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Case Study:Schaydelhaw

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Only two members of the Fellowship of Liechtenauer are known to have created glosses of Johannes Liechtenauer's Recital on the Long Sword. Here is a side-by-side comparison of the glosses on only section of the Recital that we have in its entirety from both, the Scheitelhaw. Also included are illustrations from three manuscripts related to the texts. This comparison is intended to explore how masters from the same lineage and even the same teacher might present different interpretations of their tradition.


from Glasgow and Goliath

Sigmund ain Ringeck
by Christian Trosclair

from Cluny

Hans Seydenfaden von Erfurt
by Christian Trosclair

MS E.1939.65.341 007v-detail.png

[54] This is the text and the gloss about the parter, and about the plays thereof

63 The Parter
 Is a danger to the face.
64 With its turn[1]
 The chest is quickly[2] threatened.

Gloss. Here note the parter is really dangerous to the face and to the chest; deploy it thusly: When he stands against you in the guard [of] the fool, hew above with the long edge, down from your[3] part to his head, and with the hew remain high with the arms and if he displaces, so hang-in[4] to him with the point, with the long edge above his hilt, and thrust him to the face (as stands pictured hereafter next to this).

MS CL23842 027r-detail.png

The squinter with scalper with it's plays

63 The scalper
 is a threat to the face.
64 With it's turn,
 the chest is quickly[5] threatened.

Gloss: Initiate a hew straight above from the top of the head with the long edge, and swiftly upon that, an under-hew to the right side of his head. Thereafter according to the two plays in his school rules with other strikes, treads and deception.

MS Germ.Quart.2020 038v-detail.png

If he then shoves the point firmly upward with his hilt in the displacement of the parter, invert your sword with the hilt high[6] in front of your head (such that the thumb comes below), and set the point under his hands upon his chest (as stands pictured here).

[56] How the crown breaks the parter

65 Whatever comes from him,
 The crown takes it away.

Gloss. Note, when you cleave-in above with the parter: if he displaces with the hilt high over his head, this displacement is called the crown, and with it [he] runs-in to you.

MS CL23842 027v-detail.png

Another play. How the crown breaks the scalper.

65 What comes from him,
 the crown takes away.

Gloss: When you hew-in above with the scalper, if he then displaces high with the sword athwart over the head or gripped with an armored hand, that is called the crown against Seydenfaden's scalper, and with that run-in with shoving, etc. It also takes-off the scalper. This also breaks someone like this again as above with the hilt thrown over that and cast down.

MS E.1939.65.341 009r-detail.png

[57] This is the text and the gloss: how the cut breaks the crown

66 Cut through the crown,
 So you break the hard beautifully;[7]
67 Press the strike,[8]
 Withdraw it with cutting.

Gloss. Note, when he displaces the parter (or otherwise another hew) with the crown and with that runs in: so take the under-cut below his hands into his arm and press firmly upwards (as stands pictured next to this); so the crown is well broken...

MS CL23842 028r-detail.png

Another play. How the cut breaks the crown.

66 Cut through the crown,
 so you break the hard beautifully.
67 Press the strike.
 It backs-off with cutting.

Gloss: When he displaces the scalper (or otherwise a hew) with the armed crown and with that runs-in, then take the cut under his hands, into his arms and press firmly upward...

...and wind your sword from the under-cut into the over-cut, and with that withdraw yourself.

MS CL23842 028v-detail.png

...and with the stroke back yourself off with it.


  1. Kehr has two etymologies: one is "to turn", the other is "to sweep away" or to "carry off"; the gloss supports the first derivation.
  2. Alternately: strongly, firmly, steadfastly.
  3. D. der lange: "long, high, tall, or lofty".
  4. einhangen: to adhere, stick to, cleave to, hold on to, engage deeply.
  5. Alternately: strongly, firmly, steadfastly.
  6. S. fast vber sich: "firmly upward".
  7. D., G. Schon, lit. "already", "yet".
  8. D. stuch, R. stich: "press the thrust".