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Solothurner Fechtbuch (Cod.S.554)

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Das Solothurner Fechtbuch
Cod.S.554, Zentralbibliothek Solothurn
Solothurn, Switzerland

Cod.S.554 II.jpg
Cod.S.554 III.jpg
Date ca. 1506 - 1514
Language(s) Early New High German
Author(s) Paulus Kal
Illustrator(s) Unknown
Material Paper, in a 16th-century leather binding
with brass furniture
Size 34 folia (originally 62) (145 mm × 195 mm)
Format Double-sided; one uncaptioned illustration
per side
Exemplar(s) Cgm 1507 (ca. 1470)
Previously kept Friedrich Fiala of Basil (1884)
External data Library catalog entry
Treatise scans

The Codex S.554 is an early 16th century copy of Paulus Kal's fencing manual of ca. 1470. The original currently rests in the holdings of the Zentralbibliothek Solothurn in Solothurn, Switzerland. The paper of the manuscript bears a watermark that was used between 1506 and 1514, though it may have been created after that.[1] Unfortunately, the manuscript survives only in fragmentary form: just 30 of the original 62 folia remain, including only 57 illustrations.

Kal's treatise consists of a partial redaction of the writings of Johannes Liechtenauer on Kampffechten, Roßfechten, and Bloßfechten, as well as Kal's own teachings on a variety of other weapons. It differs from the works of other followers of Liechtenauer in that instead of offering extensive glosses of the high master's verses, Kal explains them with detailed illustrations. This manuscript appears to be a text-less copy of the Cgm 1507, possibly mediated by the MS KK5126,[2] but with decidedly superior artwork to the other copies of the Kal's treatise.



As only half of the original manuscript is currently available, this table of content is highly speculative. It has been extrapolated from the archetype and the image numbers found on the remaining pages.

1r - 11v Mounted fencing illustrations from Paulus Kal's treatise
12r - 28v Armored fencing illustrations from Paulus Kal's treatise
29rv Illustrations of dueling between a man and a woman from Paulus Kal's treatise
30r - 36r Longshield illustrations from Paulus Kal's treatise
36v - 50r Long sword illustrations from Paulus Kal's treatise
50v - 55r Dagger illustrations from Paulus Kal's treatise
55v - 69r Grappling illustrations from Paulus Kal's treatise


Cover 1
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Cover 2
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Cover 3
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Cover 4
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Additional Resources


  1. Lindholm, David. "Das Solothurner Fechtbuch: Giving it Voice." Masters of Medieval and Renaissance Martial Arts. Ed. Jeffrey Hull. p 249. Boulder, CO: Paladin Press, 2008. ISBN 978-1-58160-668-3
  2. Lorbeer, Carsten and Lorbeer, Julia; Meier, Andreas; Wiedner, Marita. Die Handschriften Paulus Kals. Pragmatische Schriftlichkeit. Retrieved 10 September 2011.

Copyright and License Summary

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

Work Author(s) Source License
Images Zentralbibliothek Solothurn WikiMedia Commons
Public Domain.png
Transcription Index:Solothurner Fechtbuch (Cod.S.554)