge that he had to offer. That being said if you have a basic understanding of the materials there is a lot to be gleaned here. If you have an interest in Trial by combat and siege weapons this book will completely enthrall you.
The book illustrates attacks, defenses, and counters. After reading the book, you will realize what should have been obvious: European states had a very developed martial arts during the medieval times. After all, they had a class of people who were devoted to fighting. The knights were not simple men in armor who simply hacked and slashed.
The book is a fighting manual. Therefore, a modern-day couch potato such as myself would have some difficulty understanding a lot of the concepts. Talhoffer intended his book to be read by fighting men, after all. He never could have anticipated that his book would survive hundreds of years later, to be read by people who have never had to engage in combat. The book must be evaluated with respects to the time, and the audience, for whom it was written.
This book should be a part of a medieval historian's collection. I also recommend this to anyone who is interested in the martial arts. Reading this book reminded me of the fictional character from Highlander, Connor McLeod. Surely, some of the Highlander's moves must have come from Talhoffer!
Well produced, the plates seem clearer than those of the German edition from whence these were drawn. Translated from the original Swabian and expanded into notes, from Gustav Hergsell's modern German transcription of the last century that was rife with errors as noted by Dr. Karl Wassmannsdorff. (If you want to check, the Swabian is added in an appendix).
What is need now is someone (Hint! Hint!) to publish a work with all the Liechtenauer's text and glossa (a different manual) to go with these superb drawings.
But for all that, it is still a worthwhile read for research - just don't expect to be able to learn how to fight from it, and be prepared to take some time studying it to understand what is shown.