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An Interview with Chris Amberger

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…]

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Ein Ferngespräch mit Christoph Amberger

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.]

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Dueling in the French Foreign Legion, 1831

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)…

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Duel Léon Blum vs. Pierre Veber, 1912

It’s been a while, but here’s a new piece on a 1912 French duel with epees de combat.

50 Dueling Swords

“On the dueling grounds, Monsieur Pierre Veber exhibited the most elegant bravery. When he fought with Robert de Flers, I was in directing the fight…”

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The Classical Lunge

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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.
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Terrain v. Planche: A brief history of late 19th-century fencing spaces

via Terrain v. Planche: A brief history of late 19th-century fencing spaces

Duel Boulanger-Floquet, 1888

An American, Chinese and Austrian point of view on a French duel from 1888…

50 Dueling Swords

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Boston Tea and Mad King George: The Six Degrees of Henry Angelo

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

The Day After: Alchemical reactions to FencingClassics’ April Fool’s prank

17634440_1431654203575938_1452753201947942708_n“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.

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Alchemia Dimicandi: Some observations on language and possible date of origin

smallsword rostock 2As 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.

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