The Books of… Jeffrey Forgeng

Over the past five years, Jeffrey Forgeng has contributed to our longstanding military history collection with three excellent titles, all translated editions of primary documents focused on medieval warfare training. Previously unavailable as complete texts in English, these are especially ideal for reenactors and anyone interested in the soldier experience.

The Book of Horsemanship by Duarte I of Portugal

Written around 1430, Duarte of Portugal’s remarkable treatise on chivalric horsemanship, the Livro do Cavalgar (Book on Riding), is the sole substantial contemporary source on the definitive physical skill of the medieval knight. This first full translation also offers an introduction providing a guide to medieval equestrianism more generally.

“This excellent little book will charm readers and provide a view into a medieval mind’s perspective on animals, sports, fitness, overall well-being.” MEDIEVAL WARFARE

Pietro Monte’s Collectanea: The Arms, Armour and Fighting Techniques of a Fifteenth-Century Soldier

Pietro Monte’s Collectanea is a wide-ranging treatise on the arts of knighthood, focusing on martial arts, athletics, arms and armor, and military practice, but touching on subjects as diverse as diet, zoology and the design of life preservers. It is also the sole medieval text to provide extensive discussion of the design of arms and armour. This is the first English translation; it is accompanied with an illustrated introduction to Monte and his technical subject matter.

The Art of Swordsmanship by Hans Lecküchner

Completed in 1482, not only is this treatise the single most substantial work on the use of one-handed swords to survive from this period, but it is the most detailed explanation of the two-handed sword techniques of the German “Liechtenauer” school dating back to the 1300s. This large-format edition boasts a staggering 443 illustrations from the original manuscript, and is available in paperback.

“Forgeng’s translation is clear and accessible. His experience not only as a scholar of early swordsmanship, but as a practitioner, is readily apparent. . . . [Forgeng makes] a vital text more widely available for practitioners not only looking to better understand the use of single-handed swords of all types, but also to how those techniques complement other medieval martial practices.” DE RE MILITARI