Insights from Historical Artwork

The detail is fuzzy in this painting, yet on the far right a fighter can be seen holding down his opponent as he prepares to slash with a knife-like blade. In the upper left a fighter wields a great sword. Notice again the gripping method, with both hands close and nearer the cross guard as opposed to the second holding the pommel (which is also seen often). Next to him a fighter with a small curved shield raises his sword on high against a pole-arm wielding adversary. To their right, a fighter in full plate faces off with sword & shield against a spear & shield armed opponent (note the feather guides on the end of the shaft). On the lower left-hand side a beheaded fighter begins to fall. Other severed heads and headless bodies are also visible. - From Battle of Nicopol. Late 1300’s. French illuminated manuscripts, Bibliotheqe Nationale de France.

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