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Difference between revisions of "Joachim Meyer"

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{{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/104|4|lbl=Ⅰ.42r.3|p=1}} '''[XLIIv]''' damit zwingestu jhn das er gehlingen ubersich fehrt / als bald er solch es thut / so lasse dein Lincke hand vom knopff ab / und laß dein klingen gegen seiner Rechten von Unden auff in einer hand umb schnappen / und setze jhm den vordern ort an sein Brust / greiff in des dein knopff wider an / wie du solches an den kleinern Bilder zur Rechten hand mit dem F. hievor sehen kanst / stoß jhn also mit verkehrter hand von dir / laß als bald dein knopff wider ab / und dein Schwerdt umb dein Kopff fahren / und hauwe lang mit angreiffung des knopffs nach / dergleichen stuck soltu gegen die welche gern einlauffen gebrauchen.
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{{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/104|4|lbl=Ⅰ.42r.4|p=1}} {{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/105|1|lbl=Ⅰ.42v.1|p=1}}
  
 
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| Item vermerckestu das dein gegenfechter gern und bald hoch aufffehrt / so streich abermal gewaltig vor jm auf / und als bald du gewahr wirst das er ubersich fehrt / so hauwe jhm dieweil er noch im auffziehen ist / uberzwerch von deiner Rechten gegen seinem lincken Arm / so bald der antrifft / so bald schlage widerumb mit inwendiger flech zu seinem Rechten ohr / in einem schwung gar dieff.
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| {{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/105|2|lbl=Ⅰ.42v.2}}
  
 
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| '''Brechfenster.'''
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| {{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/105|3|lbl=Ⅰ.42v.3}}
ISt eigendtlich der Oberhut zugetheilt / welche wirt allein im bundt (nach dem du dem Mann under sein Schwerdt komen bist) gebraucht / von der lenge aber dieweil du des Manns orthe und klingen noch für dir sihest / solt du der hut müssig gehen / dann du bist niergen sicher darinen / aber so bald du dem Mann under sein Schwerdt komen bist / so ist es der fürnemsten Huten eine / der brauch dich also.
 
  
 
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| Wann du nun under des Manns Schwerdt komen / also das du dein Schwerdt uber deinem Kopff in gemeltem Brechfenster führen must / damit du dann beide deine Arm unnd finger Blos dargibst / derhalben so bald er von Oben dir zu den fingern hauwet / so trit wol aus seinem streich / einer seiten zu / gilt gleich zu welcher es sey / und hauwe mit einer Zwirch gegen seinem herfliegenden streich / also wirstu jhm nicht allein sein Hauw nach bey deinem Schilt auff die sterck deiner klingen aufffangen / sondern (wo er anders sein Hauw unabgezuckt volführen will) triffest jhn auch mit dem eusseren theil deiner klingen zugleich sein Kopff / Hauwet er dir aber zu deiner Armen einem / so hauwe abermals von derselbigen seiten gegen welchem Arm er dir hauwen will / mit einer Zwirch von Unden / ubersich gegen seinem herfliegenden Hauw / und merck fleissig in dem er sein Schwerdt wider '''[XLIIIrv]''' wider auffzeucht / so hauwe ihm dieweil mit Zwirchhäuwen ubersich oder uberzwerch in sein Arm / als bald er wider herab felt / so fang ihm sein klingen wider auff dein uberzwerche klingen / oder schilt auff.
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{{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/105|4|lbl=Ⅰ.42v.4|p=1}} {{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/106|1|lbl=Ⅰ.43r.1|p=1}}
  
 
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| Zwircht er aber oder hauwet von Unden / so hauwe jhm oben auff sein klingen / oder schauw das du jhm mit der Zwirch zu voren under sein klingen komest / wo er dir aber mit der Zwirch under die deine komen wehre / so laß dein klingen wol uber seiner abhangen / und truck die also mit deinem Schildt undersich von dir / magst jhn also hinder seiner klingen mit halber schneid seinen Kopff erlangen / oder nach dem du jhm sein klingen undersich von dir gestossen umbschlagen / auch kanstu jm ubergreiffen also.
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| {{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/106|2|lbl=Ⅰ.43r.2}}
  
 
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| rowspan="3" | [[File:Meyer 1570 Longsword M.jpg|center|400px]]
 
| rowspan="3" | [[File:Meyer 1570 Longsword M.jpg|center|400px]]
 
