Info
MALLEUS MARTIALIS

Simulacri di Armi Antiche e Coltelleria
Historical Blunt Arms & Cutlery
Via delle Fornaci 4 – 50023 – Impruneta (FI)
P.IVA: 06429000489
N. REA: FI – 627689
[email protected]
[email protected]

Search
TOP
Edu Archivi ~ Malleus Martialis Firenze
628
archive,category,category-edu,category-628,eltd-core-1.1.2,awake-ver-1.3,,eltd-smooth-page-transitions,eltd-mimic-ajax,eltd-grid-1200,eltd-blog-installed,eltd-default-style,eltd-fade-push-text-top,eltd-header-standard,eltd-fixed-on-scroll,eltd-default-mobile-header,eltd-sticky-up-mobile-header,eltd-menu-item-first-level-bg-color,eltd-dropdown-slide-from-left,eltd-light-header,eltd-header-style-on-scroll,eltd-fullscreen-search eltd-search-fade,eltd-side-menu-slide-with-content,eltd-width-470,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.4.7,vc_responsive

The Witcher FEAT. Talhoffer

What do the Witcher Geralt of Rivia and Hans Talhoffer, the German Master-at-Arms of the XV century have in common? Let's discover it! We are here to share a crucial truth with you. WE.ARE.NERDS. Yes: We finally said it. Nope: it's not the Secret of Steel. Or...

What do the Witcher Geralt of Rivia and Hans Talhoffer, the German Master-at-Arms of the XV century have in common? Let’s discover it!


We are here to share a crucial truth with you.
WE.ARE.NERDS.
Yes: We finally said it. Nope: it’s not the Secret of Steel. Or maybe it is?
Our love for swords is not limited to work. In our freetime we are fencers, reenactors, we play regularly Dungeons&Dragons, we enjoy Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movie marathons and guess? We like playing videogames and watching TV series.

So, we’re still obsessively singing “Toss a coin to your Witcher” from the Netflix TV adaption of the Witcher’s Saga (from the books by Andrzej Sapkowski), and we wanted to toss a couple of good gold coins to those in charge of the videogame’s historical accuracy at CD Project Red, they truly deserve an acknowledgement.
Even though the TV series has the spectacular asset of Henry Cavill’s Geralt of Rivia, plus a very good cast in general and wonderful sceneries,  in our humble opinion it lacks of the “salt” given by the historical accuracy of the videogame…But does it make any sense talking about historical accuracy in a fantasy world?
Apparently it does because in the CD Project’s work – if we turn a blind eye to the unlikely placement of Geralt’s swords – the detailed historical-inspired clothing from different centuries and the anatomically correct design of the swords are very well melted with the fantasy context all around.

But there is an incredible period detail that we missed, that fortunately didn’t escape our friend Grappa e Spada’s beady eye. On a closer and careful look one might notice that the tattoo sported by some of the thugs in the game bear are exactly by a gloss featured in the XV century combat manual written by Johannes “Hans” Talhoffer, the notorious German Master-at-Arms.

WHAT.A.GLORIOUS.QUOTE!
THANKS, CD PROJECT RED!

Credits: Grappa & Spada – Simone Normani on  https://www.facebook.com/grappaespada/
Cover: Adobe Stock, commercial license owned by Malleus Martialis.

Pirate Queen

The Pirate Queen | LadyFencers Series

Here starts our "Ladyfencers" journey, from the social posts directly to our blog. Who's better than a siren, to introduce you incredible women-warriors during the centuries? History and legend blend seamlessly when talking about Grace O'Malley, the Pirate Queen of Ireland, a woman so bold and...

Here starts our “Ladyfencers” journey, from the social posts directly to our blog.
Who’s better than a siren, to introduce you incredible women-warriors during the centuries?


History and legend blend seamlessly when talking about Grace O’Malley, the Pirate Queen of Ireland, a woman so bold and ambitious to be still relevant today. We’d like to tell you her story.


