Item description for Hafted Weapons in Medieval and Renaissance Europe: The Evolution of European Staff Weapons between 1200 and 1650 (History of Warfare 31) by John Waldman...
The development treated in this volume of a variety of staff weapons in the Medieval and Renaissance periods in Europe is of importance, as the repeated success of their use caused substantive political changes. Their typology, use, and smithing techniques as well as correlations with contemporary artistic renditions, are discussed in great detail. Surviving specimens from museums and collections throughout the Western Hemisphere are used. Conservation issues are also dealt with. The book is heavily illustrated with black and white, color photographs and drawings and has a foreword by Walther Karcheski, Chief Curator of Arms and Armor of the Frazier Antique Arms Museum.
It is intended as a reference for historical scholars, artists, museum curators, private collectors and the art market, and is a timely clarification of the nature of these arms.
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JOHN WALDMAN is an ichthyologist, fisherman, and writer. He is the author of Heartbeats in the Muck: A Dramatic Look at the History, Sea Life, and Environment of New York Harbor, which won the New York Society Library's Book of the Year Award for Natural History. He lives in Sea Cliff, New York, and works in Manhattan at the Hudson River Foundation for Science and Environmental Research.
John Waldman was born in 1911 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Queens College.
Reviews - What do customers think about Hafted Weapons in Medieval and Renaissance Europe: The Evolution of European Staff Weapons between 1200 and 1650 (History of Warfare 31)?
Outstanding Treatise on an under-researched Subject! Nov 23, 2006
This beautifully written and reasonably well illustrated work fills in a yawning chasm in the subject of Medieval/Renaissance arms & armour scholarship!
The main focus of the work is on halberds, but other arms, such as poll axes, bardiches, military forks, and items even more obscure are discussed. In addition, a chapter on the use and effectiveness, primarily of halberds, is present.
The author also delves to some extent on the construction details of many of these weapons, which is a subject often flat ignored in many works on arms and armour. Finally, the chapters on restoration, conservation, and collecting such arms are unprecedented in a work of this nature, and very helpful.
This book fully earns a five star rating, though there are a few areas I should have liked to see covered:
1. While there is a good discussion on the effectiveness of such weapons, it would have been very useful to see some independent experiments that gauged such things as energy of impact, anti-armour effectiveness (the video cited in the text sounds inadequate) and so forth. Hard data is sorely needed with regards to Medieval arms, and precious little exists. And what does exist often has serious shortcomings.
2. While admittedly beyond the scope of this work, I would have loved to see information on other hafted weapons, such as maces, war hammers, and battle axes, particular later Gothic and Renaissance examples with all steel hafts, a subject that also is poorly covered.
3. Hand in hand with the chapters on conservation and collecting, something discussing quality modern reproductions, such as those put out by Arms & Armor [...] would have been very useful.
4. More details on featured weapons, to include weight and a better sense of overall dimensions (such as blade thicknesses and cross-sections) would have been extremely useful, and is an unfortunate omission.
While this book is expensive, it is terribly necessary addition to any serious researcher of Medieval and Renassaince arms and armour.