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| Hauwet einer von Oben so hauwe demselbigen von deiner Lincken von Unden entgegen mit Langer schneide / und in dem er sein Schwerdt wider von dem deinen abnimpt / und also mit seinen Armen ubersich fehrt / so greiffe dieweil mit deinen fingern uber dein kreutz in die klingen / und fahr jhm mit deiner klingen uber beide arm / wie du solches an den zweyen under Bildern in hienach getruckter Figur sihest / seiss also auff dein Rechte seiten aus / wiltu so magst du jhn werffen also / Trit mit deinem Rechten hinder seinen Rechten / unnd faß jhn mit deiner kurtzen schneide bey seinem hals / unnd stosse in des deinen knopff oberhalb deinem rechten Arm / gegen deiner Rechten von dir / wirff jhn also gegen deiner Lincken uber dein recht bein an rucken.
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| {{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/106|3|lbl=Ⅰ.43r.3}}
  
 
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| Item Zwircht dir einer zu deinem Lincken ohr / so fall jhm mit Langer schneid oben auff die mitte seiner klingen / in dem du aber also darauff fellest / so greiff mit deinen fingern obermal uber deinem kreutz in die klingen / und leg jhm die kurtz schneid hinder seiner klingen auff sein Kopff / davon besihe die grossern Bilder in jetzgedachter Figur / stoß also dein knopff von dir / auff das du jhn haltest das er nicht ledig werde / du habest jhn dann gewundt / reist er sich aber under deiner klingen herfür / so flog jhm behendiglich nach / und greiff jhm abermals uber sein beide arm wie vor / Oder in dem er her Zwircht / so fang jhm sein Zwirch auff dein hangete klingen / unnd greiff mit deiner Lincken hand in sein Schilt und kreutz / winde jhm die von dir aus / wie dir solches die kleinern obern bossen auch in jetz gedachter Figur zur rechten Handt anzeigen.
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| {{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/106|4|lbl=Ⅰ.43r.4}}
  
 
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| Und letzlich so mercke / so offt du mit einer Zwirch gegen einem Oberhauw anbindest / so winde jhm die kurtz schneid einwerts zum Kopff / her widerumb so dir aber einer also einwinden würde / so merck eben in dem er die kurtz schneid aus der Zwirch einwerts wendet gegen deinem Lincken ohr / so wende die Lang schneid ubersich gegen seiner klingen / so stehestu im alten Schilhauw davon oben gemelt / und triffestu jhn auff sein Kopff / das geht wie '''[XLIIIIr]''' die andern stuck all zu beiden seiten / dann er wende gegen deiner Rechten oder Lincken hinein / so blöst er sein ander seiten / derhalben kanstu jhm den Kopff mit gegen winden leichtlich treffen / dann wan er einwerts windet / so winde du auswerts / so triffestu und fehlet er / merck so du also einem einwindest / und wirst under des gewahr das er dir wie nechst gelehrt gegen winden will / so wende gleichwol furt / im winden aber reiss mit deiner halben schneide auff die seiten gegen welcher du eingewunden hast aus / laß dein klingen umbschnappen / oder ficht ander stuck / Dieser winden seindt achterley welche hin unnd wider in stucken gnugsam angeregt / was aber weiter von gemelten winden an einem andern ort weiter gehandelt werden.
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{{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/106|5|lbl=Ⅰ.43r.5|p=1}} '''[XLIIIIr]''' die andern stuck all zu beiden seiten / dann er wende gegen deiner Rechten oder Lincken hinein / so blöst er sein ander seiten / derhalben kanstu jhm den Kopff mit gegen winden leichtlich treffen / dann wan er einwerts windet / so winde du auswerts / so triffestu und fehlet er / merck so du also einem einwindest / und wirst under des gewahr das er dir wie nechst gelehrt gegen winden will / so wende gleichwol furt / im winden aber reiss mit deiner halben schneide auff die seiten gegen welcher du eingewunden hast aus / laß dein klingen umbschnappen / oder ficht ander stuck / Dieser winden seindt achterley welche hin unnd wider in stucken gnugsam angeregt / was aber weiter von gemelten winden an einem andern ort weiter gehandelt werden.
  
