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Talk:Hugold Behr's Fechtbuch (MS Var.83)

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Work Author(s) Source License
Images Universitätsbibliothek Rostock Universitätsbibliothek Rostock
Public Domain.png
Translation Reinier van Noort Ensis et Mente
Transcription Matthias Johannes Bauer Index:Hugold Behr's Fechtbuch (MS Var.83)

Transcription notes

Translation notes

The following document presents an English translation of Rostock UB Mss. Var. 83, an anonymous, mid-sixteenth century Fechtbuch once owned by Hugold Behr. The manuscript contains a number of illustrations as well as text, demonstrating and discussing fencing lessons with the sword and dagger. While Bauer (2020) argues an Italian origin for the fencing lessons described in this manuscript, based in part on other illustrations contained in the manuscript, and this may well be correct, the manuscript does not use the typical Italian-based terminology seen in German fencing treatises of the 17th century and onward.

The translation presented here is based on the transcription prepared and published by Bauer (2020). Transcription and translation are presented side by side, along with the illustrations. In preparing this translation, I aimed at presenting a clearly-understandable English text, which still closely represents the original German. The text mostly addresses the reader in second person, while the opponent is referred to in third person, significantly improving clarity. However, commonly the text then uses articles (“the blade”) rather than determiners (“your blade”). In this translation, the latter was inserted where the meaning was clear. Where significant interpretation was required, square brackets (“[…]”) were used. Footnotes were added where further discussion was warranted.

One particular challenge in understanding this text is the personal pronoun eer, equivalent to modern German er, which is used twelve times. While in modern German, er is the third person singular masculine pronoun, meaning “he”, archaically, it can also be a form of address to a male person (i.e., meaning “you”). Based on context, eer may have been used in both meanings in this manuscript, with seven instances where it is interpreted and translated as “you” versus 5 instances of “he”. Footnotes have been added to all these instances.

Another challenge is the inclusion of the Latin phrase admoto, most commonly admoto pede dextro. Bauer interprets admoto as meaning “after a movement” (i.e., “after a movement of the right foot”). However, “with a movement” may be more correct, and was used here.

außfahren – to attack
einfallen – to attack
flugel streich – wing strike
sneiden – to slice
stich – thrusting
stoes – thrust
streich – strike
verfallen – to step
zufallen – to attack
zufahren – to attack