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Antonius Rast

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Antonius Rast
Born ca. 1470s
Augsburg, Germany (?)
Died 1549
Augsburg, Germany
Movement Marxbrüder
Influenced Paulus Hector Mair
Genres Fencing manual
Language Early New High German
Archetype(s) Currently lost (1540s)

Antonius Rast (ca. 1470s - 1549) was a 16th century German fencing master and Captain of the Marxbrüder fencing guild from 1522 to 1523. Paulus Hector Mair is the primary source of information about his life, noting that Rast was a professional sword polisher as well as a certified 'Master of the Long Sword'. He began work on a fencing manual later in his life, but didn't complete it before his death in 1549; Mair purchased the manuscript in 1552 and created a completed version in 1553.

Other than Mair's notes, there are no certain records of Rast's life. The chronicle of the Marxbrüder guild found in the Codex I.6.2º.5 mentions that an 'Anthoni Resch' was made Captain in 1522, and includes an 'Anthoni Rasch' in a list of Masters of the Long Sword in 1534. Both of these are presumed to be references to Rast, as they correspond well with Mair's account and texts from this time period have frequent misspellings, but this is by no means certain.

Rast's writings are consistent with the complex of manuals known as the Augsburg Group, but since Paulus Hector Mair had access to the Bauman Fechtbuch when finishing Rast's treatise, it's difficult to make any statements about the nature of Rast's own teachings.


The version of Rast's writings prepared by Mair includes sections on armored foot combat, unarmored staff fencing, and mounted combat, none of which appear in earlier sources and which may have been composed by Rast himself. However, a version of the mounted fencing material is included in the 1590s manuscripts of Jeremias Schemel von Augsburg, intermingled with those of Jörg Wilhalm; Schemel's manuscripts omit one of Rast's plays (and the Vienna offers Wilhalm's version of a second one), but include captions for the pieces on ff 78v-80r which are uncaptioned in Rast. Furthermore, several of them were reproduced in a German reorganization of Federico Grisone's treatise on horsemanship printed in Augsburg in 1570. This may indicate that Rast was drawing on an earlier, unknown source for the mounted material, or even for all three of these sections.

That said, until such a source can be identified, all of the known versions will be compiled on this page.

Additional Resources

The following is a list of publications containing scans, transcriptions, and translations relevant to this article, as well as published peer-reviewed research.


  1. Zwischen der Abbildung der Kämpfer ist hier ein Text eingefügt, auf Vorlage schwer lesbar, von anderer Hand.
  2. „von stangen varn“ würde hier eigentlich mehr Sinn ergeben. Gegen ein „u“ spricht der fehlende Umlaut. „nn“ würde aber keinen Sinn ergeben. Die letzte Silbe könnte auch ein „er“ sein.
  3. Man könnte fast meinen, der Schreiber verliert langsam die Lust ;-)
  4. Vermutl. hat hier der Schreiber das „e“ vergessen.