The Ambraser Codex by Master Hans Talhoffer
Hardcover, 251 Pages
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Fight Master to the Stars! Hans Talhoffer was one the most famous and prolific of the 15th-century German fight masters with at least six fight books attributed to him that have survived to the present day. His Ambraser Codex from 1449 is one of the lesser-known fight books, but it contains a wealth of information about armored combat, dagger fighting, wrestling and mounted combat that makes it tremendously valuable to students of historical combat. Written for Talhoffer’s patron, Leutold von Königsegg, the Ambraser Codex gives us a fascinating blow-by-blow account of what judicial duels were like from start to finish. More than just a translation, the author has used other fighting manuals of the period to interpret Talhoffer’s techniques. This important book belongs on the shelves of everyone with an interest in the middle ages.
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May 25, 2009"The Ambraser Codex " This should be on the bookshelf of every serious student of German martial arts. Richard D. Herron Academy of Historical Arts & Sciences
Feb 9, 2009"The Ambraser Codex" The manual begins with a small guide to preparing for a judicial duel, followed by a small amount of instructional material for fighting in harness. An account of a judicial duel fought by Leutold von Königsegg, a student of Talhoffer's, completes the first section of his work. The account begins with Talhoffer arming von Königsegg and the entrance and presentation of opponents in the list before moving on to the combat - spear, longsword (at the half-sword), Ringen am Schwert (wrestling at the sword), and the mortal dagger blows. Von Königsegg's opponent is then stripped of his harness and placed into his bier, while von Königsegg prays for thanks whilst Talhoffer stands knowingly in the background. The second instructive portion of the text includes commentary and visuals of Ringen, Spiessfechten, and Rossfechten (wrestling, spear fighting, and mounted combat, respectively). Altogether, the work provides insight into the workings of... More > the judicial duel, the training recommended by a renowned Master, and a compilation of techniques of nearly all the knightly weapons (leaving out the Pollaxe and unarmoured combat with the Longsword). The author presents Talhoffer's work completely. He begins with an introduction, discussing the context of the work and providing much needed information for those unfamiliar with the Fechtbücher. He goes on to offer a brief biography of Talhoffer, discussion of the judicial duel, and a short instruction in the armour of the period. The author provide a very complete look at the Fechtbüch and presents each page of Talhoffer's work paired with his own. On the left page he gives the number of any given plate, its text in transcription and translation, along with his interpretation and commentary. On the opposing right page the author gives us a clear look at Talhoffer's work reproduced in facsimile. The author's writing is clear and consistent and provides an uncomplicated look at the Art of Combat. He offers his own interpretations without hesitation when appropriate, but when the situation in the text and imagery is less clear he does not take the risk of making a poor interpretation by guessing. Rather, he prompts the reader to explore the situation for themselves by providing alternative interpretations and/or directly posing a question to them. The author uses Sydney Anglo's dossier approach (explained to the reader in his introduction) to support his interpretations and offers both textual references to other works describing and images, presented directly under the interpretive text, from other Fechtbücher including Talhoffer , Gladiatoria, Codex Wallerstein, Paulus Kal, and Auerswald. The final portion of the book includes a Glossary of over fifty common terms, a bibliography providing ample fuel for further reading, a recipe for Johanissbrot (a bread suggested by Talhoffer to be eaten as part of training for a duel), followed by acknowledgements and a brief section about the author. I recommend this work for anyone interested in armoured combat at any level or in the practice of judicial duels. Talhoffer's commentary and depiction offers a Fechtmeister's view of the mortal situation, rounded out by a large amount of instructional material on a variety of important weapons. The author's dedication to historical accuracy and interpretation through the use of temporally and geographically related works (rather than using texts written hundreds of years later or techniques from thousands of miles away) is marked throughout and provides a great basis for practice. The images are of respectable quality, the print is dark and clear, and the binding is stout and appears reliable.< Less
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- Hugh T. Knight, Jr. (Standard Copyright License)
- September 9, 2008
- Hardcover (casewrap)
- Interior Ink
- Black & white
- 1.5 lbs.
- Dimensions (inches)
- 8.25 wide x 10.75 tall
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- talhoffer ,
- fechtbuch ,
- ambraser ,
- schlachtschule ,
- ambraser codex ,
- sword ,
- medieval ,
- knight ,
- judicial duel
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