Amberger Collection, Fechtschulen, Teutonic order and Swabia

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Re: Amberger Collection

Post by Roger N » Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:13 am

I just came to think about this old ARMA-article by Henrik Andersson of Livrustkammaren in Stockholm.
http://www.thearma.org/essays/Fabris_the_Assassin.htm

It discusses how Salvator Fabris was involved in a conspiracy to kill the Swedish (and Polish) King Sigismund's uncle Duke Karl, later King Karl IX.

In the last paragraphs it discusses how Sword Dancing was commonly performed in the 16th century Scandinavia: http://www.thearma.org/essays/Fabris_the_Assassin.htm
Egerton Castle also discusses possible links between fechtschulen and sword dancers in his old book.

http://books.google.se/books?id=qupwNNp ... rs&f=false

I also know that Kevin Maurer is working on something concerning this:

http://hemaalliance.com/discussion/view ... p?f=7&t=28

And of course, the fencing masters of the European universities often also taught dancing...
Roger Norling

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Re: Amberger Collection

Post by Kevin Maurer » Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:59 am

Roger Norling wrote:
And as I am sure everyone knows, Frederick III and Maximilian I were the emperors who "licensed" the
Marxbruder and Federfechters.
Your whole post from the above quote, was rewarding to read, awesome thanks, I've gotta get that book! there is a similar History in the book; Hapsburgs by Wheatcroft,
But not nearly as replete with data. Cool.
I would like to clarify, that Frederick III did indeed grant the Brotherhood of St Marx, their original Privelgium,
but it was Rudolph II who in 1607 gave to the Freifechters von der Feder, von Greifenfels, the Federfechter Privelgium.
However, Maximillian I was a much beloved Patron of the Marxbruder Guild, as evidenced by Meister des Schwert
Christoph Rösner, who in 1589 is still praising Maximillian I. So he was certainly special to them.
Also it should be noted this from Wassmansdorf.
The Emperors who granted Privelegium to the Brotherhood of Saint Mark were:
Kaiser Frederich III on 10 Aug 1487 in Nurmberg, Kaiser Maximillian on 27 Sep 1512,
Charles V on 5 Apr 1521 at Worms, Charles V on 13 May 1541 at regensburg,
Maximillian II on 6 May 1566 at Augsburg, Rudolph II on 15 Jul 1579 in Prague!!!,
Kaiser Matthias on 17 Oct 1613 in Regensburg, Ferdinand II on
13 Jul 1627 in Vienna, Ferdinand III 18 Dec 1640 at Regensburg, and also Leopold on
the 26th of October 1669 in Vienna . Interesting that it stops there. there are several
documents of various town council decrees from Prof Dr. Alfred Schaer's work,
that coincide with the ending of the Guild Privileges. However, we know it didnt end there.
But thats a whole nother thread. :D
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Re: Amberger Collection

Post by Roger N » Tue May 04, 2010 12:12 pm

Thanks for providing all these details! :)

Another thing that has been lingering on in the back of my head for a while, is how the Teutonic Order, and the eventually incorporated Schwertbrüders, traveled passing (invading) Gotland in Sweden, to Livonia and eventually back to Germany and Austria (much of the particular type of fortified churches can be found in their trails).

I wonder how much of an influence they may have had on the Liechtenauer tradition and if so, how it may have spread over Europe. It appears as if at least in part the same regions (Swabia and Franconia) and families are closely tied together. In fact, the early Schwertbrüders are said to have come from the south of Germany, and only later from the north and Prussia.

The Teutonic order was also strictly "German" and I suppose that means that their recruits came from a fairly strictly regulated geographical region and probably from combat trained nobility. Late Grand Master Albert was also a friend of emperor Maximilian I and travelled with him to Italy in 1508. http://www.wikiwak.com/wak/Albert,_Duke_of_Prussia

Various warrior monks are of course interesting here aswell, like the Grand Master Burchard von Schwanden http://www.wikiwak.com/wak/Burchard_von_Schwanden roughly around the time of Ms I.33. Or, Heinrich Reuß von Plauen http://www.wikiwak.com/wak/Heinrich_Reu ... von_Plauen about 1410.

