Wiktenauer logo.png

Hugo Wittenwiler

From Wiktenauer
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Hugo Wittenwiler
Born 15th century
Died 15th century (?)
Ethnicity German
Language Allemanic
Manuscript(s) Cgm 558 (ca. 1493)
First printed
english edition
Hull, 2008
Signature Wittenwiller Sig.png

Hugo Wittenwiler (Hugonis dicti Wittenwiller, Hugues Wittenwiler) was a 15th century German scribe and presumed author of a fencing manual. The Wittenwiler family originated as low nobility from Wittenwil in the modern canton of Thurgau, Switzerland, but were destitute by 1339. Hugo Wittenwiler was likely a member of the Toggenburg branch of the family, living in Toggenburg, Lichtenstein, or Wil. Other than this, little can be determined about his life.

In the latter part of the 15th century, Wittenwiler wrote a multiweapon fencing treatise that shows little or no connection to the tradition of Johannes Liechtenauer. Though he is often credited as the author of this treatise, he was likely merely its scribe.[1] This treatise now forms part of the larger manuscript Cgm 558.


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. See folio 141r.
  2. wenden will be translated as: turning the hand/body or winding the sword
  3. daraufspringen
  4. twisted, obliquely, crooked, curved
  5. In the text: `ze glich` zergleich, zugleich
  6. constrained
  7. direct, perpendicular or right(handed)
  8. alt: stepping
  9. direct, perpendicular or right(handed)
  10. possibly ‘to the right’, straight, perpendicular
  11. simple
  12. ansetzen: impale
  13. this is possibly a scribal error or synonym for Nachreisen
  14. angle
  15. Turnable, mutable, inconstant; fickle; Slavic
  16. eben: equally, even, flatly, precisely
  17. alt: continually
  18. auftrechen. `trechen` is a strong class IVa verb. `Ich triche`, `Du trichest`. It means here `to pull into the air`, `to put into motion`
  19. I believe that this underlined passage is a scribal error. Read it with out the parentheticals and it makes much more sense
  20. turn
  21. also: cut open, to chop down a tree,
  22. also: oblique, curved, twisted
  23. alt: oppose, interpose
  24. alt: oppose, interpose
  25. behänden: sw. V.: nhd. berühren, betasten, einrichten, fügen, einhändigen, auferlegen
  26. grimm: unterschlagen 2
  27. surround
  28. aufschlachen? -strike upon
  29. left?
  30. in a superior position to, on the back of your neck.
  31. turn
  32. cut-off
  33. straight, perpendicular or right(handed)
  34. alt: in front of
  35. weapons
  36. possibly seek or desire
  37. possibly: legs
  38. possibly: "to the other side"
  39. literally: on one change. make a step when a change happens.
  40. The two dots around the 'y' can demarcate the 'slot' where additive/subtractive enumeration occurs. The 'y' can be parsed as a '5' if it is an arabic numeral. This sort of mixing did occur and this would give us a value of 1503. That seems the most reasonable. There are other ways to parse it that make no sense, that give it something like 1153 or 1203. Baselards weren't a thing back then, the script wasn't in use back then either. It's technically possible that one or more of the dots are v's and that would give us something like 1408. I found some research on hunting of the period that cites this manuscript and says the hunting and falconry sections are in line with terms from the late 14 to the mid late 15th. All that being said, a late 15thC dating is quite reasonable.
  41. The 9th of September is the day after.