Welcome to HROARR’s Research Pages

These pages will be focusing directly at the numerous research aspects of HEMA, both the sources themselves, but also the social and historical contexts, and similar, close subjects.

You are of course all invited to publish your thoughts here!


The whole site is currently undergoing some radical changes aiming to improve how useful it is to the HEMA community. Please be patient while the work is completed.

The work is expected to take at least a week of fulltime work. Please consider supporting HROARR via Patreon.

Research News

News: Translations of Pietro Monte’s fencing treatise Collectanea finally out!

Some fantastic news. Dr. Jeffrey L. Forgeng, the man behind some very good translations, including the two Joachim Meyer treatises, has completed his translation of Pietro Montes Collectanea and you can order it now, here:...

News: The Illustrated Ringeck

Renowned English HEMA instructor Tea Kew recently launched a project to explore the teachings in Sigmund Ringeck's gloss, called the Illustrated Ringeck. The project is described in the following words: "This is a project to produce photographic interpretations...

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Announcing: The awardees of the HEMA Scholar Awards 2017

Finally, after a lot of hard work by the jury, and some delays in the organisation, we are extremely happy to present the awardees of the 2017 HEMA Scholar Awards, given for outstanding research published in English in 2016. Want to know who they are? Run off to the...

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On Sale: Self-Defense for Gentlemen and Ladies

Right now, Amazon has the quite well-received book Self-Defense for Gentlemen and Ladies: A Nineteenth-Century Treatise on Boxing, Kicking, Grappling, and Fencing with the Cane and Quarterstaff, by Ben Miller on 50% sale. It was published as recently as in April...

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Research Articles

On The Five Words and Withdrawal

Mark, this is that before all things you shall rightly undertake and understand these two things, which are the Before and the After, and thereafter the Weak and Strong of the sword, and then the word “Meanwhile”, whence comes the entire foundation of all the Art of...

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Concerning the Reliability of the Waggle Test

Dynamic parameters define a rigid body’s reaction to external forces. While their importance for a sword’s behaviour is known since the 19th century, many data sets of original swords, replicas and training weapons include mass and the centre of mass, but lack a third parameter such as moment of inertia, radius of gyration, or corresponding centres of oscillation/percussion. A third parameter, however, is required to calculate a rigid object’s response.

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The Recital of the Chivalric Art of Fencing of the Grand Master Johannes Liechtenauer

Though long delayed, this book represents the most complete picture possible of the Liechtenauer tradition of foot combat as it was recorded in the mid 15th century. It’s the text I wanted for my students when I was leading a study group, and I’m happy to finally offer it in print. I hope it serves in some small way to advance the study of Johannes Liechtenauer’s art.

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The Last Duel, Part 2: Death by Sodomy

Part One of this article examined the famous judicial duel between Jean de Carrouges and Jacques Le Gris, which was held in Paris in 1386. As it turns out, the description of the event in Eric Jager’s book The Last Duel is rather different from the five surviving...

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What Really Happened at the Last Duel? Part1

According to the website Deadline Hollywood, Studio 8 has hired a screenwriter to turn Eric Jager’s book The Last Duel into a script for a Hollywood movie (Fleming, 2015). This tale, published as nonfiction, is an account of the judicial duel in 1386 between Jean de...

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“The Use of Weapons”, René François (1621)

The entry on fencing in René François' 1621 encyclopedia is a rich source of terminology and practices common in the fencing salles of this period in which France was developing its own native fencing style as well as trying to rid itself of foreign cultural...

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Adolphe Corthey: A French 19th Century HEMA Pioneer

In the introduction to “The Sword and the Centuries” (1901), Alfred Hutton mentions a curious incident. His fencing group in the London Rifle Brigade were invited to Belgium to put on a display of historical fencing. What can we discover about this Belgian event? What follows is an overview some literary detective work that reveals Adolphe Corthey, a man in every way Hutton’s equal and the powerhouse behind late nineteenth century HEMA in France.

