Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Gladiatoria Fechtbuch

Medieval German fighting manuals can be frustrating. Typically you either have text without illustrations, or illustrations with minimal text (Talhoffer) or with no text at all (the earliest content in the Codex Wallerstein).

In the mid 15th c. Gladiatoria Fechtbuch , text and image often complement each other. The text explains that you should do thus and so, and the image presents the vital information that your left leg should be forward when you do it.

Hugh Knight has produced a translation of the text of the Gladiatoria Fechtbuch combined with a reproduction of the images. This work is a valuable resource for anyone who wants a better understanding of armored single combat in Germany in the middle of the 15th century.

Thirteen out of the 118 pages deal with unarmored combat, with long dueling shields, bucklers or staves. The rest discuss armored combat.

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