Thèse pour obtenir le grade de docteur de l'université. Discipline : archéologie. — Sorbonne, Universite Paris 1 Pantheon, 2013. — 712 p.Mediaeval arms and armour have long been a subject of interest ; the early authors were followed by enthusiastic scholars and finally scientists who set the base and offered the keys, methods and dynamics of the field. But the weapon, the physical object, is in itself a source of study : its shapes and its very matter link to its making and its use, to the technical skills implied. In this thesis we study mediaeval arms on a restrained area and kept in specific institutions, within the scope of setting the researcher as an active tool for the understanding the object: experimental approach has proved its worth, but can be even furthered if the observer becomes holder of the skills related to matter ; moreover, a rich documentation exists that allows to physically acquire the skills related to combat, provided by the writings left by the masters at arms of the late Middle Ages. Three categories of objects are considered : swords, spears/lances and axes. After an historical outline, or if needed a deeper exploration, the material is then studied : observations open to an understanding of the steps and modes involved in the making, which is then schematically proposed. The association of informations given by secondary sources, by the objects themselves, and chiefly by the corporeal approach of the researcher allow to understand the weapon in its functionnal, live, applied aspects. And also to perceive in the very matter things reaching beyond the two sole aspects of making and use.
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