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| '''With the Ox'''
 
| '''With the Ox'''
 
I hope you have taken and judged how you will apply your strikes and elements against your opponent’s four openings with sufficient guidance from the parts taught up to now, also how at times how you should apply a wind, cut, note the flowing off, circle, and flying off with stepping, which are not counted alone as such from this, indeed pre-fencing from all other stances shall also be understood. So now, because the Ox is an especially good stance to engage your opponent, I will give a short lesson and rules on how you shall engage your opponent in the Before, rush, and force displacement from it.
 
I hope you have taken and judged how you will apply your strikes and elements against your opponent’s four openings with sufficient guidance from the parts taught up to now, also how at times how you should apply a wind, cut, note the flowing off, circle, and flying off with stepping, which are not counted alone as such from this, indeed pre-fencing from all other stances shall also be understood. So now, because the Ox is an especially good stance to engage your opponent, I will give a short lesson and rules on how you shall engage your opponent in the Before, rush, and force displacement from it.
| '''[XXXVIr] Der Ochs mit.'''
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AUß disen bißher gelerten stucken / hoffe ich du habest genugsame anleitung / und bericht zu nemmen / wie du deine häuw und stuck gegen des Manns vier Blössen anschicken / auch wie du bißweilen ein winden / Schnit / Item ein Ablauffen / Zirckel und ein verfliegen damit lauffen lassen solt / welches aber nicht allein auß disen in welchen solches erzelt / sonder sol auch von allen andern Legern den mehrertheil zufechten verstanden werden. Derwegen dieweil der Ochs ein sonderlich gut Leger dein widerpart anzugreiffen / will ich in disem / wie du den Mann im Vor angreiffen / ubereilen / und dir zuversetzen zwingen solt / ein kurtze lehr und regel geben
 
  
 
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| And mark now the first, that you have four available attacks from either side, driven forth through the four leading lines as was explained and made apparent in the initial chapter, the lines being the correct paths for all strikes which would be driven and struck from you to your opponent.
 
| And mark now the first, that you have four available attacks from either side, driven forth through the four leading lines as was explained and made apparent in the initial chapter, the lines being the correct paths for all strikes which would be driven and struck from you to your opponent.
| Und merck für das erste / das du von einer jeden seiten vier fürnemer angrif hast / nach außweisung der vier Haupt linien / wie solches anfangs des Capitels augenscheinlich zusehen fürgestelt / welche Lini sein die rechten strassen aller Häuw so von dir gegen deinem gegenfechter geführet und gehauwen werden.
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| The first of two is when you approach against your opponent with the Plunge Strike, which plunges as you hold your point toward him, and hold it steady (as was taught above) so that your thrust is obviously indicated, from which as soon as you can reach your opponent to attack, be it from below or above, wrathful or high traverse, as is shown through the lines, you will now attack through them from one side striking either high traverse or diagonally against him, be it with long or short edge or with the flat. This you bring on forcefully and nimbly Before him, and must force unto him so that he can not come to other work without your leave, then if he would soon try to work against you, then you will already be at his throat with travelling after, cuts, hits, and similar work following, with which you let no work be accomplished, thus now from this lesson’s elementary basis, an example of how to judge this in both attacking and travelling after will be given:  
 