Put a bunch of outcasts, renegades, criminals, weirdos and nut jobs on a boat. Send them afloat on a grog-fuelled, scabies-ridden voyage and what do you get? That’s right. Pirates!

It must have been terrifying to catch sight of a skull-and-crossed-bones flag from your peaceful merchant vessel, and for very good reasons. But piracy has always been a reliable source of good stories thanks to the eccentricity of characters such as the fabulous Grace O’Malley, exuberant woman-warrior who was literally off her rockers!

THE ORIGINS

Heir of a sailor dinasty, when she inherited her father’s fleet and land, she didn’t leave the duty to her husband, as it was customary. No, instead she decided to step up and commandeer a little army, dedicating her life to seafaring, plundering and rebelling. Thus flipping a massive finger at the gender role stereotypes of the time.
Her father must have got a hint of what was to come when Grace, still a child, asked him to take her on a diplomatic trip to Spain. He reasonably refused, explaining that her hair would be hazardous on a ship, so chopped her mane off and went anyway. There’s quite some login in to that girl madness, right?

THE RISE

Behind her impetuous attitude there was a lucid, working brain. In fact she managed to grow her family’s commercial network with Spain and Portugal, and got strategically married twice to increase her land and political power.
In between marriages she genuinely fell in love with a sailor who, shortly after, was murdered by the MacMahon family. Guess what happened to them. One could hardly find one living MacMahon in Doona after the Pirate Queen of Connaught gave them the O’Malley treatment!

THE SWORN ENEMY

But our Grace wouldn’t be a proper Irish legend without having ruffled some English feathers. As it happened her actions didn’t go unnoticed in England, so that Sir Richard Bingham, the English governor who was appointed to rule over her territories, captured one of her sons and took some of her cattle and land.
Sir Bingham was powerful and ruthless, so Grace was cornered, and instead of going berserk on Bingham and his fleet, she had to choose a diplomatic path: she requested an audience with Queen Elizabeth I, who curiously accepted.

THE MEETING BETWEEN TWO QUEENS

Grace parked her ship in the middle of the Thames and swaggered in the Palace with a simple request “free liberty during her life to invade with fire and sword all your highness’ enemies without any interruption of any person whatsoever”.
Basically she wanted to keep her independence and keep on pirating, but in a way the Queen would be cool with. And she was. Perhaps moved by the plights of Grace, instead of throwing her in the Tower of London, she sent her back home with a signed letter ordering to free her family and restore her lands.

Grace O’Malley and Elizabeth I (from Anthologia Hibernica volume II) – 1794

The meeting went surprisingly smoothly, all things considered, and it makes me wonder if, were there two men instead of two women, it would have ended in a bloodbath. Surely her being a woman didn’t play well with her role in history.
Despised by her English enemies, and feared by local aristocrats and church, her name survived mostly on folklore, thus making it hard to discern the real events behind the legend.
She was a remarkable woman, who fought her way through life in a time when freedom for women was rather limited, and she lived up to her seventies who wisely mixed warfare and diplomacy and even managed to carry a dagger to her meeting with the Queen…of course “for her self-defense”.

Conclusion

There are many songs and legends passed from minstrel to minstrel about the untameable Grace, the cropped-hair girl, the Sea Sovereign, the Irish Pirate Queen. Like this excerpt we chose, from Irish Minstrelsy by James Hardiman.
The armies of Elizabeth
Invaded her on land
Her warships followed on her track
And watched by many a strand
But she swept her foes before her
On the land and on the sea
And the flag of Grace O’Malley
Waved defiant proud and free

If you’d like to read the whole song and more poems about her, don’t miss this collection!
See you for the next episode, ol’ Sea Dogs!

A RUSSIAN SABRE REVENGE | LADYFENCERS SERIES 〉〉 

Cover: Suzanne Mischyshyn
County Mayo – Westport House Grounds – Statue of Grace O’Malley (1530-1603)
CC BY-SA 2.0

A Legendary Medieval Duel: Galeazzo vs. Boucicaut

Galeazzo da Mantova and Jean Le Meingre, called Boucicaut, Marshal of France, were important knights at the time they fought, in 1395 in Padua. A timeless story of rivalry and dissing, which we imagined narrated by Galeazzo himself. As I approach the lists I shudder, not for...


