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  | [http://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de/bsb00024296/image_1 Digital scans] (1530s)
  | [http://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de/bsb00024296/image_1 Digital scans] (1530s)
  | [http://www.nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bvb:384-uba001458-2 B&W photocopy] (1530s)
  | [http://www.nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bvb:384-uba001458-2 B&W photocopy] (1530s)
| [http://resolver.libis.be/IE12644841/representation Digital scans] (1558)
  | [http://diglib.hab.de/drucke/hn-64/start.htm Digital scans] (1558)
  | [http://diglib.hab.de/drucke/hn-64/start.htm Digital scans] (1558)
  | [http://www.umass.edu/renaissance/lord/pdfs/Leckuchner_Lebkommer_1558.pdf B&W photocopy] (1558)
  | [http://www.umass.edu/renaissance/lord/pdfs/Leckuchner_Lebkommer_1558.pdf B&W photocopy] (1558)

Revision as of 15:03, 17 September 2021

Der Altenn Fechter anfengliche Kunst
The Ancient Fencer's Beginning Art
Egenolff title 1.jpg
Title page of the first edition
Illustrated by Hans Weiditz
Place of origin Frankfurt-am-Main
Language Early New High German
Sources Ergrundung Ritterlicher Kunst der
Publisher Christian Egenolff
Publication date 1531 - 1537
Pages 94
Treatise scans

Der Altenn Fechter anfengliche Kunst ("The Ancient Fencer's Beginning Art") is a German fencing manual printed in the 16th century by Christian Egenolff. The text is largely a redaction of Andre Paurenfeyndt's earlier treatise Ergrundung Ritterlicher Kunst der Fechterey, but with significant unique material. Egenolff reset the text and hired noted Strasbourg artist Hans Weiditz to illustrate it.

Publication History

The first three printings of Der Altenn Fechter anfengliche Kunst are undated, but the first edition must have been printed between 1531, when Egenolff set up his shop in Frankfurt-am-Main, and Weiditz' death in 1537. The second and third editions were released some time before Egenolff's own death in 1555; a copy of the second edition that recently came up for auction was dated to ca. 1535,[1] but this date seems speculative. In 1558, Egenolff's heirs published a fourth edition posthumously.[2]

In the 1600s, a fairly faithful manuscript including portions of both this text and Albrecht Dürer's OPLODIDASKALIA sive Armorvm Tractandorvm Meditatio Alberti Dvreri was created by an unknown scribe (it has since been lost).


1r - 2v
2v - 3r Twelve Rules for Beginning Fencers by Andre Paurenfeyndt
3r - 14r Sword by Andre Paurenfeyndt
14v - 18r,
23r - 31r
Messer by Hans Lebkommer (Johannes Lecküchner)
18r - 23r Dussack by Andre Paurenfeyndt
31rv Sword and buckler by Andre Lignitzer
31v - 32v Dagger by Andre Lignitzer
32v - 35r Anonymous dagger devices
35v - 43v Anonymous grappling devices
44r - 56v Staff by Andre Paurenfeyndt


Title pages

First edition (1530s)
Egenolff title 1.jpg
Second edition (ca. 1535)
Egenolff title 2.jpg
Third edition (ca. 1545)
Egenolff title 3.jpg
Fourth edition (1558)
Egenolff title 4.jpg


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Additional Resources

  • Bauer, Matthias Johannes. “Der Alten Fechter gründtliche Kunst” – Das Frankfurter oder Egenolffsche Fechtbuch. Untersuchung und Edition. Coll. Geschichtswissenschaften 37. München: Utz Verlag, 2016. ISBN: 978-3-8316-4559-6
  • Jaquet, Daniel; Walczak, Bartłomiej. "Liegnitzer, Hundsfeld or Lew? The question of authorship of popular Medieval fighting teachings". Acta Periodica Duellatorum 2(1): 105-148. 2014. doi:10.1515/apd-2015-0015.


  1. [Lecküchner]. Der Allten Fechter Gründtliche. Live Auctioneers. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  2. According to page 47v of the fourth edition.

Copyright and License Summary

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

Work Author(s) Source License
Images Hans Weiditz Bayerische Staatsbibliothek
Public Domain.png
Transcription Michael Chidester Index:Der Altenn Fechter anfengliche kunst (Christian Egenolff)