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Der Allten Fechter gründtliche Kunst (Christian Egenolff)

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Der Allten Fechter gründtliche Kunst
The Ancient Fencer's Thorough Art
Egenolff title 2.jpg
Title page of the first edition
Also known as
  • Der Altenn Fechter an fengliche Kunst
  • Fechtbuch. Die Ritterliche, Mannliche Kunst
Illustrated by Hans Weiditz
Place of origin Frankfurt-am-Main
Language Early New High German
Sources Ergrundung Ritterlicher Kunst der
Publisher Christian Egenolff
Publication date 1531 - 1537
Pages 94
Treatise scans

Der Allten Fechter gründtliche Kunst ("The Ancient Fencer's Thorough Art") is a German fencing manual printed in the 16th century by Christian Egenolff. The text is largely a redaction of Andre Paurenfeyndt's earlier treatise Ergrundung Ritterlicher Kunst der Fechterey, but with significant unique material. Egenolff reset the text and hired noted Strassbourg artist Hans Weiditz to illustrate it.

Publication History

The first three printings of the book are undated, but the first edition, titled Der Allten Fechter gründtliche Kunst, must have been printed between 1531, when Egenolff set up his shop in Frankfurt-am-Main, and Weiditz' death in 1537; a copy of the first edition that recently came up for auction was dated to ca. 1535,[1] but this date seems speculative. The second edition, titled Der Altenn Fechter an fengliche Kunst, and the third edition, titled Fechtbuch. Die Ritterliche, Mannliche Kunst, were released some time before Egenolff's own death in 1555. In 1558, Egenolff's heirs published a fourth edition (titled the same as the third) posthumously.[2]

In the 1600s, a fairly faithful manuscript including portions of both this text and Albrecht Dürer's OPLODIDASKALIA sive Armorvm Tractandorvm Meditatio Alberti Dvreri was created by an unknown scribe (it has since been lost).


This is the table of contents for the first edition. The order of sections remains generally the same through all editions, apart from moving the index to the end of the book, but the exact pagination varies.

1r - 3r
3r - 4r
4r Twelve Rules for Beginning Fencers by Andre Paurenfeyndt
4v - 16v Sword by Andre Paurenfeyndt
16v - 20v,
25v - 33v
Messer by Hans Lebkommer (Johannes Lecküchner)
20v - 25v Messer by Andre Paurenfeyndt
33v - 34r Sword and buckler by Andre Lignitzer
34r - 35r Dagger by Andre Lignitzer
35r - 37v Anonymous dagger pieces
38r - 46r Anonymous grappling pieces
46v - 48r Staff by Andre Paurenfeyndt


Title pages

First edition (1530s)
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Second edition (1530s?)
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Third edition (1540s?)
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Fourth edition (1558)
Egenolff title 4.jpg


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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. [Lecküchner]. Der Allten Fechter Gründtliche. Live Auctioneers. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  2. According to page 47v of the fourth edition.

Copyright and License Summary

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

Work Author(s) Source License
Images Hans Weiditz Bayerische Staatsbibliothek
Transcription Michael Chidester Index:Der Altenn Fechter anfengliche kunst (Christian Egenolff)