Simon Händl's Stammbuch - with Jost Amman added and flail...

These images are found in sources that are not specifically related to fencing manuscripts
Kevin Maurer

Re: Simon Haendel's Stammbuch - with images of Jost Amman added

Post by Kevin Maurer » Thu May 20, 2010 9:27 pm

James this is a good discussion, i would add to you right now
that Per our previous correspondence where you asked me
if there were any polearms in the Meyer 1560? I answered
No definitely not. Well I was wrong, shoot me. I have transcribed
and trans most of it now, and that part was at the end in the Rappier,
where he teachs how to Fight against one with a Partisan high above you
and you with only a dagger or rappier. So let me correct that right now.
I agree that quarrels broke out, I also know from the Guild histories that the
Obmann and Hauptleute or the guys at the Top, had all kinds of nasty punishments
for infringing. and I dont think it was often anarchy, but I'm sure the scenario
you described, happened. Yeah Man Roger has shared some phenomenal stuff
here. No doubt, And i love the Flail as well, it features in all the Fechtschulen
imagery. Frontspieces, Coats of Arms, fechtbucher, even in the background of
Meyer's 1570:
Image

Although that one looks more like a Thresher or something? Cool man
Kevin
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Re: Simon Haendel's Stammbuch - with images of Jost Amman added

Post by Roger N » Thu May 20, 2010 10:14 pm

Mair also has a rapir against partizan, as I am sure you know.

And of course the well-known flail images. :)

not to mention all the foot soldier against cavalry images
that in ways are reminiscent of the Wallhausen images:
http://www.hroarr.com/temp/wallhausen/
(I've shown this numerous times before...)
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Roger Norling

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Re: Simon Haendel's Stammbuch - with images of Jost Amman added

Post by Roger N » Thu May 20, 2010 10:43 pm

Might just as well post the flail from Meyer's 1560 manuscript. :)
1560-meyer-fechtschulen.jpg
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And the flail images from the Turnierbuch of Herzog Wilhelms IV.
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And while I am at it, this Dussack image from Meyer 1570 is interesting.
Notice the elephants painted on the wall to the right.
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Roger Norling

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Kevin Maurer

Re: Simon Händl's Stammbuch - with Jost Amman added and flail...

Post by Kevin Maurer » Thu May 20, 2010 11:40 pm

Roger Love those Mair Images, great quality too! As for the last one obviously of Meyer, I
think that is from an article written in 1870s by Karl Ueberhorst, the Gartenlaub, was the magazine name,
Carsten Lorbeer and Alex Kiermayer had that up for several years now, i too find the Fiore. animals
intersting, but attribute it to the graphic artists of the late 19th century Germany. Also something
that generated quite a bit of head scratching was the Lance that the Fechtmeister
is holding. this part of the weapon is obscured in the original, Meyer plate, and we also think it was
Liberalism on the artists part. How did they cut and paste back then? did they have the original woodcuts?
and were those woodcuts, done in pieces like a Jigsaw puzzle? those are a few of the
questions, this particular image caused me, several years ago. I still love it! Many go unanswered today.
Too many questions, not enough time
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Re: Simon Händl's Stammbuch - with Jost Amman added and flail...

Post by Roger N » Fri May 21, 2010 12:00 am

Yeah, it got me a bit confused as well. At first I assumed it was a montage.
Then I looked closer and thought that it fit surprisingly well, if it was a montage.

I didn't at first associate the elephants to Fiore, although perhaps I should have.
Instead, I came to think of the images of the Bolognese feasts and the exotica
in their stadium.

I only have access to two Meyer books, so I assumed that this image was part of
a series of Meyer images that I hadn't seen, perhaps published at a later date.
Thanks for telling me where it originated from. I would love to learn how they managed
to make such a montage. Imagine finding the original woodcuts... :)
Roger Norling

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Re: Simon Haendel's Stammbuch - with images of Jost Amman added

Post by James Head » Fri May 21, 2010 12:37 am

Kev wrote: And i love the Flail as well, it features in all the Fechtschulen
imagery. Frontspieces, Coats of Arms, fechtbucher, even in the background of
Meyer's 1570:
Image

Although that one looks more like a Thresher or something? Cool man
Kevin
Hi Kev! I hadn't realized who you were with such an ambiguous user name. ;)
It's great to be able to share more ideas with you again. I wish I had found this forum months ago!

