Combat Manual of 1467


This 1467 manuscript Fechtbuch (Combat manual) provides instructions for various methods of fighting, without armor and wearing different kinds of armor, and on foot and on horseback. A series of annotated illustrations is devoted to combat with swords, daggers, pikes, and other weapons. Even the rules for a trial by combat between a man and a woman are included. The author, Hans Talhoffer (circa 1420–circa 1490), was regarded in his time as an unbeatable swordsman and one of the finest teachers of the so-called German school of fencing. Because of his reputation, many noblemen sought his services as an advisor and teacher. Among them was the first duke of Württemberg, Eberhard the Bearded (1445–96), who commissioned this manuscript. The manuscript itself has a curious history: originally forming part of the library of the dukes of Bavaria, it was stolen during the Thirty Years' War and ended up in Gotha. Only in 1951 was it again sold to the Bavarian State Library, where it is now preserved.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Swabia, Germany


Title in Original Language

Fechtbuch von 1467


Type of Item

Physical Description

137 sheets, parchment : illustrations ; 30 x 21.5 centimeters


  • BSB Shelfmark Cod.icon. 394 a

Last updated: December 16, 2013