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Thread: Sword science/myths

  1. #51
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Kellett View Post
    Hi Sean,

    I can put together a list of texts with references to this for you. There are English translations of some, but only modern German versions of some others.

    I looked at the incidence of concussive injuries to the head through the helmet in one specific text in an article now posted on sirwilliamhope.org (the Linacre School of Defence site), if this is of interest.

    Best,

    Rachel
    Congratulations of the success of your academic efforts! Please let us know when the dissertation of published, as it sounds very interesting. The article which is already on line is most helpful. If I may add a comment: Stricker's description of Turpin's death corresponds to a plausible sequence of events for someone who has sustained a skull fracture and resulting epidural hematoma. This happened on a regular basis in baseball, until the usage of a batter's helmet became routine. The blow causes an initial concussion, and breaks the skull. An artery is torn underneath the bone fragments, and begins to bleed. The patient recovers from the concussion, and initially the amount of bleeding within the skull is not a problem. As the blood continues to accumulate, a mass forms which compresses the brain, and it is this compression which results in the patient losing his faculties the second time, followed by his death. Depending on the size of the bleeding artery, this process can take hours.
    Last edited by Felix Wang; 05-25-2007 at 01:10 PM.
    NEM. PERV.T QUI N.N LEG.CERT.RIT

  2. #52
    More Myths:

    Roman Gladiuses (Gladioli? )were the best type of sword ever made.
    Get 2 people. Give both of them wooden swords- one with a 30" blade and the other with a 20" Gladius. Ask which one of them feels they would win a fight. I'm not saying that short swords don't work well but they need a big shield.

    Sword fights took place without shields.
    Stupid thing to do until 15th Century armour came in. Blame Hollywood and fencing.

    Swords are better than spears.
    Not when spearmen hunt in packs and know what they are doing. Spears were the main hand-to-hand battlefield weapon. Still are in the form of a bayonet.

    Padded armour doesn't work.
    Easy to demonstrate with a sharp knife (make sure it is good quality and not likely to break!) and half an inch thickness of layered linen. Try and push the point through the linen. It won't go in as long as it does not have a bodkin like point.

    You could demonstrate folded steel becoming homolegous using 2 colours of plasticine. Get the kids to guess how many times it has to be folded and flattened for the layers to disappear. For a 10mm bar, steel should becomes homolegous after about 27 folds.

    Folded steel swords are better than homolegous steel
    (this might cause an argument)

    Modern steel is not as "good" as original Japanese steel
    (could be another argument)

    Andy

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Harrington View Post
    Sword fights took place without shields.
    Stupid thing to do until 15th Century armour came in. Blame Hollywood and fencing.
    So why all those manuals with unarmored fighting? Granted, most without shields were done after the advent of plate armor, but it seems you are insinuating that nobody fought without either shield or armor ever. I'm sure that isn't what you really meant...right?
    If you're not wearing a dirk, you're wearing a skirt!

  4. #54
    Not to mention hugely popular civilian weapons like the rapier and the smallsword, which were always unarmored, and almost always without shields.
    -Bradley L'Herrou

    Finding Swetnam

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Harrington View Post
    Sword fights took place without shields.
    *cough* Japan *cough*

  6. #56
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    And I personally cannot imagine two German civilians fighting each other in a duel with longswords carrying shields.

    Anyway couple more myths:

    Rapiers are so fragile that they will snap off if hit by a katana.

    Rapiers are developed due to the emergence of plate armour.

    Swords are primary weapons on the battlefield (not so sure if this one is truely a myth though).
    -The Squire

    "Whoever fights monsters must take care not to become a monster himself. For, as you stand looking deep into the abyss, the abyss is looking deep into you."
    --Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by J.R. Griffin View Post
    Mythbusters did the sword through the gun barrel, using cheap SS SLOs, and it failed miserably.

    How about a real sword in the stone?

    Say there was a fissure in a rock that when water collected and froze, expanding and widening the fissure just enough for a sword to be inserted. Then further speculate that as the water thawed, the fissure close back up, clenching the blade like a vise. It might explain why on Christmas Day, in the heart of winter, a certain boy was able to pull a sword from stone, since the fissure could have re-expanded, AND plenty of people before him had loosened the blade's position. This was a theory that we've bounced around the blacksmith shop on slow days. But then, that would make a myth of divine right a mere mundane spectacle............
    Even if that's feasible as a mechanism, it's a pretty moot point. There is no evidence that the incident in question ever happened (in fact, as it features solely in a piece of romantic folklore, there's positive evidence of a sort that it didn't). Therefore attempting to prove whether it could have or not seems a bit redundant.

  8. #58
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    Maryland
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    A real Sword in a real Stone

    Even if that's feasible as a mechanism, it's a pretty moot point. There is no evidence that the incident in question ever happened (in fact, as it features solely in a piece of romantic folklore, there's positive evidence of a sort that it didn't). Therefore attempting to prove whether it could have or not seems a bit redundant.
    Except that there really is a sword in a stone, just not in Jolly Olde...it is actually located in Italy--the sword of Saint Galgano.

    Sword legend 'came from Italy'

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