Also, Teutonic Grand Master Maximilian III, son of emperor Maximillian II and brother of emperor Rudolf II competed for the throne of Poland/Livonia in 1587 against Sigismund III of Sweden. Sigismund won the throne and eventually appears to have hired Salvator Fabris, who then were the fencing master at the Danish court, to assassinate Duke Karl, who later became Karl IX of Sweden (as mentioned above).

http://www.thearma.org/essays/Fabris_the_Assassin.htm
http://www.wikiwak.com/wak/Maximilian_III_of_Austria

It is also interesting to see how the Finnish city Åbo-nana, Swedish Lund and Lithuanian Riga (where the Schwertbrüderorden where founded in 1202) remains important centers for education and fencing for the following centuries, Diederich von Porath's brothers taught at those universities in the 17th century, and he himself taught King Karl XI and King Karl XII of Sweden. You can find his fencing manual here, at the top of the page: http://www.hroarr.com/manuscripts_sabre.html

Another thing that comes to mind here, is the practice and use of the falchion, which to me seems to be inspired from meeting the Persian scimitar under the crusades, although I know there are numerous other theories regarding this.
Still, it is interesting that Poland and Hungaria were important regions to the Teutonic Order and it also fought the Ottoman empire and even the Mongols. All of which are important countries/cultures when it comes to the origin of sabre like weapons.

Also, a friend of mine, Anders, who is also a member here, is working on studying Viking combat and in part does this by studying the combat styles they met and how it could have influenced the Vikings.
It would seem to me as if this might also happen in the Liechtenauer tradition, where warriors who travelled the world in the crusades, were influenced and adapted their techniques, and that this eventually would trickle down to even regular practice in their respective countries of origin.

Any thoughts on this? :)
Roger Norling

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Re: Amberger Collection

Post by Roger N » Wed May 05, 2010 5:39 pm

And here is another interesting detail. The "Brothers of the Knighthood of Christ of Livonia against the Prussians" (Fratres Militaie Christi de Livonia contra Prutenos) had their main fort built in 1297-1306 in the now Polish town of Golub-Dobrzyn (Dobrin) as in "Döbringer".

The city of Golub-Dobrzyn had its peak under King Sigismund III of Poland/Sweden in the early 17th century, as mentioned above.

The order was founded in 1207 and apparently was independent for just a short time. Sources speak of 1235. Eventually the BKCLAP-order merged, alongside of the Schwertbrüder, with the Teutonic Order and it was as such the fort was built.

http://maps.google.se/maps?source=s_q&h ... 8&t=h&z=14

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_Dobrin
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golub-Dobrzy%C5%84


However, there is also a Dobring in Austria, apparently only 18 miles from a city called Lichtenau.
http://maps.google.se/maps?f=q&source=s ... e&t=h&z=15

Also, near the Teutonic Castle Marienburg, close to Danzig, there is also a town called Lichtenau.
http://maps.google.se/maps?f=q&source=s ... 2&t=h&z=17
http://www.panodesign.co.uk/Malbork2008/index.html
Roger Norling

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Re: Amberger Collection

Post by Roger N » Tue May 11, 2010 10:11 am

Here is another related topic that I posted on the Hema Alliance forum: http://hemaalliance.com/discussion/view ... a&start=20

"Recently, I have been looking into various topics I have had in mind for a long time. One of them is the Suebi tribe and the later Swabia, which in the mid fifth century was located in northern Lusitania and Gallaecia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hispania3c.JPG Considering that Liechtenauer originated from "German" Swabia (and also one of Fiore's teachers, possibly the very same Johannes...), I am getting more and more curious as to how old the roots of the old Jogo do Pau actually are. Do you know anything about this, Frederico? Are there any illustrations or literary references to Lusitan fencing predating the Renaissance?

Now the Lusitan Swabia is a bit early, but it is interesting to see how many threads that break off and reconnect through history. I have so many different topics to research and I just wish I had started this twenty years ago...
"

Frederico replied:

"... I don't think that it is possible to prove a connection from that, to prove anything more than only mere references at most, as it already is from medieval age.

But it does make sense that the people from that region always fought with similar weapons, and that some amount of technical aspects passed from generation to generation.