| The first of two is when you approach against your opponent with the Plunge Strike, which plunges as you hold your point toward him, and hold it steady (as was taught above) so that your thrust is obviously indicated, from which as soon as you can reach your opponent to attack, be it from below or above, wrathful or high traverse, as is shown through the lines, you will now attack through them from one side striking either high traverse or diagonally against him, be it with long or short edge or with the flat. This you bring on forcefully and nimbly Before him, and must force unto him so that he can not come to other work without your leave, then if he would soon try to work against you, then you will already be at his throat with travelling after, cuts, hits, and similar work following, with which you let no work be accomplished, thus now from this lesson’s elementary basis, an example of how to judge this in both attacking and travelling after will be given:  
| Derhalben wann du mit dem Sturtzhauw gegen deinem Mann zugehst / welcher Sturtz so du also den ort gegen dem Mann haltest und still heltest der (wie oben gelehrt) von wegen seines zeigenden stoß genant wirt / aus welchem du nun so bald dein gegen fechter erlangen / angreiffen kanst / es sey von Under oder Oben / schlims oder uberzwerch / wie solches die Lini zugegen anzeigen / zu welcher Lini du nun von einer seiten angreiffest / gegen derselbigen soltu auch uberzwerch oder ubereck dargegen Hauwen / es sey mit Langer oder halber schneide / oder mit der flech / So du sie jhm Vor gewaltig und behend volbringest / zwingest du jhn das er dir andere arbeit ohn sein danck auch zulassen mus / dann ob er schon dargegen zufechten sich arbeitet / so bistu jhm doch schon auff dem hals / mit nachreisen / schneiden / trucken und dergleichen nach zufolgen / damit du jhn zu keiner volkommenen arbeit kommen lassest / also seind auch bißher gelehrte stuck auff disen grund / beide im angreiffen und im nachfechten gerichtet / Exempel.
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| [[File:Meyer 1570 Longsword K.jpg|center|400px]]
 
| [[File:Meyer 1570 Longsword K.jpg|center|400px]]
 
| In the pre-fencing when you have come into the guard of the Ox through a plunge, then strike (as soon as you can reach him) a serious and forceful Wrath Strike from your right to his left ear with a long right foot step, as soon as the strike touches or hits, then almost twitch off again and strike over against his left arm, also with the long edge, but with this strike step with your left foot to his right and take your head out to the side behind your blade, just then he may be ready either to strike or otherwise with his sword stretched out ahead to displace, so at first let your blade hang behind you from your right arm, and meanwhile twitch your grip over your head to your right and take his blade (he is stretched out from striking or displacing) with your long edge or flat and strongly and forcefully high traverse out from your right to his left so that you break out fully with your blade, and in this outward stride let your blade fly above again in a traverse over your head against his left ear, from there twitch your sword over your head again and strike a strong strike swinging in to his right ear with the flat outward, in a flat strike as shown by the larger figure on the right hand side of illustration K, also mark diligently that you step fully out with the left foot to his right side in this strike, from this flatstrike or Bounce Strike twitch your sword high over your head, keeping your hands high, and let the blade fly over with the long edge to his right arm, and yet don’t impact, but traverse nimbly to his left ear while stepping back with the right foot, and sign off. This play, when you have arranged it thus, gives you thus the cut held (as taught above) in reserve, with which you can make more room, either in fencing the full play, or onward in taking another part.
 
