Tuesday, August 18, 2015

(not so much) 'Quenched in the living body...'

The background here is a commentary I posted back in May of 2009:

'Quenched in the body of a Slave...'

I had a couple of personal e-mails sent to me by Professor Helmut Föll,  a materials scientist from the University of Keil (Germany) :

You don't know how right you were in your analysis that quenching a sword in the body of a slave is pure BS!
I found the source of that nonsense, here it is:
Let me emphasize that there are no early Arabic texts. The whole thing was a kind of April 1st joke in that Berlin Newspaper in 1894. 

In his blog post, Prof. Föll discusses a number of historic receipts for quenching solutions. He provides the original texts, translations, plus interpretations of the (often hidden) meanings for the individual components.
Not too curiously, carefully manipulated urine figures prominently in many of the historic 'secrets'.

In my own return communication to him, I had mentioned my belief that the original source for the 'quenched in a living slave' concept was from an Early Medieval Arabic text. His research into historic sources has pointed to this idea itself being nothing more than another piece of the 'fake-lore'!

Fortunately, I see my original post on 'Quenched in the Living Body' does not give this specific (incorrect) source. I had just referred to the very real practical problems that makes the whole idea plain stupid.

Of course the  Secret Ritual (TM) in my workshop is :
Wait till a full moon night. The Master and his two apprentices go to the local pub and each drink nine Guinness (Nine being the sacred number of O∂in). We then make love to a virgin, red haired and green eyed, Irish, slave girl (in order of seniority)*. After this, we each pee (in turn) into the slack tub. This prepared liquid is used for quenching the perfect sword** the next morning.

* Sword makers of alternate polarity using this method are suggested to substitute their own preference here.

** Those who follow this method can expect exactly the degree of success they so richly deserve. Double so for those who pass on this Secret.

PS : If you have not checked the link to Prof. Föll's bog - I strongly suggest most readers here should do so.
There is an extensive section : 'Iron, Steel and Swords'
(I have only had time to skim the first part, bit it looks excellent!)

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February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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