This is the transcription of a partially illustrated manuscript
from 1508. The original with
the number E.1939.65.341 belongs
to the R. L. Scott Collection,
Glasgow. Due to copyright restraints,
I cannot show the according images,
therefore this is a text-only
Like other manuscripts from a similar timeframe this one is a
collection of various authors
writing about various aspects
of fencing. The present codex
is remarkable insofar as it offers
similarities to a number of manuscripts
from the 15th century.
- The text for the longsword in the version of Sigmund Emring is
identical to the Sigmund
Ringeck mansucript from Dresden
(Mscr. Dresd. C 487)
in most respects. Interestingly,
Paulus Kal mentions on
fol. 2r in his manuscript
from Munich (Cgm 1507) a
certain master Sigmund Amring
as being a member of the
In the Ringeck manuscript
the author is introduced
as "Sigmund ain
- The additional longsword pieces appear also in the Ringeck manuscript.
Here they are executed from
"eiserne pforte" (iron gate),
there from "nebenhut" (side
- The techniques of the second wrestling section from the Glasgow
manuscript are similar to
those by Andre Lignitzer
from the manuscript 44 A
8 (so-called Peter von Danzig).
However, here his name is
- The techniques for the buckler specify Andre Lignitzer as the
author, which is different
from the Ringeck or the Jude
Lew manuscripts (Augsburg,
Cod. I 6 4° 3). These two codices do not mention a name at all.
- Martin Siber's text about longsword fencing appear only in one
other manuscript: Hans von
Speyer (Salzburg, M.I.29).
- The fighting techniqus of the other masters (»Andres Juden
Jobs von der Nyssen Nicklass
prewsñ Hans pfaffen Döbringers«) appear in a single
other manuscript too: Cod.
Hs. 3227a from Nuremberg.
The Glasgow fechtbuch clarifies
finally that the pfaffe (priest)
Hans (or Hanko) Döbringer is only one master among others and
by no means the author of
3227a, a misconception for
quite some time.
- Unlike most of the other manuscripts (3227a,
Ringeck, Jude Lew, Hans von
Speyer) the present codex features
the so-called figures – brief
passages in circles preceding
Liechtenauer's fighting on
horseback. Only the manuscript
44 A 8 shows them in circles
too; and the Jude Lew manuscript
places them in front in text
- Different from the versions of Jude Lew or Hans von Speyer the
Glasgow manuscript mentions
Johannes Liechtenauer as
the author of the kampffechten
and the fighting on horseback
- The text about fighting on horseback is less extensive than in
the codex 44 A 8 but more
substantial than offered
The fechtbuch from Glasgow is a compendium from various sources
and provides connections to numerous
additional fencing treatises
but without following a single
example. Earlier fechtbücher feature a diversity of segments
that might have served as sources
in order to create a completely
The manuscript is partially illustrated, namely the two chapters
about Johannes Liechtenauer's
techniques with the longsword,
following the edition of Sigmund
Emring, and the first wrestling
section of an anonymous author
(two further wrestling sections
remain without images). This
is a particular speciality, since
this manuscript is – until now
– the earliest known illustrated
version of Liechtenauer's teachings
concerning the longsword. The
so-called Goliath manuscript
(Ms. Germ. Quart. 2020, Krakow
from about 1510–1520) offers images too. It presents 38 in
the longsword section whereas
the Glaswegian manuscript only
offers 31. However, the first
leaves are missing which according
to expectations and experience
would have covered the techniques
from the zornhau and the krumphau.
The two illustrated parts show
a significant difference in quality:
The longsword section is quite
colourful but only roughly drawn,
the wrestling techniques are
rendered with more anatomical
detail but only in reds and yellows
– with two exceptions. Rainer
Leng has identified six illustrators
The transcription follows the original as closely as possible.
I have not dissolved the letter "v" in either "u" or "v".
Abbreviations, duplication characters
or other special characters remain
mostly intact - considering the
restraints of internet typography.
Frequently occuring signs above
"u" or "w" that indicate either
a distinction from "n" or usage
as a vowel remain usually disregarded,
occasionally the differences
to other characters of distinction
are rather subtle.
Due to bookbinding and cropping
processes some minor parts of
the text are missing. I have
tried to fill in these gaps as
good as possible in square brackets.
I am profoundly indebted to Jeffrey Hull.
Without his substantial help
and support this project would
not have been possible. Thank
you very much.
Rainer Leng (compiler): Katalog der
Handschriften des Mittelalters,
Band 4/2, Lieferung 1/2 – 38.
Fecht- und Ringbücher. C. H.
Beck’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 2008
Dierk Hagedorn, July 2009
Johannes Liechtenauer / Sigmund Emring
Andre Lignitzer (?)
Fighting on Horseback
Martin Huntfelt (?)