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A multidisciplinary overview of current research into the enduringly fascinating martial artefact which is the sword. Ed. by Lisa Deutscher, Mirjam E. Kaiser, and Sixt Wetzler.
The sword is the most iconic of all weapons. Throughout history, it has connected various, sometimes conflicting, dimensions of human culture: physical combat and representation of political power, definition of gender roles and refinement of body techniques, evolution of craftsmanship and mythological symbolism.
The articles collected here explore these dimensions, from a variety of disciplines, among them archaeology, medieval history, museum conservation, and linguistics. They cover topics from the production and combat use of Bronze Age swords via medieval fencing culture to the employment of the sword in modern military. They question traditional sword typologies and wide-spread theories about sword making, discuss medieval sword terminology and the use of swords as royal insignia, and describe the scientific methods for approaching original finds.
Arising from an international conference held at Deutsches Klingenmuseum Solingen (the German Blade Museum), the volume provides fresh insights into the forms the sword can take, and the thoughts it inspires.
LISA DEUTSCHER and MIRJAM E. KAISER work in prehistoric archaeology, specialising in La Tène and Bronze Age swords, respectively. SIXT WETZLER is the deputy director of the German Blade Museum; his research focuses on the history of edged weapons, and their use.
Contributors: Matthias Johannes Bauer, Holger Becker, Jan-Heinrich Bunnefeld, Rachel J. Crellin, Vincenzo D'Ercole, Andrea Dolfini, Raphael Hermann, Daniel Jaquet, Robert W. Jones, Ulrich Lehmann, Claus Lipka, Stefan Maeder, Michael Mattner, Florian Messner, Nicole Mölk, Ingo Petri, Stefan Roth, Fabrizio Savi, Ulrike Töchterle, Iason-Eleftherios Tzouriadis, Marion Uckelmann, Henry Yallop.
Hardcover, 294 pp., 90 colour, 27 b/w Ill., 23 line drawing.
Please note: This is the collection of essays from the interdisciplinary conference at the German Blade Museum in Solingen on 19–20 November 2015. The catalogue of the same title is available here.