On the Making of Codex Amberger, Life Changes, and COVID.
[We wouldn’t have thought there’d be any interest, but we received several — okay, two! — requests for an English translation of the German-language interview we posted yesterday. So here you go…]
About the making of the Codex Amberger, life changes, and Covid.
[The following is the transcript of a Zoom conversation between a long-time friend tasked with the unfortunate responsibilities of filling the pages of the annual association newsletter and FencingClassics’ head honcho Chris Amberger. Sorry, German only.]
The following passage is from the reminiscences of the German writer August Jäger (also called von Schlumb). Jäger’s claim to fame is the 1835 novel Felix Schnabel oder Der deutsche Student—the semi-autobiographic tale of an aimless, drifting German fraternity student, who duels and drinks his way through many a university city, and, having failed his exams, sees his only perspective in “becoming an infantryman in the Greek Army” (where, at the time, a not inconsiderable number of German ne’er-do-wells were assisting the rebel cause)…
The good Juncker von A. called it “Lanzenstechen auf Schusters Rappen”*: The back leg does not begin to straighten until the arm s fully extended. Since this reduces the tip speed to that of the body, it helps when the opponent (a) doesn’t move and (b) doesn’t attendmpt to parry. But we like the follow-up to the mask, even though it is useless in foil fencing.
- this idiomatic expression literally translates as “lance-running on shoemaker’s black horse”; shoemaker’s black horse is, of course, a pair of shoes. Pedestrian jousting, in other words.
Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels. But it’s also one of the great sources of historical irony. The War of 1812 created one such irony, as far as the classical canon of fencing literature is concerned.
This one is quite complex, as indeed anything should be that manages to connect personages as diverse as a prominent member of the Boston Tea Party, Mad King George, the Hessian mercenaries—and the ubiquitous fencing master dynasty of the Angelos in a game that makes the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon look as one-dimensional as a Partridge Family reunion special… Continue reading
Posted in 18th Century, American martial arts, Antiquarian Books, fencing, Foil, Saber, Sword Fighting, Uncategorized
Tagged american swordplay, cavalry saber, henry angelo, military saber
“I Laughed. I Cried. It moved me, Bob.”
We conclude our 2017 April Fool’s prank with a cursory glance at the reactions of those who caught on early, those who read along in puzzlement, and those who gave full vent to their feelings of entitlement and resentment.
As indicated earlier, we are preparing a recently rediscovered short text for publication:
The Alchemia Dimicandi is a problematic document, both in regard to provenance and chronology of creation. The following provides an attempt at dating its origin.