Bastons – The medieval wooden swords of the Byzantines and Francians.


Scholae Palatinae

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By George E. Georgas, fencing coach and instructor of Pammachon and Historical Swordsmanship

 The soldiers of the Eastern Roman Empire were trained in swordsmanship with wooden weapons. This piece of information comes from the Tactics of Leon the Wise. Three centuries after Leon, though, both the Greeks and the Francians that had conquered the Empire’s territories were also trained with wooden swords, called ‘bastons’ by the Greeks and by the Francians. This piece of information comes from a popular Greek saying that survives to this day. “I found them bastons.” said when someone wants to explain that they foudn something very difficult. This phrase is connected to a real incident that happened in medieval Corinthus during the Francocracy. It was 100 years after the razing of Corinthus by the Francs, who were celebrating the razing of the fortress of Acrocorinthus after the brave resistance of the Greek Leon Sgouros…

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