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The Art of Combat
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The first ever translated edition of a classic 16th century combat treatise. Includes the first substantial introduction to the medieval German martial arts tradition and a glossary of technical terms. With more than 60 beautiful full-page woodcut illustrations and in-line illustrations First published in Strassburg in 1570, Joachim Meyer's The Art of Combat is among the most important texts in the rich corpus of German martial arts treatises of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The text has long been recognized as being particularly important in its field. It was republished in 1600, and was heavily cribbed for the manuals by Jakob Sutor (1612) and Theodor Verolinus (1672). Meyer is mentioned in a historical treatise on combat sports by Henrich von Gunterrodt (1579), and he is the only German master mentioned by the Italian fencing historian Giuseppe Pallavicini (1670). He was described by the modern fencing historian Jacopo Gelli as "the most illustrious of the early German writers on the matter of fencing." Meyer divides his book into five sections by weapon types: hand-and-a-half sword; dusack (a practice weapon analogous to a sabre); rapier; dagger and wrestling; and staff weapons). Unlike his predecessors, Meyer sets out to offer a systematic and rational description of the martial arts traditions inherited from the Middle Ages. For each weapon, Meyer lays out the principles of its use and the vocabulary of techniques, and then describes a range of specific "devices," attack combinations for use in combat. This rational approach, along with Meyer's famous and profuse woodcut illustrations, make this a crucial source for understanding medieval and Renaissance martial arts. Meyer is unique in offering full recommendations on how to train for various weapons forms.
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Dr. Jeffrey Forgeng is Adjunt Associate Professor at WPI, Mass. specialising in the cultural history of violence in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Era. Publications include The Medieval Swordsman's Art, The Age of Armor and Robin Hood: The Shaping of a Legend.

About the Author

Dr. Jeffrey Forgeng is Adjunt Associate Professor at WPI, Mass. specialising in the cultural history of violence in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Era. Publications include The Medieval Swordsman's Art, The Age of Armor and Robin Hood: The Shaping of a Legend.

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