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The Martial Ethic in Early Modern Germany: Civic Duty and the Right of Arms (Early Modern History: Society and Culture) Hardcover – May 24, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0230576568 ISBN-10: 0230576567

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Product Details

  • Series: Early Modern History: Society and Culture
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (May 24, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230576567
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230576568
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,219,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A well-written treatment of an important topic, which offers an ambitious analysis of the relationship between the right of German townsmen to bear arms and early modern understandings of citizenship, honour and gender." --Christopher R. Friedrichs, University of British Columbia, Canada

About the Author

B ANN TLUSTY is Professor of History at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, USA. Her publications include Bacchus and Civic Order: The Culture of Drink in Early Modern Europe (2001) and the co-edited collection The World of the Tavern: Public Houses in Early Modern Europe (2002), as well as numerous articles on gendered behaviours including drinking, duelling, gambling, and fraud.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Ann Tlusty's book is a phenomenal resource for the researcher interested in the non-aristocratic, city-based culture of the German lands in the late middle ages and early renaissance. Her research is extensive, the literature comprehensive and a treasure trove.

Her book shines a light on the colourful world of how the cities’ burghers managed their own affairs, their overall success in maintaining their self-governing status and the justifiable pride they took in the fact. Older history tended to contrast the “patriotic” and “democratic” (or at least “republican”) martial Swiss cantons with a Germany where the burghers were eclipsed by the princes. Ann Tlusty’s well-documented narrative is a lively-argued contribution to the on-going, healthy correction of that image; all of Germany, including Switzerland, was one legal and cultural space, and regional diversity was matter of degree.

For me as a practitioner of historical European martial arts, it is also satisfying to see Ann Tlusty give the training and culture of combat with the various bladed weapons their proper due. It is furthermore a challenge to the numerous HEMA researchers and experts to bring their findings into the academic world.

Still, I have three comments, quibbles or observations:

- Ann Tlusty discounts the military merits of city militias, basing her judgement on the fact that cities abandoned training with the long pike in the late 16th C; the long pike was integral to the fearsome "tercio" formation, the key to Spanish-Habsburg battlefield dominance. But the abandonment of the pike probably has more to do with the changes in fortifications, which put a premium on musketry and gunnery from cover, and skill with blade weapons for hand-to-hand combat.
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