When I first started studying the Flail as a weapon I soon started to notice that there are essentially
three types of Flails depicted in images or as surviving historical pieces. The first type is the simple
Grain Flail / Thresher that was used by farmers. It was essentially two pieces of wood held together
by various types of leather bands. The Swingle, or Flegel in German, was often thicker and heavier
and sometimes flared out at one end.

The second general type of Flail is the one used in actual war. This type has the most diversity,
but it generally consists of various metal hardware and the chain can be much longer.

Then the third category is the Flail that we always see in various manuals and illustrations. It seems
to be a hybrid between a farming and war flail. The Flail Head is noticeably larger and bulbous and
often had spikes sticking out. It is obvious that this design is meant for combat, but would not work
as well on the battlefield compared to a 'War Flail' made of iron. Such a unique design must have
been intended for some type of personal combat instead of war. I had often wondered how common
this design truly was, since most period manuals are admittedly dealing with the very specialized topic
of Martial Arts. Before today my only reference to Flails being used by city guards was from Sutor, who
I was not very trusting of. But these various paintings by Händl have certainly convinced me that
the 'Combat Flail' (for lack of a better term) might have been a very common sight on the city streets
of that time. I am starting to think that this Flail design may have been the 'Standard Issue'
weapon for urban guards and militia because of its imposing stature, its ability for easy crowd
control, and its relative non-lethal striking power compared to other pole weapons and swords.
Of course, driving iron spikes through your wooden Flegel would increase its lethality almost exponentially!

Kevin, what is your opinion about my suggestion that Meyer's Freifechter guild might have been obligated to
serve as city watchmen at various times and this is why they trained themselves in handling the Flail?
Kevin Maurer

Re: Simon Händl's Stammbuch - with Jost Amman added and flail...

Post by Kevin Maurer » Fri May 21, 2010 1:05 am

James i dont have anything to point in that direction. i will start seriously looking for
flegel references, though. I am unclear about all the details of the Guilds. Like what weapons
they may have used or trained with. But imagine the bauers or Farmers who used these
things as a Tool, i bet they would be dangerous with one. Strange that there is nothing
taught about flail by Meyer. he was so concise about everything else, although we do see his
polearms chapter is Scanty compared to the others. I'm sure we'll dig something more up on the
flail. Probably from the Bauer Guild, thats were I'd look. Also I recall something about the landsknecht
engaging a force that was armed with Flail, I'll have to go find that.
Kevin
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Re: Simon Händl's Stammbuch - with Jost Amman added and flail...

Post by Roger N » Fri May 21, 2010 6:25 am

Just a few comments about WHY the flegel may have been used.

Although I haven't actually used a flegel specifically, I imagine that
it was pretty powerful. Considering that a simple staff can kill a man
without too much effort, a flegel ought to be a devastating weapon,
especially with nails. Also, it has a unique characteristic, in that it
has a variable reach and is able to wrap around parries. It ought to
be pretty hard to avoid being hit by a flegel, if used well.
So, in my perspective, it is a bit of a deterrent weapon.

Why then, is it not displayed much in the fechtbuchen? Well, perhaps
because it is HARD to control well. If you hit someone, you are quite
likely to severely injure or kill your opponent. Also, when used against
another flegel, you are quite likely to get tangled up with your weapons,
so it is hard to practice techniques on even premises. It simply doesn't
go well with fechtschulen. Although it appears to have been used by the
nobility sometimes, it seems to be done so more for fun, and in protective
armour. It is simply not a knightly weapon, just like the sickle and the
branches used in Meyer.

And of course, it is a simple and cheap weapon that requires little skill to
construct and use. More advanced guards of richer cities probably used
weapons that allowed more control, but were equally deterrent in their
design.

Just a few thoughts...

Btw James, did you see the Jan Zizka clip linked in a previous thread? There
are a few sequences with peasants using these against knights.

Here it is again:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpaeyIbk8N8

Btw, there is a discussion on flails at MyArmoury here:
http://www.myarmoury.com/talk/viewtopic ... ight=flail
Roger Norling

Quarterstaff instructor
Gothenburg Free Fencers Guild

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

Member of HEMAC
http://www.hemac.org

Chief editor HROARR
http://www.hroarr.com
Kevin Maurer

Re: Simon Händl's Stammbuch - with Jost Amman added and flail...

