|You are not currently logged in. Are you accessing the unsecure (http) portal? Click here to switch to the secure portal.|
Gründtliche Beschreibung der… Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meyer)
|Gründtliche Beschreibung der…|
Kunst des Fechtens
|A Thorough Description of the… Art of Fencing|
|Full title||A Thorough Description of the Free, |
Chivalric, and Noble Art of Fencing,
Showing Various Customary Defenses,
Affected and Put Forth with Many
Handsome and Useful Drawings
|Illustrated by||Tobias Stimmer|
|Dedicated to||Johann Casimir|
|Place of origin||Strasbourg, Germany|
|Language||Early New High German|
|Publication date||1570, 1600|
Gründtliche Beschreibung der… Kunst des Fechtens ("A Thorough Description of… the Art of Fencing") is a German fencing manual written by Joachim Meyer and printed in 1570. Building on his earlier 1560s works MS Bibl. 2465 and MS A.4°.2, it is a complex, sophisticated treatise purporting to teach the entire art of fencing (something that Meyer claimed had never been done before), and represents a significant evolution of the art that Johannes Liechtenauer taught 150 years earlier. It treats the sword, Dussack, rapier (both single and with secondary weapons), dagger and wrestling, and various pole weapons including the short staff, halberd, and long staff (pike).
The first edition of Gründtliche Beschreibung der… Kunst des Fechtens was printed in Strasbourg by Thiebolt Berger in 1570, exactly one year before Meyer's death. A second edition was printed in Augsburg in 1600 by Michael Manger (under publisher Elte Millers), possibly arranged by his widow and her family; for this edition, the same woodblocks were used but the text was reset (and many small errors or variations were thus introduced). A third edition (based on the 1600) was prepared in 2011 by Wolfgang Landwehr, including digital reproductions of the illustrations and setting the text in a humanist font, and published in Herne by VS-Books under the title Joachim Meyer 1600: Transkription des Fechtbuchs 'Gründtliche Beschreibung der freyen Ritterlichen und Adelichen kunst des Fechtens'; this edition was reissued in 2018. A fourth edition was prepared in 2021 by Michael Chidester and published by HEMA Bookshelf; this edition was created from digital scans of the 1570, including the painted Leipzig figures and annotated pages from several other copies.
According to some sources, there were other editions printed in 1590, 1610, and 1660, but no copies from these printings are known to exist and they are probably spurious (due perhaps to errors in cataloging the known editions or mistaken references to the works of Jakob Sutor (1612) and Theodori Verolini (1679)).
In 2006, Meyer's treatise was translated into English by Dr. Jeffrey L. Forgeng and published in New York and London under the title The Art of Combat: A German Martial Arts Treatise of 1570. A second edition with minor corrections was published in 2015.
In 2012, Alex Kiermayer translated the treatise to modern German, and this was published by Arts Of Mars Books under the title Joachim Meyers Kunst Des Fechtens. Gründtliche Beschreibung des Fechtens, 1570.
|A1r - B4v||Preface by Joachim Meyer|
|1.1r - 1.64v||Part 1 - Sword by Joachim Meyer|
|2.1r - 2.49v||Part 2 - Dussack by Joachim Meyer|
|2.50r - 2.107v||Part 3 - Rapier by Joachim Meyer|
|3.1r - 3.15v||Part 4 - Dagger and wrestling by Joachim Meyer|
|3.16r - 3.47r||Part 5 - Staff and pole weapons by Joachim Meyer|
- Chidester, Michael and Tobias Stimmer. The Illustrated Meyer: A Visual Reference for the 1570 Treatise of Joachim Meyer. Somerville, MA: HEMA Bookshelf, 2020. ISBN 978-1-953683-00-7
- Kiermayer, Alex. Joachim Meyers Kunst Des Fechtens. Gründtliche Beschreibung des Fechtens, 1570. Arts of Mars Books, 2012. ISBN 978-3981162738
- Meyer, Joachim. Joachim Meyer 1600: Transkription des Fechtbuchs 'Gründtliche Beschreibung der freyen Ritterlichen und Adelichen kunst des Fechtens’. Ed. Wolfgang Landwehr. Herne: VS-Books, 2011. ISBN 978-3-932077-37-1
- Meyer, Joachim. The Art of Combat: A German Martial Arts Treatise of 1570. Trans. Jeffrey L. Forgeng.
- 1st Edition. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. ISBN 978-1-4039-7092-0
- 2nd edition. London: Frontline Books, 2015. ISBN 978-1-84832-778-8
- Schaer, Alfred. Die altdeutschen fechter und spielleute: Ein beitrag zur deutschen culturgeschichte. K.J. Trübner, 1901. p 76.
- Pollock, W. H., Grove, F. C., and Prévost, C. Fencing. London and Bombay: Longmans, Green, and co, 1897. pp 267-268.
Copyright and License Summary
For further information, including transcription and translation notes, see the discussion page.
|Images||Tobias Stimmer||Leipzig University Library|
|Transcription||Michael Chidester||Index:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens|