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Old 21st February 2015, 11:32 AM   #31
stekemest
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All photos in this thread are copyrighted by either the author of the thread, Cornelistromp, or the authors of the respective posts, except mentioned otherwise.

That's quite funny because some of the pictures themselves are copyrighted, for example those of my own Messer. But I have no problem having them shown here.
I sold my own piece one or two years ago, so unfortunately, I can't show any more pictures. Generally, the typical "Messer" seems to possess a riveted handle because - that's my guess - it evolved out of the "Bauernwehr" (peasant's knife). That's a dagger-length weapon with riveted handle and single edged blade that became popular in the 14th century (for such pieces and their similarities to the "Messer", see, for example, Hugo Schneider: Waffen im Schweizerischen Landesmuseum, p. 268 ff.). There is no strict definition of what a Messer actually is, but to me it makes sense to restrict this term to weapons with riveted handle and single edged blade with varying degrees of curvature.
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Old 11th January 2017, 09:01 PM   #32
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I am researching bearing of arms by Jews in German lands in the middle ages (of which, contrary to popular belief, there is a good amount of evidence). Curiously, there is a ruling by Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg, who was a leading rabbinical authority in the latter part of the 13th century. In this ruling, Meir of Rothenburg says that is if forbidden to enter a synagogue with an unsheathed Langes Messer. I always thought that the above-named weapon was in use from the end of 14th to the 16th Centuries. Meir of Rothenburg's ruling places it 100 years earlier. So, is there any historical evidence of Langes Messer being in use in the 13th Century?
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Old 12th January 2017, 08:46 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by batjka
I am researching bearing of arms by Jews in German lands in the middle ages (of which, contrary to popular belief, there is a good amount of evidence). Curiously, there is a ruling by Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg, who was a leading rabbinical authority in the latter part of the 13th century. In this ruling, Meir of Rothenburg says that is if forbidden to enter a synagogue with an unsheathed Langes Messer. I always thought that the above-named weapon was in use from the end of 14th to the 16th Centuries. Meir of Rothenburg's ruling places it 100 years earlier. So, is there any historical evidence of Langes Messer being in use in the 13th Century?


actually yes.
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Old 25th January 2017, 12:53 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by batjka
I am researching bearing of arms by Jews in German lands in the middle ages (of which, contrary to popular belief, there is a good amount of evidence). Curiously, there is a ruling by Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg, who was a leading rabbinical authority in the latter part of the 13th century. In this ruling, Meir of Rothenburg says that is if forbidden to enter a synagogue with an unsheathed Langes Messer. I always thought that the above-named weapon was in use from the end of 14th to the 16th Centuries. Meir of Rothenburg's ruling places it 100 years earlier. So, is there any historical evidence of Langes Messer being in use in the 13th Century?


That's an interesting find but I don't think that the Lange Messer of the 13th century were like the single edged swords with a cross bar and 'nagel' that one normally thinks of. The 13th century Lange Messer probably didn't even have 'nagel' let alone a cross bar. I'd hypothesise that the weapon that rabbi had in mind was a smaller version of the humongous knife being wielded by the knight in that illustration above in this thread. Lange Messer at this time probably looked more akin to oversized steak knives or machetes. It is surprising to find that despite all the other restrictions they had to live with, Jews were still allowed to carry side arms.

Concerning the origins of these weapons, I have my doubts about the fact that their origin lies in laws prohibiting commoners to carry swords since these laws were as far as I know not universal. I think the 15th century Langes Messer evolved from the classic knives of the common people because of guild rules/laws. Medieval society was highly stratified and craftsmen were rigidly divided into guilds that did not allow you to just set up shop in their town/region/city and start churning out swords, knives etc. Often the only way to become a master swordsmith, armourer, weaver etc. was to either marry the widow of a master or one of his daughters if he had no sons. So if you were a knife maker with an ambition to cater to the sword market and there was no master swordsmiths widow to marry you were up a creek without a paddle. So what they did was to make obscenely long knives that eventually grew cross guards. The Lange Messer, being a sword in all but name, are an effort by lowly knife makers to fill the demand for low cost swords without stepping on the toes of the swordmakers guilds. The sword smiths probably eventually tolerated this because there was still a difference in prestige between owning a sword (a $180.000 Ferrari) and a full blown 3 foot long classic Langes Messer with cross bar (a $25.000 Ford Mustang). Owning a Langes Messer type sword still screamed 'commoner' into the 16th century.

Last edited by Kristjanr : 25th January 2017 at 11:12 PM.
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Old 25th January 2017, 02:27 PM   #35
fernando
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Welcome to the forum, Kristjanr .
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Old 25th January 2017, 07:19 PM   #36
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Welcome to the forum, Kristjanr .


Thanks
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Old 26th January 2017, 01:12 PM   #37
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prive collection of a friend.
messer with an 8-shaped guard, river Lek find in the Netherlands.
grip and rivets are a new addition.
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