Humanities and Arts

Contact Information

Salisbury Laboratories, 08
Phone: +1-508-831-5442

Jeffrey Forgeng

My position was created as a cross-appointed post: teaching at WPI while serving as curator at the Higgins Armory Museum, the only museum of armor in the western hemisphere. The synergies between the two sides are amazing! Most of my teaching is in IQP projects, bringing student teams to the museum to research some aspect of the museum's collection, and then devising some innovative way to share it with the public. The results speak for themselves: The Virtual Armory site showcases more than a decade of student work. There are many much larger museums that don't have this level of online content! I am hugely proud of the work my students have done over the years; WPI is an excellent place to learn and teach (I do a lot of both).

My main area of research is combat treatises of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Twenty years ago, people didn't really know much about how people actually fought with swords and armor, but that is changing very quickly, and I have had the privilege of playing a major part in translating the early texts that have helped us understand the martial arts of this period. My students have also played a big part in bringing these martial arts to life, as you'll discover if you check out the Virtual Armory.


  • BA, Brown University, 1983
  • MA, University of Toronto, 1985
  • PhD, University of Toronto, 1991

Featured Publications

  • Daily Life in Elizabethan England, 2nd ed. Westport, CT, and London: Greenwood Press, 2009.
  • Joachim Meyer’s Art of Combat: A German Martial Arts Treatise of 1570, London: Greenhill Books; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.
  • Francis Willughby’s Book of Games: A Seventeenth-Century Treatise on Sports, Games, and Pastimes, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003.
  • The Medieval Art of Swordsmanship: A Facsimile and Translation of Europe’s Oldest Personal Combat Treatise, Royal Armouries MS I.33. Leeds: Royal Armouries Museum; Union City, CA: Chivalry Bookshelf, 2003.
  • Daily Life in Chaucer's England, 2nd ed. Westport, CT, and London: Greenwood Press, 2009.

View a Complete List (pdf, 272 KB

  • Email a Friend
  • Bookmark this Page
  • Share this Page