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Nuremberg Hausbuch (MS 3227a)

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Nuremberg Hausbuch
MS 3227a, Germanisches Nationalmuseum
Nuremberg, Germany

MS 3227a 13v.jpg
MS 3227a 14r.jpg
ff 13v - 14r
Type Commonplace book
Date ca. 1400s
Language(s) Middle High German
Compiled by Unknown
Material Paper and parchment, in a
leather binding
Size 169 folia
Script Bastarda
External data Museum catalog entry
Other translations

The Nuremberg Hausbuch (MS 3227a) is a German commonplace book (or Hausbuch in German) thought to have been created some time between 1389 and 1494.[1] The original currently rests in the holdings of the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg, Germany. It is sometimes erroneously attributed to Hans Döbringer,[2] when in fact he is but one of the four authors of a brief addendum to Johannes Liechtenauer's art of long sword fencing, the only fencing material in the manuscript that appears in another fencing manual. The rest of the manuscript is a typical example of a commonplace book, containing a variety of unrelated treatises on mundane and esoteric topics, including fencing and grappling. The martial sections of the text seem to consist of commentary on and expansion of the teachings of Liechtenauer, even containing the only biographical details of the master yet discovered, and it is even speculated that he was still alive at the time of the writing.[3]

Christian Tobler argues that it is unjustified to assume a date of 1389 based purely on the presence of a century-long calendar. The eclectic nature of commonplace books means that the calendar could easily have been an old calendar or even a future one. As the date of the Nuremberg Hausbuch is also used to estimate the time period of Liechtenauer's career, this is a significant error. (Using it to date Liechtenauer is further complicated by the fact that even if he were alive when the fencing treatise was written, the version in this manuscript is potentially a later copy rather than the original.)[4] An upper limit on the origin of the manuscript can be set based on the date in the cover, but realistically it could still originate from any time between the turn of the 15th century and Nicolaus Pol's ownership in 1494.



1r - 5v Treatise on fireworks (Marcus Graecus: Liber Ignium)
6r Recipes for powders used for painting
6v - 10v Latin recipes (paint, alchemy, medicine)
11r - 12r
12v - 13r Alchemical recipes in Latin
13v - 17v
18r - 40r
43r - 52v Long sword by Andres Juden, Jobs von der Nyssen, Nicklass Prewßen, and "the Priest" Hans Döbringer
53r - 59v Recital on mounted fencing by Johannes Liechtenauer
60r - 62r Recital on short sword by Johannes Liechtenauer
64r - 65r
66v - 67r Astrological texts, magical and medicinal recipes, name magic
68r - 73v Astrological texts, magical and medicinal recipes, name magic
74v - 77v Recipes for paint, tumors, metal and ivory treatment
79r - 81v Miscellaneous Latin recipes, treatment of gems, preparation of a miraculous potion
83v Religious calendar, 1390-1495
84r - 85r
85v - 86v Magical recipes
86r - 89r
90v - 165v Recipes for dental hygiene, various alchemical recipes, food recipes, nonsense recipes, in various hands
166r - 169v Index to the recipes in the manuscript, partly illegible


