Author Topic: Peace Knot  (Read 28160 times)

Simon Belmont

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Peace Knot
« on: January 02, 2005, 08:22:32 PM »
Greetings. I was searching the web for an explanation as to what exactly a peace knot is or looks like. All I have been able to find is celtic and chinese knots but this is not what I am looking for. I am looking for knots that were used to secure swords in there hilts so that people would'nt pull them out at brash decisions or while in cities. I would be most gratfull if you fine people could point me in the right direction.

Much thanks Simon

Lasse_C

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Re: Peace Knot
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2005, 01:47:11 PM »
Hi and welcome!
I have asked around among some other people I know who are very good at history (several of them re-enacting Medieval and Viking times).

The old Icelandic term for what you seek is "friðbønd", often translated "peace-bond" or "peace-band". I have been told you find references to it in "The Sword in Anglo-Saxon England" by H. E. Davidson, pg 184 and on. Also check up on the old Icelandic sagas: "Gisle Sursons saga" and "Sturlungasaga".

I have not found any hints about which knot was used, though. One historian told me that the leather in archeologically found sword sheaths is very mineralized and extremely brittle. Thin thongs and/or bands would hardly be preserved.

Lasse C
« Last Edit: January 04, 2005, 01:49:50 PM by Lasse_C »

Simon Belmont

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Re: Peace Knot
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2005, 08:12:35 AM »
Thank you for your help. I will check those references

Brian Grimley

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Re: Peace Knot
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2005, 05:49:35 PM »
Lasse -
What great history! Very interesting! Thanx.

Simon -
I have also been down this road and, like you; I could not find an actual knot for the term "peace knot".

I ended up thinking that the term, in modern times, refers to the actual lashing of a weapon to scabbard. These lashings would be different for different weapons and different tiers. In addition, another term used today is "peace tied". (See:  http://www.renaissancefestival.com/community/discussion/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=616 .)

Perhaps, the term "peace knot" also refers to whichever knot is chosen to finish the lashing.

I would be very happy to find out that I am wrong and that there is a unique knot called the "peace knot".

Brian.

Simon Belmont

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Re: Peace Knot
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2005, 07:52:01 PM »
Some of what I found sugested that it was a complex knot , so that it would be difficult to draw your weapon because it would take some serious time to undo the knot. Others things suggested that it was easy to untie if you needed your weapon. This kind of seemed silly, there would be little pint in the knot to keep your sword sheathed if it could be undone easily. One piece I found said that it would be wise to carry a dagger in case you did need your sword with haste, but then  guards could easily tell that you had broken your peace knot. Lots of words, but no hard evidence or how to's. The search continues.

Lasse_C

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Peace Knot
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2005, 12:50:57 PM »
I have done some more snooping around, and found out a little more about this peace-bond.

The peace knot was definitely NOT easy to untie & tie again. That is the whole point! As far as I have found out it was tied in leather thongs or string that was strong enough to hold the sword in its sheath, but weak enough to snap if the sword was pulled with force. (As done when really needed) In some cases there appears to have been used a wax seal on the bands. The whole point is, naturally, to reveal if the sword had been drawn, in which case the person had to explain the reasons for doing so to the local authorities.

My guess (personal guess, mind you!) is that it was not one single knot used universally. More likely each place/region had its own version, for identification purposes. It was also most likely rather complex, to prevent that others than the proper authority persons learned how to tie it or to see if it was correctly tied. I think it also very probable that thongs/strings with particular colours or other distinguishing features might have been used, etc.

I base my guess not on knotting knowledge, but on the purpose of the knot. I tried to think as a local 14:th century guard captain, or something - and this is what I would want to put on the swords carried in my town: Clearly identifiable and distinctive, difficult to manipulate or duplicate, and clearly revealing if the sword had been drawn.

Conclusion: Just about any knot arrangement that fills the requirements above is likely to be as correct as anything you will ever find!

If you are into re-enactment and use thin leather thongs or strings - in the colours of the local nobleman, if you like - tied around the hilt, stretched to the sheath and tied again in a suitably complex knot I dare to say you will be on fairly safe ground historically! (At least there appears to be little or no historical evidence to prove you wrong!  ;))


Lasse C
« Last Edit: January 10, 2005, 03:28:32 PM by Lasse_C »

Brian Grimley

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Re: Peace Knot
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2005, 07:03:59 PM »
The discussion of the peace bond, peace knot or peace-tie reminded me of the methods of securing a samurai sword to the scabbard. It is shown here:  http://homepage3.nifty.com/motokenn/Motkenn-koubo-sageo-kue-no-musubi.htm. Perhaps, these methods acted as peace bonds.

The cord (sageo?) is threaded through a ring on the scabbard and then the doubled cord is put around the sword's handle. Effectively, a Monkey Chain (ABOK #1144) is tied. Note that one tuck of the Monkey Chain is around the part of the doubled cord that is between the scabbard and the handle. The site shows two methods of binding the handle. The site also shows that the doubled cord can go over or through the guard.

If you are re-enacting a samurai, these methods may serve as a peace bond and may even be historical. They would certainly interfer with a "lightening draw" or a "sword snatcher" and with a decent cord would look very good!  :)

I think this is an interesting application of the Monkey Chain. I suspect the methods are applicable to most swords.

Brian.

