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Royal Armouries Museum

The heart of the art of combat

Exploring medieval manuscript I.33
10th May - 9:30 am - 5:00 pm

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This conference will focus on one of the most famous treasures in our collection and the world’s oldest known surviving fight book – Royal Armouries manuscript I.33.

This beautifully illustrated manual of swordsmanship is dated to about 1310 and is a stunning work of late medieval art.

Our conference aims to provide a multi-disciplinary understanding of I.33 and may consider such subjects as the codicology, language, art history, arms and armour and the fighting techniques illustrated in the manuscript.

We will also attempt to put I.33 in context with other sword and buckler traditions, art in medieval fight books and the participation of women and clerics in fencing.

Our keynote speaker is Dr Jeffrey Forgeng, the foremost authority on the manuscript, and editor of the recently published Royal Armouries facsimile, The medieval art of swordsmanship.

Call for papers

If you would be interested in submitting a paper please see the conference flier.

Download the conference flier (pdf, 1.44 MB)

Conference tickets


Sword and buckler training seminar

The conference will be followed by a practical training seminar on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 May, hosted by Kunst des Fechtens (KDF) and the Society of Combat Archaeology. Tickets cost £60 and can be booked through KDF.

Limited edition I.33 sword

A Royal Armouries curator-approved replica sword is being manufactured in partnership with Albion Swords. A limited number of presentation sets will be available. To register your interest and to receive pre-release information please join our mailing list.