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Hugold Behr's Fechtbuch (MS Var.83)

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Hugold Behr's Fechtbuch
MS Var.83, Universitätsbibliothek Rostock
Rostock, Germany

MS Var.83 Iv.png
MS Var.83 01r.png
Type Fencing manual
Date Before 1573
Language(s) Early New High German
Author(s) Unknown
Scribe(s) Unknown
Material Paper
Size 51 folia (160 mm × 200 mm)
Format Text with scattered illustrations
Script Cursive
External data Library catalog entry
Treatise scans Digital scans

Hugold Behr's Fechtbuch (MS var. 83) is an anonymous 16th century German fencing manual created some time before 1573.[1] The original currently rests in the holdings of the Universitätsbibliothek Rostock in Rostock, Germany. It was previously owned by Hugold Behr the Elder, from whom it takes its nickname, but its original author and artist are unknown.


The known provenance of the MS Var.83 is:[1]

  • Created in the mid-16th century.
  • before 1573 - Owned by Hugold Behr the Elder (1527-1576).
  • 1573 - In the library of Johan Albrect I (1525-1576), Duke of Mecklenburg; included in a library catalog in 1573.
  • before 1789 - Acquired by the University of Bützow.
  • 1789-present - Transferred to the University of Rostock when the two universities merged.


1r - 39r
40v - 51r Illustrations of human figures


Front Cover
MS Var.83 Cover 1.png
Inside Cover
MS Var.83 Cover 2.png
MS Var.83 Ir.png
MS Var.83 Iv.png
Folio 1r
MS Var.83 01r.png
Folio 1v
MS Var.83 01v.png
Folio 2r
MS Var.83 02r.png
Folio 2v
MS Var.83 02v.png
Folio 3r
MS Var.83 03r.png
Folio 3v
MS Var.83 03v.png
Folio 4r
MS Var.83 04r.png
Folio 4v
MS Var.83 04v.png
Folio 5r
MS Var.83 05r.png
Folio 5v
MS Var.83 05v.png
Folio 6r
MS Var.83 06r.png
Folio 6v
MS Var.83 06v.png
Folio 7r
MS Var.83 07r.png
Folio 7v
MS Var.83 07v.png
Folio 8r
MS Var.83 08r.png
Folio 8v
MS Var.83 08v.png
Folio 9r
MS Var.83 09r.png
Folio 9v
MS Var.83 09v.png
Folio 10r
MS Var.83 10r.png
Folio 10v
MS Var.83 10v.png
Folio 11r
MS Var.83 11r.png
Folio 11v
MS Var.83 11v.png
Folio 12r
MS Var.83 12r.png
Folio 12v
MS Var.83 12v.png
Folio 13r
MS Var.83 13r.png
Folio 13v
MS Var.83 13v.png
Folio 14r
MS Var.83 14r.png
Folio 14v
MS Var.83 14v.png
Folio 15r
MS Var.83 15r.png
Folio 15v
MS Var.83 15v.png
Folio 16r
MS Var.83 16r.png
Folio 16v
MS Var.83 16v.png
Folio 17r
MS Var.83 17r.png
Folio 17v
MS Var.83 17v.png
Folio 18r
MS Var.83 18r.png
Folio 18v
MS Var.83 18v.png
Folio 19r
MS Var.83 19r.png
Folio 19v
MS Var.83 19v.png
Folio 20r
MS Var.83 20r.png
Folio 20v
MS Var.83 20v.png
Folio 21r
MS Var.83 21r.png
Folio 21v
MS Var.83 21v.png
Folio 22r
MS Var.83 22r.png
Folio 22v
MS Var.83 22v.png
Folio 23r
MS Var.83 23r.png
Folio 23v
MS Var.83 23v.png
Folio 24r
MS Var.83 24r.png
Folio 24v
MS Var.83 24v.png
Folio 25r
MS Var.83 25r.png
Folio 25v
MS Var.83 25v.png
Folio 26r
MS Var.83 26r.png
Folio 26v
MS Var.83 26v.png
Folio 27r
MS Var.83 27r.png
Folio 27v
MS Var.83 27v.png
Folio 28r
MS Var.83 28r.png
Folio 28v
MS Var.83 28v.png
Folio 29r
MS Var.83 29r.png
Folio 29v
MS Var.83 29v.png
Folio 30r
MS Var.83 30r.png
Folio 30v
MS Var.83 30v.png
Folio 31r
MS Var.83 31r.png
Folio 31v
MS Var.83 31v.png
Folio 32r
MS Var.83 32r.png
Folio 32v
MS Var.83 32v.png
Folio 33r
MS Var.83 33r.png
Folio 33v
MS Var.83 33v.png
Folio 34r
MS Var.83 34r.png
Folio 34v
MS Var.83 34v.png
Folio 35r
MS Var.83 35r.png
Folio 35v
MS Var.83 35v.png
Folio 36r
MS Var.83 36r.png
Folio 36v
MS Var.83 36v.png
Folio 37r
MS Var.83 37r.png
Folio 37v
MS Var.83 37v.png
Folio 38r
MS Var.83 38r.png
Folio 38v
MS Var.83 38v.png
Folio 39r
MS Var.83 39r.png
Folio 39v
MS Var.83 39v.png
Folio 40r
MS Var.83 40r.png
Folio 40v
MS Var.83 40v.png
Folio 41r
MS Var.83 41r.png
Folio 41v
MS Var.83 41v.png
Folio 42r
MS Var.83 42r.png
Folio 42v
MS Var.83 42v.png
Folio 43r
MS Var.83 43r.png
Folio 43v
MS Var.83 43v.png
Folio 44r
MS Var.83 44r.png
Folio 44v
MS Var.83 44v.png
Folio 45r
MS Var.83 45r.png
Folio 45v
MS Var.83 45v.png
Folio 46r
MS Var.83 46r.png
Folio 46v
MS Var.83 46v.png
Folio 47r
MS Var.83 47r.png
Folio 47v
MS Var.83 47v.png
Folio 48r
MS Var.83 48r.png
Folio 48v
MS Var.83 48v.png
Folio 49r
MS Var.83 49r.png
Folio 49v
MS Var.83 49v.png
Folio 50r
MS Var.83 50r.png
Folio 50v
MS Var.83 50v.png
Folio 51r
MS Var.83 51r.png
Folio 51v
MS Var.83 51v.png
Inside Cover
MS Var.83 Cover 3.png
Back Cover
MS Var.83 Cover 4.png

