Some modern martialists spend so much time arguing what the martially-minded duelist of yesteryear would have never done, it would seem that European Martial Arts, especially of the 17th and 18th centuries, was something for ultra-cautious, risk-adverse middle-aged veterans wearing leather soles on a freshly waxed floor while carrying a stack of Wedgwood china. And yet, period literature yields interesting indications that things were not what they seem…
The last German student to die as a result of a duel using thrusting swords—not unlike the French épée de combat—was the young jurist Adolph Erdmannsdörffer.
Buried in the village cemetery at Wöllnitz, now integrated into the Thuringia town of Jena, his grave marker recalls him as “das letzte Opfer der Stoßmensur” (the last victim of the thrust Mensur).
The worst part: It was his own fault.
Maybe Cousin Manderup was “in his spot”. Maybe it was Fermat’s Next-to-Last Theorem proving that 2 + 2 = 5 ? Fact is that a squabble among freshman nerds at the theology professor’s house ended in an ugly injury that made one of the geeks almost as famous for his rhinoplasty as for his scientific discoveries… Continue reading
This site’s editor, J. Christoph Amberger, was born and raised in West Berlin, Germany. He studied in Berlin, Göttingen, Aberdeen, and Annapolis and holds an M.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College Graduate Institute. After Obtaining his J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 2015 and passing the Maryland bar, he is now an attorney in Baltimore City. Continue reading
Oh, the humanity!
You’d think our April Fool’s joke—selling the title and teaching privilege of “Mister of Fencing” and membership in MoFO—was such a blatantly obvious and lame joke, only a sloth would’ve missed it. But apparently, MoFO and the prerequisites of owning a foil and never having earned a competitive ranking were still too subtle… Continue reading
If your idea of fun is spending a morning rifling through 1,000 tables full of antique weapons, we have just the thing for you.
Like every year since 1955, the Maryland Arms and Armor Collectors Association is putting on its sale and trading show on March 17-18, 2012 in Timonium, just north of the Baltimore Belway.
We hope to see you there! Continue reading
May your New Year 2012 be healthy and fulfilling.
May your friends and family prosper… your city thrive… your enemies suffer misfortune.
May your sword be bright… you glass always full… your larder never empty.
May your skills improve and your eye sharpen. May your hand be steady and your blade be sharp. And may the gods smile upon your endeavors! Continue reading
“Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.”
The Talking Camel is a writers’ site that Secret Archives Press is trying to get off the ground.
Since we’re not exactly fighting ’em off right now, we’ve recycled an elderly article that ran maybe 10 years ago in FQM. Possibly, you still might enjoy it.
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 canon of classical 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…
Posted in 18th Century, 19th Century, fencing, Foil, Saber, smallsword
Tagged amberger, american fencing, fencing, henry angelo, revolutionary war, us military fencing