This is the transcription of an Early High German illustrated manuscript,
dated 1465 – 1480, that belongs
to the so-called Gladiatoria
group. It is located in the Herzog
August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel with the number Cod. Guelf.
78.2 Aug. 2o. Since I cannot show
the images this is a text-only
For general information about the Gladiatoria group see the transkription
of the version of the Yale
Center for British Arts.
The available manuscript is remarkable in more than one respect.
It not only contains a conglomeration
of the martial knowledge of the
time – fighting with longsword
or sword and buckler, wrestling
and techniques for staff weapons
– scattered throughout and in
no homogenous order is an extensive
version of the Gladiatoria complex.
The first fechtbuch part of the
manuscript contains no informative
texts, although there is the
according space below the fencers'
feet. Only a couple of the Gladiatoria
images have a very brief text
that mostly is not the description
of a specific technique but rather
an indication for the correct
order. The second part of the
manuscript consists of a warbook
with much more detailed annotations
What makes this manuscript most significant are the verses by master
Johannes Liechtenauer – however
without mentioning the master's name
– which precede the fechtbuch
on a folio that is not included
in the regular folio numbering.
This version written in Low German
deviates occasionally slightly
from the better known versions
from other manuscripts. Thus
this codex represents a link
between the tradition of master
Liechtenauer and the Gladiatoria
group that follows a different
Next to a continuous folio numbering in the top right corner of
the recto pages (2–157; fol.
1 seems to have been repaired,
three folios without numbering
precede) there are some more
irregular numberings and markings:
- Bastarda on 29r (d) and 112r (h)
- Textura on the top in the middle of the recto pages: 41 (a),
42 (b), 43 (m), 44 (n), 45
(o), 46 (p), 47 (q), 48 (k),
49 (l), 50 (F), 61 (Cf),
62 (d), 63 (e), 64 (f), 65
(G), 66 (h), 67 (I), 68 (k),
- Roman on fol. 74r in the right top corner
- foll. 79v – 108v: small, possibly contemporary page numbering
at the top margin,
continuous from 1 to 59
- foll. 112r – 116r: additional folio numbering top right:
1 to 5 (the 2 is missing
The transcription tries to follow 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.
Rainer Leng (Compiler): Katalog der
Handschriften des Mittelalters,
Band 4/2, Lieferung 1/2 – 38.
Fecht- und Ringbücher. C. H.
Beck’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 2008
Hans-Peter Hils: Meister Johann Liechtenauers
Kunst des langen Schwertes.
Dierk Hagedorn, April 2010