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Andre Paurenfeyndt

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Andre Paurenfeyndt
Born 15th century
Died 16th century
Nationality German
Patron Matthäus Lang von Wellenburg
Movement Liechtenauer Tradition
Influences Johannes Liechtenauer
Language Early New High German
Notable work(s) Ergrundung Ritterlicher Kunst der
Concordance by Michael Chidester
Translations Deutsch-Übersetzung

Andre Paurenfeyndt (Paurñfeyndt, Paurñfeindt) was a 16th century German Freifechter. He seems to have been a resident of Vienna, although he mentions in his introduction that he served as a bodyguard to Cardinal Matthäus Lang von Wellenburg (1468 - 1540).[1] In 1516, he wrote and published a fencing manual entitled Ergrundung Ritterlicher Kunst der Fechterey ("Founding of the Chivalric Art of Swordplay"), which Sydney Anglo notes may have been the first illustrated fencing treatise ever published.[2] Little else is known about the life of this master, but he describes himself as a Freifechter and the contents of his book make it clear that he was associated with the tradition of Johannes Liechtenauer. His treatise diverges significantly from the earlier teachings of the Liechtenauer tradition, which may be due to his stated purpose of writing for beginning fencers.


Please note that only the first edition (1516) has the complete set of illustrations, and all later versions are disorganized and incomplete; this article follows the order of plays and illustrations laid out in the original, and the variant sequences can be viewed on the transcription pages. Egenolff's illustrations are rather different from Paurenfeyndt's, and smaller thumbnails are included where applicable. Furthermore, the illustrations on pages 57 and 59 of the 1516 don't seem to relate to the plays described on 58 and 60, since they show pairs of fencers with dussacks while the text indicates that one of them should be unarmed. They are included here for reference, but the Egenolff illustrations (which are original and not based on Paurenfeyndt) are the ones that seem to depict something similar to the plays as described. While the Twelve Rules for the Beginning Fencer are unillustrated in Paurenfeyndt's work, this presentation includes the illustrations for six of the twelve found in the MS B.200 (1524).

Rather than presenting the treatise transcriptions chronologically, this concordance groups the three complete German texts together (including Lienhart Sollinger's 1564 copy), followed by the 1538 French translation. There are three shorter manuscript fragments of the German text, and these have been added in additional columns on the far end of the table in only the sections where they appear.

Additional Resources

  • Bauer, Matthias Johannes. “Der Alten Fechter gründtliche Kunst” – Das Frankfurter oder Egenolffsche Fechtbuch. Untersuchung und Edition. Coll. Geschichtswissenschaften 37. München: Utz Verlag, 2016. ISBN 978-3-8316-4559-6
  • Bauer, Matthias Johannes. "Economising Early Prints on Fight Books by Multiple Using Movable Half Page Woodcuts". Acta Periodica Duellatorum 4(2): 99–116, 2016. doi:10.36950/apd-2016-015
  • Bergner, U. and Giessauf, J. Würgegriff und Mordschlag. Die Fecht- und Ringlehre des Hans Czynner (1538). Graz: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 2006. ISBN 978-3-201-01855-5
  • Roelofsen, Mathijs. "La Noble Science des Joueurs d’Espée: Fight Book and Commercial Product". Acta Periodica Duellatorum 8(1): 73-88, 2020. doi:10.36950/apd-2020-005
  • Welle, Rainer. "Ein unvollendetes Meisterwerk der Fecht- und Ringkampfliteratur des 16. Jahrhunderts sucht seinen Autor: der Landshuter Holzschneider und Maler Georg Lemberger als Fecht- und Ringbuchillustrator?" Codices manuscripti & impressi. Supplementum 12. Purkersdorf: Verlag Brüder Hollinek, 2017.


  1. Ott, Michael. "Matthew Lang." The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 8. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910.
  2. Anglo, Sydney. The Martial Arts of Renaissance Europe. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2000. p 46. ISBN 978-0-300-08352-1
  3. lit: foot, but can and often mean the leg
  4. alt: flesh wounds, tag hits.
  5. The word used is "coup", which could be translated as "attack", "cut", or "blow". In this context it is referring to the edge. Henceforth I will be translating it as "edge" instead.
  6. Likely an error. Crombe is a northern Middle French word for “hunched” (e.g. a person) or “crooked”.
  7. literally: cut through agains their strike. The separable durch-hauen means to strike through something to create an opening. See: https://www.woerterbuchnetz.de/DWB2/2DURCHHAUEN
  8. Text cut off; added from Paurnfeindt: er nit kumeñ
  9. This is likely a typo as "passer dessoubz" is only used once. "Passer oultre" is used more frequently.
  10. This is likely another synonym for "passer oultre".
  11. Text cut off; added from Paurnfeindt: Wan dir ainer die kurcz schneid vberscheust so wendt den straich ab, so kumpt dir straich wider straich, vnd gleiche arbait
  12. Text cut off; added from Paurnfeindt: so entplest er sich
  13. Text cut off; added from Paurnfeindt: zuck vnd haw mit langer schneid nach
  14. alt: points, ends
  15. Bottom cut off; added from Paurnfeindt: schwert mit dem knopf vnter dein recht uxñ
  16. Bottom cut off; added from Paurnfeindt: schon, die stich trucke mit schnitten sy ab czucke
  17. This is the zwerch.
  18. This is the sprechfenster.
  19. Lit. “Pass in change.”
  20. Possibly a mistranslation of “verkerker” as “imprisoner” or "deffendeur" is the French jargon for "verkeren".
  21. Lit. turned as in “soured” or “embittered”.
  22. Zornhau.
  23. Top cut off; added from Paurnfeindt: yglichs in dreu wunder
  24. Corrected from »lanngem«
  25. Possibly referring to the dussack.
  26. Text cut off; added from Paurnfeindt: vmbsunst vrsach halben er mag kain folling straich auff dich habñ
  27. Erreur d'impression?
  28. Bottom cut off; added from Paurnfeindt: dar uber
  29. Bottom cut off; added from Paurnfeindt: arm
  30. Rephrasing of Ovid's "Cunctis qui placeat non credo quomodo vivat".
  31. Rephrasing of the proverb from Pliny, "ne supra crepidam sutor iudicaret".
  32. Hieronymous Büttner