Why Surviving Two Handed Sword Manuals Mostly Germans while many Rapier texts are Romance nations And Brits focus on Naval, Sabers, and Arming Sword?

SlamDunkerista

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A trend notice in HEMA and Historical Sword Reconstruction is that every time a video is done on Two Handed Styles and not just Zweihander but "Longswords (anything longer than an arming sword but still shorter than a rapier) are almost always referring to German masters on a typical HEMA video on Youtube.

While so much Rapier texts are from Spanish French, and Italian masters and not just on Youtube and HEMA sites-just do a quick googling right now and you'll see the instant results are texts from France, Italy, and Spain!

On the otherhand its often complain British swordplay esp English have a dearth of available source. But yet so much fo the Youtube Channels put a big emphasis on Medieval Arming Sword, Sabers, and Naval Swords like Spadoon and if we are lucky the Basket Hilt Sword.

SO I have to ask why its a pattern that HEMA studying different nations overly emphasized some types or weapons? I mean why very little stuff on Prussian Bayonet and Saber fencing for example?

So much reconstructed British stuff is Naval or Cavalry and despite the Victorians believing big heavy swords are for dumb buffoons there is a lack of focus on the stereotypical elegant and skillful rapier! Why is there little focus on spear fighting in France despite the fact even by Napoleon's time Pole Arms were still the main weapons of close combat for French soldiers?!
 

Darksoul

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A trend notice in HEMA and Historical Sword Reconstruction is that every time a video is done on Two Handed Styles and not just Zweihander but "Longswords (anything longer than an arming sword but still shorter than a rapier) are almost always referring to German masters on a typical HEMA video on Youtube.

While so much Rapier texts are from Spanish French, and Italian masters and not just on Youtube and HEMA sites-just do a quick googling right now and you'll see the instant results are texts from France, Italy, and Spain!

On the otherhand its often complain British swordplay esp English have a dearth of available source. But yet so much fo the Youtube Channels put a big emphasis on Medieval Arming Sword, Sabers, and Naval Swords like Spadoon and if we are lucky the Basket Hilt Sword.

SO I have to ask why its a pattern that HEMA studying different nations overly emphasized some types or weapons? I mean why very little stuff on Prussian Bayonet and Saber fencing for example?

So much reconstructed British stuff is Naval or Cavalry and despite the Victorians believing big heavy swords are for dumb buffoons there is a lack of focus on the stereotypical elegant and skillful rapier! Why is there little focus on spear fighting in France despite the fact even by Napoleon's time Pole Arms were still the main weapons of close combat for French soldiers?!
I would guess that there isn't much of a market out there for those other weapons and fighting styles that revolve around them. I wouldn't mind seeing European spear/lance/halberd expanded upon beyond very short snippets.
 

Tony Dismukes

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Actually a lot of HEMA longsword is from Fiore, who was Italian.

A lot comes down to the available sources. There were a lot of weapons used in different European countries throughout history, but the majority of those weapon traditions didnt leave behind instructional treatises which survived and contain useful information. We have a fair amount of good information on German and Italian longsword practice, not so much for longsword from other countries.

Besides the best available rapier sources being from Italy, France, and Spain, I think those were the countries which actually used that weapon the most. My club focuses on Meyer (a German source). Meyer does cover a weapon he calls the rappier, but its closer to what modern HEMA generally refers to as a side sword. It doesnt have the complex hilt characteristic of later rapiers and so the usage is different.

As far as spears and other polearms, I dont think we have as many resources for those as we do for the various forms of swords. Even though they were the pre-eminent battlefield weapon for centuries, they werent the focus of so many written treatises. I suspect that may have something to do with the target audience for books during an era when they were rare and expensive. The early treatises werent intended as mass-produced military manuals. Those came later, when polearms had become less important. (Meyer does have a section on the pike, but its very short compared to his coverage of the longsword, dussack, and rappier.)

I do believe there are some historical bayonet manuals which are not being widely used as sources despite being contemporaneous with the saber manuals that are used by many HEMA groups. Thats probably because the bayonet just isnt as fun or sexy of a weapon to study and fence with.
 

Oily Dragon

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I do believe there are some historical bayonet manuals which are not being widely used as sources despite being contemporaneous with the saber manuals that are used by many HEMA groups. Thats probably because the bayonet just isnt as fun or sexy of a weapon to study and fence with.
We can always hope to return to trench warfare. Someday.

Sure beats nuclear war.

 

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