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This is the landscape in which The Silver Sword is set

Another factor which has gone overlooked in the rise of the rapier as an urban weapon is that Renaissance cities were made with notoriously narrow streets and alleys. As well as offering shelter from sun and rain and conserving space this was done as a means of defense. An invading army could not easily march through tight confines nor could an occupying force easily travel through before barricades could be raised. Crowds could also not easily gather nor mobs form in such constricted spaces. In this environment, a long thrusting sword was better suited than a cutting one.

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This is perhaps due to the desire by many rapier fencing aficionados to have a safe practice weapon while sparring that will easily bend to a considerable degree without breaking or accidentally penetrating. But this degree of flexibility, appropriate for sport weapons, affects the way such blades perform and distorts the true techniques of real rapier fencing. There is also so far no actual evidence of any flexible practice rapiers having ever been used in the Renaissance. Bendable practice weapons for foyning fence do not seem to appear prior to the use of the smallsword in the late 1600s. Surviving specimens of “practice” rapiers from the Renaissance are themselves quite stiff and not overly flexible. However, there are many examples in both artwork and literature from the age of practice rapiers with large ball tips for safe training. These were used from at least the 1560s.

Edek and Jan - THE SILVER SWORD

Silver sword edek descriptive essay - magnus …

Most every kind of sword blade involves combining a softer inner core of iron with a harder outer surrounding of steel. Getting this “sandwich” combination right for the kind of job a particular blade was being called upon to perform was not easy. Most blades were produced by a folding process (something not exclusive to Japanese swords) which mixed the required attributes of hard and soft metal. Finally, their end shape would be produced by hand grinding and polishing. To test rapiers, they would be thrust and flexed against a resistant target. This was not to make sure they could repeatedly flex, for that was not what they were intended for, but rather to test whether they were well tempered and durable. If made too stiff they would snap, if too soft they would not recover from the bend. They might also be thrust against a softer material to see how easily they pierced it.

There are several modern myths about how swords are made. Select iron ore had to be first processed by heating and working it into steel before it could be shaped. Swords were never made by pouring molten metal into molds (this would only produce a brittle and weak cast-iron shape). Swords were also not created by pounding red hot metal into shape on an anvil. Rather, after heating, the material had the consistency of soft clay and needed to be carefully and gradually hand-shaped by a skilled craftsman slowly and softly working it. Blades were also not made by merely quenching (dunking) them into water or some other liquid while red hot. This merely was a finishing step in hardening the outside after a final careful reheating. Before this a complex process of slow tempering (heat-treating) was conducted to ensure the blade had the right stiffness and resilience. This part was a major aspect of a swordsmith’s art.

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But, as a lighter, thinner blade, it obviously lacks the mass to easily beat down a heavier blade or displace its attack by counter-cutting—which was commonly performed with other swords. As well, if forced to employ such a rigid defense against a strong blow from a larger weapon it was not as sturdy for parrying with a direct static block. As a specialized weapon, it is therefore not as well-rounded as a broader blade intended for fighting under more generalized circumstances.

The essence of rapier fencing is the view that in fighting the shortest distance between two points was not the curved line of a cut, but the straight line of a thrust. The quickness and reach of the rapier in unarmored combat could be surprising and unexpected to those not used to its kind of fight. In skilled hands it was unpredictable, swift, and easy for an inexperienced adversary to underestimate. A stabbing wound can be made very easily and it tended to be fatal. A man attempting to slash or chop with a comparatively less agile and slower cutting sword could find himself being hit with a well-timed and well-placed thrust from a faster, longer-reaching rapier. Yet, without experience or training, two rapier fighters might even charge one another and be mutually run-through.

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The Children's War: The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier

Because they did not require especially hard edges, nor great flexibility, a rapier was actually not that difficult to produce. As with any sword it had to be both strong and resilient. It had to be able to withstand blows without breaking but it also had to be able to hold an edge or point without staying bent or dulling instantly after an impact. As swordsmiths now will point out, there is an almost infinite variety of ways to produce such a slender sword with one geometric shape or another that adds rigidity and lightness. (Despite the many different rapier blade shapes I have not seen a modern replica yet today that unfortunately doesn't rely on the same simple flat-diamond shape, even though this represents only one small form of earlier rapier blade styles).

The silver sword by ian serraillier essay / Grant writing jo

Rapiers were both balanced and gripped in a manner that facilitated point control for accurate thrusting rather than edge control for strong cutting. Their handle shapes were devised with this in mind and permitted them to more effectively jab by extending the arm. The primary grip was actually one which permitted them to be easily drawn from the thigh by pulling the arm straight up above the head. This typically involved the thumb being placed on the flat of the guard at the core or . Other grips consisted of “fingering” or wrapping the index finger around the cross and ricasso. Two fingers might also be used like this with the thumb put on the edge of the ricasso. A strong hand might even grip the weapon only by the pommel in order to gain extra reach. The grip used was whichever suited the technique or the swordsman.

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Rapiers were quick and agile, but they could still be quickly seized and held tightly by even a bare hand. There would be little chance of the hand being injured in doing this. Indeed, as the historical texts instruct, even wider cutting swords can be held by the blade or grabbed safely if done correctly. Several rapier treatises depict the empty hand being used to slap away or deflect rapier thrusts. This was a common technique and because a man might easily close to grapple in this way, it was another reason to employ a dagger or other weapon in the second hand. If a special grasping glove covered in maile or heavy leather was worn then grabbing or swatting away a sword was even safer.

The Silver Sword Essay Questions GradeSaver

For he that thinks absolute power purifies men’s blood, and corrects the baseness of human nature, need read but the history of this or any other age, to be convinced of the contrary. He that would have been so insolent and injurious in the woods of America, would not probably be much better in a throne; where perhaps learning and religion shall be found out to justify all that he shall do to his subjects, and the sword presently silence all those that dare question it: for what the protection of absolute monarchy is, what kind of fathers of their countries it makes princes to be, and to what a degree of happiness and security it carries civil society, where this sort of government is grown to perfection; he that will look into the late relation of Ceylon, may easily see.

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