Folio 11r
MS 3227a 11r.jpg
Folio 11v
MS 3227a 11v.jpg
Folio 12r
MS 3227a 12r.jpg
Folio 12v
Folio 13r
Folio 13v
MS 3227a 13v.jpg
Folio 14r
MS 3227a 14r.jpg
Folio 14v
MS 3227a 14v.jpg
Folio 15r
MS 3227a 15r.jpg
Folio 15v
MS 3227a 15v.jpg
Folio 16r
MS 3227a 16r.jpg
Folio 16v
MS 3227a 16v.jpg
Folio 17r
MS 3227a 17r.jpg
Folio 17v
MS 3227a 17v.jpg
Folio 18r
MS 3227a 18r.jpg
Folio 18v
MS 3227a 18v.jpg
Folio 19r
MS 3227a 19r.jpg
Folio 19v
MS 3227a 19v.jpg
Folio 20r
MS 3227a 20r.jpg
Folio 20v
MS 3227a 20v.jpg
Folio 21r
MS 3227a 21r.jpg
Folio 21v
MS 3227a 21v.jpg
Folio 22r
MS 3227a 22r.jpg
Folio 22v
MS 3227a 22v.jpg
Folio 23r
MS 3227a 23r.jpg
Folio 23v
MS 3227a 23v.jpg
Folio 24r
MS 3227a 24r.jpg
Folio 24v
Folio 25r
MS 3227a 25r.jpg
Folio 25v
MS 3227a 25v.jpg
Folio 26r
Folio 26v
MS 3227a 26v.jpg
Folio 27r
MS 3227a 27r.jpg
Folio 27v
MS 3227a 27v.jpg
Folio 28r
MS 3227a 28r.jpg
Folio 28v
MS 3227a 28v.jpg
Folio 29r
Folio 29v
MS 3227a 29v.jpg
Folio 30r
MS 3227a 30r.jpg
Folio 30v
Folio 31r
Folio 31v
Folio 32r
MS 3227a 32r.jpg
Folio 32v
MS 3227a 32v.jpg
Folio 33r
MS 3227a 33r.jpg
Folio 33v
MS 3227a 33v.jpg
Folio 34r
MS 3227a 34r.jpg
Folio 34v
MS 3227a 34v.jpg
Folio 35r
MS 3227a 35r.jpg
Folio 35v
MS 3227a 35v.jpg
Folio 36r
MS 3227a 36r.jpg
Folio 36v
MS 3227a 36v.jpg
Folio 37r
MS 3227a 37r.jpg
Folio 37v
MS 3227a 37v.jpg
Folio 38r
MS 3227a 38r.jpg
Folio 38v
MS 3227a 38v.jpg
Folio 39r
Folio 39v
MS 3227a 39v.jpg
Folio 40r
MS 3227a 40r.jpg
Folio 40v
Folio 41r
Folio 41v
Folio 42r
Folio 42v
Folio 43r
MS 3227a 43r.jpg
Folio 43v
MS 3227a 43v.jpg
Folio 44r
MS 3227a 44r.jpg
Folio 44v
MS 3227a 44v.jpg
Folio 45r
MS 3227a 45r.jpg
Folio 45v
MS 3227a 45v.jpg
Folio 46r
Folio 46v
Folio 47r
MS 3227a 47r.jpg
Folio 47v
MS 3227a 47v.jpg
Folio 48r
MS 3227a 48r.jpg
Folio 48v
MS 3227a 48v.jpg
Folio 49r
Folio 49v
Folio 50r
Folio 50v
Folio 51r
Folio 51v
Folio 52r
Folio 52v
MS 3227a 52v.jpg
Folio 53r
MS 3227a 53r.jpg
Folio 53v
MS 3227a 53v.jpg
Folio 54r
Folio 54v
MS 3227a 54v.jpg
Folio 55r
MS 3227a 55r.jpg
Folio 55v
Folio 56r
Folio 56v
Folio 57r
Folio 57v
MS 3227a 57v.jpg
Folio 58r
MS 3227a 58r.jpg
Folio 58v
MS 3227a 58v.jpg
Folio 59r
MS 3227a 59r.jpg
Folio 59v
MS 3227a 59v.jpg
Folio 60r
MS 3227a 60r.jpg
Folio 60v
MS 3227a 60v.jpg
Folio 61r
Folio 61v
MS 3227a 61v.jpg
Folio 62r
Folio 62v
Folio 63r
Folio 63v
Folio 64r
MS 3227a 64r.jpg
Folio 64v
MS 3227a 64v.jpg
Folio 65r
MS 3227a 65r.jpg
Folio 65v

Additional Resources


  1. The date of 1389 is based on the presence of a 105-year religious calendar on folio 83v that begins in 1390, while the date 1494 is included with the signature of Nicolaus Pol inside the front cover.
  2. The attribution to Hans "Hanko" Döbringer is based on how prominently the name "Hanko pfaffen Döbringers" appears to be displayed on folio 43r, but upon examination this is revealed as a simple correction inserted in the margin indicating that Döbringer's name had been accidentally omitted from the list of four authors of the treatise beginning on that page. Attributing this manuscript to Döbringer therefore requires him to have forgotten to include his own name in his own treatise.
  3. The manuscript uniformly lacks the traditional prayer for the dead when mentioning his name.
  4. Tobler, Christian Henry. "Chicken and Eggs: Which Master Came First?" In Saint George's Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts. Wheaton, IL: Freelance Academy Press, 2010.
  5. This has proven as untranslatable so far and here I can only guess the meaning! I guess this is about the concealed quality of the strikes, but I am not sure.
  6. Alternative interpretation: keep your blade on top of his.
  7. Thrust exchange from the bind.
  8. Striking the wrist and arms.
  9. vorreben?
  10. Cut to the hands and then cut the throat.
  11. from above; the high guard
  12. upper opening
  13. lower opening
  14. The comment ends here and remains unfinished.
  15. Most of the verses on this page are associated with armored fencing in other treatises.
  16. crown displacement technique
  17. This paragraph is above the script level. Unlike other places where there are definitely forgotten passages originally marked with a caret, such is missing here. Thus, it can be conjectured that this is a later addition or comment.
  18. latin: ut potuit. "as [they] are able" This is underlined and not stricken.
  19. Latin passage follows ; very difficult.
  20. Please note that there are only three methods described against the turning-out.
  21. The next sentence /och me was../ does not make any sense.
  22. Alternate description follows, it hopefully should make the method clearer:
    If he holds you by the shoulders, and you grab his shoulders from the outside. Then you sling your right arm with the elbow over his left and below his right, and push downwards, so his right arm moves up. Take this arm over your head and secure the grip with your left hand behind your head; and then push against his chest with your right again. This will lead to a painful breaking lock.
  23. This is a partner exercise, similar to one I know in chinese shuai chiao

Copyright and License Summary

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

Work Author(s) Source License
Images Germanisches Nationalmuseum Digitale Bibliothek
Translation (11r - 12r) Jeffrey Hull "Fight-Book Clues to the Quality and Build of Knightly Weaponry"
Translation (13v - 89v) Thomas Stoeppler Private communication
Translation (74r) Michael Chidester Wiktenauer
Translation (78r) Betsy Winslow Wiktenauer
Transcription Dierk Hagedorn Index:Nuremberg Hausbuch (MS 3227a)