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Johannes Hartlieb

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Johannes Hartlieb
Born ca. 1410
Died 18 May 1468
Spouse(s) Sibilla Bernauer
Occupation Physician
Education Doctor
Alma mater University of Padua
Notable work(s) Ueber die Erhaltung des Sieges

Johannes Hartlieb (ca. 1410 - 18 May 1468) was a German physician, poet, and author, probably of a family from Neuburg an der Donau. By 1436 he was serving as parish priest of St. Moritz in Ingolstadt, but was removed in 1437 by Louis VII of Bavaria for neglecting his duties (he seems to have been in Vienna at the time). In 1439, Hartlieb received a doctorate in medicine from the University of Padua, and in 1440 he entered the service of Albert III of Bavaria. He would go on to serve Albert's son Sigismund as well (beginning in 1456). In 1444, he married Sibilla, daughter of Agnes Bernauer and (allegedly) Albert III, and ultimately they had three children together.

Hartlieb was an acquaintance of German fencing master Hans Talhoffer, and in February 1436 wrote him a letter suggesting a solution to the Villenbach case that Talhoffer had become enmeshed in.[1] Talhoffer went on to include a copy of Hartlieb's 1436 treatise Ueber die Erhaltung des Sieges ("On the Preservation of Victory"), which covered techniques of onomancy (divinations based on a subjects name) that could be used to determine the winner in a fight, in his own personal manuscript of 1448 (MS Chart.A.558).

Hartlieb also wrote a number of other treatises in his life on herbalism and various esoteric subjects, and seems especially to have had a fascination with magic. Early in his life this had a more positive cast, while his later works approach the subject with a more religious disapproval. As none of these texts are related to any extant fencing manuals, they will not be discussed here.


Additional Resources


  1. Jens P. Kleinau. "1434 Hans Kuchler and Johannes Hartlieb". Hans Talhoffer ~ A Historical Martial Arts blog by Jens P. Kleinau. Retrieved 23 May 2015.