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Nicolaüs

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Nicolaüs Augsburger
Died after 1489
Occupation Fencing master
Citizenship Augsburg, Germany
Movement Augsburg tradition
Influences Johannes Liechtenauer
Influenced Jörg Wilhalm Hutter
Genres Fencing manual
Language Early New High German
Archetype(s) Currently lost
Manuscript(s)
Concordance by Michael Chidester

Nicolaüs was a 15th century German fencing master, presumably from Augsburg.[1] Nothing is known about this master outside of his treatise, but he seems to have been an initiate of the tradition of Johannes Liechtenauer (his treatise always appears coupled with a repetition of the grand master's Record). On or around 2 July 1489,[2] he seems to have completed some version of a gloss on fencing with the long sword, apparently based on a the anonymous pseudo-Peter von Danzig gloss of Liechtenauer's Recital.

Stemma

Early on in its history, the Pseudo-Peter von Danzig gloss seems to have split into at least three branches, and no definite copies of the unaltered original are known to survive. The gloss of Sigmund ain Ringeck also seems to be related to this work, due to the considerable overlap in text and contents, but it is currently unclear if Ringeck's gloss is based on that of pseudo-Danzig or if they both derive from an even earlier original gloss (or even if Ringeck and pseudo-Danzig are the same author and the "Ringeck" gloss should be considered a fourth branch).

Branch A, first attested in the Augsburg version (1450s) and comprising the majority of extant copies, has more plays overall than Branch B but generally shorter descriptions in areas of overlap. It also glosses only Liechtenauer's Recital on long sword and mounted fencing; in lieu of a gloss of Liechtenauer's short sword, it is generally accompanied by the short sword teachings of Andre Liegniczer and Martin Huntfeltz (or, in the case of the 1512 Vienna II, Ringeck's short sword gloss). Branch A is sometimes called the Jud Lew gloss, based on a potential attribution at the end of the mounted gloss in a few copies. Apart from the Augsburg, the other principal text in Branch A is the Salzburg version (1491), which was copied independently[3] and also incorporates twelve paragraphs from Ringeck's gloss and nineteen paragraphs from an unidentified third source. Branch A was redacted by Paulus Hector Mair (three mss., 1540s), Lienhart Sollinger (1556), and Joachim Meyer (1570), which despite being the latest is the cleanest extant version and was likely either copied directly from the original or created by comparing multiple versions to correct their errors. It was also one of the bases for Johannes Lecküchner's gloss on the Messer in the late 1470s.

Branch B, attested first in the Rome version (1452), is found in only four manuscripts; it tends to feature slightly longer descriptions than Branch A, but includes fewer plays overall. Branch B glosses Liechtenauer's entire Recital, including the short sword section, and may therefore be considered more complete than Branch A; it also differs from Branch A in that three of the four known copies are illustrated to some extent, where none in the other branch are. The Krakow version (1535-40) seems to be an incomplete (though extensively illustrated) copy taken from the Rome,[4] while Augsburg II (1564) collects only the six illustrated wrestling plays from the Krakow. Even more anomalous is the Glasgow version (1508), consisting solely of a nearly complete redaction of the short sword gloss (assigning it to Branch B), which is appended to the opening paragraphs of Ringeck's gloss of the same section; since it accompanies Ringeck's long sword and mounted fencing glosses, a possible explanation is that the scribe lacked a complete copy of Ringeck and tried to fill in the deficit with another similar text.

Branch C is first attested in the Vienna version (1480s). It is unclear whether it was derived independently from the original, represents an intermediate evolutionary step between Branches A and B, or was created by simply merging copies of the other branches together. The structure and contents of this branch very closely align with Branch B, lacking most of the unique plays of Branch A and including the gloss of the short sword, but the actual text is more consistent with that of Branch A (though not identical). The other substantial copy of Branch C is the Augsburg version II (1553), which was created by Paulus Hector Mair based on the writings of Antonius Rast, and which segues into the text of Ringeck's gloss for the final eighteen paragraphs. A substantial fragment of Branch C is present in five additional 16th century manuscripts alongside the illustrated treatise of Jörg Wilhalm Hutter; one of these, Glasgow II (1533) assigns the text a much earlier origin, stating that it was devised by one Nicolaüs in 1489. This branch has received the least attention and is currently the least understood.

Treatise

While all branches were originally presented in a single concordance in the pseudo-Peter von Danzig article, the differences between them are extensive enough that they merit separate consideration. Thus, Branch A has been placed on the page of Jud Lew, Branch B has been retained on the main pseudo-Danzig page, and branch C is presented here.

To allow easier comparison between the two complete versions, Augsburg II is presented in the column next to Vienna, before the earlier fragmentary versions.

Additional Resources

References

  1. His work is only associated with treatises by Aurgsubrg residents.
  2. The date of the Visitation of Mary, the feast day mentioned in the Glasgow version of his treatise.
  3. Both Augsburg and Salzburg contain significant scribal errors of omission that allow us to identify manuscripts copied from them.
  4. Zabinski, pp 82-83
  5. 5.0 5.1 In Cgm 3712, there is no demarcation between the verse and the gloss, and these two paragraphs appear to belong to the verse.
  6. Lecküchner (M) 46r, 66v; Cgm 3711 45r; Gunterrodt E1r. Possibly the Verkehrer in the Zwerch plays as noted in Rome
  7. Possibly the Ochs-Pflug transition in the Zwerch plays
  8. This may be a garbled 'Durchwechselhau'. Namely, a Schielhau or possibly the Ochs/Pflüg Zwerch
  9. Seems garbled
  10. Here the Vienna version is similar to Pseudo-Peter von Danzig, whereas the Augsberg version doesn't resemble any other gloss.
  11. Könnte auch als »thun« gelesen werden.
  12. Here the Vienna version is similar to Pseudo-Peter von Danzig, whereas the Augsberg version resembles Jud Lew.
  13. leer, scowl, make a secret or subtle glance.
  14. Leer at
  15. Leer
  16. Obviously the writer left out a part here because it starts with the right Plfug and ends with the left.
  17. Versetzen. To parry, transpose.
  18. Ansetzen. to plant or position something in a specific place.
  19. Here the Vienna version is similar to Jud Lew, whereas the Augsberg version resembles Pseudo-Peter von Danzig.
  20. kainer
  21. Korrigiert aus »das«.
  22. closing-in
  23. shifting
  24. curved, hollow, empty, concave, bowed, arched