Dusk in Annweiler am Trifels (Palatinate Forest, Germany)
The city of Annweiler is first mentioned in the year 1086. Etymology suggests, that it was founded during the 7th or 8th century, presumably by a frankish peasant called Anno or Arno.
From 1125 to 1298 the imperial insignia, including the crown of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation, were kept secure in the nearby Trifels castle. From 1193 to 1194 king Richard, the Lionheart was hold ransom in the same castle.
In 1219 emperor Friedrich II. gave Annweiler the privileges of a town.
Under der Linden (~1200, Walther von der Vogelweide)
Under der linden
an der heide,
dâ unser zweier bette was,
dâ muget ir vinden
gebrochen bluomen unde gras.
Vor dem walde in einem tal,
schône sanc diu nahtegal.
Ich kam gegangen
zuo der ouwe,
dô was mîn friedel komen ê.
Dâ wart ich enpfangen,
daz ich bin sælic iemer mê.
Kuster mich? Wol tûsentstunt:
seht, wie rôt mir ist der munt.
Dô het er gemachet
von bluomen eine bettestat.
Des wirt noch gelachet
kumt iemen an daz selbe pfat.
Bî den rôsen er wol mac,
merken, wâ mirz houbet lac.
Daz er bî mir læge,
(nû enwelle got!), sô schamt ich mich.
Wes er mit mir pflæge,
bevinde daz, wan er und ich,
und ein kleinez vogellîn -
daz mac wol getriuwe sîn.
(Photo: Wildenburg, Amorbach/Germany)
The grisly werewolf of Ansbach (17th century/Germany)
Since Halloween is coming up, I am going out of my habits and post something non-medieval: The story of the werewolf of Ansbach, which took place in the year 1685 in the german village of Ansbach.
Back then, three children of Ansbach were killed in the course of three month by a monstrous wolf. Some citizens believed, that the killer was no mere wolf, driven by lack of deer, but the recently deceased Michael Leicht, which had a bad reputation for fraud.
Those citizens swore, that they had seen Michael Leicht watching his own funeral and that he haunted the city by night, shrouded in white linnens. In short: They thought the killer was possessed by the devil.
The beast was then hunted with traps and wolfpits. At last a chicken lured the wolf into an old well, where the creature was beaten to death. But that is not the end of the story.
Enraged, the Ansbachers skinned the wolf and formed a human face from papier-mâché. They attached a wig and a cloak and hanged the bloody carcass on the gallows at Nuremberg Hill, for all to see.
It seems, that Michael Leicht got away, eh?
The case of the werewolf of Ansbach inspired nevertheless several poems and songs. One of them goes like this:
Ich Wolf, ein grimmig Thier und Fresser vieler Kinder,
Die ich weit mehr geacht’, als fette Schaf’ und Rinder,
Ein Hahn, der bracht’ mich um, ein Bronnen war mein Tod;
Nun häng’ am Galgen ich, zu aller Leute Spott.
Als Geist und Wolf zugleich thät ich die Menschen plagen,
Wie recht geschiehet mir, daß jetzt die Leute sagen:
Ha! du verfluchter Geist bist in den Wolf gefahren,
Hängst nun am Galgen hier geziert mit Menschenhaaren.
Dieß ist der rechte Lohn und wohlverdiente Gab’,
So du verdienet hast, der Galgen ist dein Grab.
Hab’ dieses Trankgeld dir, weil du fraßt Menschenkinder,
Wie ein wuthgrimmig Thier und rechter Menschenschinder.
First ward, newly interpreted by Christopher Brecht
Roland Warzecha from Dimicator shows, that the new interpretation of the first ward by Christopher Brecht from Fiddlebow Fechtschule Anchorage is very true to the I.33. The similarity is astonishing.
The original video can be found here on the Dimicator facebook page.
What happens, if you yield in armored combat
Well, this was only the eye catcher for the real news: another Fechtbuch, dating back to the 16th century. It is “Jeremias Schemels von Augsburg Confectbuch von Abrichtung vollständiges Turnierbuch”.
The first part concentrates on horsemanship. Later folios show armored combat and tournaments on horseback. The book is currently part of the Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel.
A guide to single handed short spear combat
The irish site livinghistory.ie hosts a tutorial for the use of the single handed spear:
"The single handed spear is quite different to the double handed spear. In your stronger hand, you can hold a spear between 120 and 165cm long, depending on preference. In your ‘off-hand’, you can hold a large shield (Greek, Viking) or a small shield & light spare spear (Irish, Roman Hastati). You should be very familar with the double handed spear before attempting to use the single handed spear, as it requires considerably more wrist and forearm strength." Read more after the jump.
Hanko Döbringer advises in codex 3227a:
"If you wish to stride towards your opponent in an elegant manner in school fencing or just for fun, and intend to show off grace,
so at first shake your sword bravely and fall sideways into the Schrankhut to both sides and transition from guard to guard in wide motions, from one side upwards to the other with steps.
After that set yourself in the lower hanging from both sides with steps and then come to the upper hangings from both sides with steps. Then come into the crossing strikes to both sides with steps. So that whenever you move through one of the techniques described before to one side you also have to take a step.
If you execute it to your left so place the right foot in front and vice versa. And do this if you are coming to him and then do something appropriate what is useful for sport and so on.” (Translation by Thomas Stoeppler)
Seems as if Döbringer knew how to show off. I think his intention was to scare and confuse the opponent while closing in. “Doing something apporpriate” means to strike first, hitting the opponent unawares.
Zornhau made a video about handling historical swords
The german fencing club Zornhau annouces a selfmade documentary of the use and handling of original historical swords. The video - it’s called “Honhardts Stahl” - will go online on their youtube channel on 10th of november.
Did a jousting accident affect Henry VIII. personality?
According to an article from “The Independent”, King Henry VIII. may have suffered a brain damage during a joust, which turned him from a sportive, handsome prince into a paranoid tyrant.
Read more after the jump.
(Portrait by Hans Holbein the Younger, 1537/47)