Late Medieval and Early Modern Fight Books offers insights into the cultural and historical transmission and practices of martial arts, based on the corpus of the Fight Books (Fechtbücher) in 14th- to 17th-century Europe.
The first part of the book deals with methodological and specific issues for the studies of this emerging interdisciplinary field of research. The second section offers an overview of the corpus based on geographical areas. The final part offers some relevant case studies.
This is the first book proposing a comprehensive state of research and an overview of Historical European Martial Arts Studies. One of its major strengths lies in its association of interdisciplinary scholars with practitioners of martial arts.
Contributors are Sydney Anglo, Matthias Johannes Bauer, Eric Burkart, Marco Cavina, Franck Cinato, John Clements, Timothy Dawson, Olivier Dupuis, Bert Gevaert, Dierk Hagedorn, Daniel Jaquet, Rachel E. Kellet, Jens Peter Kleinau, Ken Mondschein, Reinier van Noort, B. Ann Tlusty, Manuel Valle Ortiz, Karin Verelst, and Paul Wagner.
Daniel Jaquet, Ph.D. in Medieval History (University of Geneva, 2013), is currently in postdoctoral researcher supported by SNSF (Max Planck Institute for History of Science, Berlin). He specialises in Martial Arts studies.
Karin Verelst, Ph.D in History and Philosophy of Science (Free University Brussels (VUB), 2006), is affiliated as a senior researcher to VUB's interdisciplinary research Centrum Leo Apostel (CLEA) and lecturer at the VUB's arts college RITS. She works on Martial Arts both in practice and as a relevant historical source for the History and Philosophy of Science.
Timothy George Dawson began researching and teaching European historical combat forms in 1981, continuing to do so to the present. He has degrees in Classical Studies, focussing on everyday life and material culture, and has published extensively in these areas.
List of Figures and Tables ix
List of Contributors xi
1 Foreword 1
2 Introduction 7
Karin Verelst, in collaboration with Timothy Dawson and Daniel Jaquet
Fight Books and Methodological Issues through Disciplinary
3 Before the Fight Books: Identifying Sources of Martial Techniques in
Antique and Medieval Art 31
4 Teaching How to Fight with Encrypted Words: Linguistic Aspects of
German Fencing and Wrestling Treatises of the Middle Ages and Early
Modern Times 47
Matthias Johannes Bauer
5 Only a Flesh-Wound? The Literary Background to Medieval German
Fight Books 62
Rachel E. Kellet
6 Visualised Motion: Iconography of Medieval and Renaissance Fencing
Jens Peter Kleinau
7 Finding a Way through the Labyrinth: Some Methodological Remarks on
Critically Editing the Fight Book Corpus 117
8 Problems of Interpretation and Application in Fight Book Studies 189
9 Experimenting Historical European Martial Arts, a Scientific
From the Books to the Arts: The Fighting Arts in Context
10 German Fechtbücher from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance 247
11 The Italian Schools of Fencing: Art, Science, and Pedagogy 280
12 The Destreza Verdadera: A Global Phenomenon 324
Manuel Valle Ortiz
13 The French Fencing Traditions, from the 14th Century to 1630 through
Fight Books 354
14 Evolution of Martial Tradition in the Low Countries: Fencing Guilds
and Treatises 376
Bert Gevaert and Reinier van Noort
15 Common Themes in the Fighting Tradition of the British Isles 410
Martial Arts, Martial Culture and Case Studies
16 The Autograph of an Erudite Martial Artist: A Close Reading of
Nuremberg, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Hs. 3227a 451
17 Development, Diffusion and Reception of the “Buckler Play”:
A Case Study of a Fighting Art in the Making 481
18 Martial Identity and the Culture of the Sword in Early Modern
B. Ann Tlusty
19 Science of Duel and Science of Honour in the Modern Age: The
Construction of a New Science between Customs, Jurisprudence,
Literature and Philosophy 571
20 Conclusion 594
Daniel Jaquet, in collaboration with Timothy Dawson and Karin Verelst
General Bibliography 603
Scholars and students interested in the corpus of Fight Books, as well as the practitioners and independent researchers of Historical European Martial Arts.