Title

The Humanistic Underpinnings of Early Modern Iberian Martial Arts

Subject Area

Spanish Peninsular Studies

Abstract

Scholars have closely studied the link between “Arms” and “Letters” in early modern Peninsular literature. Famed authors such as Lopez de Mendoza and men from the Manrique family praise the knight who is also adept at poetry. While many have studied the Italian influence on these writers, almost none have explored the other humanistic connection between Italy and Spain: the transmission of knowledge related to the martial arts. By “martial arts,“ I mean the skills a nobleman needed for hand-to-hand combat, particularly wrestling, weapon wielding, and equestrian exercises. This presentation explores two key authors who present their expertise in the martial arts through prose: Alonso de Martinez and Pietro Monte. In their unique ways, both men leave important clues about how noblemen began to master and teach techniques related to fighting.

Brief Bio Note

Grant Gearhart is Assistant Professor of Spanish at Georgia Southern University’s Armstrong Campus in Savannah, where he teaches a variety of courses related to Peninsular life and culture. His research focuses on how warfare changes the perception and characterization of knights from the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries.

Keywords

chivalry, knights, humanism, arms and letters, renaissance martial arts

Location

Afternoon Session 1 (PARB 227)

Presentation Year

April 2019

Start Date

4-12-2019 2:45 PM

Embargo

12-19-2018

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Apr 12th, 2:45 PM

The Humanistic Underpinnings of Early Modern Iberian Martial Arts

Afternoon Session 1 (PARB 227)

Scholars have closely studied the link between “Arms” and “Letters” in early modern Peninsular literature. Famed authors such as Lopez de Mendoza and men from the Manrique family praise the knight who is also adept at poetry. While many have studied the Italian influence on these writers, almost none have explored the other humanistic connection between Italy and Spain: the transmission of knowledge related to the martial arts. By “martial arts,“ I mean the skills a nobleman needed for hand-to-hand combat, particularly wrestling, weapon wielding, and equestrian exercises. This presentation explores two key authors who present their expertise in the martial arts through prose: Alonso de Martinez and Pietro Monte. In their unique ways, both men leave important clues about how noblemen began to master and teach techniques related to fighting.