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Difference between revisions of "Hans Talhoffer"

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! <p>Illustrations</p>
 
! <p>Illustrations</p>
! <p>{{rating|C}}<br/>by [[Jeffrey Hull]]</p>
+
! <p>{{rating|B}}<br/>by [[Rebecca Garber]]</p>
 
! <p>[[Talhoffer Fechtbuch (MS Thott.290.2º)|Archetype Transcription]] (1459){{edit index|Talhoffer Fechtbuch (MS Thott.290.2º)}}<br/>by [[Dieter Bachmann]]</p>
 
! <p>[[Talhoffer Fechtbuch (MS Thott.290.2º)|Archetype Transcription]] (1459){{edit index|Talhoffer Fechtbuch (MS Thott.290.2º)}}<br/>by [[Dieter Bachmann]]</p>
  
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| <p>[2] Item: The palace of the correct art, according to which it is also easy to understand, as the masters divided it from nearby paths, because this is the cor-rect foundation.</p>
+
| <p>[2] Item: The palace of the correct art, according to which it is also easy to understand, as the masters divided it from nearby paths, because this is the correct foundation.</p>
 
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 001v.jpg|2|lbl=-}}
 
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 001v.jpg|2|lbl=-}}
  
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| <p>Item: when you enter into the barriers<ref>''Schranken/Schränken'' means to close off a space by blocking entry and/or exit. Lexer lists one possibility as spe-cifically relating to tournaments [''turnieren''].</ref> [at the field of combat] and want to begin, then let everyone say and do whatever he would want. And do not look behind you, and remain earnest in mind, and whatever he says to you, do not engage with it. And fight seriously there for yourself, and allow him no rest, and trust and follow the art. Do not fear his blows, and if he seriously wants to approach you, then pull the strikes from him so that any strike joyfully gainsays that </p>
+
| <p>Item: when you enter into the barriers<ref>''Schranken/Schränken'' means to close off a space by blocking entry and/or exit. Lexer lists one possibility as specifically relating to tournaments [''turnieren''].</ref> [at the field of combat] and want to begin, then let everyone say and do whatever he would want. And do not look behind you, and remain earnest in mind, and whatever he says to you, do not engage with it. And fight seriously there for yourself, and allow him no rest, and trust and follow the art. Do not fear his blows, and if he seriously wants to approach you, then pull the strikes from him so that any strike joyfully gainsays that </p>
 
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 001v.jpg|4|lbl=-}}
 
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 001v.jpg|4|lbl=-}}
  
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|-  
 
|-  
 
! <p>Illustrations</p>
 
! <p>Illustrations</p>
! <p>{{rating|C}}<br/>by [[Jeffrey Hull]]</p>
+
! <p>{{rating|B}}<br/>by [[Rebecca Garber]]</p>
 
! <p>[[Talhoffer Fechtbuch (MS Thott.290.2º)|Archetype Transcription]] (1459){{edit index|Talhoffer Fechtbuch (MS Thott.290.2º)}}<br/>by [[Dieter Bachmann]]</p>
 
! <p>[[Talhoffer Fechtbuch (MS Thott.290.2º)|Archetype Transcription]] (1459){{edit index|Talhoffer Fechtbuch (MS Thott.290.2º)}}<br/>by [[Dieter Bachmann]]</p>
  
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| <p>[1] {{red|b=1|Here one finds writing about fights.}}</p>
 
| <p>[1] {{red|b=1|Here one finds writing about fights.}}</p>
  
<p>Item: Even though it now is the case, that the decre-tals forbid fights, yet the custom established [in the past] by emperors and kings, princes and lords, [was] to grant and allow fights, and additionally to offer the same protection, and, as is subsequently written here, particularly about several topics and subjects.
+
<p>Item: Even though it now is the case, that the decretals forbid fights, yet the custom established [in the past] by emperors and kings, princes and lords, [was] to grant and allow fights, and additionally to offer the same protection, and, as is subsequently written here, particularly about several topics and subjects.
 
