We attend this event annually at the University of Massachusetts Renaissance Center and it always has interesting speakers. Everything ranging from poll arm collectors to Bartistu show up and speak.  This year there were three speakers were:
Roger Norling of HOARR 
Mike Chidester of Wiktenauer 
Jean Chandler of System d’ Armes 


Roger Norling is an imposing figure in person and personally greeted us as we entered. And I’m not just saying a physical guy (which he is) but also someone who feels constrained by a simple human body, a presence. He didn’t need to be put on a microphone and we heard him in the back just fine! He did a contextual examination of “The life of Freifechter and Fetchmeister Joachim Meyer.” He presented photos, maps and historical documents discussion Meyers connection certain streets, churches and guilds and shared some funny anecdotes on some of his data and photo collection.



He sent around a very nice facsimile volume that has visited many of these locations that had no printing or publisher information although several of us looked 🙂


“Hans Medel and the Evolution of Tradition” was the subject of Michael Chidester’s talk. If you followed the link you know that Mike is one of the founders of Wiktenauer(http://wiktenauer.com/) and a great many of the materials he discussed are online and available there. Of interest-family “trees” of the Lichtenhauer tradition, some clearly copied material mistaken as a primary reference and the discovery of some manuals Meyer planned to write about.

He mentioned some manuals of interest so we purchased a copy of The ‘Lost’ Second Book of Nicoletto Giganti(1608)  and we’ll probably be working through some plays this summer.

Post-lunch we enjoyed a talk by Jean Chandler. In fact, I enjoy his talks so much that I generally record them rather than take pictures. I would include a link here but my phone is being a pain about the video. His talk was a  view on “The Uncommon World of the Common Merchant” discussing knight-pirates (from Talhoffer) armed citizens and interguild warfare within trade conglomerates. (Mongols and Sweden were big issues!) I love all the talks but Jean chooses to focus on everyday folks who keep things running rather than just swordsmen it is especially fascinating to me

Roger revisited the lectern with “Research Methods and Tools for Understanding Combat Manuals” and I was sad, that unlike previous years we didn’t go out onto the lawn and either handle or see weapons work.  But he did show us his work on youtube with a pike. If you have ever handled one, you can appreciate how hard it is to 1) lift these with one hand 2) control and target without that second hand! We’ve done this but with stiffer, shorter weapons-still HARD!

We had been invited to attend some demonstrations/workshops on Friday or Sunday-sadly, we are at least two hours out and have a troupe performance coming up!

As always, a thank-you to Jeff Lord and Jeff Goodhind for making it all happen and keeping things running smoothly. And to the Amherst Women’s Club for refreshments during the event.

To see more events; (early music, gardens, theater, and more)