|Patron||Ludwig IV "the Gentle"
Ludwig IX "the Rich"
Sigismund of Austria
|Movement||Society of Liechtenauer|
|Influenced||Peter Falkner (?)|
|Language||Early New High German
|Archetype(s)||MS 1825 (1458-1467)
Cgm 1507 (ca.1470)
|Michael Chidester, Carsten Lorbeer,
Julia Lorbeer, Andreas Meier,
Paulus Kal was a 15th century German fencing master. He wrote that he studied martial arts under Hans Stettner von Mörnsheim, and was an initiate of the tradition of Johannes Liechtenauer. He was also attached as Shirrmeister to three different courts in his career, serving in various military capacities including commanding men in at least three campaigns. Perhaps his most significant legacy is an honor role of deceased masters included in the Munich version of his fencing manual, which he styled the Society of Liechtenauer. While several of these masters remain unknown, the majority wrote treatises of their own and Kal's list stands as an independent confirmation of their connection to the grand master. Kal's treatise is interesting in that it represents the first attempt to illustrate Liechtenauer's epitome.
Little is known of Kal's early life, but from 1440 to ca. 1449 he served Ludwig IV "the Gentle" of the House of Wittelsbach, Count Palatine of the Rhine. In 1448, while in the count's service he participated in the defense Nuremberg, commanding a unit of wheel cannons below the gates. The Nuremberg Council notes from 17 March 1449 mention that he had broken the peace of the city at that time by drawing his weapons.
Kal entered the service of Ludwig IX "the Rich" of the House of Wittelsbach, Duke of Bavaria-Landshut, on 29 September 1450. In 1461, he is mentioned commanding a unit of 12 marksmen. From 1465 to 1475, he seems to have also maintained a secondary occupation as a toll collector in Dingolfing. In November 1468, he participated in military actions on the castle Saldenburg, which was successfully taken on 4 December. Shortley thereafter, in ca. 1470, Paulus Kal created a second, expanded version of his fencing manual for Ludwig IX, the current Cgm 1507 (as well, possibly, as the MS 1825). Kal is listed as a guest at the wedding of Ludwig's son George, and continued in the duke's service until his death on 18 January 1479.
On 12 February 1480, Paulus Kal entered the service of Sigismund of the House of Habsburg, Archduke of Austria and Tyrol. Kal acted as one of the archduke's witnesses at a number of interrogations held on 17 October 1485 in Innsbruck, related to the witch trials being conducted by Heinrich Kramer at that time. This is the final time that Kal's name appears in the histories. Several copies of Kal's treatise were created during the 1480s and 90s, including the extensive MS KK5126, but it is unknown if he directly commissioned any of them.
In total, Paulus Kal's teachings are preserved in at least six manuscripts written between 1440 and 1514. The probable archetype, Cgm 1507, includes brief explanations in German for most devices (many extracted from Liechtenauer's epitome). There are four other text-less versions, and these were probably copied from the 1470 version. A sixth version was sold at auction in Italy during the 20th century as individual leaves; this copy contains single-word captions in Latin or Italian and was likely based on one of the four without text. Paulus Hector Mair based content in several sections of the Munich version of his Opus Amplissimum de Arte Athletica on Kal's treatise. It appears that the copy he used for this was textless, and so he added his own extensive commentary on the images. The precise set of images Mair drew upon do not appear in any of the sixth extant manuscripts, which probably signifies that there was a seventh copy of Kal's work that has since been lost.
|Give that most of the versions of Kal's treatise consist only of uncaptioned illustrations, their images have been included at the far right for comparison purposes.|
- Studer, Charles. Das Solothurner Fechtbuch. Zentralbibliothek Solothurn, 1988.
- Tobler, Christian Henry. In Saint George's Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts. Wheaton, IL: Freelance Academy Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0-9825911-1-6
- Tobler, Christian Henry. In Service of the Duke: The 15th Century Fighting Treatise of Paulus Kal. Highland Village, TX: Chivalry Bookshelf, 2006. ISBN 978-1-891448-25-0
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Tobler, Christian Henry. In Service of the Duke: The 15th Century Fighting Treatise of Paulus Kal. Highland Village, TX: Chivalry Bookshelf, 2006.
- ↑ Tobler, Christian Henry. In Saint George's Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts. Wheaton, IL: Freelance Academy Press, 2010. p7
- ↑ Quellen und Erörterungen zur bayerischen und deutschen Geschichte, vol. 8. G. Franz, 1860.
- ↑ Die Nürnberger Ratsverlässe, vol 1. Irene Stahl. Degener, 1983.
- ↑ Geschichte der stadt Dingolfing und ihrer umgebung Von Joseph Wolfgang Eberl. F. Datterer, 1856.
- ↑ Baierische Landtags-Handlungen in den Jahren 1429 bis 1513, vol. 7. Bavaria: Landtag, Franz von Krenner, F.S. Hübschmann, 1804.
- ↑ Beyträge zur vaterländischen Historie, Geographie, Staatistik, etc, vol. 2. Lindauer: Lorenz von Westenrieder, 1789.
- ↑ Zeitschrift des Ferdinandeums für Tirol und Vorarlberg. Herausgegeben von dem verwaltungs-ausschusse desselben. Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum, 1890.