</p>
 
</p>
 
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 008r.jpg|1|lbl=8r}}
 
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 008r.jpg|1|lbl=8r}}
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| <p>[2] {{red|Item: Regarding the first point: that no one likes to have his honor loudly cut short with words by some-one who is his associate. He would rather fight with him, even though he could justifiably walk away from him if he wanted, and therefore fighting is [an act of] free will<ref>''Muotwille'' is the drive to carry something out, which can equally have positive or negative roots, justifications, outcomes. According to Lever and Grimm, in the case of legal writing only, ''mutwille'' is represented as “the opposite of that which is demanded by law”.</ref> [that is legally unjustified].}}</p>
+
| <p>[2] {{red|Item: Regarding the first point: that no one likes to have his honor loudly cut short with words by someone who is his associate. He would rather fight with him, even though he could justifiably walk away from him if he wanted, and therefore fighting is [an act of] free will<ref>''Muotwille'' is the drive to carry something out, which can equally have positive or negative roots, justifications, outcomes. According to Lever and Grimm, in the case of legal writing only, ''mutwille'' is represented as “the opposite of that which is demanded by law”.</ref> [that is legally unjustified].}}</p>
 
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 008r.jpg|2|lbl=-}}
 
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 008r.jpg|2|lbl=-}}
  
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| <p>[6] Item: If two men randomly promise to fight against one another before the court, then one also gives them six weeks of training time and both are com-manded to keep the peace, and whichever among them breaks the peace, he is condemned without the combat, as is correct.</p>
+
| <p>[6] Item: If two men randomly promise to fight against one another before the court, then one also gives them six weeks of training time and both are commanded to keep the peace, and whichever among them breaks the peace, he is condemned without the combat, as is correct.</p>
 
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 008v.jpg|3|lbl=-}}
 
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 008v.jpg|3|lbl=-}}
  
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| <p>[7] {{red|b=1|How one can legally withdraw from [fighting with] the other.}}</p>
 
| <p>[7] {{red|b=1|How one can legally withdraw from [fighting with] the other.}}</p>
  
<p>Item: If a man is formally challenged to single combat by one, who is not as good as he [the challenged] is, he can legally withdraw from [fighting with] him if he wants, or if one man were said to be legally de-prived of rights,<ref>I.e. has been called/labeled illegitimate, unauthentic, has lost legal rights derived from legal birth or marriage.</ref> or has become legally deprived of rights, one may also withdraw from the fight with him.
+
<p>Item: If a man is formally challenged to single combat by one, who is not as good as he [the challenged] is, he can legally withdraw from [fighting with] him if he wants, or if one man were said to be legally deprived of rights,<ref>I.e. has been called/labeled illegitimate, unauthentic, has lost legal rights derived from legal birth or marriage.</ref> or has become legally deprived of rights, one may also withdraw from the fight with him.
 
</p>
 
</p>
 
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 008v.jpg|4|lbl=-}}
 
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 008v.jpg|4|lbl=-}}
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| <p>[11] Item: When the six weeks are thus up and the last day has arrived, on which the judge has decided that they should fight, then the two should come before the judge with such a display of honor<ref>''Ertzögen'': possibilities from Lexer: 1) could be the participial form from ''erziehen'' [Lexer] drawing a sword specifically upward, or raising/training humans and animals. 2) erzöugen = to show/demonstrate. 3) er zöugen = eh-re zeigen to display honor. Possibilities from Grimm: 4) erziehen = to raise a sword, to swing a sword or axe, to educate, bring up, train up, to lift up.</ref> and in such a spirit as custom and law teaches in the country in which they are to fight, or according to which they have confirmed through free will with one another.</p>
+
| <p>[11] Item: When the six weeks are thus up and the last day has arrived, on which the judge has decided that they should fight, then the two should come before the judge with such a display of honor<ref>''Ertzögen'': possibilities from Lexer: 1) could be the participial form from ''erziehen'' [Lexer] drawing a sword specifically upward, or raising/training humans and animals. 2) ''erzöugen'' = to show/demonstrate. 3) ''er zöugen'' = ''ehre zeigen'' to display honor. Possibilities from Grimm: 4) ''erziehen'' = to raise a sword, to swing a sword or axe, to educate, bring up, train up, to lift up.</ref> and in such a spirit<ref>Or “mood”.</ref>as custom and law teaches in the country in which they are to fight, or according to which they have confirmed through free will with one another.</p>
 
