Norwegian tradition from late medieval/renissanse (Practiced anywhere else?)

Discussion in 'Western Martial Arts' started by Stolenbjorn, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. Stolenbjorn

    Stolenbjorn Valued Member

    In norway free peassants has allways had a right to carry a sidearm, be it a sword in the viking area, an axe in medieval times, up to rifles when they came about. Norwegian authorities has allways been very liberal when it comes to weapons. There are two main reasons for this:

    A: -due to the nature of the land; very large, with loads of natural obstacles making it hard to administer the country. It was thus a nessecity for the rulers to have a conscription system in norway, as it would be to expensive and time-consuming to manouver professional troops around.

    B: -due to the relaitively content nature of the peassants. They were in general extremely loyal to the king, and peassant-revolts were very rare, and when they occured it was usually because of incompetent administrators. The peassants then usually allways appealed to the king first, and most of the revolts led to the king investigating the incident finding grose faults/corruption/etc. on his administration, and sacking them :D (+ killing the rebel leaders :cry: ; you can by principle not let rebel leaders go free, no matter how just their cause is :rolleyes: )

    But peassants and townsmen were not peacefull people at all allthough they cherrished their king; Bergen (a norwegian city) had more murders pr. person in the 15th and 16th century than in the most violent american cities today. On the countryside murders and deaths due to duels in f.instance weddings were not unheard of. A priest living in the 1700's in Telemark (a district in southern norway) found theese conditions appalling, and got the "lensmann"(constable) in on confiscating the peassants' battleaxes. When the peassants learned this, one of them got so ****ed that he went to the priests house and tried to kill him. But he missed and hit the wall beside the door instead. You can still see the mark from where the axe hit.

    So to the point; the reason for this post is one way of dueling normal in norway in the 17th/18th century:
    The duellants takes their belts and link them together so they form a big circle. They then take their knife and puts it in their right hand. Then they grab the opponent's rightarm with their left arm, and finally puts the linked belts around their waists. Then it's "first blood", or "to the death".

    Does anyone know about similar duelrules from other parts of europe?
  2. SoKKlab

    SoKKlab The Cwtch of Death!

    A similar example, would be the common practice in Medieval and Renaissance Europe of duellists (as depicted by artists such as Caravaggio) tying their lead arms to each others with rags, bandanas etc.

    In fact this was depicted very nicely in Derrick Jarmans film 'Caravaggio', with Sean Bean, the two combatants arms linked together, the other arms holding knives.

    Similar concept in Welsh Womens Wrestling, where the two combatants were enclosed within a band of strong cloth just bigger than their circumference.

    This was either held up by spectators as a restrictive 'Ring' or was gradually tied tighter by those presiding. The two wrestlers would end up bound together in a tight clinch. (I only have this as second-hand information from my now dead Grandparents).

    An Albanian friend of a friend told me that in Northern Albania, wrestlers are tied togeher with rope around their Torsos and looping over the shoulders, this is apparently only done at certain celebrations.

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