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Hans Seydenfaden von Erfurt

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Hans Seydenfaden von Erfurt
Born 15th century
Occupation Fencing master
Nationality German
Citizenship Erfurt
Movement Fellowship of Liechtenauer
Influences Johannes Liechtenauer
Influenced Hans Medel von Salzburg
Language Early New High German

Hans Seydenfaden von Erfurt (Hanns Seyden Faden vo~ Erfürt) was a 15th century German fencing master. Seydenfaden means silk thread, possibly a reference to his occupation, and Erfurt is a city in the German state Thuringia. Though no treatise authored by him is currently know to survive, his renown as a master was sufficient for Paulus Kal to include him in the list of members of the Fellowship of Liechtenauer in 1470.[1]

Seydenfaden is also mentioned twice in the 1539 Hans Medel Fechtbuch.[2] This may indicate that Hans Medel possessed a treatise by Seydenfaden that is now lost, or even that he was a direct student of Seydenfaden himself.


Though no treatise by Seydenfaden is known to survive, the two statements definitely attributed to him by Hans Medel are given below. This gloss also includes a number of other statements attributed only to "Master Hans", which might equally be a reference to Hans Seydenfaden or Hans Medel, but given their unclear authorship they are not included here.

Complete Translation Complete translation
by Christian Trosclair

Transcription [edit]
by Andreas Engström, Anton Kohutovič,
and Christian Trosclair

Glossing verse 60, "Squint-on if he shortens you. / Changing-through brings victory":

If you stand crookedly or openly in the hanging parrying, as Seydenfaden had taught, it is also shortened and good for you to change-through.

Glossing verses 63-64, "The scalper / is a threat to the face. / With its turn, / the chest is quickly":

Master Hans Seydenfaden also taught the scalper thusly: straight above from the top of the head striking-into with the long edge and swiftly upon that, an under-cut to the right side of his head. Thereafter according to the two plays in his school rules with other strikes, steps and deception.

Glossing verse 65, "What comes from him, / the crown takes away":

Others differ thusly: When you cut-in above with the scalper, if he then parries high with the sword gripped with an armed hand or athwart over the head. That is called the crown against Seydenfaden's scalper and with that run-in with shoving, etc. It also takes away the scalper. It also breaks one as such again as above with the hilt thrown over that and cast down.


  1. The Fellowship of Liechtenauer is recorded in three versions of Paulus Kal's treatise: MS 1825 (1460s), Cgm 1570 (ca. 1470), and MS KK5126 (1480s).
  2. Medel, Hans, et al. Untitled [manuscript]. Cod.I.6.2º.5. Augsburg, Germany: Universitätsbibliothek Augsburg, ca. 1556. ff 29v, 30v