| In the pre-fencing when you have come into the guard of the Ox through a plunge, then strike (as soon as you can reach him) a serious and forceful Wrath Strike from your right to his left ear with a long right foot step, as soon as the strike touches or hits, then almost twitch off again and strike over against his left arm, also with the long edge, but with this strike step with your left foot to his right and take your head out to the side behind your blade, just then he may be ready either to strike or otherwise with his sword stretched out ahead to displace, so at first let your blade hang behind you from your right arm, and meanwhile twitch your grip over your head to your right and take his blade (he is stretched out from striking or displacing) with your long edge or flat and strongly and forcefully high traverse out from your right to his left so that you break out fully with your blade, and in this outward stride let your blade fly above again in a traverse over your head against his left ear, from there twitch your sword over your head again and strike a strong strike swinging in to his right ear with the flat outward, in a flat strike as shown by the larger figure on the right hand side of illustration K, also mark diligently that you step fully out with the left foot to his right side in this strike, from this flatstrike or Bounce Strike twitch your sword high over your head, keeping your hands high, and let the blade fly over with the long edge to his right arm, and yet don’t impact, but traverse nimbly to his left ear while stepping back with the right foot, and sign off. This play, when you have arranged it thus, gives you thus the cut held (as taught above) in reserve, with which you can make more room, either in fencing the full play, or onward in taking another part.
| Wann du im zufechten durch den Sturtz in die Hut des Ochsens kommest / so hauwe (als bald du jhn erlangen kanst) einen gewaltigen Zornhauw von deiner Rechten schlims gegen seinem Lincken ohr / mit einem weiten zutrit deines Rechten fußes / als bald der Hauw immer rühret oder trifft / so bald zucke wider umb und hauwe dar'''[XXXVIv]'''gegen uber zu seinem lincken Arm / auch mit Langer schneide / zu solchem Hauw aber trit wol mit deinem Lincken gegen seiner Rechten / und nim dein Kopff wol mit beiseits aus / hinder dein klingen / in dem wirt er villeicht fertig sein / eintweders zuhauwen oder sonst sein Schwerdt fürsich ausstrecken zu versetzen / Derhalben so laß dein klingen von seinem rechten Arm hinder dir abhangen / und zucke dieweil gleichwol dein Heft umb dein Kopff gegen deiner Rechten / und nime jhm sein klingen (er führe die im herhauwen / oder zu versatzung ausgestreckt) mit deiner Langen schneide oder flech / gewaltig und starck von deiner Rechten gegen seiner Lincken uberzwerch aus / also das du mit deiner klingen gantz durch brechest / unnd laß also dein klingen in solchem außnehmenden lauff / in einem flug mit einer Zwirch wider Oben umb deinen Kopff gegen seinem lincken ohr fliegen / von dannen zuck dein Schwerdt wider umb dein Kopff / und hauwe mit außwendiger fleche / einen starcken eingeschwungenen streich / außwendig zu seinem rechten ohr / Wie du solchen flechstreich an dem grossern Bild zur Rechten hand in der Figur K. fürgemalt sihest / auch merck fleissig das du mit dem lincken Fuß in solchem streich wol auß / auff sein rechte seiten trettest / von solchen flechstreich oder Brellhauw zucke dein Schwerdt hoch über dein Kopff / behalt also die hendt in solcher höhe / und laß die klingen umbfliegen mit Langer schneid zu seinem rechten Arm / und doch nicht rühren / sonder Zwirch behendt mit einem abtrit deines rechten Fuß / gegen seinem lincken Ohr / und zeich ab. Dises stuck wann es dir schon gesteckt würde / so hast du doch (wie oben gelehrt) den Schnit im vorraht / mit welchem du dir wider blatz machen kanst / eintweder das stuck vollen auß zufechten / oder ein ander stuck für zu nehmen.
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| Note that in the onset when you can reach your opponent from the Ox, as was just taught, then twitch your sword over your head and slash a strong and well aimed high traverse from your right with the flat outward to his left ear, yet from there twitch over your head and slash with an outward flat from the other side, also high traversing here. After these two strikes fence to what you think is a good opportunity. Thus you can always attack crosswise and against each other, which also leads out of fencing.
 
| Note that in the onset when you can reach your opponent from the Ox, as was just taught, then twitch your sword over your head and slash a strong and well aimed high traverse from your right with the flat outward to his left ear, yet from there twitch over your head and slash with an outward flat from the other side, also high traversing here. After these two strikes fence to what you think is a good opportunity. Thus you can always attack crosswise and against each other, which also leads out of fencing.
| Item wann du deinen gegenman auß dem Ochssen im zugang wie jetzt gelehrt / erlangen kanst / so zuck dein Schwerdt umb dein Kopff / und schlage mit außwendiger flech von deiner Rechten / starck und gerichts uberzwerch zu seinem Lincken ohr / von dannen zuck abermal behendiglich umb dein Kopff / und schlage mit außwendiger flech von der andern seiten / auch uberzwerch her gegen / nach disen zweyen Häuwen ficht nach gelegenheit was dich gut dunckt. Also kanstu alwegen kreutzweiß und gegen einander angreiffen / wie auch fürter auß fechten.
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| At times you can also, as opportunity allows, attack seriously from one side high traversing to the other, and this on one side somewhat with the long edge, on the other with the short edge or flat. At the last thus also mark where one would be rushed in this guard, so that you cannot bring any element into the before, then shoot forward just then into his face with a step forward in the long point, and in this shooting forward turn the long edge against his oncoming strike and, as soon as you engage, wind on his sword to the next opening.
 
