Iason-Eleftherios Tzouriadis is the assistant archivist and assistant curator for the Worshipful Company of Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers. He received his PhD on the typology and use of staff weapons in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries from the Institute for Medieval Studies of the University of Leeds, and an MA on Medieval Studies from the same institution. He holds a Degree of History and Archaeology from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. His recent publications include subjects such as sword typology, art and propaganda in sixteenth century Germany, post-Byzantine art and warfare. He is currently preparing a monograph on the typology and forms of staff weapons, and a collected volume on medieval culture and war. He also is a historical consultant for the Hellenic Federation of Historical European Martial Arts. When he is not researching staff weapons, he is drinking coffee and spending time with his cats.
“To crush your enemies. See them driven before you. And in the process present everything in a nice looking book”: A Comparison of Tournament Books and Fight Books as a Case for Exploring Problems of Historical European Martial Arts
The aim of this paper is to highlight issues linked to the original material scholars and practitioners potentially use while involved with different aspects of HEMA. Fight books are the most common matter of study, and this paper will challenge the boundaries of what can be perceived as part of that genre, particularly when compared with tournament books from the same period. An attempt will be made to explore questions such as if tournament books can be used in the study and practice of HEMA. Subsequently, additional issues such as the limitations of understanding of fight books and the interpretation of the genre will be raised while visiting the most recent relevant scholarly discussions on the subject. The effects of retrospective artistic analysis will also be addressed towards the study of the aforementioned literary genres. Hopefully, this interdisciplinary lecture will open up a fruitful discussion for the study of HEMA and how it is perceived by the modern scholar, and practitioner.