Publication – Robert W. Jones, « A Cultural History of the Medieval Sword. Power, Piety and Play »

The sword is an important and multi-faceted symbol of military power, royal and communal authority, religion and mysticism. This study takes the sword beyond it functional role as a tool for killing, considering it as a cultural artifact and the broader meaning and significance it had to its bearer.

It should be on the bookshelf of anybody who claims to be interested in the importance of the sword in medieval life and thought and their cultural significance in the past – and present. Robert Woosnam-Savage, Royal Armouries.

We see the sword as an object of nobility and status, a mystical artefact, imbued with power and symbolism. It is Roland’s Durendal, Arthur’s Excalibur, Aragorn’s Narsil. A thing of beauty, its blade flashes in the sun, and its hilt gleams with opulent decoration. Yet this beauty belies a bloody function, for it is also a weapon that appears crude and brutal, requiring great strength to wield: cleaving armour, flesh, and bone.

Robert W. Jones is Alumni Association Coordinator and tutor at Advanced Studies in England, an independent study abroad programme based in Bath, England. He is also a Visiting Scholar in History at Franklin and Marshall College, Pennsylvania, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Table des matières :

List of Illustrations
1. The Mystical Blade
2. The Powerful Sword
3. The Falchion: A Case Study of Form, Function, and Symbolism
4. The Civilian Sword
5. Learning the Sword
6. Using the Sword
7. Recreating Medieval Swordsmanship

Informations pratiques :

Robert W. Jones, A Cultural History of the Medieval Sword. Power, Piety and Play, Woodbrige, The Boydell Press, 2023 ; 1 vol., 288 p. (Armour and Weapons). ISBN : 978-1-83765-036-1. Prix : GBP 30,00.

Source : Boydell and Brewer

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