Author: George Georgas

The use of sword behind the shield wall and phalanx

‘…With this, he drew the sharp blade at his side, a powerful longsword, and gathering his limbs together swooped like a high-soaring eagle that falls to earth from the dark clouds to seize a sick lamb or a cowering hare. So Hector swooped, brandishing his keen blade. Achilles ran to meet him heart filled with savage power, covering his chest with his great, skilfully worked shield, while above his gleaming helm with its four ridges waved the golden plumes Hephaestus placed thickly at its crest. Bright as the Evening Star that floats among the midnight constellations, set there the...

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Sword staff: The sword of the poor!

Original article by Eytichios Tzirtilakis. Translation into English by George E. Georgas Once upon a time in the Byzantine Empire, the wooden swords were commonly used as weapons. From the time of the legendary Byzantine hero Basilios Digenis Acritas up until present day, this tradition was kept alive. I here present the weapon of the poor people of Crete; a medieval tradition that is quickly fading away at the dawn of the 21st century. The sword staff or sword stick is a staff with the shape of a curved sword; i.e a wooden sword. This wooden sword is not a training sword such as bokken, instead it is a strong wooden construction made from a thick and hard type of wood.  This brilliant symbol of a world fading away, the sword staff, hides all the power of Crete and all the ignorance of our age. In a few short decades the most popular weapon of the rebels of Crete has been forgotten even as memory. And the sadest part of all of this is that this weapon has its roots all the way back in the medieval empire of Greeks. The Eastern Roman Empire! The sword staff is exactly what its name says. It is a staff, in the shape of sword. It is a wooden sword. But it is not a replica of sword or a training weapon or even a game...

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Rare illustrations of Byzantine warriors in the Renaissance book Erotokritos

The Renaissance book Erotokritos is a unique preserved manuscript with colour illustrations belonging to the library of the Romanian Academy. The book is translated from Greek to Romanian. The photos below and the text are taken from the ΑΔΑΜ publication in Greek. The book was originally written by Vitsentzo Kornaro in the city of Citia in Crete in the year of 1645 but created by unknown calligrapher and illustrator. The illustrations however, were made by Petraki in 1787 (code Β.R.A. 3514), and the calligraphy was done by Ionitza. Both of them used the older book of Erotokritos for their work. In the illustrations...

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