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Hans Medel

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Hans Medel von Salzburg

A play from Medel's fencing manual
Born 15th century
Died 16th century
Occupation Fencing master
Citizenship Salzburg, Germany
Movement Liechtenauer tradition
Genres Fencing manual
Language Early New High German
Manuscript(s) Codex I.6.2º.5 (1539)
Concordance by Michael Chidester
Translations Magyar fordítás

Hans Medel von Salzburg (Hans Niedel, Hans Mendel) was an early 16th century German fencing master. Salzburg is a city in northern Austria, and he seems to have operated as a burgher and Schirmmeister there from at least 1503.[1] Little else is known about this master, but he seems to have been associated with the tradition of Johannes Liechtenauer. He may have traced his lineage through Hans Seydenfaden von Erfurt, a member of the Fellowship of Liechtenauer,[2] as Medel's text is the only known source that mentions the earlier master's teachings.

Medel's name is attached to a manuscript treatise on swordsmanship from 1539, including an incomplete gloss of Liechtenauer's Recital and an addendum on fencing based on "the Seven Stances". This gloss is unique in the Liechtenauer tradition in that it not only offers direct commentary on the Recital, but also demonstrates an awareness of the earlier glosses of Sigmund ain Ringeck (from which a great deal of text is lifted) and Pseudo-Peter von Danzig, and even includes occasional criticisms of and corrections to their teachings. In a few places the gloss specifically describes a teaching of Hans Seydenfaden or Hans Medel, but in several more it merely attributes the teaching to "Master Hans" without indicating which one. This manuscript eventually passed into the library of Paulus Hector Mair, who bound it into the current Codex I.6.2º.5 some time after 1566; unfortunately, the extant fragment of the gloss terminates abruptly at the beginning of the section on Zucken, and the remainder of Medel's gloss is currently lost.


Additional Resources


  1. Mitteilungen der Gesellschaft für Salzburger Landeskunde, vol. 40. Salzburg, 1900. p 177.
  2. The Fellowship of Liechtenauer is recorded in three versions of Paulus Kal's treatise: MS 1825 (1460s), Cgm 1570 (ca. 1470), and MS KK5126 (1480s).
  3. alt: right
  4. alt: side
  5. alt: defense
  6. the artist/professional doing their work
  7. alt: gladly valuing in the arts
  8. alt: gladly valuing with kindness
  9. alt: right
  10. alt: weapon
  11. eindrohen: to imminently threaten
  12. Zeck: a biting insect, ie: a tick.
  13. alt: closer, sooner
  14. this is usually the term for the severing of limbs/extremities, though can mean hewing while exiting
  15. widerschlagen: to strike against, in a reverberating sense
  16. rechnen: compute, take into account, align
  17. towards
  18. In the standard verse it is 'ab', not 'fast'
  19. severely, precisely, ruthlessly, violently
  20. videlicet: namely; to wit
  21. abhauen: to sever or to hew in exit
  22. alt: high
  23. ausheben: lift out
  24. conjecture, possibly: 'neben'
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 25.4 25.5 25.6 25.7 25.8 25.9 The text here is hidden by a crease in the page.
  26. alt: breaks-apart, shatters, asunders; burgles; interrupts
  27. ansiegen: to return with victory
  28. glance, discern, glean
  29. Ochs
  30. Ochs
  31. Ochs
  32. could also mean 'carelessly'
  33. Alternately: strongly, firmly, steadfastly.
  34. across
  35. across
  36. your leger
  37. the leger or hut
  38. rappen: to gather, to snatch, to seize
  39. no apparent verb here. A similar construction appears below with the added phrase: "set-upon upon the four endings to both sides"
  40. alt: flying
  41. alt: exit
  42. mitmachen: join, unite, combine, participate
  43. alternately: old
  44. marginalia: 'malz' => bad, weak
  45. Or possibly "maler"
  46. Here some pages apparently have been lost, unfortunately.
  47. alt: across
  48. alt: it
  49. alt: inside
  50. alt: misleading
  51. alt: across
  52. alt: open