Earliest Manuals

A forum for Polish and other Eastern European saber systems.
Jonathan Allen
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Earliest Manuals

Postby Jonathan Allen » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:40 pm

When were the earliest manuals available for this weapon?
Jonathan Allen
Scholars of Alcalá
San Diego, CA

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Richard Marsden
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Re: Earliest Manuals

Postby Richard Marsden » Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:27 am


We have a PDF on that coming out very soon. I'm waiting on some costumes for that historical look, then we'll have my trusty editor do a final through.

To answer your question briefly-

There is no manual on Polish saber fencing from the 1600's. There are however other things which when put together allows us to put forth a plausible idea on the system. Some of the materials we use are

A period painting by Almonte
Heussler's rapier manual has 3 saber plays
Marcelli from the 1680's discusses the saber in relation to the rapier
German Dussack and Messer have some relationships, from 1400's and 1500's.
We have some period fragments as well with generic descriptions of Polish saber fencing

From the 1700's we have an overview of a Polish single-stick game (with no basket) called Palcaty.
Then we have our first Polish text to look at which is Starzewski. He wrote a manual, of a sorts, on Polish saber fencing. It was written in 1830, which makes it good, but not the Holy Grail.

And we have other bits and pieces. But there is your quick run-down. If you're interested in this, PM me!

PS - To understand Poland during this erea, here is a quick anecdote.

In 1688 the Polish army under Sobieski came to relieve the Austrians at the Siege of Vienna. The Poles ran through the Turkish camp looking like Poles and exited it looking like Turks.

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