| At times you can also, as opportunity allows, attack seriously from one side high traversing to the other, and this on one side somewhat with the long edge, on the other with the short edge or flat. At the last thus also mark where one would be rushed in this guard, so that you cannot bring any element into the before, then shoot forward just then into his face with a step forward in the long point, and in this shooting forward turn the long edge against his oncoming strike and, as soon as you engage, wind on his sword to the next opening.
| Auch kanstu bißweilen wann es die gelegenheit gibt / von einer seiten schlims / von der andern uberzwerch angreiffen / und das an einer seiten etwan mit langer / von der andern mit kurtzer oder flech dargegen. Zum letsten so merck auch wo dich einer in dieser Hut ubereilen würde / also das du zu keinem stuck im Vor kommen kanst / so schiesse jm den vordern ort in sein gesicht / mit einem zutrit in das Lang ort / und in solchem fürtschieben so wende die Lange schneid gegen seinem herfliegenden Haw / als bald du den entpfangen / so winde an sein schwert der nechsten Blöß zu.
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| '''Unicorn'''
 
| '''Unicorn'''
 
Note, come into the pre-fencing with your left foot forward and strike upward from your right with the short edge, one time, twice, through in front of your face, and the third time stay in the long point with your sword thus stretched out in front of you, turn the long edge above you toward your right so that your pommel goes through under your right arm and your hands cross over one another, drive thus upward with crossed hands, thus you stand in the Unicorn, as was told of before, from then strike ahead (seeing that your left foot stays forward) with two consecutive upstrikes, the first from your right, the other from your left, both hard upward near his body so that in the second upstrike your hands cross over again as before. Drive thus nimbly upward flying off again into the Unicorn, raise your left foot somewhat up, then soon set it quickly down again, with such faking and displays you pull him in so that he then strikes to your left opening, yet just as he strikes then let your blade sink down in front of you, and then twitch your sword over your head, strike thus with the long edge high traversing from your right (with an advancing step of the same foot) against his oncoming strike, such that you catch his strike in the high traverse on the strong of your sword, as soon as the swords glide together, then burst with your right foot still forward against his left side, and raise your sword above you rushing a bit from his blade. Yet while you (as was told) drive a bit above you, then thrust your pommel through under your right arm so that your hands become crossed, quickly and nimbly with an inward flat oe short edge (with the next intended step out to his left) behind his sword to his head, as the small figures on the left side of illustration C show, you thus expose your left opening, he will rush to do the same, thus do no more then pull your pommel out from under your right arm again, and wind your sword into the long point so that your long edge turns to stand against his blade, thus you stand in direct displacement, as is shown by the other smaller figures in the same illustration,  
 