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Meyer Pilgrimage Part 2 – Basel

Almost exactly a year ago I was lucky enough to be taken on a small journey that has been a long time dream of mine; walking in the footsteps of 16th cent fencing master Joachim Meyer, visiting the city where he spent many years teaching as Fechtmeister;...

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An overview of the Iberian Montante

This article gathers a series of notes written while studying the sources on the Iberian montante sword of the late XV century and following centuries. The extant sources are listed and analysed. Different approaches to teaching this weapon’s handling are described, stressing those who can provide a context for its use.

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The Ringen of Joachim Meyer

This article shall group Joachim Meyer's Ringen into collections of similar throws. Hopefully this will better aid the modern student in learning Meyer's Ringen. All of the throws have been rewritten into a modern step-by-step method from Dr. Forgeng's translation...

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Chivalry East of the Elbe, Part I

Introduction: So what happened to the Second Estate? Most of my own HEMA-related historical research in the last ten years has been focused on the Free Cities and City States which are the origin of so many of the known fencing manuals. But that...

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The nature of the work ahead of us

Our personal goals in studying HEMA are varied, complex and individually quite different. For myself, I try to understand how and why it is designed the way it is as a martial art. That means it is not enough mimicking the movements described in the manuals, since...

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Fechtordnung of the City of Solothurn

Below are three versions of the Fencing Ordinance of the Swiss town of Solothurn, first the original, then the English translation, then a German re-statement.  All translations are mine. At the time, Solothurn was a full member of the Swiss Confederacy and a very...

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Meyer Pilgrimage Part 1 – Straßburg

We all share the same love for our personal and shared discoveries of a forgotten European martial arts tradition and studying it we all learn to know some important and commonly known names like Liechtenauer, Fiore, Ringeck, Talhoffer, Kal, Vadi, Marozzo,...

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Joachim Meyer’s dagger system

Note: This is a working document and will continuously be updated as we work with our interpretations of Joachim Meyer's dagger teachings. Similarly to how I worked with his staff teachings I will attempt at systemizing the principles and techniques taught and...

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Arming Sword Geometry by Peter Johnsson

Designing a sword of mid 14th century style using a system of geometric drawing that is inspired by surviving plans of medieval gothic architecture. Please visit my site at peterjohnsson.com for more information about this principle of design and the hypothesis that...

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Flower of Battle

Here is an excellent lecture on Fiore Furlano de Liberi, Ludwig von Eyb and more, by Michael Chidester, held at Fechtschule America 2013. Well worth watching, no matter if you focus more on the "Italian" or "German" aspects of the fighting arts. Great work, Michael!...

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Die Vorpal-Klinge!

This short movie shows a glimpse of the world of the Collegiate Fencing, the still living child of the Fechtschule tradition. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLbr0BtfA7s For more reading, look at the excellent article An overview of German collegiate fencing...

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Meyer’s masters

On this day, 443 years ago, Fechtmeister Joachim Meyer published his magnificent fencing treatise 'Gründliche Beschreibung der Freyen Ritterlichen und Adeligen Kunst des Fechtens'. Exactly one year later, on February 24th 1571, he died from sudden illness, while...

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The Dussack – a weapon of war

In my opinion the dussack doesn't quite get the recognition it deserves in the historical fencing community, despite the fact that it was a highly important weapon in the old fencing guilds. It is not really studied properly, probably due to many commonly believing...

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The Rose and the Pentagram

This article is written to accompany the recent article about the mysticist, and possibly even fencer and a Freyfechter, Heinrich Agrippa. If you haven't read the article, it is suggested you do so, before reading this article. Die Rose (the...

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Meyer and Marozzo dagger comparison

  It has been debated regarding to what extent Meyer was inspired by the Italians, the Napolitans and the Bolognese fighting systems and although there appears to be ties to this, exactly what they are and how they came about is still unclear. However, comparing...

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Is there really a Left Vom Tag?

Well there is a right Vom Tag, and a middle one... so there has to be a left Vom Tag as well, hasn't there? We make all master cuts cut from both sides, so it is simple logic, right? Looking through the manuscripts and manuals of the 15th and 16th century, it is...

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