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Revision as of 21:11, 3 February 2014 by Michael Chidester (talk | contribs)
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Welcome to the Wiktenauer!

The world's largest 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 de'i Liberi, ca. 1405

Wiktenauer's mission is to collect all of the primary and secondary source literature that makes up the text of historical European martial arts research and to organize and present it in a scholarly but accessible format. The Wiktenauer project is funded by the Historical European Martial Arts Alliance and supported by researchers and practitioners from across the Western martial arts community. It 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 during a period stretching from ca. 1389 to 1713. Here are a few basic categories of pages that are being constructed:

  • Master Pages host biographical information about each master, as well as the transcription and translation of his complete works. 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 will also be illustrated with images from the masters' work as 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.
  • Treatise Pages host all relevant data on a book or manuscript, including description, provenance, table of contents (with links to the appropriate master pages), gallery of page scans, and bibliography of additional 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.
  • Technique Pages compile all of the relevant information from all of the relevant manuals on a particular technique, including transcriptions, translations, and images. There is also a section at the end of each page where groups may embed videos of their interpretations. The template for techniques is the Zornhaw. Ultimately, every technique mentioned in the manuals will have a dedicated page.
  • Weapon Pages provide information about how a specific weapon form is described and used in the treatises, data on surviving artifacts, an overview of archaeological research pertinent to a given weapon, and a comprehensive index of the treatises and writers that discuss each weapon.

The wiki also features pages for HEMA groups, pages for HEMA events, general information pages, and almost other topic of interest to the HEMA community you can think of. If you'd like to pitch in, simply request an account and consult How can I help?

Recent Feature Additions

Our fundraising drive ended on Friday, and I've clean run out of synonyms for "incredible" to use in these posts. After PayPal fees, we took in $3,611.93, over seven times our initial goal. This generous outpouring from our users has vastly exceeded any plans we've made for projects, so at the moment the bulk of it will sit in an account while we investigate new digital scan acquisitions over the next several months. (I've already put in a few inquiries and settled one agreement that was pending before the fundraiser, but until this point I've been reaching out to institutions one at a time as I get ready to work on the associated index page.)

All told, we received 85 separate donations, including nineteen at the sponsor level. In particular I'd like to highlight our top five sponsors: MARS Swordfighting, Purpleheart Armoury, Esfinges, the Bramble Schoole of Defence, and Iron Gate Exhibition. Together, these five organizations--schools from Europe and the US, a leading HEMA supplier, an international network for female fencers, and a major HEMA event, illustrate in some small way the breadth of our community. I'll be getting in touch with them and all of the other donors to find out if you'd like your name listed in the donor list or would prefer to remain anonymous. If you know that you donated $100 or more, please decide if you'd like your organization represented in the sponsor list, and if so, prepare some sort of logo for me to potentially use.

To return to my initial refrain, the outcome of this year's fundraiser was beyond anything we ever expected. I thank all of you, and I'm sure the HEMA Alliance general council does as well (since this removes a big item from their annual budget ;)). Here's to another year of exciting manual research!


Michael Chidester (Contact)
Wiktenauer Director
HEMA Alliance, WMAC
21:11, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

P.S. If you missed the window for the fundraiser, fear not! The donate button at the bottom of the sidebar will remain where it's always been, and donations are welcome at any time. If you donate over $100 in the next week or so while I'm still figuring out the while sponsor thing, I'll even include you in the list.

What's New?

Vechtboek
MS BPL.3281, Universiteitsbibliotheek Leiden
Leiden, Netherlands

MS BPL.3281 IIIv.jpg
MS BPL.3281 01r.jpg
WiktenauerLeng
WierschinHils
Type Fencing manual
Date 1520s
Place of origin Belgium
Language(s) Middle Dutch
Author(s) Unknown
Material Paper, with a modern binding
Size 16 folia
Format Single-sided; one illustration per
page, with text below

The MS BPL 3281 is a fragmentary 16th century Dutch fencing manual written in the 1520s. It resides in the holdings of the Universiteitsbibliotheek Leiden in Leiden, Netherlands. The techniques in this manuscript are consistent with those of the Nuremberg manuscript complex and the art style matches part A of the Codex Wallerstein (the earliest member of that complex), but its relationship to this tradition remains uncertain.

(Read more...)

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.

Historical European Martial Arts Federations

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Australia
Western Martial Academies of Australia
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Austria
Österreichischer Fachverband für Historisches Fechten
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Belgium
Societas Belgarum Scientiae Nobilis
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Brazil
Associação Brasileira de Artes Marciais Históricas Européias
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Czech Republic
Česká asociace šermířů
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France
Fédération Française des Arts Martiaux Historiques Européens
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Galicia (Spain)
Asociación Galega de Esgrima Antiga
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Germany
Deutscher Dachverband Historischer Fechter
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Greece
Ελληνική Ομοσπονδία
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Hungary
Magyar Hosszúkardvívó Sportszövetség
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Italy
Vnione Arti Dimicatorie Italia
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Netherlands
H.E.M.A.-bond Nederland
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Poland
Polska Federacja Dawnych Europejksich Sztuk Walki
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Portugal
Federação Portuguesa de Esgrima Histórica
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Slovenia
Historical European Martial Arts Federation of Slovenia
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Spain
Asociación Española de Esgrima Antigua
Federación Española de Esgrima Histórica
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Sweden
Svenska HEMA-förbundet
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Switzerland
Swiss Federation for Historical European Martial Arts
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United Kingdom
British Federation for Historical Swordplay