 
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Revision as of 23:22, 18 April 2021

Joachim Meyer
Born ca. 1537
Basel, Germany
Died 24 February 1571 (aged 34)
Schwerin, Germany
Spouse(s) Appolonia Ruhlman
Occupation
Citizenship Strasbourg
Patron
  • Johann Albrecht (?)
  • Johann Casimir
Movement Freifechter
Influences
Influenced
Genres Fencing manual
Language Early New High German
Notable work(s) Gründtliche Beschreibung der
Kunst des Fechtens
(1570)
Manuscript(s)
First printed
english edition
Forgeng, 2006
Concordance by Michael Chidester
Translations
Signature Joachim Meyer sig.jpg

Joachim Meyer (ca. 1537 - 1571)[1] was a 16th century German Freifechter and fencing master. He was the last major figure in the tradition of the German grand master Johannes Liechtenauer, and in the last years of his life he devised at least three distinct and quite extensive fencing manuals. Meyer's writings incorporate both the traditional Germanic technical syllabus and contemporary systems that he encountered in his travels, including Italian rapier fencing.[2] In addition to his fencing practice, Meyer was a Burgher and a master cutler.[3]

Meyer was born in Basel,[4] where he presumably apprenticed as a cutler. He writes in his books that he traveled widely in his youth, most likely a reference to the traditional Walz that journeyman craftsmen were required to take before being eligible for mastery and membership in a guild. Journeymen were often sent to stand watch and participate in town and city militias (a responsibility that would have been amplified for the warlike cutlers' guild), and Meyer learned a great deal about foreign fencing systems during his travels. It's been speculated by some fencing historians that he trained specifically in the Bolognese school of fencing, but this doesn't stand up to closer analysis.[5]

Records show that by 4 June 1560 he had settled in Strasbourg, where he married Appolonia Ruhlman (Ruelman)[1] and was granted the rank of master cutler. His interests had already moved beyond smithing, however, and in 1561, Meyer petitioned the City Council of Strasbourg for the right to hold a Fechtschule (fencing competition). He would repeat this in 1563, 1566, 1567 and 1568;[6] the 1568 petition is the first extant record in which he identifies himself as a fencing master.

Meyer probably wrote his first manuscript (MS A.4º.2) in either 1560 or 1568 for Otto Count von Sulms, Minzenberg, and Sonnenwaldt.[7] Its contents seem to be a series of lessons on training with long sword, dussack, and rapier. His second manuscript (MS Var.82), written between 1563 and 1570 for Heinrich Graf von Eberst, is of a decidedly different nature. Like many fencing manuscripts from the previous century, it is an anthology of treatises by a number of prominent German masters including Sigmund ain Ringeck, pseudo-Peter von Danzig, and Martin Syber, and also includes a brief outline by Meyer himself on a system of rapier fencing based on German Messer teachings. Finally, on 24 February 1570 Meyer completed (and soon thereafter published) an enormous multi-weapon treatise entitled Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens ("A Thorough Description of the Art of Combat"); it was dedicated to Johann Casimir, Count Palatine of the Rhine, and illustrated at the workshop of Tobias Stimmer.[8]

Unfortunately, Meyer's writing and publication efforts incurred significant debts (about 1300 crowns), which Meyer pledged to repay by Christmas of 1571.[1] Late in 1570, Meyer accepted the position of Fechtmeister to Duke Johann Albrecht of Mecklenburg at his court in Schwerin. There Meyer hoped to sell his book for a better price than was offered locally (30 florins). Meyer sent his books ahead to Schwerin, and left from Strasbourg on 4 January 1571 after receiving his pay. He traveled the 800 miles to Schwerin in the middle of a harsh winter, arriving at the court on 10 February 1571. Two weeks later, on 24 February, Joachim Meyer died. The cause of his death is unknown, possibly disease or pneumonia.[6]

Antoni Rulman, Appolonia’s brother, became her legal guardian after Joachim’s death. On 15 May 1571, he had a letter written by the secretary of the Strasbourg city chamber and sent to the Duke of Mecklenburg stating that Antoni was now the widow Meyer’s guardian; it politely reminded the Duke who Joachim Meyer was, Meyer’s publishing efforts and considerable debt, requested that the Duke send Meyer’s personal affects and his books to Appolonia, and attempted to sell some (if not all) of the books to the Duke.[1]

