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  | [http://www.thearma.org/Manuals/Mertin_Siber/MS-Web.htm#.VGJ_mDRu6Ag English translation]
  | [http://www.thearma.org/Manuals/Mertin_Siber/MS-Web.htm#.VGJ_mDRu6Ag English translation]
  | {{German translation|http://talhoffer.wordpress.com/2011/07/09/martin-syber-in-the-mi-29-transcribed-and-translated/|1}}
  | {{German translation|http://talhoffer.wordpress.com/2011/07/09/martin-syber-in-the-mi-29-transcribed-and-translated/|1}}
| {{Greek translation|https://byzantineoplomachia.wordpress.com/2021/02/28/οι-διδασκαλίες-του-martin-syber-από-το-codex-speyer-ms-m-i-29-1491/|1}}
  | {{Hungarian translation|http://kardrendje.hu/downloads/books/Mertin_Siber.pdf|1}}
  | {{Hungarian translation|http://kardrendje.hu/downloads/books/Mertin_Siber.pdf|1}}
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== Treatise ==
== Treatise ==
{{master begin
{{Special:RunQuery/Martin Syber}}
| title = Long Sword
| width = 123em
<div id="longsword" style="background:transparent; clear:both; font-weight:normal; padding:3px; text-align:left; width:0em; min-width:0em;">
{| class="master"
<section begin="credits"/>
{| class="floated master"
! style="width:33em;" | <p>{{translation rating|B}}<br/>by [[Christian Trosclair]]</p>
! id="Trosclair0" | <p>{{translation rating|B}}<br/>by [[Christian Trosclair]]</p>
! <p>[[Codex Speyer (MS M.I.29)|Salzburg Version]] (1491){{edit index|Codex Speyer (MS M.I.29)}}<br/>by [[Dierk Hagedorn]]</p>
! id="Hull0" | <p>{{translation rating|B|Complete Translation (Salzburg only)}}<br/>by [[Jeffrey Hull]]</p>
! <p>[[Glasgow Fechtbuch (MS E.1939.65.341)|Glasgow Version]] (1508){{edit index|Glasgow Fechtbuch (MS E.1939.65.341)}}<br/>by [[Dierk Hagedorn]]</p>
! id="Kleinau0" | <p>{{translation rating|B|Complete Translation (Salzburg only)}}<br/>by [[Jens P. Kleinau]]</p>
! <p>[[Fechtbuch zu Ross und zu Fuss (MS Var.82)|Rostock Version]] (1570){{edit index|Fechtbuch zu Ross und zu Fuss (MS Var.82)}}<br/>by [[Dierk Hagedorn]]</p>
! id="Salzburg0" | <p>[[Codex Speyer (MS M.I.29)|Salzburg Version]] (1491){{edit index|Codex Speyer (MS M.I.29)}}<br/>by [[Dierk Hagedorn]]</p>
<section end="credits"/>
! id="Glasgow0" | <p>[[Glasgow Fechtbuch (MS E.1939.65.341)|Glasgow Version]] (1508){{edit index|Glasgow Fechtbuch (MS E.1939.65.341)}}<br/>by [[Dierk Hagedorn]]</p>
! id="Rostock0" | <p>[[Fechtbuch zu Ross und zu Fuss (MS Var.82)|Rostock Version]] (1570){{edit index|Fechtbuch zu Ross und zu Fuss (MS Var.82)}}<br/>by [[Dierk Hagedorn]]</p>
| <p>[1] {{red|b=1|Hereafter written is a new recital of the long sword and an extraction<ref>alt: departure</ref> from the previous recital and many other good plays from other master's hands Master Martin Syber had set together and is partitioned in six courses.<ref>The Salzburg differs: Item. The hereafter written new recital Master Martin Syber had prepared and set-down and is a selection of many masterful applications and is partitioned  and set down in six courses</ref>}}</p>
| id="Trosclair1" | {{section|Martin Syber/Christian Trosclair|1}}
| id="Hull1" | {{section|Martin Syber/Jeffrey Hull|1}}
<p>And the ox and the plow and the part-hew<ref>G & R omit</ref> named therein, together with other hews have another art and explanation than in the first<ref>G: previous</ref><ref>R: previously illustrated</ref> recital and also approaches<ref>zugehen is a synonym for zufechten here</ref> differently.<ref>S: omitted</ref></p>
