Photo of the Kelvingrove Museum by Andreea Dee.
This week’s article is a review of the recent “Real Fighting Stuff” Conference 2015, held in Glasgow at the Kelvingrove Museum and organised by the Academy of Historical Arts. This review was written by Andreea Dee and was posted originally on her blog, the Art of Swords; she has given her kind permission for it to be reposted here on Encased in Steel.
This week I would like to present a short post answering some of the fears people have about starting a HEMA club. As I am moving house at the moment I have recently come across many of my documents from when I started my first club in 2007. Amongst the documents I found a pros and cons list regarding my feelings towards starting a club. Eight years on I would like to answer those cons and hopefully in doing so I will be able to give encouragement to some of you who are considering taking the leap into founding a club.
One of the common disciplines studied in HEMA today is the longsword. Most HEMA practitioners will understand the term longsword to refer to a specific type of sword, and generally they’ll understand this sword to be a relatively distinct type of sword, used in two hands, but not overly long, with very large swords often being referred to as two handed swords or great swords. These are all examples of what we might call a longsword:
MS.Ludwig.XV.13. C.1404. 22r.
MS.KK5012. 1495. 2r.
MSS Dresd.C.93/C.94. 1542. 23r.
It is worth bearing in mind however that not all historical treatises used the exact same terminology in the exact same way, and it is always worth being aware of what terminology is used in the sources we study. So I thought it would be worth doing an overview of the use of the term longsword in fencing treatises, as well as terms used to describe the same or similar weapons.