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Revision as of 20:57, 11 May 2015

Welcome to the Wiktenauer!

The free library of Historical European Martial Arts books and manuscripts

Without books no one can be a good teacher nor even a good student of this art.
~ Master Fiore Furlano de’i Liberi, ca. 1405

Dedicated to the memory of Dr. Patri Pugliese

Wiktenauer is an ongoing collaboration among researchers and practitioners from across the Western martial arts (WMA) community, seeking to collect all of the primary and secondary source literature that makes up the text of historical European martial arts (HEMA) research and to organize and present it in a scholarly but accessible format. The Wiktenauer project started in 2009, later receiving sponsorship from the HEMA Alliance, and is named for Johannes Liechtenauer, grand master of the oldest known longsword fencing style; his tradition was also the best-documented of the early Modern era, the subject of many dozens of manuscripts and books over a period of more than three centuries.

Wiktenauer's data model is built on separating the contents of each master's teachings from the books and manuscripts that contain them. For this reason, there are three main types of pages:

Treatise Pages host all relevant data on an individual book or manuscript, including codicological description, provenance, table of contents (with links to the appropriate master pages), gallery of page scans, and bibliography of print resources. The exemplar for manuscripts is the Goliath Fechtbuch, while the exemplar for printed books is Ergrundung Ritterlicher Kunst der Fechterey. Ultimately, every text in the corpus of Historical European Martial Arts literature will have a dedicated page.

Master Pages host the actual transcription and translation of a given master's complete works, as well as bibliographical information when available. In cases of multiple copies of a master's work, the transcriptions are laid out side-by-side to facilitate the most accurate translation possible. To aid in interpretation, the writings are also illustrated with pictures from the masters' work (if available). A bibliography at the end of each page lists additional transcriptions, translations, and scans that are available in print. The exemplar for this category of pages is Fiore de'i Liberi. Ultimately, every master in all of the traditions of Western Martial Arts will have a dedicated page.

(Anonymous texts are displayed on orphan treatise pages, which are structured like master pages but without the biography.)

If you'd like to pitch in, simply request an account and consult How can I help?

Announcements
Featured article
Ridolfo Capo Ferro da Cagli
Born 16th century
Died 17th century
Occupation Fencing master
Patron Federico Ubaldo della Roevere
Influences Camillo Aggrippa
Influenced Sebastian Heußler
Genres Fencing manual
Language Italian
Notable work(s) Gran Simulacro dell'Arte e dell'Uso della
Scherma
(1610)
Concordance by Michael Chidester

Ridolfo Capo Ferro da Cagli (Ridolfo Capoferro, Rodulphus Capoferrus) was a 17th century Italian fencing master.

He seems to have been born in the town of Cagli in the Province of Pesaro e Urbino, and was a resident of Siena, Tuscany. Little is known about the life of this master, though the dedication to Federico Ubaldo della Roevere, the young son of Duke Francesco Maria Feltrio della Roevere, may indicate that he was associated with the court at Urbino in some capacity. The statement at the beginning of Capo Ferro's treatise describing him as a "master of the great German nation" likely signifies that he was faculty at the University of Siena, either holding a position analogous to dean of all German students, or perhaps merely the fencing master who taught the German students.

At the age of 52, Capo Ferro authored a treatise on the rapier entitled Gran Simulacro dell'Arte e dell'Uso della Scherma ("Great Representation of the Art and Use of Fencing"); it was published in Siena in 1610, but refers to Federico by the ducal title. Though this treatise is highly praised by modern fencing historians, it is neither comprehensive nor particularly innovative and does not seem to have been influential in its own time.

Treatise

This concordance uses the watercolor illustrations from the 1629 edition where they are available, except for a few in which the paint obscures the actual fencing actions. You can view all of the painted illustrations on the treatise page.

(Read more…)


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Wiktenauer parent organizations

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Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) Alliance

A US educational non-profit which provides a range of programs and services for its members and affiliate schools and clubs, as well as serving the wider HEMA community.

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Western Martial Arts Coalition (WMAC)

A pan-American network of researchers and instructors dedicated to the study of traditional European, American, and related fighting arts and martial traditions.

Wiktenauer sponsors

Each year Wiktenauer holds a two-week fundraising drive to cover our server fees and fund new projects and acquisitions. The following are the organizations are official sponsors of the 2015 fundraiser; a full list of donors can be viewed on the Contributors page.

Top three 2015 donors

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Kron Martial Arts
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xKdF Network
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Schola Saint George


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Associació Catalana d'Esgrima Antiga
Boston Armizare.png
Boston Armizare
Fechtschule Victoria.png
Fechtschule Victoria
Longpoint HEMA Tournaments & Workshops.png
Longpoint: HEMA Tournaments & Workshops
Noble Science Academy.png
Noble Science Academy
Ottawa Swordplay.png
Ottawa Swordplay
Purpleheart Armoury.png
Purpleheart Armoury
Rhode Island Fencing Academy and Club.png
The Rhode Island Fencing Academy and Club
The School of European Swordsmanship.png
School of European Swordsmanship
Sword to Sword.png
Sword to Sword - Kunst des Fechtens
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Système d'Armes - New Orleans
Tattershall School of Defense.png
Tattershall School of Defense