Note, come into the pre-fencing with your left foot forward and strike upward from your right with the short edge, one time, twice, through in front of your face, and the third time stay in the long point with your sword thus stretched out in front of you, turn the long edge above you toward your right so that your pommel goes through under your right arm and your hands cross over one another, drive thus upward with crossed hands, thus you stand in the Unicorn, as was told of before, from then strike ahead (seeing that your left foot stays forward) with two consecutive upstrikes, the first from your right, the other from your left, both hard upward near his body so that in the second upstrike your hands cross over again as before. Drive thus nimbly upward flying off again into the Unicorn, raise your left foot somewhat up, then soon set it quickly down again, with such faking and displays you pull him in so that he then strikes to your left opening, yet just as he strikes then let your blade sink down in front of you, and then twitch your sword over your head, strike thus with the long edge high traversing from your right (with an advancing step of the same foot) against his oncoming strike, such that you catch his strike in the high traverse on the strong of your sword, as soon as the swords glide together, then burst with your right foot still forward against his left side, and raise your sword above you rushing a bit from his blade. Yet while you (as was told) drive a bit above you, then thrust your pommel through under your right arm so that your hands become crossed, quickly and nimbly with an inward flat oe short edge (with the next intended step out to his left) behind his sword to his head, as the small figures on the left side of illustration C show, you thus expose your left opening, he will rush to do the same, thus do no more then pull your pommel out from under your right arm again, and wind your sword into the long point so that your long edge turns to stand against his blade, thus you stand in direct displacement, as is shown by the other smaller figures in the same illustration,  
| '''[XXXVIIv] Einhorn.'''
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ITem im zufechten kome mit deinem lincken Fus vor / und streich mit kurtzer schneide von deiner Rechten ubersicht / ein mal zwey durch sein gesicht / unnd das dritemal bleib in dem Langenort / mit deinem Schwerdt vor dir außgestreckt aldo / wende die Lange schneid ubersich gegen deiner Rechten / also das dein Knopff under deinem rechten Arm durch / und dein hendt kreutzweis uber einander kommen / fahre also mit geschrenckten henden ubersich / so stehestu wie hievor vom Einhorn gesagt / von dannen hauwe ferner (doch das dein lincker Fuß alzeit vor bleibe) zwen Underhäuw zusamen / den ersten von deiner Rechten / den andern von deiner Lincken alle beide hart neben deinem leib ubersicht / also das deine hend mit dem andern Underhauw wider kreutzsweis wie vor kommen / Fahr also behend ubersich wider in das Einhorn / mit sochem auffliegen / erhebe deinen lincken Fus etwas ubersich / doch setze den bald wider nider / mit solchen geberden und Ceremonien reitzestu jn / das er dester ehe deiner lincken Blöß zuhauwet / in dem er aber herhauwet / so laß dein klinge vor dir undersich sincken / und zuck gleich mit deinem schwert umb dein Kopff / hauwe also mit Langer schneid uberzwerch von deiner Rechten (mit einem zutrit desselben fus) gegen seinem herkommenen streich / also das du jhm sein streich auff die sterck deiner klingen von uberzwerch auffangest / als bald die Schwerdter zusamen glützen / so spring mit deinem rechten Fuß noch ferner gegen seiner lincken umb / und erhebe dein Schwerdt eilents ein wenig ubersich von seiner klingen / Dieweil du aber (wie gemelt) ein wenig ubersich fahrest / so stoß under des dein Schwerdts knopff under deinem rechten Arm durch / das dein hend kreutzweiß kommen / schnell aslo behendiglich mit der inwendigen flech oder kurtzer schneid (mit nechst gemeltem austrit gegen seiner Lincken) hidner seinem Schwerdt auff seinem Kopff / wie an den kleinern bossen zur Lincken hand in der Figur C. zusehen / damit Blössestu deine Lincke seiten / will er derselbigen zu eilen / so thu nit mehr dann ziehe deinen Knopff under deinem rechten Arm wider herfür / und verwende dein Schwerdt in das Langort das die Lange schneid gegen seiner klingen gekehrt stand / so stehestu in gerader versatzung / wie solches die andern kleinern Bilder zur Rechten in gedachter Figur außweisen /
 
  
 
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| [[File:Meyer 1570 Longsword D.jpg|center|400px]]
 
| [[File:Meyer 1570 Longsword D.jpg|center|400px]]
 
| or when you have crossed the half edge inward toward his head with crossed hands, so that you have given an opening on your left side, if he rushes (as described before) to fence the same way, then keep your hands crossed, pull your head full to the right, and shoot to him with your blade fully over his, the closer to his hilt the better, thus wrench his blade out to your left, as is shown by the small figures on the right hand side of illustration D, and, when this wrench out comes near your left side, drive out with your hands and slash over them with the hald edge deep to his left ear, after which you come nimbly with your long edge onto his sword after pulling out at your pleasure.
 