| id="Kleinau1" | {{section|Martin Syber/Jens P. Kleinau|1}}
| {{section|Page:MS M.I.29 001r.jpg|1|lbl=1r}}
| id="Salzburg1" | {{section|Page:MS M.I.29 001r.jpg|1|lbl=1r}}
| {{section|Page:MS E.1939.65.341 024v.jpg|1|lbl=24v}}
| id="Glasgow1" | {{section|Page:MS E.1939.65.341 024v.jpg|1|lbl=24v}}
| {{section|Page:MS Var.82 039v.png|3|lbl=39v}}
| id="Rostock1" | {{section|Page:MS Var.82 039v.png|3|lbl=39v}}
| <p>[2] {{red|b=1|Now here begins the forward and lessons of the recital, thereafter the six courses.}}</p>
| id="Trosclair2" | {{section|Martin Syber/Christian Trosclair|2}}
<p>{{red|Whoever wishes to acquire honor}}<br/>
| id="Hull2" | {{section|Martin Syber/Jeffrey Hull|2}}
&emsp;{{red|Before princes and before lords}}<br/>
| id="Kleinau2" | {{section|Martin Syber/Jens P. Kleinau|2}}
{{red|In fencing with the}} sword<br/>
| id="Salzburg2" |  
&emsp;That is good and proper. <br/>
That follow my lessons, <br/>
&emsp;They triumph continually. <br/>
Hold the six courses in guard<br/>
&emsp;They are quite praiseworthily good<br/>
In them is encapsulated well<br/>
&emsp;Many good masters' wisdom<br/>
From Hungary, Bohemia, Italy, <br/>
&emsp;From France, England, and Alemannia, <br/>
From Russia, Prussia, Greece, <br/>
&emsp;Holland, Provence, and Swabia. <br/>
In them, you shall tread left<br/>
&emsp;Thereby remember the deception<br/>
In thrusting, lash strongly<br/>
&emsp;So you may well succeed<br/>
If you see the window standing open, <br/>
&emsp;Enter them from there<br/>
Strike or thrust swiftly<br/>
&emsp;So you may fail hard<ref>alt: the hard</ref><br/>
In the work, tread around. <br/>
&emsp;That makes-good<ref>mitmachen. alt: completes</ref> the first-pass<ref>ehegefährt note: this is attacking in the vor.</ref><br/>
If you now wish to undertake this, <br/>
&emsp;You must have a strong spirit<br/>
Proper understanding is also good<br/>
&emsp;Guard yourself from great wrath<br/>
To such, bring the parrying to them. <br/>
&emsp;Through that, you may well succeed. <br/>
In all your fencing, be swift. <br/>
&emsp;This forward has an end.</p>
{{section|Page:MS M.I.29 001r.jpg|2|lbl=-|p=1}} {{section|Page:MS M.I.29 001v.jpg|1|lbl=1v|p=1}}
{{section|Page:MS M.I.29 001r.jpg|2|lbl=-|p=1}} {{section|Page:MS M.I.29 001v.jpg|1|lbl=1v|p=1}}
| {{section|Page:MS E.1939.65.341 024v.jpg|2|lbl=-}}
| id="Glasgow2" | {{section|Page:MS E.1939.65.341 024v.jpg|2|lbl=-}}
| {{section|Page:MS Var.82 040r.png|1|lbl=40r}}
| id="Rostock2" | {{section|Page:MS Var.82 040r.png|1|lbl=40r}}
| <p>[3] {{red|b=1|The First Course Has Five Plays}}</p>
| id="Trosclair3" | {{section|Martin Syber/Christian Trosclair|3}}
<p>{{red|Flick}} the weak to the right<br/>
| id="Hull3" | {{section|Martin Syber/Jeffrey Hull|3}}
&emsp;Wind through in the fencing<br/>
| id="Kleinau3" | {{section|Martin Syber/Jens P. Kleinau|3}}
With that, make the Flicker<br/>
| id="Salzburg3" | {{section|Page:MS M.I.29 001v.jpg|2|lbl=-}}
&emsp;To both sides twice. <br/>
| id="Glasgow3" | {{section|Page:MS E.1939.65.341 024v.jpg|3|lbl=-}}
Besiege<ref>alt: overwhelm; turn(away, aside), entwine, entangle, wrap</ref> his shield strongly<br/>
| id="Rostock3" | {{section|Page:MS Var.82 040r.png|2|lbl=-}}
&emsp;Strike the bowed thrust<ref>alt: jab</ref> violently. <br/>
In all work, tread around<br/>
&emsp;With the right bowed thrust.</p>
| {{section|Page:MS M.I.29 001v.jpg|2|lbl=-}}