Jogo do pau is originated from the region of Portugal coincidental with that region, it is a region known from the roman times to be of great warriors, the Lusitanian tribes(from that region even before that) defeated the Romans in several situations, and there are desccriptions of the Lusitanians' fighting ability made by roman historians from the time (I've read a book about that but don't have here to say exact names but I can check that later. the names of the historian, the roman generals, there are description of episodes that actually occurred, descriptions of the weapons etc..). Also, much later on the medieval age, The north of Portugal was never conquered from the Muslims as was the entire south. So, one particular region is being described and documented over 2000 years as a place where people were extraordinary at combat.
"

To which my reply was:

"... I do not really think it would be possible to prove anything, and I just got curious when I realized that the north of Portugal has people that has a cultural ancestry from German Swabia, a region and a group of tribes, well known in Roman times and the early Middle Ages, for excellent fighting skills and also somewhat known for using "long" swords, relative to earlier Roman swords. The lesser known Roman Spatha used by the German Auxilliaries was a pretty long sword, although still for single-handed use, measuring up to 100cm and shared a lot with the later viking swords.

Still, it is just insubstantiated ideas that I am tossing up to see if anyone else has any knowledge of this part of history... Also, it seems that almost any region had great fighters back in the good old days.

The Roman historian you refer to might be Tacitus and his "Germania", which I will try to read soon. I'm not sure if he discusses Lusitanian Swabia, but it wouldn't surprise me, since he goes through the Suebian people pretty extensively. He also briefly describes the "German" Spatha, btw. I have a digital copy if you are interested.
"

Fransisco's reply:

"... just googled a bit, the historian is Estrabon and you can find alot of stuff about Viriato / Viriathus for sure.

At this time, this tribes actually used sword and buckler, the sword is the falcata, that is for me the most beautifull sword there is, and has its weight forward, and that would be natural to me since we practice baton at jdp with one hand that has the same characteristics. It was surely a sword to crack some skulls open, contrary to the gladius that were more to thrust, (if im not wrong). But it is nice to know they starter to use longer sword not much after that(well, a few centuries).
"

...and mine:

"... This side topic is getting really interesting, especially since there are theories that the Lusitanian tribes originated in the Swiss Alpine region, in about 600BC, also fairly close to Swabia. Viriathus, as you mentioned went to war against the Roman empire in 147BC, but was betrayed and killed in 139BC, after which Lusitania became a part of Roman Gallaecia and later with full priviliges.

The Swabian tribes settled in Northern Portugal, at the end of the Roman Empire, as early as 410 AD and lasted until 584AD, after which I assume the people assimilated with the rest of the region. Of course the Swabian tribes also fought in many other regions, in conflict with the Roman Empire, and especially in German Swabia...

Another interesting little aspect, is that the "Sue" part of Suebi/Suevi/Sweboz likely shares its etymological origin with that of the Suioni tribes of later Sweden from proto-germanic "Swihoniz", meaning "free" or "Our own" people. Again, Tacitus mentions the Suioni in his "Germania".
"

As a comment, it appears as if the earli Suebi tribed lived near the Elbe river, close to Denmark and later travelled south and west.

Also, the Visigoths who conquered Lusitanian Suebia in 585AD may have formed a Kingdom of Suevia in the late 7th century or early 8th.

All this has led me to start on an article. I have 15 pages of loose sentences right now, that I need to put some meat on... :)
Roger Norling

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Re: Amberger Collection, Fechtschulen, Teutonic order and Swabia

Post by Roger N » Wed May 12, 2010 6:56 am

This site has quite a few interesting passages in its timeline, although some details are a bit off.

http://ejmas.com/kronos/NewHist1350-1699.htm

It mentions the "Bürgershaft von St Marcus von Lowenberg" being established in 1383 by butchers who practiced sword dancing. I have not seen this referenced before.

"German butchers establish the Bürgershaft von St Marcus von Lowenberg ("The Citizens’ Association of Saint Marcus of Lowenberg") at Frankfurt-am-Rhein. This was a sword-dancing club where members learned a mimed dance using carving knives instead of swords. To reduce injuries, the sword techniques taught used slashing movements rather than thrusting blows. Dances were done publicly during Carnival and Christmas. While the dances themselves were festive in nature, rival guilds often fought over which should have precedence during parades and speeches. Therefore, members also practiced wrestling, tripping, and clubbing. Butchers also danced the sword dance in Zwickau in Bohemia, while in Breslau (now Wroctaw, in Poland), it was the skinners."
Roger Norling

Quarterstaff instructor
Gothenburg Free Fencers Guild

Member of MFFG
http://www.freifechter.com

Member of HEMAC
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Kevin Maurer