| or when you have crossed the half edge inward toward his head with crossed hands, so that you have given an opening on your left side, if he rushes (as described before) to fence the same way, then keep your hands crossed, pull your head full to the right, and shoot to him with your blade fully over his, the closer to his hilt the better, thus wrench his blade out to your left, as is shown by the small figures on the right hand side of illustration D, and, when this wrench out comes near your left side, drive out with your hands and slash over them with the hald edge deep to his left ear, after which you come nimbly with your long edge onto his sword after pulling out at your pleasure.
| oder wann du jhn also mit geschrenckten henden die halb schneide einwerts gegen seinem Kopff geschrenckt hast / damit du dann dein lincke seiten bloß geben / ficht er dann (wie vor gemelt) derselbigen eilents zu / so behalt deine hendt also kreutzweis / und entziehe jhm dein Kopff wol gegen deiner Rechten / und schiesse jhm mit deiner klingen wol uber die seine / jhe neher bey seinem Schilt jhe '''[XXXVIIIr]''' besser / reisse jhm also sein klingen gegen deiner Lincken auß / wie du in der Figur so mit dem D. verzeichnet / in den kleinern Bilder zur Rechten hand sihest / und wann du mit solchem ausreissen nahet zu deiner Lincken kommest / so fahr mit den henden auff und schlag mit halber schneide uber dein hand / wider zu seinem lincken ohr dieff hinein / nach solchem komme jhm behend mit Langer schneid wider an sein Schwerdt / so stehestu im Langen ort demnach ziehe ab nach deinem gefallen.  
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{{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/95|2|lbl=Ⅰ.37v.2|p=1}} [XXXVIIIr] besser / reisse jhm also sein klingen gegen deiner Lincken auß / wie du in der Figur so mit dem D. verzeichnet / in den kleinern Bilder zur Rechten hand sihest / und wann du mit solchem ausreissen nahet zu deiner Lincken kommest / so fahr mit den henden auff und schlag mit halber schneide uber dein hand / wider zu seinem lincken ohr dieff hinein / nach solchem komme jhm behend mit Langer schneid wider an sein Schwerdt / so stehestu im Langen ort demnach ziehe ab nach deinem gefallen.  
  
 
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Revision as of 20:39, 15 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. Originally printed "am meisten gebreuchlichsten", but corrected on Ⅲ.47v.
  16. Originally printed "B", but corrected on Ⅲ.47v.
  17. "st" ligature inverted.
  18. Typo: wolt, könne.
  19. Originally printed "abzutzest", but corrected on Ⅲ.47v.
  20. Originally printed "verhauren", but corrected on Ⅲ.47v.
  21. "t" is upside down.
  22. Ⅲ.47v indicates that this was printed "erbangen" and needed to be corrected to "erlangen", but that's not true in any copy available for consult.
  23. Originally printed "mim", but corrected on Ⅲ.47v.
  24. Originally printed "Higur", but corrected on Ⅲ.47v.
  25. 25.00 25.01 25.02 25.03 25.04 25.05 25.06 25.07 25.08 25.09 25.10 25.11 25.12 25.13 25.14 25.15 25.16 25.17 25.18 25.19 25.20 25.21 25.22 25.23 25.24 25.25 25.26 25.27 25.28 25.29 25.30 25.31 indes
  26. palm up
  27. Illegible deletion.
  28. oberhauw
  29. ‘right’ is originally written, ‘left’ is written above it
  30. short edge
  31. “Degen”, lit. dagger, could either refer to a sword or dagger.
  32. short edge
  33. Unleserliche Streichung. Illegible deletion.
  34. Unleserliche gestrichen Einfügung oberhalb der Zeile. Crossed out illegible insertion above the line.
  35. Die Schlaufe des »h« trägt ein Diärese. The loop of the “h” carries a diaeresis.
  36. Korrigiert aus »mitelhauw«. Corrected from “mitelhauw”.
  37. Leicht unleserlich. Slightly illegible.
  38. Überschriebens »vom«. Overwritten “vom”.
  39. Inserted by means of a special mark.
  40. Word inserted next to the text.
  41. Inserted nest to the text.
  42. Zwei Worte am Seitenrand nachgetragen. Two words inserted at the margin.
  43. Wort am Seitenrand nachgetragen. Word inserted at the margin.