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Wassmannsdorff's Fechtbuch

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Wassmannsdorff's Fechtbuch
Location unknown
(No scans available)
Type Fencing manual
Date 16th century
Language(s) Early New High German
Author(s) Unknown
Size at least 102 folia

Wassmannsdorff's Fechtbuch is a German fencing manual written in the 16th century. Its location is currently unknown.

All available information comes from Wassmannsdorff's own description of it; he provides a transcription of the wrestling portion in his 1870 book Die Ringkunst des deutschen Mittelalters ("The Art of Wrestling of the Middle Ages") in a chapter titled "Wrestling From a Sixteenth-Century Manuscript in My Possession". This wrestling portion is indicated to comprise ff 93a-101a of the larger work, with a footnote indicating that a treatise on dagger fencing follows. Unfortunately, the other contents of the manuscript cannot be determined at this time.



1a - 92b
93a - 101a
102a - Anonymous(?) dagger treatise


As the manuscript is lost, no scans are available.

Additional Resources


  1. ‘ohne’
  2. ‘Stangenwerfen (==schieben) und Steinstoβen.
  3. Talhoffer mentions “stainwerffen vnd stainschüben “in his list of exercises within his own vorrede.
  4. Could this be a reference to the oldest printed Fightbook, Paurnfeindt’s ‘Ergrundung Ritterlicher kunst der Fechterey’ (Vienna 1516), whose author concludes with ‘auszug dizer Ritterlichen kunst’?
  5. ‘beiwohnt’.
  6. Paurenfeindt offers his students his Fechtbuch in the same hope, that “von tag czu tag czu merren vnd bessern” (from day to day, to increase and improve).
  7. Auerswald, Berlin Ringbuch & Munich Ringbuch all begin with this affirmation: “In Sant Jorgen namen heb an. Und schaw zum ersten ob der man hoch oder nider gange das ist des ringens anefang.”
  8. His right side (against your left), which follows the preceding rhyme.
  9. Wassmannsdorff states it is missing “umb”, as in “Dich umfangen ist – dich umfängt.”
  10. The manuscript only says “vnd”.
  11. Text states “Oder”.
  12. The above word “reiben” (rub, as in “drehen”, ‘turn’, ‘twist’) is clarified by the word “prechen”.
  13. The original text reads: “gane”.
  14. Append: “linken Bein”.
  15. “deine”.
  16. Wassmannsdorff states, “That is: ‘durch die seitten’”.
  17. “Beiten”, is the dialect of the text for “warten”. In Rückert’s Makamen, the Schoolmaster from Hims (Schulmeister von Hims) states “beaten ist ein Wort für weilen, alt und gut; wähle nach Gefallen zwischen beiden”.
  18. “können”.
  19. “klein (groβ).”
  20. Missing word, error: “Seite”.
  21. “kannst du”.
  22. Wassmannsdorff suggests “und erfahe”, or simply “und fahe”, but he is uncertain.
  23. Wassmannsdorff comments that the words "seitten oder" are probably because of carelessness of the scribe.
  24. Interpret as “ihn”.
  25. Interpret as “Linken”.
  26. Read: “oberhalb des”.
  27. “Eile ihm”.
  28. “Wie wohl” according to Wassmannsdorff.
  29. Wassmannsdorff says that „zwir“ means „Zweimal”.
  30. Wassmannsdorff (1870, 191, footnote 1) tells us that “es ist ein Fehler, durch größere Anstrengung (hier: Wortreichthum) etwas zu Stande zu bringen, wofür eine geringere genügt.”
  31. “setz”?
  32. “bei”.
  33. “berührt das Einlaufen”.
  34. Wassmannsdorff says this should be “denn”.
  35. Wassmannsdorff says this should be “euch”.
  36. “Wollen”.
  37. Page 101b is empty, then Page 102 follows with Degenfechten (‘dolchfechten’).

Copyright and License Summary

For further information, including transcription and translation notes, see the discussion page.

Work Author(s) Source License
Transcription Karl Wassmannsdorff, Jay Acutt Index:Wassmannsdorff's Fechtbuch