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 009r.jpg|3|lbl=-}}
 
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 009r.jpg|3|lbl=-}}
  
 
|-  
 
|-  
 
|  
 
|  
| <p>[12] Thus so there, the complainant shall swear that he therefor has cause ''for fighting the other''; and that he has deemed the other man guilty. And then shall ''the judge'' assign a ring and “grit-wardens” and verdict; and counsel wise decrees according to the customs of the land; whereupon the day in the ring arrives ''for'' the verdict. One erring man vanquished as honour demands; which he shall take as proof and as rightful / lawful.</p>
+
| <p>[12] Item: Then, the plaintiff should swear there, that he makes the accusation about the subject about which he challenged the other man, and then one should make a ring, and [find] judges<ref>Or “overseers”.</ref> for the legal single combat, to render judgement according to the advice of wise people and the customs of the country, and whoever does not appear in the ring on that day, that one is judged [to be] without victory [and] in error, unless [there is] legitimate necessity, which he shall prove according to the law.</p>
 
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{{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 009r.jpg|4|lbl=-|p=1}} {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 009v.jpg|1|lbl=9v|p=1}}
 
{{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 009r.jpg|4|lbl=-|p=1}} {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 009v.jpg|1|lbl=9v|p=1}}
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| <p>[13] {{red|b=1|Here is stated how one shall hold oneself when the combatants are come into the ring upon the ''appointed'' hour, at which time one thus shall duel ''the other'' adversarily:}}</p>
+
| <p>[13] {{red|b=1|Here it is written how one should hold one’s self, when the fighters have entered the ring at the hour and at the time [at which] one should fight as adversaries.}}</p>
  
<p>{{red|W}}hen the combatants are thus come into the ring, then the judge of that hour shall stare at all ''there''; and advise that hiding is forbidden, by health and wealth; and that he shall not allow one or the other to be aided by someone else; thus shall each both do ''combat exclusively;'' so may the ''judge'' intimidate any rabble.</p>
+
<p>{{red|b=1|W}}hen the fighters have thus entered the ring, Then the judge should strictly forbid all disruptions and coaching from that hour onward, under threat to body and property, and should not permit that one is not assisted or punished more than the other, and should make the two of them as equally impaired<ref>Or “injured”.</ref> as he can.</p>
 
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 009v.jpg|2|lbl=-}}
 
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 009v.jpg|2|lbl=-}}
  
 
|-  
 
|-  
 
|  
 
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| <p>[14] {{red|b=1|That which is lawful if one of the combatants flees out, or becomes driven out, of the ring:}}</p>
+
| <p>[14] {{red|b=1|This is what would be legal, if one of the fighters would flee or be driven out of the ring.}}</p>
  
<p>Thus whichever ''combatant'' comes out of the ring, before then the duel has its ''deadly'' ending, because he becomes knocked out of ''the ring'' by the other or he flees thereout, or however else he comes thereout; or he admits that the other man’s position regarding the cause for challenge is right – then shall that man be adjudged vanquished, or otherwise slain and killed; ''for another'' man has conquered him.</p>
+
<p>Item: Whichever fighter exits the ring before the combat has an end, [whether] he is struck by the other or flees therefrom (or however he would exit therefrom), or whether he admits to the issue about which [the other] one had legally summoned him, that one should be judged to be without victory. Or whichever one slays and kills the other, that one has won. However, one should judge him according to the custom and law of the country about the issue regarding which they have fought with one another.</p>
 
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 009v.jpg|3|lbl=-}}
 
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 009v.jpg|3|lbl=-}}
  
 
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|-  
 
|  
 
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| <p>[15] Then a man shall rectify indeed as is lawful and customary in the land. And thereby they have battled one another.</p>
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| <p>[15] {{red|b=1|Now take note of these points: it is imperative to understand [them].}}</p>
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 009v.jpg|4|lbl=-}}
+
 
