BOOKS

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Three Bâton Manuals

by Ken Mondschein

This book contains three fundamental bâton texts—excerpts from the military Manuel de Gymnastique; André Émile’s Manuel de Boxe et de Canne; and Georges Hébert’s L'éducation physique virile et morale, together with a guide for modern practice. It forms a base discipline, still taught in a living tradition, that can be practiced in its own right or tied to a system of longsword or cut-and-thrust sword. It is intended as a companion to Ken's more formal publications, The Art of the Two-Handed Sword and The Art of the Rapier, as well as the MHS series of instructional videos.

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The Art of the Rapier

by Ken Mondschein

The Art of the Rapier is a comprehensive manual intended to teach modern people how to fence in the style of the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Profusely illustrated with both photographs and examples from period treatises, it is written for three main audiences: devotees of the Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) movement; members of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) and other medieval-recreation groups; and coaches of the modern sport of fencing who are looking to expand their competencies.

Two Handed Sword

The Art of the Two-Handed Sword

by Ken Mondschein

The Art of the Two-Handed Sword translates one of the last treatises on the fearsome two-hander, a sword almost as long as a man is tall, whose tradition dates back to the Middle Ages and whose legacy extends to the present day. Ken appends supplementary material from other influential Renaissance texts. He includes illustrations from all of them to create an unusually complete period handbook. He tops this off by presenting a practical and thorough method for recreating the fight of the two-hander in our own day! 

Agrippa

Fencing: A Renaissance Treatise

Edited and Translated by Ken Mondschein

Camillo Agrippa’s widely influential Treatise on the Science of Arms was a turning point in the history of fencing. The author — an engineer by trade and not a professional master of arms — was able to radically re-imagine teaching the art of fencing. This is the first English translation.

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Florius de Arte Luctandi

Edited and Translated by Ken Mondschein with additional material by Greg Mele

A complete translation, tran­scription and reproduction of the chronologically last, most recently discovered, and visually most lush of the manuscripts. A posthumous work, from the moment of its discovery by translator Ken Mondschein, Florius has raised at least as many questions as it has answered: For whom was the manuscript created and why? Why was it translated into a complex, humanistic Latin, and from what prior source? Why are there clear differences between Florius and the other three manuscripts in nomenclature and instruction for some of the fundamental guards and techniques in the martial art they all describe, and do these changes reflect an evolution in the master’s thinking, or errors in transmission.

Knightly Art of Battle

The Knightly Art of Battle

by Ken Mondschein

This volume offers an intriguing glimpse into the world of late medieval martial arts, from wrestling to fencing with the longsword to the subtle tricks that could be employed when jousting on horseback. Using superb details of lively pen drawings highlighted with gold leaf, the book features some of the most interesting selections from Fior di Battaglia (The Flower of Battle), a manuscript by the renowned Italian fencing master Fiore dei Liberi depicting the knightly arts of fighting with swords, daggers, and polearms, on foot and on horseback, and in and out of armor.

Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones and the Medieval Art of War

by Ken Mondschein

George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels and HBO’s Game of Thrones series depict a medieval world at war. But how accurate are they? The author, an historian and medieval martial arts expert, examines in detail how authentically Martin’s fictional world reflects the arms and armor, fighting techniques and siege warfare of the Middle Ages. Along the way, he explores the concept of “medievalism”—modern pop culture’s idea of the Middle Ages.

Come to Life

"Can These Bones Come to Life"?

Edited by Ken Mondschein

This volume brings together eight papers examining the study and reconstruction of medieval and early modern fight-books and related subjects. The subjects covered range from manuscript studies to philology, from Aristotelian physics to martial musicality, from medieval textuality to women and warfare. It will be of interest not only to professional historians, musicologists, literary scholars, and art historians, but also to the vast army of impassioned and enthusiastic practitioners who endeavor, as a labor of love, to make the past come to life.

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On Time

by Ken Mondschein

Western culture has been obsessed with regulating society by the precise, accurate measurement of time since the Middle Ages. In On Time, Ken Mondschein explores the paired development of concepts and technologies of timekeeping with human thought. Without clocks, he argues, the modern world as we know it would not exist. From the astronomical timekeeping of the ancient world to the tower clocks of the Middle Ages to the seagoing chronometer, the quartz watch, and the atomic clock, greater precision and accuracy have had profound effects on human society—which, in turn, has driven the quest for further precision and accuracy. This quest toward automation—which gave rise to the Gregorian calendar, the factory clock, and even the near-disastrous Y2K bug—has led to profound social repercussions and driven the creation of the modern scientific mindset.

Surveying the evolution of the clock from prehistory to the twenty-first century, Mondschein explains how both the technology and the philosophy behind Western timekeeping regimes came to take over the entire world. On Time is a story of thinkers, philosophers, and scientists, and of the thousand decisions that continue to shape our daily lives.

DISCLAIMER: Massachusetts Historical Swordsmanship is not legally associated with Pioneer Valley Fencing Academy or Worcester Fencing Club. MHS is a community of fencers taught by Dr. Ken Mondschein and "the community" is not affiliated legally with either club. Classes are offered separately through MHS and PVFA.

We are actively anti-sexist, anti-racist, and LGTBQ-affirming, and do not tolerate hate in any form.

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