Appolonia remarried in April 1572 to another cutler named Hans Kuele, bestowing upon him the status of Burgher and Meyer's substantial debts. Joachim Meyer and Hans Kuele are both mentioned in the minutes of Cutlers' Guild archives; Kuele may have made an impression if we can judge that fact by the number of times he is mentioned. It is believed that Appolonia and either her husband or her brother were involved with the second printing of his book in 1600. According to other sources, it was reprinted yet again in 1610 and in 1660.[9][10]

Treatises

Joachim Meyer's writings are preserved in two manuscripts prepared in the 1560s, the MS A.4º.2 (Lund) and the MS Var 82 (Rostock); a third manuscript from 1561 has been lost since at least the mid-20th century, and its contents are unknown.[11] Dwarfing these works is the massive book he published in 1570 entitled "A Thorough Description of the Free, Chivalric, and Noble Art of Fencing, Showing Various Customary Defenses, Affected and Put Forth with Many Handsome and Useful Drawings". Meyer's writings purport to teach the entire art of fencing, something that he claimed had never been done before, and encompass a wide variety of teachings from disparate sources and traditions. To achieve this goal, Meyer seems to have constructed his treatises as a series of progressive lessons, describing a process for learning to fence rather than merely outlining the underlying theory or listing the techniques. In keeping with this, he illustrates his techniques with depictions of fencers in courtyards using training weapons such as two-handed foils, wooden dussacks, and rapiers with ball tips.

The first part of Meyer's treatise is devoted to the long sword (the sword in two hands), which he presents as the foundational weapon of his system, and this section devotes the most space to fundamentals like stance and footwork. His long sword system draws upon the teachings of Freifechter Andre Paurñfeyndt (via Christian Egenolff's reprint) and Liechtenauer glossators Sigmund ain Ringeck and Lew, as well as using terminology otherwise unique to the brief Recital of Martin Syber. Not content merely to compile these teachings as his contemporary Paulus Hector Mair was doing, Meyer sought to update—even reinvent—them in various ways to fit the martial climate of the late sixteenth century, including adapting many techniques to accommodate the increased momentum of a greatsword and modifying others to use beats with the flat and winding slices in place of thrusts to comply with street-fighting laws in German cities (and the rules of the Fechtschule).

The second part of Meyer's treatises is designed to address new weapons gaining traction in German lands, the dussack and the rapier, and thereby find places for them in the German tradition. His early Lund manuscript presents a more summarized syllabus of techniques for these weapons, while his printed book goes into greater depth and is structured more in the fashion of lesson plans.[12] Meyer's dussack system, designed for the broad proto-sabers that spread into German lands from Eastern Europe in the 16th century,[13] combines the old Messer teachings of Johannes Lecküchner and the dussack teachings of Andre Paurñfeyndt with other unknown systems (some have speculated that they might include early Polish or Hungarian saber systems). His rapier system, designed for the lighter single-hand swords spreading north from Iberian and Italian lands, seems again to be a hybrid creation, integrating both the core teachings of the 15th century Liechtenauer tradition as well as components that are characteristic of the various regional Mediterranean fencing systems (including, perhaps, teachings derived from the treatise of Achille Marozzo). Interestingly, Meyer's rapier teachings in the Rostock seem to represent an attempt to unify these two weapon system, outlining a method for rapier fencing that includes key elements of his dussack teachings; it is unclear why this method did not appear in his book, but given the dates it may be that they represent his last musings on the weapon, written in the time between the completion of his book in 1570 and his death a year later.

The third part of Meyer's treatise only appears in his published book and covers dagger, wrestling, and various pole weapons. His dagger teachings, designed primarily for urban self-defense, seem to be based in part on the writings of Bolognese master Achille Marozzo[14] and the anonymous teachings in Egenolff, but also include much unique content of unknown origin (perhaps the anonymous dagger teachings in his Rostock manuscript). His staff material makes up the bulk of this section, beginning with the short staff, which, like Paurñfeyndt, he uses as a training tool for various pole weapons (and possibly also the greatsword), and then moving on to the halberd before ending with the long staff (representing the pike). As with the dagger, the sources Meyer based his staff teachings on are largely unknown.

