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Old 4th July 2021, 11:23 PM   #8
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: California
Posts: 991

Originally Posted by fernando View Post
Do you know where you got that illustration, David ?
I went through authors like George Snook and John Waldman and the only style of polearms resembling yours is the RUNKA. However the differences in shape and construction look visibly different.


I believe that the illustration posted by David is from Stone's GLOSSARY... under the entry "military fork". page 450. The transition between socket and central spike on his example is marked by a bulbous swelling or knuckle which is similar to Stone's no. 4 and 7 which are identified as French, 16th cent.

Thanks for posting your chart, but I think that the series of weapons that is highlighted is a different breed of cat from what we're seeing from David. This, based on the classifications and register of terminology compiled by polearm expert Mario Troso, published in his book Le Armi in Asta delle Infanterie Europee (1000-1500) (Instituto Geografico de Agostini, 1988):

1. In his system, the true war fork (forca di guerra, fourche de guerre) has only two tines which are straight heading out to the tips. There is a subtype for hunting (forca di caccia) which are curved like a modern dinner fork although still with only two points.

2. David's weapon falls into the category of tridente / Dreizack. There are, as the name suggests, 3 points, the center one is usually much longer than the smaller two lateral ones. There are also no edges, this is a piercing weapon with the side tines serving as grapplers.

3. The shape shown in the evolutionary chart, though similar in profile, has a bladed format and is put by Troso in a separate class, called variously a spetum, ranseur, brandistocco, or runka in his and other references. The fifteenth-century Spanish writer on military affairs and combat techniques, Pietro Monte, discussed the technique of using this weapon, which he was apparently quite a fan of, in his Exercitiorum atque artis militaris collectanea and in Jeffrey L Forgeng's (ex-Higgins Armory, now curator of arms and armor at the Worcester Art Museum) translation of same, it is consistently referred to as a spetum.

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