In the Introduction to his new translation, Jeffrey L. Forgeng writes, “For those who study the physical and material culture of chivalry, Pietro Monte’s Collectanea is a resource without parallel. The wide range of topics it covers, often in specialised, technical language, makes it – especially when combined with Monte’s idiosyncratic Latin – a very challenging work.” But thanks to Professor Forgeng it is now available in a modern English translation which makes a vast amount of detailed information readily available to scholars, students, exponents of medieval martial arts, and re-enactors.
We’ll be posting some short extracts over the week, and offering a special 35% discount off both the hardback and eBook for the duration. Online orders only, just add to basket and enter code BB560. Offer ends Friday 30th March 2018.
Extract one (Revealed 27th March 2018)
Chapter 19: The play of the two-handed sword
The two-handed sword teaches us to displace, protect, and rotate our hands, and often to attack to the opponent’s hands with our blows. For when he means to make a great sweep, or does not have his arms straight, it is easy to hit him. When we attack with two rising cuts from whatever side, we should step in with the rear foot, and the final rising cut should turn into a thrust as I have said. But we must quickly gather our arms back on the other side, and our entire body should be turned back.
Extract Two (Revealed 28th March 2018)
Chapter 76: How to control our horse
When the opponent wheels his horse around, we should just rotate our horse’s head and forefeet, always facing the opponent, losing no ground or even gaining it, until we see him become disordered. And at that time we can attack across, closing with him. And those who go leaping with their horses always lose control.
Extract Three (Revealed 29th March 2018)
Chapter 78:The usefulness of a visor that can be lifted
If we know how to parry and our opponent is heavily armored, it is often useful to have a visor that lifts so that our breath endures longer and we can see better what to do. This hardly ever puts us in danger, especially if we have iron gauntlets to deflect the opponent’s weapon. But those who fight crudely need to be heavily protected everywhere: such people act like blacksmiths hammering at each other.
Extract Four (Revealed 30th March 2018)
Chapter 95:The cuirass for jousting
The cuirass for encountering or jousting should be spacious so it can absorb the blow. When it is tight, every blow gives us great discomfort: this is like when we have tight shoes on our feet and every step hurts us, while if the shoe is spacious it protects the foot better. The jousting doublet should be sufficiently padded to fill the cuirass everywhere, since softness in the doublet absorbs the greater part of the impact. The doublet should be made in the same shape as the cuirass so that it fills everywhere equally.