Vegetius, double-weight swords, and cutting with the gladius

Last time it was my turn, I put up a post on simulators and HEMA training:

Among my arguments were that overly heavy simulators are a bad thing for training. You will need to move a heavy sword slightly differently than you would a lighter sword, and using a weight that does not reflect that of the weapons you will be fighting with would be a great way to confuse your muscle memory. Using a very heavy simulator would be a one way to conduct weight training, but given that it is possible to use weight training methods that would not negatively impact on your swordsmanship, I can’t see much need for using a very heavy simulator. Further, the more you used a very heavy simulator, the greater the negative effect on your swordsmanship would be, however if you didn’t use it enough to impact significantly on your swordsmanship, then the strength benefits would be limited, so what would be the point of going to the effort of getting heavy simulators?

Some historical sources do however recommend using a very heavy simulator, for example, the De Re Militari, or On Military Matters, by Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus, or just Vegetius for short. Read more

It’s not “lest we forget”, it’s “lest we remember”


So this week I have been asked to stand in for Alex and so I decided I would put up my post regarding the memorial of Early Modern conflict sites and more importantly what changes in this process of memorialisation tell us about the social attitudes to war and sacrifice?

I have used a different form of citation which I hope helps it appear more clearly in the wordpress editor. Please forgive any archaeological errors as I am a historian but to undertake this study I had to make use of archaeology which was quite difficult.

I hope you enjoy. Tune back next time for my post on assembling a broadsword waster and upgraded targe waster for practising the Scottish Martial Arts (coming 20/01/2012).


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Paisley Abbey: An Overview

Paisley Abbey and the Development of the Surrounding Town

Paisley is the largest town of Renfrewshire, boasting a population of almost 80, 000. The town of Paisley is most famous for its development of paisley fabric. This distinctive, tear drop shaped pattern originated Iran and India, but its Western name comes from the town of Paisley which mass produced huge quantities of the fabric throughout the nineteenth century after it was made fashionable after being worn by a young Queen Victoria. The importance of the textile industry to Paisley can be seen even today in the prevalence of street names such as Silk, Gauze and Inkle. The rapid development of the weaving industry abolished the precinct wall of the Abbey and abolished the stunning rural backdrop the Abbey would have enjoyed at the time of its founding.

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Week at Swordfish and with the GHFS

Recently I had the good fortune to spend a week in Sweden, starting with the Swordfish 2011 event and then staying on to spend a few days training with the Göteborg Historiska Fäktskola. I arrived on Thursday 3rd November and my flight home was at silly o’clock on the morning of Thursday 10th November. This article will be a chart of my activities and learning points throughout the week, as well as a review of Swordfish 2011.

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