Talhoffer Ueber Alles
Hey Folks

Fight Earnestly – the Fight-Book from 1459 AD by Hans Talhoffer

transcription, translation and commentary by Jeffrey Hull

The Fechtbuch (Fight-Book) from 1459 AD by Hans Talhoffer is truly an uncanny work. In this edition of his work, the fight-master opens a window for us to his world. He shares knowledge from his own field of expertise – the martial arts of Renaissance Europe. Yet he also presents works from masters of the same and other fields – Zwaintzig Ussrichtung (Twenty Directives) by fight-master Johann Liechtenauer; Bellifortis (Battle Force) by military engineer Conrad Kyeser; and Hie Lert (Here Teaches) by astrologer-physiologist Jud Ebreesch. By text and by pictures, numerous diverse and lively scenes are shown that are sometimes quite bizarre – vigorous fighting lessons, for judicial dueling and for battle; war-machines, strange inventions and secret formulas; and treatises upon cosmology and physiology.


Good luck,


Jeffrey Hull
Thanks for posting the link Jeffrey all I can say is.......Amazing manuscript :cool: , I've gotta print out a hard copy of this but its gonna cost in printer Ink cartridges!! :lol:

Last edited by David Sutton on Tue 19 Jun, 2007 2:45 am; edited 1 time in total

This is marvelous--thank you! I have been trying to translate this monumental book for several years now and not having great success. I translated Talhoffer's Ambraser Codex and that went pretty well, and I translated most of the fighting plates from this book without too much trouble, but when I tried to translate the large amount of text material in the beginning and end (Liechtenauer, the Kriegsbuch and the health/astrology stuff), I found myself very much at a loss. This is an amazing treasure to have because this has long been my favorite Fechtbuch.

Tell me, where did you get the text you supplied where the book had none, starting from p. 358? I haven't read this in detail yet, so I don't know if you took it from other Fechtbücher or if this is your interpretation of the plates.
Hi Jeffrey,

I just downloaded this. Thanks for making this available.

I can tell you that the Ebreesch is not a man's name though: it just means 'Hebrew', as that page shows the Hebrew alphabet. Roughly, the passage is saying "Here the Jew teaches Hebrew".

The planetary and anatomical lore is anonymous, and similar to other treatises on these subjects appearing thoughout the century. In particular, the planetary material is part of the Planetenkinder (Children of the Planets) lore that appears all over the place, in particular, the Castle Wolfegg Housebook and various editions of Bellifortis as a preface.

Aside from the book "Venus and Mars: The World of the Medieval Housebook", I can direct you to Marianne Hansen's excellent artwork and expose on the Planetenkinder here: http://www.billyandcharlie.com/planets/

All the best,


Thank you for making this available. It is greatly appreciated.

-Steven H

I'm still digesting your work, but I've come across another question: On p. 377 you talking about breaching (isn't it breaking?) the four openings with Duplieren and Mutieren. You say that if he's hard in the bind you "duplicate" your strike to another high opening, and you say this is an Oberhau. But isn't the Duplieren really a kind of Winden? You remain am Schwert the entire time and to me, Oberhau implies cutting without being bound. What am I missing here? Am I being too rigid in my definition of an Oberhau?

Likewise, as regards the Mutieren: Ringeck says: "If you bind against his sword, with an Oberhau or otherwise, wind the short edge at his sword, raise your arms and thrust at the lower opening from the outside along his blade." But you say that the Mutieren is a Sturzhau which, in his 1467 book, Talhoffer clearly shows as a downward cut with the false edge (plate 2), and this notion of it being a cut is, as you know, supported by the fact that it's called a "hau", whereas a thrust would be called a Stiche. Therefore, you seem to be suggesting that Talhoffer interepreted the Mutieren as a cut rather than the thrust we see it to be in other sources. Two question arise, then: First, am I correct that you are interepreting what Talhoffer wrote to say that the Mutieren is a cut, and second, what has lead you to that conclusion?

Thanks, I look forward to reading your insights.
Like the others said, great work, thanks a lot! This sure saves me a lot of trouble and time :D
Very well done :D the pictures are astonishing :surprised:

thanks for sharing!
Hi Jeffrey,

In looking at the Bibliography of your document I see a number of sources that sound interesting but which I've been unable to find, specifically those published by something called "Armeria" and something called "Ragnarok Works". Can you tell me where I can locate these sources? Thanks!

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