Additional Resources

  • Kiermayer, Alex. Joachim Meyers Kunst Des Fechtens. Gründtliche Beschreibung des Fechtens, 1570. Arts of Mars Books, 2012. ISBN 978-3981162738
  • Meyer, Joachim. Joachim Meyer 1600: Transkription des Fechtbuchs 'Gründtliche Beschreibung der freyen Ritterlichen und Adelichen kunst des Fechtens’. TAT. Wolfgang Landwehr, 2011. ISBN 978-3932077371
  • Meyer, Joachim. The Art of Combat: A German Martial Arts Treatise of 1570. Trans. Jeffrey L. Forgeng.
    • 1st edition. London: Greenhill Books, 2006. ISBN 978-1-85367-643-7
    • 1st edition. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. ISBN 1-4039-7092-0
    • 2nd edition. London: Frontline Books, 2014. ISBN 978-1-84832-778-8
  • Meyer, Joachim. The Art of Sword Combat: A 1568 German Treatise on Swordmanship. Trans. Jeffrey L. Forgeng. London: Frontline Books, 2016. ISBN 9781473876750

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Dupuis, Olivier. Joachim Meyer, escrimeur libre, bourgeois de Strasbourg (1537 ? - 1571). In Maîtres et techniques de combat. Dijon: AEDEH, 2006.
  2. Castle, Egerton. Schools and Masters of Fencing: From the Middle Ages to the Eighteenth Century. London: George Bell and Sons, 1885. pp 74 - 76.
  3. Naumann, Robert. Serapeum. Vol. 5. T.O. Weigel, 1844. pp 53-59.
  4. According to his wedding certificate.
  5. His dagger teachings do, however, show some evidence of influence by Achilles Marozzo's printed treatise.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Van Slambrouck, Christopher. "The Life and Work of Joachim Meyer". Meyer Frei Fechter Guild, 2010. Retrieved 29 January 2010.
  7. Norling, Roger. "The history of Joachim Meyer’s fencing treatise to Otto von Solms". Hroarr.com, 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  8. Whose members included Christoph Maurer and Hans Christoffel Stimmer.
  9. Schaer, Alfred. Die altdeutschen fechter und spielleute: Ein beitrag zur deutschen culturgeschichte. K.J. Trübner, 1901. p 76.
  10. Pollock, W. H., Grove, F. C., and Prévost, C. Fencing. London and Bombay: Longmans, Green, and co, 1897. pp 267-268.
  11. Jens P. Kleinau. "1561 Joachim Meyer dedicated a fencing book to the Pfalzgrafen of Pfalz-Veldenz". Hans Talhoffer ~ as seen by Jens P. Kleinau. 04 July 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  12. Roberts, James. "System vs Syllabus: Meyer’s 1560 and 1570 sidesword texts". Hroarr.com, 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  13. Roger Norling. "The Dussack - a weapon of war". Hroarr.com, 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  14. Norling, Roger. "Meyer and Marozzo dagger comparison". Hroarr.com, 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  15. "st" ligature inverted.
  16. Typo: wolt, könne.
  17. "t" is upside down.
  18. 18.00 18.01 18.02 18.03 18.04 18.05 18.06 18.07 18.08 18.09 18.10 18.11 18.12 18.13 18.14 18.15 18.16 18.17 18.18 18.19 18.20 18.21 18.22 18.23 18.24 18.25 18.26 18.27 18.28 18.29 18.30 18.31 indes
  19. palm up
  20. Illegible deletion.
  21. oberhauw
  22. ‘right’ is originally written, ‘left’ is written above it
  23. short edge
  24. “Degen”, lit. dagger, could either refer to a sword or dagger.
  25. short edge
  26. Unleserliche Streichung. Illegible deletion.
  27. Unleserliche gestrichen Einfügung oberhalb der Zeile. Crossed out illegible insertion above the line.
  28. Die Schlaufe des »h« trägt ein Diärese. The loop of the “h” carries a diaeresis.
  29. Korrigiert aus »mitelhauw«. Corrected from “mitelhauw”.
  30. Leicht unleserlich. Slightly illegible.
  31. Überschriebens »vom«. Overwritten “vom”.
  32. Inserted by means of a special mark.
  33. Word inserted next to the text.
  34. Inserted nest to the text.
  35. Zwei Worte am Seitenrand nachgetragen. Two words inserted at the margin.
  36. Wort am Seitenrand nachgetragen. Word inserted at the margin.