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. 1.0 1.1 Bauer, Matthias Johannes. "The Fight Book of Hugold Behr: A Late Sixteenth-Century Fight Book in Comparative Perspective". Acta Periodica Duellatorum 8(1). 2020. pp 89-90
  2. Note, that here the original reads “that your left foot must stand on the 2, and your right behind on the 3”. Based on the illustration, this is incorrect, interchanging “2” and “3”, and this was corrected in the translation presented here.
  3. Here, an alternative translation for im geleichen could be “at the same time”.
  4. In the previous guard, as well as in the image preceding the current lesson, the fencer stands on 2 and 3, rather than 3 and 6. However, in the previous lessons, the fencer does step with his right foot from 2 to 6.
  5. In the manuscript, this line is followed by a 3, the meaning of which is unclear.
  6. Note that the illustration on page 10r shows a fencer standing with his feet on numbers 4 and 5.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 German: eer.
  8. Alternatively, this could be “and when your opponent directs a cut, take this out to your left”.
  9. I.e., if your adversary makes feints.
  10. German: eer. An alternative translation here would be “if he binds you as well”.
  11. The exact meaning of oder Spitze im swanc is unclear.
  12. German: eer. Note the change in meaning.
  13. German: unterhauw.
  14. The exact meaning of this runden stich is unclear, but it may imply that the thrust is delivered along an arc, rather than straight at his legs.
  15. German geleich may alternatively simply mean “at once”.
  16. German: unterstreich.
  17. German: unterstich.
  18. German: eer. Note that in these two instances, what person is intended by eer is rather unclear.

Copyright and License Summary

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

Work Author(s) Source License
Images Universitätsbibliothek Rostock Universitätsbibliothek Rostock
Public Domain.png
Translation Reinier van Noort Ensis et Mente
Transcription Matthias Johannes Bauer Index:Hugold Behr's Fechtbuch (MS Var.83)