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Kölner Fechtregeln (MS Best.7020 (W*)150)

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MS Best.7020 (W*)150, Historisches Archiv
Cologne, Germany

ff 1v - 2r
Date ca. 1500
Language(s) Early New High German
Author(s) Unknown
Size 22 folia
Format Double-sided
External data Handschriftencensus
Treatise scans Microfilm scans
Other translations Traduction française

Fechtregeln ("Fencing Rules"; MS Bestand 7020 (W*)150) is an anonymous German fencing manual created around the turn of the 16th century.[1] It resided in the holdings of the Historisches Archiv der Stadt Köln in Cologne, Germany, but was unfortunately housed in the wing of the Archive that collapsed in 3 March 2009;[2] its current status is unknown, and it may be lost or destroyed. Fechtregeln, also sometimes called the "Kölner Fechtbuch" (Fencing Manual of Cologne), contains a few verses resembling Johannes Liechtenauer's Recital, but it has few other obvious parallels to the teachings of the high master.[1] However, as James Wallhausen points out, it does bear a certain resemblance to the syllabus of the Marxbrüder fencing guild as described by Hans Sachs.[3]


The known provenance of the MS Bestand 7020 (W*)150 is:

  • Created in ca. 1500[1] by an anonymous scribe; the dialect of German used in the text (Ripuarian) suggests an origin in Cologne, Germany.[4]
  • before 1824 – acquired by scholar and collector Ferdinand Franz Wallraf (donated upon his death, 1824).
  • 1824-2009 – held by the Historisches Archiv der Stadt Köln (potentially destroyed, 2009).
  • 2009-present – status unknown.


2r - 8r
10v - 12r
13r - 16v
16v - 17r
21v - 22r


Front Cover
Inside Cover
Folio 1r
Folio 1v
Folio 2r
Folio 2v
Folio 3r
Folio 3v
Folio 4r
Folio 4v
Folio 5r
Folio 5v
Folio 6r
Folio 6v
Folio 7r
Folio 7v
Folio 8r
Folio 8v
Folio 9r
Folio 9v
Folio 10r
Folio 10v
Folio 11r
Folio 11v
Folio 12r
Folio 12v
Folio 13r
Folio 13v
Folio 14r
Folio 14v
Folio 15r
Folio 15v
Folio 16r
Folio 16v
Folio 17r
Folio 17v
Folio 18r
Folio 18v
Folio 19r
Folio 19v
Folio 20r
Folio 20v
Folio 21r
Folio 21v
Folio 22r
Folio 22v
Inside Cover
Back Cover

Additional Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Matthias Johannes Bauer. "Köln, Hist. Archiv der Stadt, Best. 7020 (W*) 150". Handschriftencensus. Eine Bestandsaufnahme der handschriftlichen Überlieferung deutschsprachiger Texte des Mittelalters. October, 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  2. Newspaper article Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung 01.03.2010
  3. James Wallhausen. "The Fight-Lore of the Long Sword From the Kölner Fechtbuch (MS Best.7020)". Paleoeskirmology Historical Combat Systems. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
  4. Handschriftencensus Rheinland. Erfassung mittelalterlicher Handschriften im rheinischen Landesteil von Nordrhein-Westfalen mit einem Inventar. Ed. Günter Gattermann. 1993. Vol. 2, pp. 1319f. (Nr. 2488)
  5. pose,stance
  6. ‘Schielen II’, oblique, like a schielhau. alt: shield. alt: dishonestly. alt: scoldingly
  7. Two cuts, first with the back edge like a schielhau, the second with the back edge like the stürtzhau
  8. Auskehren
  9. A proverb similar to the one also found in Kal (Cgm 1507, 6r)
  10. alt: lift. lyff is a variant spelling of lupf/luft, lauf and leib. Lupf is a quick starting movement. Luft is a lift. Leib is a body. Lauf is a run.
  11. The Wing Hew in accordance with Hans Sach’s account, flügel; appears in Pauernfeindt; “Wing [La Noble Science des Ioueurs Despee (1538): ‘Of the Flight’] Wing is taken from the High Guard or High Point, then initially strike from the Day to the left ear, then another from below whilst treading your left side, the thirdly strike backwards at the head.” Interestingly however, Duëz’s Französische Grammatica mentions on p531 that the translation of “l’epaule, le Flanc” in French is “der Flügel/der Streich”.
  12. gamble, entice, pull to and fro
  13. beiten: abide. In this sense to trick someone into buying a feint.
  14. obliquely, alt: shield
  15. alt: squint. Schilt is used as squint elsewhere in this document.
  16. vom tag
  17. exhileration, intent
  18. understand, perceive
  19. A similar description appears in Meyer, 1.19v.1 (Forgeng 2006, 64).
  20. alt: armpit
  21. alt: penetrate
  22. alt: retreat, recede, vanish
  23. alt: shield
  24. withdrawal
  25. sweeps
  26. alt: corners, angles, extremities, spots, places
  27. Meyer: "Dann je ein Man an deren vier orten einer / von wegen entdeckter Blösse getroffen / oder hinwider zuverhütung dessen / sich in die Hut oder versatzung muß legen." => "For verily a man is struck upon one of these four points, by way of discovered openings or else the counter protection of which [they] must position themselves in the guard or parrying"
  28. There is a verb lechen which means: 'to lift up/draw back something spent, collect retrieve, etc' which is used a few times. look for 'lech' in the transcription.
  29. Liechtenauerian verse, non-attributed. Repeated from 3r.
  30. alt: lift. lyff is a variant spelling of lupf/luft, lauf and leib. Lupf is a quick starting movement. Luft is a lift. Leib is a body. Lauf is a run.
  31. alt: corners, angles, extremities, spots, places
  32. alt: armpit. It is clear here that there is a pun between ocksen and uchsen. The same word is being used in two ways in this manuscript.
  33. Liechtenauer verse.
  34. alt: (straight or diagonal)cut into
  35. Pseudo-zettel, referring to the four openings (vier blossen) verse.
  36. Or “That technique is not one of any known: ~”

Copyright and License Summary

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

Work Author(s) Source License
Images Historisches Archiv Historisches Archiv
Public Domain.png
Translation Christian Trosclair Wiktenauer
Translation James Wallhausen Paleoeskirmology Historical Combat Systems
Transcription Dieter Bachmann Index:Fechtregeln (MS Best.7020 (W*)150)
Public Domain Contribution.png