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Jason Elrod




PostPosted: Sat 08 Mar, 2008 2:26 pm    Post subject: Messer, Bauerwehr, Hauswehr?         Reply with quote

Can anyone explain the difference between these 3 weapons to me?
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Arne Focke




PostPosted: Sat 08 Mar, 2008 2:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would say that there is none. Just different words to describe the same thing.

Of course, a little excourse into the German language, "Messer" also just means knife.
A "Bauernwehr" is mostly just a bigger knife, or other similar blade, used by a farmer to defend his home.
A "Hauswehr" is, like the name implies, also used to defend your house.

So schön und inhaltsreich der Beruf eines Archäologen ist, so hart ist auch seine Arbeit, die keinen Achtstundentag kennt! (Wolfgang Kimmig in: Die Heuneburg an der oberen Donau, Stuttgart 1983)
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James R.Fox




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PostPosted: Sat 08 Mar, 2008 3:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Arne- thanks for the lession. the old people stoppped speaking German at home with my mothers parents, I barely remember enough to guess at the words. I'm german farmer on one side and scotts border bandit on the other.
Ja68ms
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Arne Focke




PostPosted: Sat 08 Mar, 2008 4:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sounds like a healthy mix. Big Grin
So schön und inhaltsreich der Beruf eines Archäologen ist, so hart ist auch seine Arbeit, die keinen Achtstundentag kennt! (Wolfgang Kimmig in: Die Heuneburg an der oberen Donau, Stuttgart 1983)
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George Hill




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PostPosted: Sat 08 Mar, 2008 8:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

James R.Fox wrote:
Arne- thanks for the lession. the old people stoppped speaking German at home with my mothers parents, I barely remember enough to guess at the words. I'm german farmer on one side and scotts border bandit on the other.


So you'll be wanting a messer with a basket hilt?

To abandon your shield is the basest of crimes. - --Tacitus on Germania
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James R.Fox




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PostPosted: Sat 08 Mar, 2008 9:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ja George-long enough I can call it a twa-handit messer Happy
Ja68ms
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Andreas Auer




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PostPosted: Mon 10 Mar, 2008 2:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi !

As farmers were not allowed to carrie Swords, they were allowed to carry a knife("Messer") with just one edge. As Farmers or times were, they needed (or thought they needed) bigger and bigger knifes as time went by. this evolved from simple ca.20cm long crude knifes to the thing we call "Langes Messer" or "Long Knife" in the 16.century.
as the "Landsknechte" were often Farmers, or countryside Folks (sorry about this term) this "Lange Messer" became very popular in the later 15.cent. among most civilians.

Andreas

The secret is,
to keep that pointy end thingy away from you...
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Peter Grassmann




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PostPosted: Tue 18 Mar, 2008 8:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is no common distinction between the three weapons, as historians haven't spent much time on research for them. The original, historical terms vary greatly, so we don't have much use for them nowadays (for example, "Messer" could mean dagger, knife or sabre in medieval times).
However, after having spent much time on research, the most logical (though modern) distinction is - in my opinion - the following:

Messer: sword-length weapon (>80 cm) with a riveted tang and a crossguard.
Bauernwehr: originally a single edged dagger that looked like a great knife with a riveted tang and, since the late 15th century, a parrier called "Knebel" in German (I don't know the english term for it). They could reach lengths up to 80 cms and more. Bauernwehren almost never have a crossguard. I think they have been developed from riveted knifes that became common in the 14th century in middle Europe.
"Bauernwehr" literally means "farmer's weapon", but they were not only used by farmers. Many have been found on castles, which means they were used as weapons by the militia.
Hauswehr: this term means "a weapon to defend a house with". When historical documents speak of "Hauswehren", they often mean any kind of weapon that one could defend his house with (in later times even fireguns). It is often used synonymous with "Bauernwehr". Another term for it is "Rugger".

You have to see all those weapons in a greater context. Since the beginning of the late middle ages, riveted knives became more and more common. A lot of weapons developed from these knives; the Bauernwehren and (Lange) Messer are just two of them, but there are many more (for example hunting knives and daggers). That's why it's so difficult to distinct between the terms: There are just too many weapons from this "family". I call this family "Griffzungenwaffen" (riveted weapons), which share three features:
1. they are single edged
2. they have a riveted tang
3. they have an asymmetrical handle.

Quote:
As farmers were not allowed to carrie Swords, they were allowed to carry a knife("Messer") with just one edge

Farmers were not always forbidden to carry swords. This law only existed in some places at some times, but not in general. A simple knife was carried by everyone, not only farmers.

Quote:
this evolved from simple ca.20cm long crude knifes to the thing we call "Langes Messer" or "Long Knife" in the 16.century.

I agree that the "Langes Messer" developed from riveted knives. However, this did not happen in the 16th century, but earlier. Big "Bauernwehren" (that means without cross guard) are known from as early as the late 14th century (one was, for example, found in Heidelberg/Germany). The "Langes Messer" became common in the 15th century. It can already be seen in Talhoffers book from 1459.

I am still working on an article about that topic, but it will take some time until it is finished, because I have much to do at the moment.
Sorry for my bad English, I hope you can understand me.

Peter
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Christopher Gregg




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PostPosted: Tue 18 Mar, 2008 9:27 am    Post subject: Messer, etc.         Reply with quote

Peter,

Your English is very good, and thank you very much for all your insight! Happy

Christopher Gregg

'S Rioghal Mo Dhream!
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Andreas Auer




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PostPosted: Tue 18 Mar, 2008 9:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Grassmann wrote:


Quote:
As farmers were not allowed to carrie Swords, they were allowed to carry a knife("Messer") with just one edge

Farmers were not always forbidden to carry swords. This law only existed in some places at some times, but not in general. A simple knife was carried by everyone, not only farmers.


absolutely right...as there were no "all european Law" a lot of differences in laws occurred form town to town...