 +
<p>Item the first: You should be well acquainted with the master who wants to teach you, that his art is correct and true, and that he is honorable<ref>''Vrum'' from Lexer includes pretty much all of the virtues of a knight: ''tüchtig'', ''brav'', ''ehrbar'', ''gut'', ''trefflich'', ''angesehn'', ''vornehm'', ''wacker'', ''tapfer'', that is, capable, virtuous, honorable, good, excellent, respected, genteel (well-bred), brave, and courageous.</ref> and does not treat you disloyally and does not abbreviate<ref>Or “abridge”.</ref> in teaching you, and knows to prepare the weapons with which he wants to fight.</p>
 +
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 010r.jpg|1|lbl=10r}}
  
 
|-  
 
|-  
 
|  
 
|  
| <p>[16] {{red|b=1|Now mark this bond that ''you'' need to understand:}}<br/><br/></p>
+
| <p>[16] He should also not accept the master,<br/>[unless] he then swears to him to strive for his honor<br/>and to turn away from his evil.<br/>He should in turn swear the same to the master<br/>not to teach his art to others.</p>
 
+
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 010r.jpg|2|lbl=-}}
<p>Thus firstly you should know well the master who will teach you; that his art be right and protective; and that he be pious / sober; and that he not embezzle you; and that he not shorten / beguile the lore; and that he wits to broaden the arsenal wherewith he will battle. However – should that master not accept ''that'', swearing upon his profits ingratiatingly and his prejudices devotedly and thus shall his ilk become masters because of him – then swear neither to further nor to teach his ''so-called'' art.</p>
 
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 010r.jpg|1|lbl=10r}}
 
  
 
|-  
 
|-  
 
|  
 
|  
| <p>[17] {{red|b=1|Here heed the master:}}</p>
+
| <p>[16] {{red|b=1|Here [is a] note to the master.}}</p>
  
<p>Thus the master, who ''has'' a student to teach, he shall wit that he recognise well the man whom he will teach; whether he be weak or strong and if he be coxcombraging or gentle-minded; whether he has good breathing / endurance or not; and whether he may work heartily. So when you ''the master'' have well-recognised him as into the lore and what work he is able to do, thereafter you must teach ''the student'' such that it avails him against his foes. Yet the combatant and the master shall guard that they let no man see them nor also the arsenal with which they work. And they both ''shall'' guard ''their doings'' from much of society; and say little of the fighting, so that no notice is made thereof.</p>
+
<p>Item: The master, who has a subordinate<ref>I.e. student.</ref> to teach, he should know that he is well acquainted with the man whom he wants to teach, whether he is weak or strong, and whether he is quickly angry or gentle, also whether he has good breathing or not, also whether he can work at length, and when you have become well acquainted with him in teaching, and [know] what work he is capable of, then afterward, you must teach him that which is useful for him against his enemy. Also, the fighter and the master should guard themselves, that they allow no one to see [them] and particularly the weapons with which they work. And the two should guard from a lot of socializing and say little about the fight, so that no discovery is made about that.</p>
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 010r.jpg|2|lbl=-}}
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| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 010r.jpg|3|lbl=-}}
  
 
|-  
 
|-  
 
|  
 
|  
| <p>[18] {{red|b=1|About patronage:}}</p>
+
| <p>[17] {{red|b=1|About scouting.}}<ref>Literally “information-gathering”.</ref></p>
  
<p>How the combatant and the master want to relate: Remit the fee and reciprocate. What be his nature? If he be strong or weak, if yet he be coxcomb-raging or not; and how his top heats up if someone would quarrel or fight. It is also needful to wit by the master who teaches him: That the man strives to set himself aright.</p>
+
<p>How the fighter and the master can have knowledge regarding their opponent, what his character is, whether he is strong or weak, whether he is also quickly angry or not, and what his baptismal name is, whether one could predict or calculate from that.<ref>Probably onomancy based on his baptismal name (which is included in an earlier manuscript Talhoffer owned) and/or astrology based on his date of baptism.</ref> It is also necessary to know, what master is teaching him, so that one can direct oneself accordingly.</p>
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 010r.jpg|3|lbl=-}}
+
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 010r.jpg|4|lbl=-}}
  
 
|-  
 
|-  
 
|  
 
|  
| <p>[19] {{red|b=1|When now ''the combatant'' is taught and shall go within the barriers:}}</p>
+
| <p>[18] {{red|b=1|When he is now taught and should enter into the barriers.}}<ref>''Schränken'' are the barriers used to form the ring/square/space for combat.</ref></p>
  
