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Die Blume des Kampfes (Cod.5278)

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Die Blume des Kampfes
Cod.5278, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek
Vienna, Austria

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Cod.5278 174r.jpg
  • 38.9.12
  • 39.4.22
Date 1420s
Place of origin Unknown
Language(s) Early New High German
Author(s) Konrad Kyeser
Scribe(s) Unknown
Material Paper, in a white pressboard cover
Size 203 folia (215 mm × 310 mm)
Format Single-sided; six illustrations per
page, without text (part II)
External data Library catalog entry
Treatise scans

The Codex 5278 is a German manuscript created in the 1420s.[1] The original currently rests in the holdings of the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek in Vienna, Austria.

The text is a compilation work including both a war book based on Konrad Kyeser's popular treatise Bellifortis ("Battle Strength") and the oldest entry in the group of manuscripts sometimes called die Blume des Kampfes ("The Flower of Battle").[2] It may be based on the teachings of 14th century Italian master Fiore de'i Liberi, given that his works include considerable overlap in artwork and technique, but it is equally possible that it represents a separate transmission of an older tradition of which Fiore was himself an initiate.



1r - 173r Miscellaneous writings, including excerpts from Bellifortis by Konrad Kyeser
123v Means for hardening the weapons
129r Recipe for invigorating oil by Hugo von Gardimo
174r - 176r Mounted fencing illustrations from die Blume des Kampfes
177r - 179r Pole weapon illustrations from die Blume des Kampfes
179r - 186r Armored fencing illustrations from die Blume des Kampfes
187r - 189r Dagger illustrations from die Blume des Kampfes
189r - 196r Grappling illustrations from die Blume des Kampfes
196r - 201r Long sword illustrations from die Blume des Kampfes
199v Rules for bloodletting
201r - 203r Sword vs. dagger illustrations from die Blume des Kampfes
201v - 202v Name and number magic
203v On medicinal waters


Front Cover
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Inside Cover
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Inside Cover
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Back Cover
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Additional Resources

The following is a list of publications containing scans, transcriptions, and translations relevant to this article, as well as published peer-reviewed research.



  1. The library catalog dates it to ca. 1420/25. Notes were being added as late as 1428; see Jens P. Kleinau. "1428 The earthquake and the duel in the Codex 5278". Hans Talhoffer ~ A Historical Martial Arts blog by Jens P. Kleinau. 30 November 2011.
  2. The informal nickname "Die Blume des Kampfes" is simply a translation of the title of the Italian treatise "Fior di Battaglia/Flos Duellatorum/Florius de arte Luctandi"; the treatises themselves all appear to be untitled.

Copyright and License Summary

For further information, including transcription and translation notes, see the discussion page.

Work Author(s) Source License
Images Österreichische Nationalbibliothek Österreichische Nationalbibliothek
Public Domain.png
Transcription Index:Die Blume des Kampfes (Cod.5278)