This paper demonstrates who was considered to be a martial expert in the fifteenth century, and it presents new perspectives on research revolving around urban and military history. It includes a theoretical part where technical literature is examined, and a practical part where networks of martial experts can be revealed based on archival research in Swiss towns. This presentation was intended for the International Medieval Congress 2020 at the University of Leeds, as one of the three papers of the panel “Martial Culture I: Within the Walls of the Medieval Town.” The Congress was cancelled due to the Covid-19 situation, and only a smaller version was conducted virtually. Two of our speakers decided to release their paper on video format. Watch or listen this paper by following the link below.
Watch the video of the talk here
Abstract of the panel: Our research project (2018-22) considers towns as producers, organisers, and brokers of martial culture within the rapidly changing political world of late medieval Europe. It examines how towns transformed and were transformed by military techniques and urban ‘martial culture.’ The latter developed at the intersection of legal prerogatives, political requirements, and the evolving ownership and use of weapons. It integrates a number of historiographical approaches that are usually explored separately: urban institutional, social, and political history; military history; arms and armour; urban martial competitions; knowledge production and dissemination; fighting expertise, and the transformation of the urban space itself. (Paper A : Martial Experts. Experts. Fencers, Gunners, and Arbalesters as Masters in Swiss Towns. Paper B : Aspects of Urban Military Organisation in the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Period. The Case of Freiburg i. Ue. (ca. 1440-1500). Paper C : The Spaces of Martial Culture in Late Medieval Towns).