<p>So firstly, when he shall fight, accordingly shall he hear a priest say mass, in honour of Our Lady ''Mary'' and of Saint George ''patron of knights'', and the priest shall bless him in the name of Saint John of the gospel, with which the combatant agrees. Thereafter the master shall try earnestly to advise ''the combatant one last time''; whereupon ''the combatant'' shall stay; and shall fathom nothing, yet focus upon his foe and earnestly look at him.</p>
+
<p>Firstly, he should then confess.<ref>This is a religious confession to a priest, in case he dies.</ref> Afterward, a priest should read him a Mass about Our Lady and Saint George, and then the priest should bless Saint John’s wine<ref>St. John the Apostle was known for blessing a poisoned cup of wine, where the poison left in the form of a snake. ''Johannesminne'' or ''Johanneswein'' became customary throughout Germany in the 12th c. Numerous examples are found in: Hanns Bächtold-Stäubli: ''Handwörterbuch des deutschen Aberglaubens'', Bd. 4, Berlin 1932, Sp. 745–760.</ref> to him and give [it] to the fighter. Afterward, the master should seriously examine him, and instruct him as to where he should remain,<ref>I.e. within the boundaries of the combat ring.</ref> and [he] should pay attention to nothing except for his enemy and [should] view him seriously.</p>
 
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{{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 010r.jpg|4|lbl=-|p=1}} {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 010v.jpg|1|lbl=10v|p=1}}
+
{{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 010r.jpg|5|lbl=-|p=1}} {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 010v.jpg|1|lbl=10v|p=1}}
  
 
|-  
 
|-  
 
|  
 
|  
| <p>[20] {{red|b=1|Mark the presentation}} when one thus comes within the barriers:</p>
+
| <p>[19] {{red|b=1|Note regarding the entry.}}</p>
  
<p>So shall he make one cross with the right foot and one ''cross'' with the right hand at his breast and shall sign in the name of the Father and Son and the Holy Ghost. The grit-wardens ''bearing staves or spears'' take the men in and present them and they turn round in the Sun. So then shall ''each'' combatant bid ''well'' the ''witnessing'' princes and lords; and they stand around the circle, as each bids God would help him and would give him victory over his foe, as He has truth and right.</p>
+
<p>Item: When the man enters the barriers, then he should make a cross with the right foot and one with the hand at the breast, and should proceed in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Then the judges of the single combat are to take him and are to guide or direct him around [the ring] counter to the direction of the sun.<Ref>The sun travels clockwise.</ref> Then, the fighter should ask the princes and lords and those standing around the circle that they would help him to ask God that He would grant him the victory against his enemy, as he has truth and law [on his side].</p>
 
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 010v.jpg|2|lbl=-}}
 
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 010v.jpg|2|lbl=-}}
  
 
|-  
 
|-  
 
|  
 
|  
| <p>[21] {{red|b=1|Thereafter shall one sit down in the chair:}}</p>
+
| <p>[20] {{red|b=1|Afterward, one should set himself in the seat.}}<ref>Sessel usually refers to a seat of honor, generally a chair with a back and arms.</ref></p>
  
<p>When he is now seated, so shall someone overspan him with a tent, and his bier ''is'' behind him at the barriers, and his arsenal is well-arrayed and is lawful and ready for ''his'' needs / as required by court.</p>
+
<p>
 +
When he is now seated, then one should set up<ref>Or “extend”.</ref> a cloth in front of him and his litter<ref>A ''Bahre'' is a horizontal means of carrying something, and may refer to both a ''Tragbahre'', a litter for the injured, and also a ''Totenbahre'', a litter for the dead. “Bier”, which is a cognate, has a narrower definition than the original.</ref> behind him at the barriers, and his weapons are well hung and organized according to need.</p>
 
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 010v.jpg|3|lbl=-}}
 
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 010v.jpg|3|lbl=-}}
  
 
|-  
 
|-  
 
|  
 
|  
| <p>[22] {{red|b=1|The grit-wardens or armigers:}}</p>
+
| <p>[21] {{red|b=1|The judges of the single combat or overseers.}}</p>
  
