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Vechtboek (MS BPL.3281)

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MS BPL.3281, Universiteitsbibliotheek Leiden
Leiden, Netherlands

MS BPL.3281 IIIv.jpg
MS BPL.3281 01r.jpg
Folio 1r
Type Fencing manual
Date 1520s
Place of origin Belgium (western Netherlands)
Language(s) Middle Dutch
Author(s) Unknown
Illustrator(s) Unknown
Material Paper, with a modern binding
Size 16 folia (150 mm × 190 mm)
Format Single-sided; one illustration per page,
with text below
External data Library catalog entry
Treatise scans Digital scans (2800x3500)

The MS BPL 3281 is a fragmentary 16th century Belgian fencing manual created in the 1520s.[1] It resides in the holdings of the Universiteitsbibliotheek Leiden in Leiden, Netherlands. The techniques in this manuscript are consistent with those of the Augsburg manuscript complex and the art style matches part A of the Bauman Fechtbuch (the earliest member of that complex), but its relationship to this tradition remains uncertain.



[Three blank leaves]
1r - 16r
[Three blank leaves]


Images hosted on Wiktenauer with permission from the Universiteitsbibliotheek Leiden.

Front Cover
MS BPL.3281 Cover 1.jpg
Inside Cover
MS BPL.3281 Cover 2.jpg
MS BPL.3281 Ir.jpg
MS BPL.3281 Iv.jpg
MS BPL.3281 IIr.jpg
MS BPL.3281 IIv.jpg
MS BPL.3281 IIIr.jpg
MS BPL.3281 IIIv.jpg
Folio 1r
MS BPL.3281 01r.jpg
Folio 1v
MS BPL.3281 01v.jpg
Folio 2r
MS BPL.3281 02r.jpg
Folio 2v
MS BPL.3281 02v.jpg
Folio 3r
MS BPL.3281 03r.jpg
Folio 3v
MS BPL.3281 03v.jpg
Folio 4r
MS BPL.3281 04r.jpg
Folio 4v
MS BPL.3281 04v.jpg
Folio 5r
MS BPL.3281 05r.jpg
Folio 5v
MS BPL.3281 05v.jpg
Folio 6r
MS BPL.3281 06r.jpg
Folio 6v
MS BPL.3281 06v.jpg
Folio 7r
MS BPL.3281 07r.jpg
Folio 7v
MS BPL.3281 07v.jpg
Folio 8r
MS BPL.3281 08r.jpg
Folio 8v
MS BPL.3281 08v.jpg
Folio 9r
MS BPL.3281 09r.jpg
Folio 9v
MS BPL.3281 09v.jpg
Folio 10r
MS BPL.3281 10r.jpg
Folio 10v
MS BPL.3281 10v.jpg
Folio 11r
MS BPL.3281 11r.jpg
Folio 11v
MS BPL.3281 11v.jpg
Folio 12r
MS BPL.3281 12r.jpg
Folio 12v
MS BPL.3281 12v.jpg
Folio 13r
MS BPL.3281 13r.jpg
Folio 13v
MS BPL.3281 13v.jpg
Folio 14r
MS BPL.3281 14r.jpg
Folio 14v
MS BPL.3281 14v.jpg
Folio 15r
MS BPL.3281 15r.jpg
Folio 15v
MS BPL.3281 15v.jpg
Folio 16r
MS BPL.3281 16r.jpg
Folio 16v
MS BPL.3281 16v.jpg
MS BPL.3281 17r.jpg
MS BPL.3281 17v.jpg
MS BPL.3281 18r.jpg
MS BPL.3281 18v.jpg
MS BPL.3281 19r.jpg
MS BPL.3281 19v.jpg
Inside Cover
MS BPL.3281 Cover 3.jpg
Back Cover
MS BPL.3281 Cover 4.jpg

Additional Resources

The following is a list of publications containing scans, transcriptions, and translations relevant to this article, as well as published peer-reviewed research.


  1. According to the library catalog entry.
  2. It is unclear what “niet en” means here. It could imply that the thumb is “not in”, or that it is “not one”, i.e. not alone–supported by the other hand.
  3. A literal translation of “cruine” would be “crown”.
  4. This could possibly be supposed to read “duime”, meaning “thumb”.
  5. This should most likely read “ghevangen”, which is translated as “captured”.
  6. 6.0 6.1 A more literal translation would be “unhook”.
  7. The meaning of the Dutch word “striken” is unclear in this context. Here, it is interpreted as “strikken”; “snares”.
  8. Alternatively: “nader”, meaning “closer”.
  9. This could be either “by” or “with” depending on the meaning of the word “hechte”. See the following note.
  10. This word is hard to make out in the manuscript. “hechte” could alternatively mean “close”. Possible alternatives for “hechte” are “rechte”, meaning “right” (i.e. with the right hand, though this would be unlikely as the right hand is trapped), or “hoch(t)e”, meaning “high” or “height”. Finally, the hilt could be what is intended.

Copyright and License Summary

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

Work Author(s) Source License
Images Universiteitsbibliotheek Leiden Universiteit Leiden Digital Sources
Translation Reinier van Noort School voor Historische Schermkunsten
Transcription Reinier van Noort Index:Vechtboek (MS BPL.3281)