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Hans Talhoffer/Königsegg

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Königsegg Fechtbuch
Ms.XIX.17-3 25r.png
Luithold von Königsegg sits as Hans Talhoffer
explains the art of the dagger (MS XIX. 17-3, f 25r)
Author(s) Hans Talhoffer
Illustrated by Unknown
Patron Luithold von Königsegg (?)
Date 1446-1459
Language Early New High German
Archetype(s) MS XIX.17-3 (1446-1459)
Concordance by Michael Chidester

The presumptive archetype of this edition of Hans Talhoffer's fencing manual, the MS XIX.17-3, was produced some time in the late 1440s or early 1450s for the Königsegg family, potentially even the very Luithold von Königsegg mentioned in the text.[citation needed] It covers the various aspects of a formal knightly duel, including a training program to prepare and various types of fighting on horse and on foot, armored and unarmored, using spear, sword, dagger, and grappling.

Some time before 1459, Talhoffer revisited this treatise and prepared a somewhat expanded version, the MS 78.A.15, for David and Buppellin vom Stain. This version included several additional plays of armored sword and dagger, and additional sections on sword and buckler, flail, and judicial dueling with longshields. This was presumably based on the Königsegg manuscript, though it's possible that Talhoffer possessed a personal version that is currently lost.

Two later copies were made after Talhoffer's time. The Ambraser Codex (MS KK5342) was begun toward the end of the 15th century but never completed; it includes all of the illustrations from the Königsegg version, but omits about a third of the text. The fourth and final copy (Codex I.6.2°.1) was commissioned by Paulus Hector Mair in 1561 and replicates the Königsegg version to a high degree, though a rebinding shuffled some of the pages. As with the vom Stain version, it's unclear if these were based directly on the archetype or a different unknown copy.


Additional Resources


  1. Or possibly kend.
  2. Difficult to decipher because of damage.
  3. Difficult to decipher because of damage.
  4. The right margin is lost due to clipping; the page seems to have been glued in subsequently.
  5. Rest cut off.
  6. Prefaced by "Der stat in der vndern hut vn dem dritten stich"
  7. Prefaced by "Hie hat er verseczt Im die schäre"
  8. A portion of the page is missing.
  9. Parts of the text are illegible in my present copy since they are written on a dark background.