| {{section|Page:MS E.1939.65.341 024v.jpg|3|lbl=-}}
| {{section|Page:MS Var.82 040r.png|2|lbl=-}}<!--
          --><section begin="Krumphaw"/>
| <p>[4] {{red|b=1|The Second Course Has Six Plays}}</p>
| id="Trosclair4" | {{section|Martin Syber/Christian Trosclair|4}}
<p>{{red|Crook}} in the strong<br/>
| id="Hull4" | {{section|Martin Syber/Jeffrey Hull|4}}
&emsp;wind through with note<br/>
| id="Kleinau4" | {{section|Martin Syber/Jens P. Kleinau|4}}
Wind running over<br/>
| id="Salzburg4" | {{section|Page:MS M.I.29 001v.jpg|3|lbl=-}}
&emsp;Ready the point and pommel<br/>
| id="Glasgow4" | {{section|Page:MS E.1939.65.341 024v.jpg|4|lbl=-}}
Stab him into his face<br/>
| id="Rostock4" | {{section|Page:MS Var.82 040v.png|1|lbl=40v}}
&emsp;With that, fence the work of the cross<br/>
The deceptive pommel, that, you should think of<br/>
&emsp;Upon your<ref>G & R: the</ref> head, if you would like to harm him<br/>
In all work, tread around<ref>alt: make the first-pass too</ref><br/>
&emsp;This makes-good the first-pass.<ref>alt: make the first-pass too</ref></p>
| {{section|Page:MS M.I.29 001v.jpg|3|lbl=-}}
| {{section|Page:MS E.1939.65.341 024v.jpg|4|lbl=-}}
| {{section|Page:MS Var.82 040v.png|1|lbl=40v}}<!--
          --><section end="Krumphaw"/><section begin="Twerhaw"/><section begin="Schilhaw"/>
| <p>[5] {{red|b=1|The Third Course Has Seven Plays}}</p>
| id="Trosclair5" | {{section|Martin Syber/Christian Trosclair|5}}
<p>{{red|Squint whatever}} comes {{red|from-the-day}}<br/>
| id="Hull5" | {{section|Martin Syber/Jeffrey Hull|5}}
&emsp;Thwart-through, do not go crooked<br/>
| id="Kleinau5" | {{section|Martin Syber/Jens P. Kleinau|5}}
Therein examine his struggle<br/>
| id="Salzburg5" | {{section|Page:MS M.I.29 002r.jpg|1|lbl=2r}}
&emsp;The half-squinter<ref>G & R: half-parter</ref> makes-good<ref>alt: make the half-squinter too</ref><br/>
| id="Glasgow5" | {{section|Page:MS E.1939.65.341 025r.jpg|1|lbl=25r}}
Take off quite swiftly<br/>
| id="Rostock5" | {{section|Page:MS Var.82 040v.png|2|lbl=-}}
&emsp;Threaten<ref>S: you</ref> the hew against him<br/>
Force out his shield strongly<ref>alt: Force-out the shield in the strong</ref><br/>
&emsp;Defeat him with running-over<br/>
In the strong of his edge<br/>
&emsp;In all work, tread around<br/>
This makes-good the first-pass.<ref>alt: make the first-pass too</ref></p>
| {{section|Page:MS M.I.29 002r.jpg|1|lbl=2r}}
| {{section|Page:MS E.1939.65.341 025r.jpg|1|lbl=25r}}
| {{section|Page:MS Var.82 040v.png|2|lbl=-}}<!--
          --><section end="Schilhaw"/><section end="Twerhaw"/><section begin="Scheitelhaw"/>
| <p>[6] {{red|b=1|The Fourth Course Has Five Plays}}</p>
| id="Trosclair6" | {{section|Martin Syber/Christian Trosclair|6}}
<p> Thrust through {{red|the Ox}}<br/>
| id="Hull6" | {{section|Martin Syber/Jeffrey Hull|6}}
&emsp;With two great steps<br/>
| id="Kleinau6" | {{section|Martin Syber/Jens P. Kleinau|6}}
Wind and counter wind<br/>
| id="Salzburg6" | {{section|Page:MS M.I.29 002r.jpg|2|lbl=-}}
&emsp;Violently<ref>R: Then make...</ref> make the scalper-hew<br/>
| id="Glasgow6" | {{section|Page:MS E.1939.65.341 025r.jpg|2|lbl=-}}
Wind, then strike the hitter immediately<br/>
| id="Rostock6" | {{section|Page:MS Var.82 040v.png|3|lbl=-}}
&emsp;In the belly and upon the neck<br/>
In all work, tread around<br/>
&emsp;This makes-good the first-pass.<ref>alt: make the first-pass too</ref></p>
| {{section|Page:MS M.I.29 002r.jpg|2|lbl=-}}
