April 14, 2021 at 7:55 pm #2400
Apparently there is a crossed out section in the Pseudo Von Danzig manuscript which mentions a specific fencing technique that was successfully used against Hans Talhoffer in the court of Herzog (Duke) Albrecht of Bavaria. This is in Dierk Hagedorn’s new Von Danzig translation which is coming out.
Peter von Danzig (44 A 8), fol. 19v.
It just says:
Mit dem stuck hat maister pertolt maister hansen den talhofer vor
meiner herren genaden Hertzog Albrecht zw minchen In die hant
geschniten vnd auf den kopff geschlagen
With this piece Master Berthold has sliced Master Hans Talhoffer in
the hand and hit him on the head in Munich, in front of my Grace,
Here is the passage:April 15, 2021 at 6:27 pm #2410
(Stolen from Matt Easton via FB)April 16, 2021 at 1:49 am #2411
That’s brand new as well! I’m a great fan of Tobler (and Hagedorn as well – his videos on armored combat are wonderful) as I’m sure you know. I still need to read the copy of “In St. George’s Name” I got off Michael Bergstrom…
…Damn you, temptation!April 17, 2021 at 7:32 pm #2412
It’s a fascinating revelation. Many new questions must be considered. I also think we need to play out this fight in the Codex rules…April 19, 2021 at 8:58 pm #2414
Memory is getting sparse for me, as I’ve not been able to invest too much time into HEMA and game development for a while now, but isn’t it felt by… a few researchers… that Talhoffer was a bit of a “black sheep” when it came to Liechtenauer’s teachings? Therefore, a note about Talhoffer being bested from those who would probably be assumed to be closer adherents of the Master is even more interesting!April 22, 2021 at 5:10 am #2415
If that is a theory I haven’t heard of it.April 22, 2021 at 5:21 am #2416
A lot of HEMA people and related researchers – especially club leaders, have all kinds of theories about fencing masters, (and have done since the current revival started about 20 years ago) even veering into theories about secret societies and all kinds of other ridiculous stuff. Some of them, I’m embarrassed to say, think they are better than the masters from the era when people still actually fought for real with swords. This is an age of rampant narcissism.
We also have the general theory which goes back to Sydney Anglo that the German fencing in general was at least eventually degraded and became a sport for the burghers after it got away from the ‘real knights”. But none of this is actually based on any real data – in fact a lot of my own research into the context of fencing has shown that this theory is B.S. since we know that the burghers were just as warlike as the nobility, and in fact quite a few burghers were knights themselves. This isn’t all that well known in Anglophone circles though I guess.
That isn’t to disrespect Sydney Anglo who is an legit academic and vastly more erudite on the subject of historical fencing than 99% of HEMA people. That particular context ust isn’t really his field. Unfortunately most of the English speaking and especially the American HEMA / WMA folks know very little history beyond what is in the fencing manuals themselves, especially when it comes to the regions where the older fencing manuals come from (Holy Roman Empire and Italy, basically).
The truth is we have the barest fragments of data about the lives of most of the fencing masters, so anything we do learn (like this) is a big deal. I think some people jumping to the conclusion that Talhoffer losing a fight means he was a bad fencer or a poor fighter – and some have said stuff like that on Social Media – even though there isn’t a HEMA fencer alive who hasn’t lost a fight, is pretty ridiculous. Nuance is not one of the strengths of our current cultural moment in general, and sadly most people aren’t going to get anywhere near understanding much beyond how to do a zwerchau.
April 22, 2021 at 5:32 am #2418
- This reply was modified 3 weeks, 3 days ago by Hans Hellinger.
The only thing I can think of about Talhoffer is that his books are not heavily glossed and he does kind of have his own variant of the zedel, but neither of those things is unusual. Talhoffer is hard to work from because he doesn’t explain much, he just has those (comparatively) good illustrations. So not that many clubs work from Talhoffer, it used to be kind of a running joke that beginner clubs “worked with” talhoffer because there was one talhoffer book in the public domain – a 19th Century fascimile which had the pages out of order, making it even more confusing to try to work from. But it was one of the first of the fechtbücher which was available for many years so people tried (and mostly failed) to figure it out.
This book was the source of a lot of the images I used in the original version of the Codex because those images (having been printed in the 19th Century) were in the public domain.April 24, 2021 at 2:45 pm #2421
Great insight, Jean.
I think that last idea floating around was based in part on the fact that Talhoffer was not listed in the “Society of Liechtenauer,” or what have you.
…Granted, in retrospect, considering anything along the likes of which I suggested earlier on such loose information is pretty weak. But, the concept that the various masters did not get along all that well is perfectly sensible!April 24, 2021 at 7:54 pm #2423
That could also be a matter of timing or as you suggest, of rivalries. It’s kind of surprising how much these people knew given the limitations of their period – no phone, no radio, no internet, and travel only by horseback. Books copied by hand. And yet many of these fechtbüch authors do seem to either know a lot about or actually have copies of many of the other books, which is pretty amazing. It’s not like just downloading from a link today!
But they may not have all known about all the other contemporaneous authors. We do find some gaps like that. I’ll ask my friend Christian Trosclair who does a lot of the translations on the Wiktenauer to chime in here if he has the time, he can probably provide some insight.
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