The Purposes of the Rotella

This looks like it can be used as a historic basis for recreating sword and shield combat as envisioned by movies about knights.

The small buckler (brocchiero piccolo) was the sidearm issued to play with blunt swords (spade da giochi) by both Marozzo and Manciolino, perhaps because it’s small size emphasized skill in using it and for encounters with live blades (spade da fili) it would have offered too little protection. For these situations, a larger brocchiero grande or a targa, a square-shaped shield with channels to catch the opponent’s blade, were favored.

Unlike these shields gripped by a centrical handle, the larger rotella was attached to the forearm with leather straps, the first attached near the elbow and the other gripped with the fist. Some suggest the fist-strap could also have the wrist pulled through it to leave the hand able to operate a weapon, but I personally don’t find it comfortable.

The rotella is covered by Marozzo, Manciolino and the Anonimo Bolognese, and while it certainly is not of primary focus, there is enough material to re-create the basic principles of its use. Steven Reich has extracted all of these actions and compiled them to a handy PDF for convenient learning.

The Purposes of the Rotella |

This entry was posted in Bolognese-Dardi Tradition, Sword and Shield. Bookmark the permalink.

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