The following is a discussion, as indicated by the title, about treatises in the discussion of the use of the sword and shield. Before any further reading is done, it should be noted that the buckler has been excluded from this discussion, thus the discussion is about larger shields which were typically used and associated with war. While this is the case, the rotella and variants has been included due to its size, and thus use characteristics. What will be noted is a distinct gap in knowledge...
Vegetius: Roman Source Material
The Medieval Gap
“anyone who might believe that there are no actual Medieval fighting manuals or that there are no real historical sources for Medieval martial arts is entirely ignorant on the subject.” (Clements, 1998:11)
There is a large gap with regard to written sources between the Norse sagas and the Poem, mentioned previously. This leaves a gap in our written knowledge of how the sword and shield was used in the medieval period. Again, some information may be gained from eye-witness accounts and other chronicles of the period which, just like the Norse sagas, need to be critically examined before the information which they contain can be used with any authority.