The typological debates around Le Jeu de la Hache (BnF MS Français 1996) and their stakes for HEMA practice

Open access

Abstract

Le Jeu de la Hache displays a fighting-system with the pollaxe in armour, but the weapon is never described with precision, which leads to debates regarding its typology – cutting edge or hammer/raven’s beak? Through a semi-quantitative survey, we tried to offer an overview of current HEMA practice around this specific source, with special emphasis on the typological question. Despite the rather narrow scope of the inquiry, some trends emerge. Besides the various choices regarding terminology and sources, we can underline the variety of materials used for the simulators: rubber components («hammer» typology) are leading, but wood and metal are also used, for both typologies. Advantages and disadvantages of each rely on the articulation of safety and realism dimensions, and the dangerousness inherent to this kind of weapon is largely highlighted. Even if most respondents declare not to be familiar with the typological debates amongst historians, it was usually mentioned to them during their practice. Only a minority has taken part in experiments in order to bring some elements of answer, but seldom in a systematic way. Therefore, a praxeological experimental approach could bring up new data, but is not devoid of difficulties, for instance the necessity of wearing armour.

Paris, French National Library, MS Français 1996. La Doctrine et l'industrie du noble jeu de la hache et la maniere de battaillier, <http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b52000955p> [accessed 31 May 2017].

Dupuis, Olivier and Deluz Vincent, ‘Le Jeu de La Hache: A Critical Edition and Dating Discussion’, Acta Periodica Duellatorum, 5 (2017), 3–62. <https://doi.org/10.1515/apd-2017-0001> [accessed 31 May 2017].

Anglo, Sydney, ‘Le Jeu de La Hache’, Archeologia, 1991, 113–28.

Anglo, Sydney, The Martial Arts of Renaissance Europe (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000).

Anglo, Sydney, ‘Le Jeu de La Hache’, in Masters of Medieval and Renaissance Martial Arts: Rediscovering the Western Combat Heritage, ed. by John Clements (Boulder: Paladin Press, 2008), pp. 148–63.

Cognot Fabrice, L’armement médiéval, les armes blanches dans les collections bourguignonnes, Xe-XVe siècles, unpublished dissertation, University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, 2013. <http://www.theses.fr/2013PA010609> [accessed 31 May 2017].

Combessie, Jean-Claude, La méthode en sociologie, Repères Sociologie, 194, 5. éd (Paris: La Découverte, 2007).

Deacon, Jacob, ‘The Pollaxe: c.1350-1500’ (unpublished master’s thesis, University of Cardiff, 2016).

Dupuis, Olivier, ‘The French Fencing Traditions, from the 14th Century to 1630 through Fight Books’, in Late Medieval and Early Modern Fight Books. Transmission and Tradition of Martial Arts in Europe (14th-17th Centuries)., ed. by Daniel Jaquet, Karin Verelst, and Timothy Dawson (Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2016), pp. 354–75.

Dupuis, Olivier, and Vincent Deluz, ‘Le Jeu de La Hache: A Critical Edition and Dating Discussion’, Acta Periodica Duellatorum, 5/1 (2017), 3–62.

Jaquet, Daniel, Combattre en armure à la fin du Moyen Âge et au début de la Renaissance d’après les livres de combat, 2 vol. (unpublished PhD dissertation, University of Geneva, 2013).

Jaquet, Daniel, ‘Entre jeux de mains et jeux de mots : Faire l’expérience ou expérimenter les gestes d’après les textes techniques. Reproduire ou répliquer les objets’, in Expérimenter le maniement des armes à la fin du Moyen Âge; Experimente zur Waffenhandlung im Spätmittelalter, ed. by Daniel Jaquet and Nicolas Baptiste (Bâle: Société suisse d’histoire, 2016), pp. 11–18.

Raynaud, Christiane, « A La Hache! »: Histoire et symbolique de la hache dans la France médiévale (XIIIe-XVe Siècles) (Paris: Léopard d’or, 2002).

Troso, Mario, Le armi in asta: Delle fanterie europe (1000-1500) (Novara: Istituto Geografico De Agostini, 1988).

Tuaillon Demésy, Audrey, ‘Faire revivre les duels des XVe et XVIe siècles : la place des Arts Martiaux Historiques Européens dans l’évolution de l’offre de loisirs’, Staps 101 (2014) 119–34. <http://doi.org/10.3917/sta.101.0119> [accessed 31 May 2017].

Tuaillon Demésy, Audrey, La re-création du passé: enjeux identitaires et mémoriels. Approche socio-anthropologique de l’histoire vivante médiévale (Besançon: Presses universitaires de Franche-Comté, 2013).

Tuaillon Demésy, Audrey, ‘Pratiquer les AMHE aujourd’hui : entre reconstitution, expérimentation et innovation’, E-Phaïstos, IV (2015)

Tzouriadis, Iason-Eleftherios, The Typology and Use of Staff Weapons in Western Europe c.1400 - c.1550 (unpublished PhD thesis, University of Leeds, 2017).

Waldman, John, Hafted Weapons in Medieval and Renaissance Europe: The Evolution of European Staff Weapons Between 1200 and 1650 (Leiden: Brill, 2005).

Watts, Karen, and Iason-Eleftherios Tzouriadis, ‘Les armes d’hast médiévales: Maniement et typologie’, in D’Azincourt à Marignan : Chevaliers & bombardes, 1415-1515, ed. by Nathalie Bailleux et al. (Paris: Gallimard, 2015), pp. 84-89.

Journal Information

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 218 218 18
PDF Downloads 52 52 10