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Welcome to the Wiktenauer!

The free library of Historical European Martial Arts books and manuscripts

Without books no one can be a good teacher nor even a good student of this art.
~ Master Fiore Furlano de’i Liberi, ca. 1405

Wiktenauer is an ongoing collaboration among researchers and practitioners from across the Western martial arts community, seeking to collect all of the primary and secondary source literature that makes up the text of historical European martial arts research and to organize and present it in a scholarly but accessible format. The Wiktenauer project started in 2009, later receiving sponsorship from the Historical European Martial Arts Alliance, and is named for Johannes Liechtenauer, grand master of the oldest known longsword fencing style; his tradition was also the best-documented of the early Modern era, the subject of many dozens of manuscripts and books over a period of more than three centuries. Here are a few basic categories of pages that are being constructed:

  • Master Pages host biographical information about each master, as well as the transcription and translation of his complete works. In cases of multiple copies of a master's work, the transcriptions are laid out side-by-side to facilitate the most accurate translation possible. To aid in interpretation, the writings will also be illustrated with images from the masters' work as available. A bibliography at the end of each page lists additional transcriptions, translations, and scans that are available in print. The exemplar for this category of pages is Fiore de'i Liberi. Ultimately, every master in all of the traditions of Western Martial Arts will have a dedicated page.
  • Treatise Pages host all relevant data on a book or manuscript, including description, provenance, table of contents (with links to the appropriate master pages), gallery of page scans, and bibliography of additional print resources. The exemplar for manuscripts is the Goliath Fechtbuch, while the exemplar for printed books is Ergrundung Ritterlicher Kunst der Fechterey. Ultimately, every text in the corpus of Historical European Martial Arts literature will have a dedicated page.
  • Technique Pages compile all of the relevant information from all of the relevant manuals on a particular technique, including transcriptions, translations, and images. There is also a section at the end of each page where groups may embed videos of their interpretations. The template for techniques is the Zornhaw. Ultimately, every technique mentioned in the manuals will have a dedicated page.
  • Weapon Pages provide information about how a specific weapon form is described and used in the treatises, data on surviving artifacts, an overview of archaeological research pertinent to a given weapon, and a comprehensive index of the treatises and writers that discuss each weapon.

The wiki also features pages for HEMA groups, pages for HEMA events, general information pages, and almost other topic of interest to the HEMA community you can think of. If you'd like to pitch in, simply request an account and consult How can I help?


It's been a long road, but the 2015 Wiktenauer Fundraiser is finally, finally winding to a close. All perks are delivered apart from the scan bundles, and the last two sets of scans should arrive soon to close that out. As I stated in the beginning, the ebook-based perks were merely a "sneak peek", as it were, of documents that would eventually be released into the wild--Wiktenauer was founded on principles of information freedom, and as much as we've changed in the last six years, that is still central to our mission. With this in mind and with the help of our sister site HROARR, in the past few weeks I have made good on that pledge.

In the links below you can download the complete Johannes Liechtenauer and Fiore de'i Liberi ebooks. These are not the same as the ebooks I sent out last year, but rather are the revised versions used in recent special printings: the text has been updated with changes made by my translators after the books went to print (most notably in Cory and Christian's gloss translations and Kendra and Rebecca's Florius translation), and many typos and formatting errors have been corrected. Additionally, the images have been compressed to reduce the size of the files and make them more portable—you won't notice this on your screen, but it does mean that the PDFs won't print out at nearly the same quality as the Wiktenauer books (though those are still available at present through the Indiegogo page for anyone who wants to make a last-minute donation).

The Recital of the Chivalric Art of Fencing of the Grand Master Johannes Liechtenauer

The Flower of Battle of Master Fiore Friulano de’i Liberi


Michael Chidester (Contact)
Wiktenauer Director
22 August 2016

P.S. And for your continued reference, here is the current status of the Fundraiser:

Perk Creation Delivery
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Liechtenauer ebook
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Fiore vol. 1 ebook
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Featured article
Jörg Wilhalm Hutter
Born 15th century
Died 16th century
Citizenship Augsburg, Germany
Movement Augsburg tradition
Genres Fencing manual
Language Early New High German
Notable work(s) Jörg Wilhalm Hutters kunst zu
Concordance by Michael Chidester
Signature Jörg Wilhalm Hutter sig.jpg

Jörg Wilhalm Hutter was a 16th century German fencing master. In addition to his fencing practice, his surname signifies that he was a hatter by trade, a fact that is confirmed in the tax records of Augsburg, Germany in 1501, 1504, and 1516.

Four works are commonly attributed to Hutter: on unarmored longsword fencing in the tradition of Johannes Liechtenauer, on armored and mounted dueling that appear to be based on those of the early 15th century (relying on armor designs that were obsolete by the 1520s), and a series of 32 uncaptioned illustrations portraying scenes of judicial combat. However, it is unclear if Hutter authored all of these works or, like Lienhart Sollinger and Paulus Hector Mair after him, merely compiled existing works together and placed his name on them as an owner's mark. The development of the armored dueling treatises can be traced through a draftbook and rough early annotated copy, but the same is not true of the unarmored longsword, which appears to be based on the MS Cl. 23842 from the 1490s and is accompanied by a version of the pseudo-Peter von Danzig gloss that Gregor Erhart attributes to one Nicolaüs and dates to 1489.

There are three extant manuscripts of Hutter's treatises created between 1522 and 1523, all now residing in Augsburg (along with most of the rest of Paulus Hector Mair's collection). The apparent oldest of Hutter's manuscripts, Cod.I.6.4º.5, consists of numbered but uncaptioned illustrations of armored dueling on horse and on foot, and is dated to 1522. The same year saw the completion of the Cod.I.6.2º.3, which includes the same illustrations but adds written instructions to the plays; for this reason, Hils assumed the former was the draftbook used to develop the latter. In 1523, Hutter seems to have created an accompanying longsword treatise, preserved in the Cod.I.6.2º.2.

Some time soon after this, all three of Hutter's prior works, along a new series of 32 uncaptioned illustrations of dueling, were compiled into the Cgm 3711. This manuscript has some oddities not found in the others, including carnival costumes on some of the fighters and a pretzel salesman appearing in the illustration on folio 11r. It's currently unclear whether Hutter was involved in the creation of this manuscript or not, but it appears to be a presentation copy of the collected works and includes content unique to each of the three earlier manuscripts.

(Read more…)

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Jud Lew – Pseudo-Peter von Danzig – Martin Syber – Fiore de'i Liberi

Wiktenauer parent organizations

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Historical European Martial Arts Alliance

An educational non-profit organization providing a range of programs and services for its members and affiliate schools and clubs, as well as serving the wider HEMA community.

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Western Martial Arts Coalition

A pan-American network of researchers and instructors dedicated to the study of traditional European, American, and related fighting arts and martial traditions.

Wiktenauer sponsors

Each year Wiktenauer holds a two-week fundraising drive to cover our server fees and fund new projects and acquisitions. The following are the organizations are official sponsors of the 2015 fundraiser; a full list of donors can be viewed on the Contributors page.

Top three 2015 donors

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Kron Martial Arts
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xKdF Network
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Schola Saint George

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Associació Catalana d'Esgrima Antiga
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Boston Armizare
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Fechtschule Victoria
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Longpoint: HEMA Tournaments & Workshops
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Noble Science Academy
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Ottawa Swordplay
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Purpleheart Armoury
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The Rhode Island Fencing Academy and Club
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School of European Swordsmanship
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Sword to Sword - Kunst des Fechtens
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Système d'Armes - New Orleans
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Tattershall School of Defense