A Long-Distance Relationship: Staff Weapons as a Microcosm for the Study of Fight Books, c. 1400-1550
The fifteenth-century fight book author Filippo Vadi wrote that the sword “is a cross and a royal weapon”: this inherent chivalric symbolism associated with the sword has led to a wealth of scholarship on the weapon but seemingly at a cost to research into other forms of weaponry used in medieval and early modern Europe, particularly various typologies of staff weapons. This article presents an analysis of the appearance staff weapons in the heterogeneous fight book genre. It uses their limited appearance, in comparison to swords, as a means of creating a microcosm through which several questions about the wider fight book genre can be assessed.
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