Lasse_C

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Re: Peace Knot
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2005, 04:44:26 PM »
Quote
If you are re-enacting a samurai, these methods may serve as a peace bond and may even be historical. They would certainly interfer with a "lightening draw" or a "sword snatcher" and with a decent cord would look very good!  :)
Brian.


Undoubtedly a good and - very likely - also historical method. To act as a "peace knot", and reveal use of the sword, it has the shortcoming of being relatively easy (if not quick) to untie and retie. Tied in a good-looking cord and completed with a wax seal it would be quite good - and good looking! :)

Lasse C

drjbrennan

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Re: Peace Knot
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2005, 10:14:10 PM »
I think that there must be little knowledge of knots in the world of military historians. I saw a set of body armour in an exhibition in Powis Castle, and the segments were secured with slipped reef knots (bows) which I doubt would survive a horse ride never mind battle!
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Lasse_C

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Re: Peace Knot
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2005, 11:48:14 AM »
Quote
I think that there must be little knowledge of knots in the world of military historians.

Make that historians in general... *sigh*
As I am interested in history, and a little involved in Medieval Reenactment, I am very interested in knotting from that period. (From 15-1600:s and back) So far I have come up with very little. As an example I tried to find out more about construction of and knots used in tent guy ropes. These ropes are always depicted as branched. The knots are never depicted with enough detail to be identified, though. I also found a museum photo of a reconstructed tent with ropes, that I immediately felt had to be wrong! (Link dead, have not found it again) I disagree with the solution not only because it is clumsy, but because it is difficult to adjust. As we all know, hemp shrinks when it gets wet, and if the tent lines were not suitably slackened when evening (and dew) fell, the tent would risk to be pulled down or apart! The lines would, in other words, need to be adjusted quite often to maintain a properly stretched tent. Would the owner of the tent use a clumsier knot than absolutely necessary? I think not.  :-*

Lasse C



Brian_Grimley

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Re: Peace Knot
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2005, 08:39:15 PM »
Lasse_C,

Is this, http://www.greydragon.org/pavilions/basel.html , the reconstructed tent you mention above?

Brian.

Lasse_C

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Re: Peace Knot
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2005, 11:53:15 AM »
Quote
Is this, http://www.greydragon.org/pavilions/basel.html , the reconstructed tent you mention above?
Brian.

Yep, that is he one! Can you imagine adjusting those lines quickly & easily?  ;)

Lasse C

Brian_Grimley

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Re: Peace Knot
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2005, 03:30:20 PM »
Hi Lasse,

In response to a question on the rec.crafts.knots forum, I had a go at describing how I thought that that knot, the "Crow's Foot" knot, at http://www.greydragon.org/pavilions/basel.html was tied. Unfortunately, I didn't get a reply. :-[

The question and my response is here: http://groups-beta.google.com/group/rec.crafts.knots/browse_frm/thread/5be57b494f292472/5d6e5b66a5d10e9b?q=tent&rnum=2#5d6e5b66a5d10e9b . This link rivals the length of my response!  :)

Working from the "working end" of the "Crow's Foot" knot backwards, I think that the stopper knot, the weave through "toes" and last turn are simply to keep the rope's working end "out of the mud". (and to look good, at least to some of us!  ;D)

As a result, I think that the rigging knot is simply a weave through the "toes" and a half hitch. Which, if I am correct, is quite simple and easy to adjust.

I would be very interested in your thoughts!

Thanks - Brian.


Lasse_C

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Re: Peace Knot
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2005, 04:15:46 PM »
Quote
As a result, I think that the rigging knot is simply a weave through the "toes" and a half hitch. Which, if I am correct, is quite simple and easy to adjust.

I would be very interested in your thoughts!

Thanks - Brian.



Look at this close-up:  http://www.greydragon.org/images/tentpics/tent28.jpg
It looks to me as if the rope coming back up from the ground is taken around the part going down, so to speak, and trough the loop from side to side, after which it is tied in two half hitches around the two parts connecting to the ground. (Did that make any sense at all?) The surplus is simply wrapped up. Adjusting the tension means that A)the half hitches would have to be loosened, if not untied, B) the down-to-ground-and-back ropes stretched (or slackened), C) the half hitches would be tightened again. In my very personal opinion this is very clumsy compared to a Midshipmans Hitch, e g.  
Lasse C

By the way, maybe this should be moved to a topic of its own, called Medieval tent ropes or something?
« Last Edit: August 15, 2005, 12:42:03 PM by Lasse_C »

Fairlead

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Re: Peace Knot
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2005, 08:04:12 PM »
In his book "The Directory of Knots" John Shaw (Geoffrey Budworth) describes the "Peace Knot" thus....
This unusual fixed#-loop knot replaces the bowline and other such knots, if these are likely to jam and become hard to untie, with the useful property that it falls apart (no further untying required) when the drawloop is removed.
Of its Origin he says.....The Faroese knotting writer/reascearcher Pieter van de Griend thought up this knot while working on the waterfront at Terneuzen, and published it in 1986.  He and other seamen used it, tied in 20mm diameter nylon rope, to hoist mooring lines from ship to jetty.  Although not especially strong, the peace knot was secure enough to do the job without spilling, and was more easily untied than bowlines, which jammed when heavy loaded (or so the longshoremen forcibly complained).

    If you are luck enough to live in the UK this book has been remaindered and is on sale at £3.99 (ex £14.99) in shops like The Works, Cost cutters and even Garden centres.

Gordon