<p>The master and grit-wardens should heed the judge, or whomever else then ''as agreed previously''. Dueling is started at the first call – so shall he ''the judge'' call the ''combatants'' to stand up and draw up from the tents; and when he has called for the third time, calling them ''by name'', then he goes thence and commends them unto God.</p>
+
<p>The master and the judges of the single combat should pay attention to the executioner or to that one who will start the combat. When he calls for the first time, then he should command the man to stand up and pull the cloth away from himself, and when one calls for the third time, then he should command him to go there and commend him to God.</p>
 
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 010v.jpg|4|lbl=-}}
 
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 010v.jpg|4|lbl=-}}
  
 
|-  
 
|-  
 
|  
 
|  
| <p>[23] {{red|b=1|Of the aftermath ''states the'' judge:}}</p>
+
| <p>[22] {{red|b=1|About the executioner.}}</p>
  
<p>Thus the combatant shall ward his body as avails him, within the ring or barriers; and then go out when he overcomes. So states the judge the aftermath at the barriers – that ''the combatant'' has proven ''himself'' ever-so right, if he becomes called ''the winner''.</p>
+
<p>Item: the fighter should observe,<ref>Or “keep in mind”.</ref>that at no time does his body move past the ring or the barriers, because whatever would extend past that, the executioner is standing at the barriers, he cuts it off with legal right, if he has been called upon [to do that].</p>
  
<p>'''x {{red|Talhoffer}}'''</p>
+
<p>'''X {{red|Talhoffer}}'''</p>
 
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 010v.jpg|5|lbl=-}}
 
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 010v.jpg|5|lbl=-}}
  
 
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| rowspan="2" | [[File:MS Thott.290.2º 011r.jpg|400x400px|center]]
 
| rowspan="2" | [[File:MS Thott.290.2º 011r.jpg|400x400px|center]]
| <p>[24] {{red|b=1|He “inscribes” a message within a knotted twine.}}</p>
+
| <p>[23] {{red|b=1|He writes on a knotted thread/string.}}</p>
 
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 011r.jpg|1|lbl=11r}}
 
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 011r.jpg|1|lbl=11r}}
  
 
|-  
 
|-  
| <p>[25] {{red|b=1|He records the words of the mouth upon paper and those shall become black later.}}</p>
+
| <p>[24] {{red|b=1|He writes [the words] from his mouth and becomes black.}}</p>
 
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 011r.jpg|2|lbl=-}}
 
| {{section|Page:MS Thott.290.2º 011r.jpg|2|lbl=-}}
  
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{{master subsection end}}
 
{{master subsection end}}
 
{{master end}}
 
{{master end}}
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== Temp ==
 
== Temp ==
 
{{master begin
 
{{master begin

Revision as of 05:14, 24 February 2021

Hans Talhoffer
Born ca. 1410-15
Swabia
Died after 1482
Occupation
Patron
Movement Marxbrüder (?)
Genres
Language Early New High German
Archetype(s)
Manuscript(s)
Concordance by Michael Chidester
Translations
Signature Hans Talhoffer Sig.jpg
Talhoffer's heraldry, including the Lion of St. Mark

Hans Talhoffer (Dalhover, Talhouer, Thalhoffer, Talhofer) was a 15th century German fencing master. His martial lineage is unknown, but his writings make it clear that he had some connection to the tradition of Johannes Liechtenauer, the grand master of the German school of fencing. Talhoffer was a well educated man, who took interest in astrology, mathematics, onomastics, and the auctoritas and the ratio. He authored at least five fencing manuals during the course of his career, and appears to have made his living teaching, including training people for trial by combat.

The first historical reference to Talhoffer is in 1433, when he represented Johann Ⅱ von Reisberg, archbishop of Salzburg, before the Vehmic court. Shortly thereafter in 1434, Talhoffer was arrested and questioned by order of Wilhelm von Villenbach (a footman to Albrecht Ⅲ von Wittelsbach, duke of Bavaria) in connection to the trial of a Nuremberg aristocrat named Jacob Auer, accused of murdering of his brother Hans. Talhoffer subsequently confessed to being hired to abduct Hans von Villenbach, and offered testimony that others hired by Auer performed the murder.[1] Auer's trial was quite controversial and proved a major source of contention and regional strife for the subsequent two years. Talhoffer himself remained in the service of the archbishop for at least a few more years, and in 1437 is mentioned as serving as a bursary officer (Kastner) in Hohenburg.[2]