Galeazzo da Mantova and Jean Le Meingre, called Boucicaut, Marshal of France, were important knights at the time they fought, in 1395 in Padua.
A timeless story of rivalry and dissing, which we imagined narrated by Galeazzo himself.


As I approach the lists I shudder, not for the sight of my enemy, but for the sight of the people. Hundreds, thousands crowd around the piazza, climbing on each other’s shoulder, perched on roof tops. Everywhere. I’ve seen multitudes in a battle field, but this many civilians feels… unnatural.

I will face Monsieur Buzachardo, who dared to accuse all Italian knights of cowardice. He’s either a liar, or he probably never crossed swords with one, in which case it’s about time he stopped talking and started fighting.

IN NOMINE DOMINI

My mind goes back to my Master Fiore’s teachings, not a day starts without thanking the Omnipotent for allowing me to be his scholar, and I pray for Him and for my Lord Francesco, for my Family and for Glory. In Nomine Domini.

PREPARING FOR THE DUEL

I glance at my adversary, it’s time to add a new victorious page to the book, the arms are still sheathed but in my head they are already swinging, parrying the Frenchman’s blows and hitting back, twice as hard and twice as fast.

Duelling would be a rather fine affair if it wasn’t for all the pomp and ceremony preceeding the action. The Da Carrara are rather sober compared to Francesco Gonzaga’s standards, but still.

THE DUEL

As I’m about to mount my steed I see Boucicaut, the arrogant scoundrel, launching an attack. He obviously knows that surprising me off guard is his only chance at defeating me. But he obviously doesn’t know that my guard is never off. As he drags me off my horse – horseback duel was his idea, maybe this was all planned? – I hit his neck with my lance and then I dodge a metal-clad fist before regaining my balance and drawing my sword.

It all goes so quick I barely have time to register it, and the Lords of Padua and Mantua pull me and Boucicaut apart. So much for honour and courage! I came for a duel while all he wanted was a tavern brawl.

Is your fame all just a parade, Marshal?

Where is your prowess with a sword that made your name known? Show me that you are not a coward and challenge me again, this time not with punches and shoves, but in a noble sword fight.


Galeazzo and Jean met again in 1406, eleven years later, and the Mantuan condottiero finally had his victory, while the French marshal swore never to wear a visor on his bascinet from then on.


Download the Galeazzo/Boucicaut Wallpaper for free!
CREDITS: IVIEN ART FOR MALLEUS MARTIALIS


 

Sources & Credits:
Rerum italicarum scriptores, AA.VV pp.448-449
Acta Periodica Duellatorum (vol. 6, issue 1) a cura di Jaquet Daniel
Captain of Fortune: Galeazzo da Mantova ©2013, Gregory D. Mele
Wiktenauer/FioredeiLiberi
Illustration by Ivien Art – Valentina Lauria
Counseling by ” The Historical Perfection” Armour Nerds’WA Group & Simone Sgambati

 

Anatomy of the Sword – Part I

  Introduction   Chi me guarderà facendo in me crose, de fatto d’armizare gli farò fama e vose. - To those who will believe in me, through deeds of arms I shall bring fame and a name. These are the words of Fiore dei Liberi, master at arms who lived between...

 

Introduction

 

Chi me guarderà facendo in me crose, de fatto d’armizare gli farò fama e vose.

To those who will believe in me, through deeds of arms I shall bring fame and a name.

These are the words of Fiore dei Liberi, master at arms who lived between the 14th and the 15th century and acted as the voice of the sword, the queen of all arms.
The sword has always been an iconic object, and has dominated the imagination of the people of all times. Masters at arms, condottieri, noblemen, fencers, but also smiths, goldsmiths, architects and amateurs always tried to catch the essence of this deadly and beautiful piece of art.
The form of the sword recalls the cross: mainly since the Middle Ages, this sacred structure has often been subjected to a more or less conscious geometrical design, following precise methods of construction that were passed down from a generation of artisans to the next.