| {{section|Page:MS E.1939.65.341 025r.jpg|2|lbl=-}}
| {{section|Page:MS Var.82 040v.png|3|lbl=-}}<!--
          --><section end="Scheitelhaw"/>
| <p>[7] {{red|b=1|The Fifth Course Has Five Plays}}</p>
| id="Trosclair7" | {{section|Martin Syber/Christian Trosclair|7}}
<p>Thrust<ref>G & R: Strike</ref> {{red|through}} the long point<br/>
| id="Hull7" | {{section|Martin Syber/Jeffrey Hull|7}}
&emsp;Disengage, counter thrust, then kill<br/>
| id="Kleinau7" | {{section|Martin Syber/Jens P. Kleinau|7}}
Allow the blind-hews to bounce<br/>
| id="Salzburg7" |  
&emsp;So you may roll<ref>G & R: fail or fall</ref> against well. <br/>
Hang against<ref>G: down</ref>, immediately<ref> alt: as soon as. (just in time)</ref><br/>
&emsp;Tread behind, rebound<br/>
Upon the head, into the belly<br/>
&emsp;So you make a right fool out of him<br/>
In all work, step around<br/>
&emsp;This makes-good the first-pass.<ref>alt: make the first-pass too</ref></p>
{{section|Page:MS M.I.29 002r.jpg|3|lbl=-|p=1}}<br/>{{section|Page:MS M.I.29 002v.jpg|1|lbl=2v|p=1}}
{{section|Page:MS M.I.29 002r.jpg|3|lbl=-|p=1}}<br/>{{section|Page:MS M.I.29 002v.jpg|1|lbl=2v|p=1}}
| {{section|Page:MS E.1939.65.341 025r.jpg|3|lbl=-}}
| id="Glasgow7" | {{section|Page:MS E.1939.65.341 025r.jpg|3|lbl=-}}
| id="Rostock7" |  
{{section|Page:MS Var.82 040v.png|4|lbl=-|p=1}}<br/>{{section|Page:MS Var.82 041r.png|1|lbl=41r|p=1}}<!--
{{section|Page:MS Var.82 040v.png|4|lbl=-|p=1}}<br/>{{section|Page:MS Var.82 041r.png|1|lbl=41r|p=1}}
          --><section begin="Twerhaw"/>
| <p>[8] {{red|b=1|The Sixth Course has Four Plays}}</p>
| id="Trosclair8" | {{section|Martin Syber/Christian Trosclair|8}}
<p>{{red|From-the-Day}} Drive-through long <br/>
| id="Hull8" | {{section|Martin Syber/Jeffrey Hull|8}}
&emsp;Protect yourself with entwining<ref>alt: twisting</ref>.<br/>
| id="Kleinau8" | {{section|Martin Syber/Jens P. Kleinau|8}}
Thwart-through him immediately<br/>
| id="Salzburg8" | {{section|Page:MS M.I.29 002v.jpg|2|lbl=-}}
&emsp;Rebound the blind-hew<br/>
| id="Glasgow8" | {{section|Page:MS E.1939.65.341 025r.jpg|4|lbl=-}}
Hew the<ref>G: your</ref> point into his chest<br/>
| id="Rostock8" | {{section|Page:MS Var.82 041r.png|2|lbl=-}}
&emsp;According to all of your desire. <br/>
In all work, step around<br/>
&emsp;This makes-good the first-pass.</p>
| {{section|Page:MS M.I.29 002v.jpg|2|lbl=-}}
| {{section|Page:MS E.1939.65.341 025r.jpg|4|lbl=-}}
| {{section|Page:MS Var.82 041r.png|2|lbl=-}}<!--
          --><section end="Twerhaw"/>
| <p>[9] {{red|b=1|Here the new recital has an end.}}</p>
| id="Trosclair9" | {{section|Martin Syber/Christian Trosclair|9}}
<p>Martin Sibers recital with six courses, as exactly as he set-down, from many masters applications. Whoever can understand it well is well to be praised as a good master of the long sword before other masters.</p>
| id="Hull9" | {{section|Martin Syber/Jeffrey Hull|9}}
| {{section|Page:MS M.I.29 002v.jpg|3|lbl=-}}
| id="Kleinau9" | {{section|Martin Syber/Jens P. Kleinau|9}}
| {{section|Page:MS E.1939.65.341 025r.jpg|5|lbl=-}}
| id="Salzburg9" | {{section|Page:MS M.I.29 002v.jpg|3|lbl=-}}
| {{section|Page:MS Var.82 041r.png|3|lbl=-}}
| id="Glasgow9" | {{section|Page:MS E.1939.65.341 025r.jpg|5|lbl=-}}
| id="Rostock9" | {{section|Page:MS Var.82 041r.png|3|lbl=-}}
{{master end}}
{{master begin
{{master begin
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[[Category:New format]]

