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Sword and Buckler of the I33 MS


The Royal Armouries MS I.33 as translated in _The Medieval Art of Swordsmanship_ is my reference for the following information.

The original author of the I.33 introduces first how the untrained swordsman will attack. He does this by showing seven attack stances. He then states these various blows are the art of combat (bold italics are mine).

'Dimicatio est diversarum plagarum ordinatio, & diuiditur in septem partes vt  hic.'

He stresses again that these seven blows are used by the ordinary combatant. His combat-waging cleric holds the opposite (defence) and the means (to win).

'Hec septem partes ducuntur per generales:

Oppositum clerus mediumque tenet lutegerus.'

So he is saying that when attacked by the ordinary combatant (who would be using the first illustrated seven attacks) here are the oppositions (defences) you should be adopting to win. Then he begins teaching as if to the ordinary combatant, on how to defeat the defensive oppositions. He does this by illustrating 40 'plays' with up to six panels of paired figures.

Teaching Method

I teach beginning with attacks from Secundus Custodia (right shoulder attack). My theory here is that most attacks will be by right handed warriors and very probably swinging from their right side, therefore defences against this should be the first learned. The Oppositions (defences) are Schutzen and Halpschilt. This is then followed by attacks from Tertia Custodia (left shoulder) and defended against by Schutzen, Halpschilt, Langort and Specificata Langort.



The author of the I.33 states which binds are best against which oppositions. There is Bind, Counter-Bind and then Change of Sword.

Obsessione (opposition) Binding against it
Halpschilt below
Krucke above
Schutzen none given
Langort above and below, with above being the best
Superior Langort below
Vidilpoge above
Specificatam Langort none given
Quadam Rara none given
Specificatam Secundus none given

Plate Chart

This chart shows the Plate in the book that the Opposition is found upon. It also shows the popularity or usefulness of the opposition by the number of times it is shown in the I.33.

Plate Opposition Play Special
3, 5, 16, 20, 22, 25, 28, 54, 55 Halpschilt 001, 002, 008, 011, 012, 015, 017, 035, 036 Shield bind in play 003
7, 9, 10, 23, 24 Krucke 003, 004, 005, 013, 014 Shield bind in play 003
12, 14, 27, 31, 33, 34, 37, 39, 40, 45 Langort 006, 007, 016, 019, 021, 022, 023, 024, 028 Disarm using right hand in play 019

Sword bind in play 021

41, 49 Superior Langort 025, 031  
43, 44 Vidilpoge 026, 027 Disarm using left hand in play 026
46, 48, 49, 51, 52, 53, 59, 61 Specificatam Langort 029, 030, 031, 032, 033, 034, 038, 039  
57 Quadam Rara 037  
63 Specificatam Secundus 040  


Medieval Latin/German


Halpschilt Half-Shield
Krucke Crutch
Schutzen Covering
Langort Long-point
Superior Langort High Long-point
Vidilpoge Fiddlebow
Specificatam Langort Special Longpoint
Quadam Rara Rare opposition
Specificata Secundus Second Special opposition
Stichslach Thrust-strike
Schiltslach Shield-strike


Custodia Attack
Prima Under-arm
Secunda Right shoulder
Tertia Left shoulder
Quarta Head
Quinta Right side
Sextam Thrusting
Septima Longpoint


Play 1

Halpschilt vs Prima Custodia (plate 3)

Play 2

Halpschilt vs Prima Custodia (plate 5)

Play 3

Krucke vs Prima Custodia (plate 7)

Play 4

Krucke vs Prima Custodia (plate 9)

Play 5

Krucke vs Prima Custodia (plate 10)

Play 6

Langort vs Prima Custodia (plate 12)

Play 7

Langort vs Prima Custodia (plate 14)

Play 8

Halpschilt vs Prima Custodia (plate 16)

Play 9

Schutzen vs Secunda Custodia (plate 17)

Play 10

Schutzen vs Secunda Custodia (plate 19)

Play 11

Halpschilt vs Secunda Custodia (plate 20)

Play 12

Halpschilt vs Prima Custodia (plate 22)

Play 13

Krucke vs Tertia Custodia (plate 23)

Play 14

Krucke vs Tertia Custodia (plate 24)

Play 15

Halpschilt vs Tertia Custodia (plate 25)

Play 16

Langort vs Tertia Custodia

Play 17

Halpschilt vs Quarta Custodia (plate 28)

Play 18

Quarta Custodia vs Prima Custodia (plate 29)

Play 19

Langort vs Prima Custodia (plate 31)

Play 20

Halpschilt vs Sextam Custodia (plate 33)

Play 21

Langort vs (itself) Septima Custodia (plate 34)

Play 22

Langort vs (itself) Septima Custodia (plate 37)

Play 23

Langort vs (itself) Septima Custodia (plate 39)

Play 24

Langort vs (itself) Septima Custodia (plate 40)

Play 25

Superior Langort (Priest) vs Langort (plate 41)

Play 26

Vidilpoge vs Langort ? (plate 43)

Play 27

Vidiploge vs Langort ? (plate 44)

Play 28

Langort vs (itself) Septima Custodia (plate 45) no more is illustrated as the fault of the artist!

Play 29

Specificatam Langort vs Halpschilt (plate 46)

Play 30

Specificatam Langort vs Halpschilt (plate 48)

Play 31

Specificatam Langort vs Valde Rara (plate 49)

Play 32

Specificatam Langort vs Tertia Custodia (plate 51)

Play 33

Specificatam Langort vs Quarta Custodia (plate 52)

Play 34

Specificatam Langort vs Quintas Custodia (plate 53)

Play 35

Halpschilt vs Quinta Custodia (plate 54)

Play 36

Halpschilt vs Quinta Custodia (plate 55)

Play 37

Quadam Rara vs Quinta Custodia (plate 57)

Play 38

Specificatum Langort vs Quarta Custodia (plate 59)

Play 39

Specificatum Langort vs Quarta Custodia (plate 61)

Play 40

Specificata Secundus vs Prima Custodia (plate 63)


1. _The Medieval Art of Swordsmanship_ by Jeffrey L. Forgeng, Chivalry Bookshelf ISBN 1-891448-38-2


Monday, 13 July 2009 last updated