The true edge: a comparison between self-defense fighting from German “fight-books” (Fechtbücher) and the reality of judicial sources (1400-1550) (Pierre-Henry Bas) - APD1(2013)

Citation Information: Acta Periodica Duellatorum. Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 179-195, ISSN (Online) 2064-0404


The article discusses the “self-defense” techniques presented in fightbooks
and treaties. The objective is to determine if these techniques take the
reality of fight in account, to evaluate the difference between theory and practice
in remaining safe during an aggression. In order to do so, this work uses crossed
analysis, with remission letters (judicial sources) studied in the light of the
knowledge contained in the fight-books. This study is based on the sorting out
of weapons, wounds, and times of death found in remission letters (the data of
real fight). In parallel, the theorization of fight in treaties will be taken in

Bayonet Fencing : An overview of historiography and techniques for French footmen during World War I (Julien Garry) - APD1(2013)

Citation Information: Acta Periodica Duellatorum. Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 152-178, ISSN (Online) 2064-0404


This article addresses the evolution of French bayonet fencing,
teachings and methods over the course of World War I, under both
historiographical and technical approaches. After a brief summary of the existent
methods at the start of the War, we will explore the evolutions underwent by this
Martial Art, brought by the changing nature and warfare and the various inputs
of experienced fighter.

A brief examination of warfare by medieval urban militias in Central and Northern Europe (Jean Henri Chandler) - APD1(2013)

Citation Information: Acta Periodica Duellatorum. Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 106-151, ISSN (Online) 2064-0404


During the medieval and Early Modern period, the Free cities of
Central and Northern Europe fielded militias which collectively played an
important role in European warfare. The specific military role of the burgher is
not well known outside of the realm of academic specialists in the English
speaking world. In order to highlight this to my fellow layperson, I have chosen
a selection of significant historical events with a special focus on Lombardy,
Flanders, Silesia, Bohemia and Poland, in which urban militias played an
important role. The intention is to allow us to review the effectiveness, tactics
and strategic impact of urban militias and their possible relationship to the
martial arts of pre-industrial Europe.

Mertein Hündsfelder: Fechtlehre mit dem Kurzen Schwert , circa 1491 AD Fight-Teaching with the Shortened Sword from Codex Speyer (137r-141r) (Szabolcs Waldmann) - APD1(2013)

Citation Information: Acta Periodica Duellatorum. Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 87–105, ISSN (Online) 2064-0404


This transcription / translation of mine was first released online in 2005 (Waldmann,
2005 and Waldmann, 2006), and in print in 2008 (Clements, 2008). Since that time we
have been using these teachings extensively in our school, in the armoured classes.
Together with Marcell Tóth, who is also a trainer in the same class, we have been using
this translation as basis for our work; moreover, he wrote his Free Scholler paper from
the very same material (Tóth, 2012). Thus, this new release of the article incorporates
those seven years of practice and research.

HEMA in the map of science (Mátyás Miskolczi) - APD1(2013)

Citation Information: Acta Periodica Duellatorum. Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 80–91, ISSN (Online) 2064-0404, DOI: 10.1515/apd-2015-0011, December 2015


This article aims to place HEMA on the map of science. To be able to start this work I have to find an appropriate definition on science and on discipline (field of science). After describing main characters of a discipline I investigate HEMA if it shows this characteristic or can be recognised as an interdisciplinary field. The second question I focus on is the place of this field between disciplines and interdisciplinary topics. For this investigation I review methods of bibliometrics and scientometrics and choose a fitting method to be able to get an answer. I also choose a relevant sample of publications the chosen method can be performed on. After mapping HEMA and having result of the chosen method I try to give a picture on the development of in-field usage of HEMA-related works (how often relevant articles are cited by other HEMA-related articles).