Latest revision as of 03:02, 1 March 2021

Martin Syber
Born 15th century (?)
Died 15th century (?)
Occupation Fencing master
Influences Johannes Liechtenauer (?)
Genres Fencing manual
Language Early New High German
Notable work(s) New Zettel
Concordance by Michael Chidester

Martin Syber (Mertin Siber, Martein Syber) was a 15th century German fencing master. Hardly anything is known of Syber beyond his New Zettel ("New Recital"). His surname signifies that he came from a family of sieve makers, but gives us no indication of his birthplace. According to Syber's own account, he learned the art from a variety of masters from across Europe, including men from Bohemia, Brabant (or possibly Provence), England, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Prussia, Russia, and Swabia. The inclusion of his Recital in Codex Speyer and the Glasgow Fechtbuch suggests a connection to the tradition of Johannes Liechtenauer, and his mention of an "earlier Zettel" is likely a reference to that of Liechtenauer; however, Syber does not appear on the roll of the Fellowship of Liechtenauer recorded by Paulus Kal in ca. 1470,[1] so the extent of his relationship is unclear.

Syber's Recital comes in the form a cryptic poem describing six Gänge, set sequences of strikes and parries. Unfortunately, no gloss is currently known to exist for Syber's verse, so its meaning is difficult to decipher. Conversely, it is worth noting that the 16th century Freifechter Joachim Meÿer not only had access to Syber's verse (which is included in his final manuscript),[2] but also employed much of the master's unique terminology in his own teachings. Meÿer may thus hold the key to interpreting Syber's techniques.

The Salzburg version of Syber's text is followed by an additional page of verse. This poem shares some common terminology with Syber's writings and has been attributed to Syber by some authors in the past,[3] but its omission from the other two versions of his text call this attribution into question. In addition, another version of the poem was included in one of Hans Talhoffer's manuscripts almost fifty years earlier,[4] which indicates that if Syber were indeed the author, his career must have been much earlier than currently believed.


