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Sigmund ain Ringeck

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Sigmund Schining ein Ringeck
Born date of birth unknown
Died before 1470
Occupation Fencing master
Nationality German
Patron Albrecht, Duke of Bavaria
Movement Society of Liechtenauer
Influences Johannes Liechtenauer
Genres Fencing manual
Language Early New High German
First printed
english edition
Tobler, 2001
Concordance by Michael Chidester

Sigmund Schining ein Ringeck (Sigmund ain Ringeck, Sigmund Amring, Sigmund Einring, Sigmund Schining) was a 14th or 15th century German fencing master. While the meaning of the surname "Schining" is uncertain, the suffix "ain Ringeck" may indicate that he came from the Rhineland region of south-eastern Germany. He is named in the text as Schirmaister to Albrecht, Count Palatine of Rhine and Duke of Bavaria. Other than this, the only thing that can be determined about his life is that his renown as a master was sufficient for Paulus Kal to include him on his memorial to the deceased masters of the Society of Liechtenauer in 1470.[1]

The identity of Ringeck's patron remains unclear, as four men named Albrecht held the title during the fifteenth century. If it is Albrecht I, who reigned from 1353 to 1404, this would signify that Ringeck was likely a direct associate or student of the grand master Johannes Liechtenauer. However, it may just as easily have been Albrecht III, who carried the title from 1438 to 1460, making Ringeck a second- or third-generation master carrying on the tradition.[2] Albrecht IV claimed the title in 1460 and thus also could have been Ringeck's patron; this seems less likely in light of Ringeck's apparent death within that same decade, meaning the master would have had to have penned his treatise in the final few years of his life. In its favor, however, is the fact that Albrecht IV reigned until 1508 and so both the Dresden and Glasgow versions of the text were likely created during his reign.

Ringeck is often erroneously credited as the author of the MS Dresden C487. While Ringeck seems to be the author of one of the core texts, complete glosses of Liechtenauer's epitome on longsword fencing and armored fencing as well as a partial gloss of his mounted fencing, the manuscript is an anthology of treatises by several different masters including Andre Liegniczer and Ott Jud, and it is currently thought to have been composed in the early 16th century[3] (well after the master's lifetime). Regardless, the fact that he authored one of the few complete glosses of Liechtenauer's text makes Ringeck one of the most important masters of the 15th century.

While it was not duplicated nearly as often as the more famous gloss of Pseudo-Peter von Danzig, Ringeck's work nevertheless seems to have had a lasting influence. Not only was it reproduced by Joachim Meÿer in 1570 in his final manuscript, but in 1539 Hans Medel von Salzburg took it upon himself to create an update and revision of Ringeck's Bloßfechten gloss, integrating his own commentary in many places.


Additional Resources

  • Lindholm, David and Svard, Peter. Sigmund Ringeck's Knightly Art of the Longsword. Boulder, CO: Paladin Press, 2003. ISBN 978-1-58160-410-8
  • Lindholm, David and Svard, Peter. Sigmund Ringeck's Knightly Arts of Combat: Sword-and-Buckler Fighting, Wrestling, and Fighting in Armor. Boulder, CO: Paladin Press, 2006. ISBN 978-1-58160-499-3
  • Tobler, Christian Henry. Secrets of German Medieval Swordsmanship. Highland Village, TX: Chivalry Bookshelf, 2001. ISBN 1-891448-07-2


  1. Paulus Kal. Untitled [manuscript]. Cgm 1507. Munich, Germany: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, 1470.
  2. Christian Henry Tobler. "Chicken and Eggs: Which Master Came First?" In Saint George's Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts. Wheaton, IL: Freelance Academy Press, 2010.
  3. Werner J. Hoffmann. "Dresden, Landesbibl., Mscr. C 487". Handschriftencensus. Eine Bestandsaufnahme der handschriftlichen Überlieferung deutschsprachiger Texte des Mittelalters. August, 2010. Retrieved 5 July 2012.