A fifteenth-century fencing tournament in Strasburg (Olivier Dupuis) - APD1(2013)

Citation Information: Acta Periodica Duellatorum. Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 67–79, ISSN (Online) 2064-0404, DOI: 10.1515/apd-2015-0010, December 2015


An undated paper from the archives of Strasburg contains a set of rules approved by fencing masters for a fencing tournament. The dating of this document is uncertain but could be established around 1470-71. A complete and unpublished transcription will be supplied and completed with a detailed study of the final set of rules but also the subset which received some modifications. Even if some key points remains obscure, it’s possible to find some comparison between this text and the contemporary knightly tournaments or the German Fechtschulen.

Fighting in the Fightschools late XVth, early XVIth century (Daniel Jaquet) - APD1(2013)

Citation Information: Acta Periodica Duellatorum. Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 47–66, ISSN (Online) 2064-0404, DOI: 10.1515/apd-2015-0009, December 2015


This article discusses the role played by Fightmaster (master-at-arms, Schirm- or Fechtmeister ) in the Fightschools (Fechtschulen ) taking place in the swiss cities at the end of the middle ages. The strong link between these lessstudied events and the practice of martial arts according to the technical literature (Fechtbücher) will be examined, as well as the figure of the Fightmaster.

By collecting references out of normative documents regarding those events, it is possible to sketch both the fighting praxis inside the fightschools and the expertise of the Fightmaster in relation with the town’s authorities. Doing so, the questions of the professional performances, the reputation and the representation of the Fightmaster will be addressed. This approach will be illustrated by the case study of a master at arms, Peter Switzer.

Keywords: Fencing schools (Fightschool); Fightbook; master-at-arms (Fightmaster); duel; art of combat

Translation Memory and Computer Assisted Translation Tool for Medieval Texts (Attila Törcsvári) - APD1(2013)

Acta Periodica Duellatorum. Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 28–46, ISSN (Online) 2064-0404, DOI: 10.1515/apd-2015-0008, Mai 2013


Translation memories (TMs), as part of Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) tools, support translators reusing portions of formerly translated text. Fencing books are good candidates for using TMs due to the high number of repeated terms. Medieval texts suffer a number of drawbacks that make hard even “simple” rewording to the modern version of the same language. The analyzed difficulties are: lack of systematic spelling, unusual word orders and typos in the original. A hypothesis is made and verified that even simple modernization increases legibility and it is feasible, also it is worthwhile to apply translation memories due to the numerous and even extremely long repeated terms. Therefore, methods and algorithms are presented 1. for automated transcription of medieval texts (when a limited training set is available), and 2. collection of repeated patterns. The efficiency of the algorithms is analyzed for recall and precision.

A Kampfschwert from the 15th century – a reinterpretation of the so called 'Teutonic estoc' from the Princes Czartoryski Collection in Cracow, Poland (Maciej Talaga) - APD 1 (2013)

Acta Periodica Duellatorum. Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 7–27, ISSN (Online) 2064-0404, DOI: 10.1515/apd-2015-0007, Mai 2013.


The paper aims at reinterpreting the so called ‘Teutonic estoc’ (inventory number: MNK XIV-49) from the Czartoryski Princes Collection, Cracow, Poland. Due to the weapon’s unusual construction it has been necessary to draw up precise documentation - written, drawn and photographic. It has been supplemented with research in historical sources and scholarly literature on the subject.

The results obtained indicate that the researched weapon is not a typical estoc. It seems that it is a specialized anti-armour sword (Kampfschwert in German) designed for fighting against a heavy armoured opponent in judicial combat.

If this conclusion were correct, the ‘Teutonic estoc’ from Cracow would be the only known artefact of this kind to have survived from the Middle Ages. In order to falsify this hypothesis the artefact’s authenticity has been examined. An analysis of Royal Inventory records spanning from the year 1475 to 1792 and younger remarks about the researched weapon in press, private letters and scholarly literature has been conducted and briefly reported hereby. Its results seem to indicate that it is not a hoax.