Complete Translation Complete translation
by Christian Trosclair

Complete Translation (Salzburg only) Complete translation
by Jeffrey Hull

Complete Translation (Salzburg only) Complete translation
by Jens P. Kleinau

Salzburg Version (1491) [edit]
by Dierk Hagedorn

Glasgow Version (1508) [edit]
by Dierk Hagedorn

Rostock Version (1570) [edit]
by Dierk Hagedorn

Nu hebt sich an dy vor rede vnd lere der zettell dar noch die sechß genng ~

Wer ere will erwerbenn
vor furstenn vnd vor herenn
Im vechtenn mit dem
dz ist gutt vnd gerecht
der volge mÿner lere
der gesiget ymermere
dy sechß genng halt in hu°tt
die sintt gar prißlich gutt
in den woll begriffen ist
vil manges gutte~ meinsters list
auß Vngern Behem Ÿtalia
auß Franckrich Engellant vnd almania
auß rewßen Prewßen Gretia
Hollant Profant vnd Sweuia
In den soltu tretten linck
der verfurüng do by gedennck
In stichenn strarg dring
so mag dir wol geling
Sichstus venster offen stan
Si hinein gee dar von
schlag oder stich schnell
So magstu hartt geuell
in der arbeÿtt d vmb tritt
daß egeuertt mach mitt
Wiltu sie me hebenn an
ein ein starcken müstu han
Recht vernüfft ist auch gutt
von großem zornn [1v] dich behutt
zu sollicher versatzüng yn den pring
dar durch dir mag wol geling
In allem dinem vechten biß behende
dÿ vor lere hat ein ende ~

Der funfft ganck

Durch stich den langenn ortt
Zu°ck wider stich denn mortt
Den plintt haulb laß prellenn
So magtu gen wol wellenn
[2v] Heng wider also baldt
Hinder tritt wider schnall
Vff denn kopff in den bu°ch
So machstu auß im ein rechtenn gauch
In aller arbeitt vmb tritt
Das egeuertt mach mitt

Der funft gang hat funf stuck.

Durchstreich denn lanngenn ort,
tzuck, Widerstich denn mordt.
Denn Plinthaw las Prellenn,
so magstu genen wol fellenn
[41r] Heng wider also baldt,
hintertrit wider schnal.
Auff denn kopff in denn bauch,
so machst aus im ein Rechtenn gauch.
In aller arbeit vmbdrit,
das Egeuert mach mit.

Additional Resources

  • Hull, Jeffrey. "The Longsword Fight Lore of Mertin Siber." Masters of Medieval and Renaissance Martial Arts. Ed. Jeffrey Hull. Boulder, CO: Paladin Press, 2008. ISBN 978-1-58160-668-3


  1. 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).
  2. Meÿer, Joachim. Fechtbuch zu Ross und zu Fuss [manuscript]. MS Varia 82. Rostock, Germany: Universitätsbibliothek Rostock, 1570.
  3. Hull, Jeffrey. "Mertin Siber’s Longsword Fight-Lore of 1491 AD: a thesis on the Fechtlehre from Handschrift M I 29 (Codex Speyer) at the University of Salzburg in Austria". The Association for Renaissance Martial Arts, 2005. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  4. Talhoffer, Hans. Untitled [manuscript]. MS Thott 290.2º. Copenhagen, Denmark: Det Kongelige Bibliotek, 1459.
  5. alt: departure
  6. The Salzburg differs: Item. The hereafter written new recital Master Martin Syber had prepared and set-down and is a selection of many masterful applications and is partitioned and set down in six courses
  7. G & R omit
  8. G: previous
  9. R: previously illustrated
  10. zugehen is a synonym for zufechten here
  11. S: omitted
  12. alt: the hard
  13. mitmachen. alt: completes
  14. ehegefährt note: this is attacking in the vor.
  15. know-how
  16. alt: overwhelm; turn(away, aside), entwine, entangle, wrap
  17. alt: jab
  18. G & R: the
  19. alt: make the first-pass too
  20. alt: make the first-pass too
  21. G & R: half-parter
  22. alt: make the half-squinter too
  23. S: you
  24. alt: Force-out the shield in the strong
  25. alt: make the first-pass too
  26. R: Then make...
  27. alt: make the first-pass too
  28. G & R: Strike
  29. G & R: fail or fall
  30. G: down
  31. alt: as soon as. (just in time)
  32. alt: make the first-pass too
  33. alt: twisting
  34. G: your