As the sword has been in a constant evolution through history, in the 19th century historians and collectors tried to give order to the wide variety of sword forms according to the reference period, creating different classifications. Despite this huge and very useful work, sword anatomies are really heterogeneous, so the system can still be considered as open.

Contemporary sword classifications

4th-8th century: Behmer (1939)
7th-10th century: Petersen (1919), Wheeler (1927)
8th-12th century: Geibig (1991), Jacobsson (1992)
10th-16th century: Bruhn – Hoffmeyer (1954), Oakeshott (1960-2002), Aleksiç (2007), Elmslie (2015)
16th – 17th century: Picchianti (2019)
15th-19th century: A.V.B. Norman (1980)

From this base, every scholar, fencer or novice should start to understand what a sword is. Let’s get into some specific terms that will also help you to read our product descriptions. Here you will find also the italian terms, selected and chosen by us for our italian readers.

Parts of the sword

I. Hilt – Fornimento
II. Blade – Lama
III. Tang – Codolo
IV. Forte – Strong
V. Medio – N/D
VI. Debole-Weak

  1. Pommel – Pomo | Peen Block, Button – Bottone | Neck – Basetta
  2.  Handle, Grip – Impugnatura, Immanicatura, Manico
  3. Cross, Crossguard, Guard, Quillions – Elsa, Elso, Guardia, Crociera
  4. Shoulder (Base of the forte) – Tallone (Base del forte)
  5. Chape – Cappetta | The researcher C.Blair left a brief and useful description about chapes as a part of the hilt made by a leather flap or a metal strip, shaped to cover the cross and the mouth of the scabbard. [cfr. C. BLAIR (a cura di), Enciclopedia ragionata delle armi. Mondadori 1979, p. 118].
  6. Fuller – Sguscio, Scanalatura, Canala (arcaico)
  7. Central Ridge – Costola centrale
  8. True Edge – Filo Vero
  9. False Edge – Filo Falso
  10. Point, Tip – Punta

Blade Properties
Some essential factors determine the blade geometry:

      • Profile taper (Convergenza del Profilo)
      It can be more or less extreme: a blade with parallel edges is designed for a cutting action, one with more convergent edges is designed to thrust.
      • Distal Taper (Progressione Distale)
      The blade thickness tapers more o less gently and proportionally according to its functionality.
      • Cross Section (Sezione di lama)
      Every blade, in line with its purpose and reference period, has a different section, that can also be composite. For example, the section can be a lozenge, or it can be fullered, hexagonal, and so on.
      • Dynamic Properties
      Point of Balance or Center of Gravity (Baricentro, Punto di Bilanciamento o Centro di Gravità)

The static point in which the sword balances. Despite popular beliefs, the position of the point of balance doesn’t prove the effective result of the smith’s work, as the sword is a sum of factors that define its dynamic behaviour. The sword is designed to be in motion.

Pivot Points & Vibrational Nodes (Punti di Fulcro e Nodi Vibrazionali)
The Pivot points are two and influence how the sword handles in motion.
Vibrational Nodes are the points in which the blade doesn’t vibrate at all, and determine its behaviour during the impact.

Conclusion

We hope that this summary will let you have a better focus on this fascinating matter, helping you to read more confidently the specs of Malleus Martialis products. In order to examine in depth some of the concepts expressed in this post, we recommend the book “The Sword – Form and Thought”, Grotkamp-Schepers, Barbara; Immel, Isabell; Johnsson, Peter; Wetzler, Sixt (catalogue of the exhibition of the same name held in the Deutschen Klingenmuseum from the 26th of SEP 2015 till the 28th of FEB 2016), Peter Johnsson’s website and publications and Vincent Le Chevalier’s Blog.

This is the first of a series of articles, don’t miss the following episodes!

Eleonora Rebecchi
Malleus Martialis designer

Malleus Martialis coat of arms

Be part of our history