The 1440s saw the launch of Talhoffer's career as a professional fencing master. He purchased (and perhaps contributed to) the MS Chart.A.558, an anthology created in ca. 1448. The fencing portion is largely text-less and it may have been designed as a visual aid for use in teaching; in addition to these illustrations, the manuscript also contains a treatise on name magic and a warbook that might be related to Konrad Kyeser's Bellifortis. While Talhoffer's owner's mark appears in this manuscript,[3] his level of involvement with its creation is unclear. It contains many works by other authors, in addition to plays that are somewhat similar to his later works, and shows evidence of multiple scribes and multiple artists. It is possible that he purchased the manuscript after it was completed (or partially completed), and used it as a basis for his later teachings.[4]

Most notable among the noble clients that Talhoffer served in this period was the Königsegg family of southern Germany, and some time between 1446 and 1459[5] he produced the MS ⅩⅨ.17-3 for this family. This work depicts a judicial duel being fought by Luithold von Königsegg and the training that Talhoffer gave him in preparation, but it seems that this duel never actually took place.[6] He seems to have passed through Emerkingen later in the 1450s, where he was contracted to train the brothers David and Buppellin vom Stain; he also produced the MS 78.A.15 for them, a significantly expanded version of the Königsegg manuscript.[7]

In 1459,[8] Talhoffer commissioned the MS Thott.290.2º, a new personal fencing manual along the same lines as the 1448 work but expanded with additional content and captioned throughout. He appears to have continued instructing throughout the 1460s, and in 1467 he produced his final manuscript, Cod.icon 394a, for another of his noble clients, Eberhardt Ⅰ von Württemberg.[9] This would be his most extensive work, and the graf paid 10 Guilder as well as quantities of rye and oats for the finished work.[10]

While only a few facts are known about Talhoffer's life, this has not stopped authors from conjecture. The presence of the Lion of St. Mark in Talhoffer's 1459 coat of arms (right) has given rise to speculation that he may have been an early or even founding member of the Frankfurt-am-Main-based Marxbrüder fencing guild, though there is no record of their existence prior to 1474.[citation needed] Additionally, much has been made of the fact that Talhoffer's name doesn't appear in Paulus Kal's list of members of the Fellowship of Liechtenauer.[11] While some have speculated that this indicates rivalry or ill-will between the two contemporaries, it is more likely that Talhoffer simply didn't participate in whatever venture the fellowship was organized for.

Various otherwise-unidentified fencing masters named Hans have also been associated by some authors with Talhoffer. The 1454 records of the city of Zürich note that a master (presumed by some authors to be Hans Talhoffer) was chartered to teach fencing in some capacity and to adjudicate judicial duels; the account further notes that a fight broke out among his students and had to be settled in front of the city council, resulting in various fines.[12] In 1455, a master named Hans was retained by Mahiot Coquel to train him for his duel with Jacotin Plouvier in Valencienne; if this were Talhoffer, his training did little good as Coquel lost the duel and died in brutal fashion.[citation needed]

Treatises

Not only did Talhoffer produce at least three distinct treatises in his lifetime, but his writings have been reproduced in every century up to the present. They exist in well over a dozen manuscripts created in the fifteenth through nineteenth centuries; they have also been published a number of times in facsimiles beginning in 1887, including translations into English and French.

Talhoffer's writings cover a wide assortment of weapons, including the buckler, crossbow, dagger, flail, Messer, longshield, mace, poleaxe, spear, sword, and unarmed grappling, often both armored and unarmored, on horse and on foot, and in scenarios including tournaments, formal duels, and unequal encounters implying urban self-defense. Despite the obvious care and detail that went into the artwork, the manuscripts generally have only a few words captioning each page (and in many cases none at all); some were likely teaching aids and would need no detailed explanation, while the treatises for Königsegg, Stain, and Württemberg were probably intended as memory aids to review his teachings after he left.

Though there is considerable overlap in the specific plays Talhoffer teaches, the organization and exact contents differ in each of the main treatises. For this reason, they are listed separately below (along with their derivative copies) rather than being combined into one giant mixed concordance that fails to capture the organization of any of them. Though his authorship of his first manuscript, the Gotha, cannot be proven, it is included below because it is a useful reference to compare to his authenticated works.

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