Post by Kevin Maurer » Fri May 21, 2010 2:13 pm

Roger my thoughts exactly, the Flail was featured in the Fechtschulen imagery, that is
relevant, I'm sure. My feelings are having used them once or twice, it was a very difficult
thing to control, when displaced, like if someone were to half sword with a longsword
and catch it as you were striking this would require some skill to swing through, like a
nunchuku i guess, so I bet there was training in these weapons. No reason to
doubt that. And not just by the fancy pants like in Mair! i have been studying the
Bauers and see this being used as a weapon, I've gotta translate more of the text i have
but i think it was originally, a dangerous enough, and common enough weapon, that the
fechtmeisters included it for good reason. The Farmers were a different entity altogether.
They not only had their own Guilds, but their own Towns! So that they were already
banded together, mostly. Yet they remained fiercely familial.
But their independence proved their downfall, they couldnt seem to
come together at the right times. And were often defeated by their own quarrels.
The handworkers lived and worked in the Cities, which they also defended. Sometimes against the Farmers.
We see throughout history the farmers and peasants uprisings and revolts. And what did they attack with often?
Flails, not just Flails but Pitchforks, and various other implements of their devising. I am concentrating on learning
more about these Bauers. they really were a force unto themselves. Their symbol was the Flail. I have an old book
that has many awesome plates, i've gotta get those shared.
I've been thinking about the Flails in this lone Meyer Plate M, was it considered a training weapon?
Because they are being wielded by two boys? Also interesting, if we look at the extreme upper right
we see a Male figure? with another juvenile and when you follow this young spectators eyes, they draw a straight
line to the two boys fighting. I have found that the spectators eyes in Meyers 1570, are often looking straight
at a certain fencer or pair. This is important, Because I believe that the spectators were not just Artists fancy.
Much of the symbolism in the plates is being discovered now, the Crown with the Three swords is of extreme
relevance, so we see symbolism used throughout, and purposefully. And everywhere. I have a sneaky suspicion
that the Landknechts played a part in this whole thing as well. Many of the Spectators are Men of Means, they
are viewing from the Front, to their rear, is the Bodyguard, he has a Feather in his cap, this is a symbol of
the Captain or Colonels Bodyguard in the regiments. I believe, there are Officers featured in the Plates fencing.
some of the "Bodyguards" are looking on intently, almost on the verge of running in and lending assistance
to his Captain, who is engaged. We see many other symbolic things in these Plates. The Flail is no exception.
For Meyer to include the Flail being used by two youths, is telling us something, of its relevance to Meyer's Art.
Whether that was for School or not, it was a Battle proven weapon, that commanded respect. And warranted
its inclusion in many of the Fencing manuals. Now lets just find some actual written texts of its use.

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Re: Simon Händl's Stammbuch - with Jost Amman added and flail...

Post by Roger N » Tue May 25, 2010 9:50 am

A couple of things.

First to clarify my somewhat ambiguous remark regarding the flails having "variable reach and is able
to wrap around in parries". What I mean is that if a fencer parries in halfstaff/sword against the staff,
then the "head" still continues and wraps around the bind. OR, if he binds against the head, the opponent's
staff will itself often be in position for a nasty thrust. For the flail-fencer, this means that the reach can be
varied and used with different intents in mind. Even a halberd works a bit like this, since the head reaches
quite a bit below/behind the bind, unlike a sword.

Regarding the fencing guilds and the flail, it might also be the other way around, it was a weapon that
you had to be familiar with defending against with a rapier or a katzbalger, rather than attacking with it.
Of course, that doesn't mean that some didn't enjoy advancing their skills with the flails, as is obvious in
both Mair, Meyer and possibly Sutor. Thus the practice with two flails.

Btw, I feel a bit stupid about that Meyer image. I don't know how many times I have looked at that plate,
and still I haven't noticed that the boys are using flails... I need to pay more attention. :P

With all the great pieces of info you're giving me, I am getting more and more excited with anticipation for
your book... :)
Roger Norling

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

Member of HEMAC
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