‘The sword at Prokopon guard’: The name of a Byzantine Fencing Guard uncovered.


Scholae Palatinae

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By George E. Georgas, fencing coach, HEMA and Pammachon instructor

It is known that no Byzantine swordsmanship manual has been found yet. Despite that, using the method of experimental archaeology we have made huge progress on the way the warriors of the Byzantine Empire fought. This accomplishment is very hard compared to the study of the Italian and German manuals. Among our sources are medical Byzantine books that inform us about the Byzantine martial arts, books written by Byzantine and other historians and writers, and Acritic Epics. Our major sources are the Byzantine manuals of high strategy and tactics.

Until now we had found guard terminology in only a few, although we proved that the terminology of the German school of fencing and its method was known to the Byzantines of the 15th century according to the book of the German fencing instructor Martin Syber. Despite that, our research continued…

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