Top Recommendations

Our Top Recommended Medieval Titles

  • “The Martial Arts of Renaissance Europe” Sydney Anglo. Yale University Press, New Haven and London, August 2000. ISBN 0 300 083352. The most important work on historical fencing and European martial arts in more than 100 years. Surely the major reference work on the history of Medieval & Renaissance fencing for our generation.
  • Medieval Swordsmanship: Illustrated Methods and Techniques” John Clements, Paladin Press, ISBN # 1-58160-004-6, Nov ’98. This work by the ARMA Director, offers a comprehensive look at medieval blades as fighting weapons and distills the essential fighting elements from such Medieval. Over 300 pages of information on the tools and martial skills of medieval warriors this work approaches medieval swordsmanship as a legitimate martial art form.
  • Arms and Armor of the Medieval Knight” David Edge and John Miles. Crescent Books, 1988. If you have but one book on the subject this is the one. An unequaled compilation of superb photos and detailed text on the whole range of weapons and armor of the Middle Ages.
  • “Secrets of German Medieval Swordsmanship – Sigmund Ringeck’s Commentaries on Liechtenauer’s Verse.” Translated and Interpreted by Christian Henry Tobler. 416pp, hardcover + dustjacket, includes more than 800 illustrative photographs. Chivalry Bookshelf. February, 2002. A must have reference and interpretation on one of the most important masters. An excellent and beautifully rendered reference compilation.
  • “Codex Wallerstein – A Medieval Fighting Book from the Fifteenth Century on the Longsword, Falchion, Dagger, and Wrestling.” By Grzegorz Zabinski and Bartlomiej Walczak. Paladin Press. July 2002. A must have modern edition reference that offers the complete Codex and English translation in hardback.
  • “Medieval Combat: A 15th Century Manual of Swordfighting and Close-Quarter Combat” Hans Talhoffer. Translated by Mark Rector. Greenhill Books/Lionel Leventhal; (September 2000) ISBN: 1853674184. This long-awaited modern English edition of Talhoffer’s 15th century Fechtbuch is finally available! Excellent resource! Includes more than 260 of Talhoffer’s famous plates from his edition of 1467.
  • Swords & Hilt Weapons” Michael D Cole, et. al.. Multimedia Books, 1989. This is by far the best ever general reference work on world swords, with many excellent photos and an informative text.
  • Medieval Warfare Source Book, Vol. 1 Warfare in Western Christendom” David Nicolle, London: Arms and Armour Press, 1995. Very useful and readable; includes rare material on Eastern European medieval warfare and on influences from the Middle East (perhaps with too much emphasis). Also contains some material considered debatable.
  • European Armour circa 1066 to circa 1700” Claude Blair. B.T. Bonanza, 1957 (Batsford, Ltd. London. 1979). A detailed basic guide to armor, technical, and among the best introductory references by the foremost 20th century authority.
  • European and American Arms c. 1100-1850” Claude Blair. New York. Crown, 1962. Another guide to armor by the foremost 20th century authority.
  • The Archaeology of Weapons” Ewart Oakeshott. Boydell Press, 1960 (reprint 1994). This work follows up on the previous and offers greater insights and information, particularly on fighting and combat.
  • The Sword in the Age of Chivalry” Ewart Oakeshott. Boydell Press, 1964 (reprint 1994), this work is a must read for the subject, another great work by the leading scholar of the subject, and though a little too stiff, it contains great detail.
  • European Weapons and Armour” R. E. Oakeshott, Lutterworth Press, 1980. Boydell reprint 2001. Another of Oakeshott’s, this is likely the best book available on arms and armor after the Middle Ages and contain a wealth of information on renaissance armors and sword forms.
  • Fighting Men” Oakeshott and Henry Treece. New York: G. Putnam’s Sons, 1963. Another youth book, this one deals specifically with methods of combat and reveals a number of interesting points.
  • Dark Age Warrior” Ewart Oakeshott. Was originally a children’s book but you would not know it from the interesting details provided on this often neglected area. Another very good book.
  • A Knight in Battle” 1971. 2nd Edition, 1998. Dufour Editions, Chester Springs, PA 19425. ISBN 0802313221. A very well written and entertaining description of four major but lesser known medieval battles from 1100 – 1500.
  • A Knight and His Weapons” Ewart Oakeshott. A very good work which focuses closely on the details and facts of the equipment. Includes some very well written and valuable material. Has a few strange comments which the author later amended in other works (but oddly, not in the recently republished edition of this 1966 work). The same can be said for both the very useful “A Knight and His Armor” 1961, and “A Knight and in Battle” – 1964.
  • Records of the Medieval Sword” Ewart Oakeshott. Boydell & Brewer. 1981. The hardcover is rather pricey, but this is the best book on medieval swords ever and contains the best photos available. Represents the culminations of Oakeshott’s thoughts on medieval swords, including his notes on dozens of pieces and an appendix on making replica swords. Reprinted in paperback, April 1998.
  • The Martial Arts of Renaissance Europe” Sydney Anglo. Yale University Press, May 2000. 416 pages, ISBN: 0300083521. From the leading scholar of historical fencing manuals. Surely to be the most significant book on the subject produced this century. A major work presenting new material previously unknown as well as precise translations of rare material.
  • European Weapons and Armour” R. Ewart Oakeshott, Lutterworth Press, 1980. Another of Oakeshott’s, this is likely the best book available on arms and armor after the Middle Ages and contains a wealth of information on Renaissance armors and sword forms.
  • Renaissance Swordsmanship: The Illustrated Use of Rapiers and Cut and Thrust Swords” John Clements. Paladin Press 1997. This book by the ARMA director is in all honesty the most comprehensive and detailed work on a Western martial art ever attempted. Includes over 100 pages of illustrations to accompany a text which present extensive detail on the handling and use of renaissance swords. It is sure to become a classic.
  • The English Master at Arms from the Twelfth to the Twentieth Century” J. D. Aylward. Routledge and K. Paul, 1956. One of the few books which covers the Elizabethan Masters of Defence. An excellent must read full of rare and valuable information.
  • Schools and Masters of Fence: From the Middle Ages to the Eighteenth Century” Egerton Castle. London: 1885. A classic, this book (despite being written in the late 1800’s and suffering from the prejudices of a sport fencer) presents a tremendous sampling of material from the manuals of the historical renaissance Masters of Defence.
  • Methods and Practice of Elizabethan Swordplay” Craig Turner and Tony Soper, Southern Illinois University Press, 1990. This superb, scholarly work is a modern classic. Although ignoring the cut & thrust method and focusing on theatrical uses, it presents a valuable analysis of three renaissance manuals (Saviolo, Silver, and Di Grassi). This is a must read for historical swordsmen and living history reenactors.