Peter Grassmann wrote:
Quote:
this evolved from simple ca.20cm long crude knifes to the thing we call "Langes Messer" or "Long Knife" in the 16.century.

I agree that the "Langes Messer" developed from riveted knives. However, this did not happen in the 16th century, but earlier. Big "Bauernwehren" (that means without cross guard) are known from as early as the late 14th century (one was, for example, found in Heidelberg/Germany). The "Langes Messer" became common in the 15th century. It can already be seen in Talhoffers book from 1459.


also absolutely right, i just mentioned "common" as i recently saw a picture with a celebration theme were every man wore a "Langes Messer" and this in my opinion was not the case before about 1500... (i have to look up this picture and give dates later)

Andreas

The secret is,
to keep that pointy end thingy away from you...
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Vaclav Homan




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PostPosted: Tue 18 Mar, 2008 12:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In old Czech was one basic term Tesák for this three words.

In Peter terminology is Tschechische Dusseke or Dussak (czech knife) not Messer but not Bauermesser.
And is there archaeological evidence in europa.
I know one finding. In recent years there is idea: Tschechische Dusak was primarily for practise fenging (very common in fechtbuecher).

Greatest Fechtmaister with Messer was Hanz Lekuechner.

There is only one art of fence yet many ways to reach it
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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Tue 18 Mar, 2008 1:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vaclav Homan wrote:
In old Czech was one basic term Tesák for this three words.

In Peter terminology is Tschechische Dusseke or Dussak (czech knife) not Messer but not Bauermesser.
And is there archaeological evidence in europa.
I know one finding. In recent years there is idea: Tschechische Dusak was primarily for practise fenging (very common in fechtbuecher).

Greatest Fechtmaister with Messer was Hanz Lekuechner.


Some googled examples


http://www.2ae.de/thomasarnswald/site/blankwaffen.html

It's interesting to me that such a relatively small knife would have a nagel. Are you expected to parry with it?

http://www.anher.de/shop_D/assets/s2dmain.htm...index.html


http://www.hermann-historica.de/auktion/hhm50...b=A-50.txt



I really appreciate this thread it's very interesting.

J

System D'Armes Historical European fencing in New Orleans

Introducing the Codex Guide to the Medieval Baltic
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Peter Grassmann




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PostPosted: Wed 19 Mar, 2008 3:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Are you expected to parry with it

No, it shall prevent the hand from sliding onto the blade.

Dussack: a weapon on it's own that is (in my opinion) not related to the Messer and others.
It's the same case for the falchion: here, the blade seems to have been inspired by eastern sabres, but the handle is in the old "sword style", that means symmetrical, with a narrow tang, a pommel and a cross. We have completely different handles in the Messer-Bauernwehr-Hauswehr group. There are many indications that this is a coherent group:
- bauernwehr-like weapons were already worn in the 14th century
- the contemporary riveted knives emerged at the same time (just a bit earlier)
- bauernwehren can be found in any length (I have one that measures 70 cms)
- they all share common features (just with slight variation, especially during the 16th century)

The Hauswehr posted by Jean Henri is a much later piece (19th century) that was probably inspired by eastern/oriental pieces.

@Christopher: Thank you very much. I try to do my best. Happy
@Andreas: You are right that most "Messers" were worn roughly between ~1480 and 1530.

Interesting discussion, thank you all.
Peter
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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Wed 19 Mar, 2008 7:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Grassmann wrote:
Quote:
Are you expected to parry with it

No, it shall prevent the hand from sliding onto the blade.

Dussack: a weapon on it's own that is (in my opinion) not related to the Messer and others.
It's the same case for the falchion: here, the blade seems to have been inspired by eastern sabres, but the handle is in the old "sword style", that means symmetrical, with a narrow tang, a pommel and a cross. We have completely different handles in the Messer-Bauernwehr-Hauswehr group. There are many indications that this is a coherent group:
- bauernwehr-like weapons were already worn in the 14th century
- the contemporary riveted knives emerged at the same time (just a bit earlier)
- bauernwehren can be found in any length (I have one that measures 70 cms)
- they all share common features (just with slight variation, especially during the 16th century)

The Hauswehr posted by Jean Henri is a much later piece (19th century) that was probably inspired by eastern/oriental pieces.

@Christopher: Thank you very much. I try to do my best. Happy
@Andreas: You are right that most "Messers" were worn roughly between ~1480 and 1530.

Interesting discussion, thank you all.
Peter


The oriental inspired one was the second one I assume?

Can you post some photos of the bauernwhren that you own by any chance?

Jean

System D'Armes Historical European fencing in New Orleans

Introducing the Codex Guide to the Medieval Baltic
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Vaclav Homan




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PostPosted: Wed 19 Mar, 2008 9:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

[/img]http://www.repliky.info/Cesky-tesak-foto-detail-2808.html
Tschechische Dusak have been inspired in Poland or Ungarn in 15 century. We have other terminology, falcion is specifical type, haus messer 20 cm, messer (tesák) 20-50 cm, long messer 50cm, messer for one and half hand.

There is only one art of fence yet many ways to reach it
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W. Schütz




PostPosted: Thu 04 Feb, 2010 1:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Im gathering info on sidearms, specifically messers/big knives in the 14th cen and very early 15th, so if anyone has some documentation and/or info on the subject feel free to share.


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