Re: Amberger Collection, Fechtschulen, Teutonic order and Swabia

Post by Kevin Maurer » Fri May 14, 2010 5:37 pm

Fascinating Roger, and really quite topical of you to post this now. I recently found a German Book on Googel, that details much of the early Trades Guilds; Here is an excerpt of what i have translated so far:

MESSERSCHMIEDE

" The extremely artful Sword Dance of the Knifemakers or Messersmiths in Nurnberg
every seven years was performed, but also mainly because of expensive times
and High costs, it fell out, yet stood in a special high regard.
The Administrators had a good influence over the Guild, that they should hold their
dance In front of the Emporer, when He traveled to Nuremberg. With him rode the
Administrators, and Officially the Pledges, there one a Speissenjunge
and 8 Einspannige, also Police on Horses, besides. Also a Meal, paid
for by the City, was he served, by the Pledges. therefore they danced before the City Hall,
and held a Fechtschulen there, in that two in a Ring were Positioned upon a layer of
Crossed Swords, upon which two Apprentices were engaged in Artful Swordfighting.
Underneath it they organized still a Highly festive Dance. Men like Wieber showed up,
thereby in fine and other precious Garments, a Masters daughter was decorated as a Crowned Bride,
and two more young Table Girls how by the High times of the respectable gender.
this tradition, by such opportunity were a Bride and a Groom adorned and
the Table girls and Apprentices were betrothed. This was
also practiced by other Handworker Guilds.
The Plattner held at Christmas their own "Soiree" or Tourney, on high stools that went on wheels.
they were in light armor and went at each other pulling and pushing from their seats."

The Butchers led every year a special Drum Marching dance, on Christmas. And
how the Bakers well to their own Craft, purely to the streets would take with Bread,
and to an unbelievable extent, or sometimes a Giant Pretzel, old and young gazed in astonshment, and thus were delighted by the Meat Cutters guild members, who came well with a lesser, general acclamation, when they on Christmas would go through the streets
with their Traveling Sausage, Thus the Knights of the PorkButcher carried in Nuremberg
in 1614 under the Sound of the Schalm Pipes and Bagpipes, a Sausage made from good
Bratwurst in a length of 493 Ellen, that they originally had 500 ellen brought, but it was
cut going through the depths of the City. Five Masters had prepared it,
and it was in all 183 Pounds of good Pork and Fat and 20 pounds all of Pepper. it was carried by 12 Butchersknights.
Wreaths and garlands of Rosmary were hung on its great length.
in the City Colors was painted a Staff, that had in the middle two irons that held it together
there with that it could be turned and twisted through the curves in the alleys.
Under the staffs were two Bearers mounted, and so were known as Knights of the Shoulder,.
All throughout were the Play people, they bravely played. In every alley was a greater
throng and crowd of Men and on lookers, , from young and Old, from big and small.
Everyman would look at the great long Sausage, how then in Truth, this Sausage was for
the young people conceived and made, Then on Ashwednesday evening, would it be
cut up in several ellen to be enjoyed by the Old Elders, the highest (Secret) Administrators of the City and other associates, also friends and acquaintences. the rest of it wrecked by the Dance,
then the Butchers held what was left at the Inn of the Blue Glass, on the Cabbagemarket,
and there in merriment, they ate it up, Also a number of other Cities like Konigsberg, Zittau, Vienna, practiced the tradition of the Sausagecarrying.

I dont know about you all, But i just gotta eat some Bratwurst right NOW!!!! I'm serious

I am finding that the Fencing Guilds, took their influence from the Trades Guilds. And that many of these Trade Guilds, were also militia. For instance the Maurer's or Stone masons were expected to Stand Watch, on the Wall surrounding the city. They were armed and trained. Their Guild
expected this Double Duty. Many of the early guilds during the late 15th century, also formed this Militia, or citizen soldiers, it was before the Cities had their own standing armies. We see Martial intent within many of the Guilds. I have much more translated that speaks to the connection between the Trades and the War Arts.
Interesting date, 1383 for a Brotherhood from St marks and Loewenberg, would be fascinating to see the source this came from. The Kürschners are mostly credited with the formation of this Guild. But this earlier 1383 date may be Lost in History. It does mention the "skinners" from the eastern section of the empire. That would be the Kürschners, We know they were a huge part of the Guild in Southern Germany, this date is tantalizing. New direction. Excellent, Thanks Roger
Kevin Maurer
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