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Peter Falkner

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Peter Falkner
Born ca. 1460s
Died after 1506
Occupation Fencing master
Citizenship Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Movement Marxbrüder
Genres Fencing manual
Language Early New High German
Notable work(s) Kunste Zu Ritterlicher Were
Manuscript(s) MS KK5012 (1495)
First printed
english edition
Tobler, 2011
Translations Deutsch-Übersetzung

Peter Falkner (Peter Faulkner, Petter Falckner) was a 15th century German Master of the Longsword. He seems to have been a resident of Frankfurt am Main, and he was certified as a master by the Marxbrüder some time before 1491.[1] Falkner was a witness of record to the guild's biannual treasury accounting in 1496, a task he performed again in 1506.[1] In 1502, he was elected as Captain (Hauptman) of the guild, and he seems to have served an unusual three consecutive terms.[1][2]

In ca. 1495,[3] he produced a manuscript fencing manual, Kunste Zu Ritterlicher Were (MS KK5012), the earliest such text produced by a member of the brotherhood (with the potential exception of Hans Talhoffer, whose membership is uncertain). Falkner's artwork resembles to some extent the earlier treatises of Paulus Kal, which may have been his inspiration, and his writings may in turn have influenced Jörg Wilhalm Hutter and the anonymous author of the MS Cl. 23842.[4] The text of the sword section is based on Liechtenauer's Recital, and the text of the messer on that of Johannes Lecküchner, but in both cases with considerable alteration and elaboration by Falkner. (The other sections seem to be entirely original.)


Additional Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Anonymous. "Ordnung und Chronik der Fechtbruderschaft Unserer Lieben Frau und Sankt Markus zu Frankfurt 1491 - 1566" (in Early New High German). Untitled [manuscript]. Comp. Paulus Hector Mair. Codex I.6.2º.5. Augsburg, Germany: Universitätsbibliothek Augsburg, 1566.
  2. The Chronik der Fechtbruderschaft lists him as Captain in 1502 and 1504, and does not mention a new Captain until 1508. There is no indication of who held the office during the 1506-1507 term, so Falkner may possibly have continued during that time.
  3. Tobler, Christian Henry. In Saint George's Name: An Anthology of Medieval Fighting Arts. Wheaton, IL: Freelance Academy Press, 2010. p 11
  4. Based on the caption "Here begin Peter's devices: the sword-taking with counters and grappling. This is painted according to the Record, or according to the Running Through [rather than] the Record." (Hie hebendt peters stuck an: die swert nemen mit pruchen und ringen. Lasz ab malen nach deme zetel oder nach dem durchlauffen…[illegible] zettel) on f 47r. Compare with the device on f 15r of Falkner's work.
  5. alt: side
  6. alt: weapons
  7. Or Curved
  8. Or Cross, Barrier
  9. Or Canted, Slanted, Difficult to See
  10. Or Vertex, Scalper
  11. Ambiguous “from the right”, “properly” or “directly”
  12. Indes - Both within and during
  13. I changed this from the passive voice to the active, because it sounds weird. literally: "The war is not prone to you."
  14. Ambiguous “to the right”, “properly” or “directly”
  15. Leger - guards
  16. Versetzen - parrying
  17. Überlaufen has the connotations: to overwhelm, overflow, bypass, stride across.
  18. Überlaufen has the connotations: to overwhelm, overflow, bypass, stride across. It is used as a noun here.
  19. Das »g« könnte auch ein »h« sein.