We're happy to report that our recent appearance at the Days of Knights 2013 event near Fort Campbell Kentucky was a rousing success! This was the premier of our new "Schola Rubeorum" impression where we focus on the scientific advances of 13th and 14th century Western Europe.
We want to thank all the fantastic people involved in Days of Knights 2013 and all the visitors who attended. For more information on next year's Days of Knights event in Frankfort Kentucky, CLICK HERE.
Your place in this (simplified) representation of the Ptolemaic universe
When you hear the word"medieval", what other words come to mind? Probably not "science" or "intellect", yet the the period known as the High Middle Ages in Europe was a time of remarkable developments in the sciences and the rise of many of today's most prominent universities. That's why the Bramble Schoole has tackled a new historical impression, what we call our "Schola Rubeorum" project. The purpose of this impression will be to present the public with a fresh view on the advancing sciences and vibrant intellectual culture of Western Europe during the 1200s and 1300s. Richard Swinney, Steven Roe, and Scott Crawford will be donning the gowns and tonsures of medieval clerics to present some of the "State of the Art" scientific advancements of the age relating to fields such as surgery, astronomy, chemistry and optics. Catch us at the "Days of Knights" event October 11-13 in Oak Grove Kentucky!
What are the clerics in this illustration doing with those swords and bucklers? We'll be answering that question in our new project, as we take a closer look at the Walpurgis Fechtbuch and other scientific and scholarly documents of the 13th and 14th centuries - Stay Tuned...
Richard deftly strikes Steven while guarding his own head
Great practice! Expanding on the themes introduced at the private practice 23 February, during the first 2 hours we covered the 1st and 3rd Remedy Masters of Fiore dei Liberi's (Italian 14th century) dagger play -- including their relevance to self defense as evidenced by many of the specific moves having direct modern parallels. Structured free play (masks, jackets, gloves, flexible daggers) included hollowing and check drills, intercept, cover and slash, etc.
Individual instruction (pike) and sparring consumed the 2nd 2 hour block, with German medieval longsword (aluminum and nylon) and singlestick (baskethilt wooden waster) filling the lion's share of the time.
Several hundred students attended our seven 40 minute presentations on "Knighthood in Context". Intensely interactive, the presentations involved students directly in understanding the historical conditions and social forces that resulted in the emergence of feudalism and the armored knight. We juxtaposed demonstrations of working model siege engines with closely supervised "hands on" displays of replica clothing, weapons & armor to provide an absolutely unique educational opportunity for those in attendance. As always, we closed each presentation with several minutes of full speed sparring: in this case, predominantly German longsword from the Liechtenauer tradition. The presentations were extremely well received -- and we were formally asked back for next year before we started packing up.
Fiore Dei Liberi's Flos Duellatorum -- "The Flower of Battle", c. 1410 -- is the centerpiece of the Spring training schedule. Sunday's class involved the fundamentals of movement and body position as well as the beginnings of Italian medieval dagger play. We worked from a number of sources, including:
images from a facsimile of the Getty manuscript of Flos Duellatorum
Tom Leoni's Second Edition English translation thereof
Robert Charrette's exhaustive interpretation (Armizare) of the bulk of the work
Guy Windsor's workbook covering the dagger portion
We drilled on the mechanics of plays 1 - 10 of the First Remedy Master -- then had enough time remaining to do a bit of free sparring with rubber rondels.