Friday, December 07, 2012

In Service of the Duke

In Service of the Duke is a splendid facsimile and translation of a 15th century fighting manual created by Paulus Kal. This large format volume is 15.6 by 13.2 inches, allowing the pages  of the manuscript to be reproduced at the original size. Full color images show techniques for mounted armored combat, armored combat between a mounted man and a man on foot, armored combat between spear and spear, sword and spear, sword and sword, sword and dagger, dagger and dagger, and pollaxe vs pollaxe. Unarmored combat is shown between men armed with clubs and dueling shields, and between a man and a woman, with the man in a pit to make the combat more equal.

Additional pages on unarmored combat cover sword and buckler, longsword, messer, dagger and wrestling. The images are either uncaptioned or give a terse description of the technique.

Besides illustrating combat technique, the images show many variations of the armor of the period, not all of which have survived to the present in physical form.

The reproduction of the manuscript is followed by analysis that relates each leaf to related images and text from other fighting manuals of the period.

This is a deluxe recreation of a luxurious medieval artifact

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