Codex Wallerstein

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The first page shows a fencer with various arms.
Illustration of a half-sword thrust against a mordhau in armoured longsword combat. (Plate 214)

The so-called Codex Wallerstein or Vonn Baumanns Fechtbuch (Oettingen-Wallerstein Cod. I.6.4o.2, Augsburg University library[1]) is a 16th-century convolution of three 15th-century fechtbuch manuscripts, with a total of 221 pages.

The inside of the cover is inscribed 1549. Vom baumanns 108, suggesting that the manuscript belonged to one Michael Baumann, listed as a mercenary by profession in the tax registers of Augsburg between 1471 and 1495.[2] The manuscript came in the possession of Paulus Hector Mair in 1556.[3] After Mair's execution in 1579, the ms. may have passed to the library of Marcus Fugger, whose library was sold by his grandson in 1653, passing into the Oettingen-Wallerstein library.


Part A treats fighting with the longsword, dagger and messer. Part B is inserted in two parts, interrupting the first part, treating grappling. Parts A and B were made in c. 1470; the paper is dated to 1464/5 based on its watermark.[4] Part A is considered a source for the fechtbuch of Albrecht Dürer of 1512.

Part C is somewhat older, made in the first half of the 15th century. The paper is dated to 1420 based on its watermark.[5] It treats longsword, armored combat, stechschild and grappling.

The final page, fol. 109r, has a register, written in the hand of Paulus Hector Mair (foll. 109v and 110 are empty).

Part A[edit]

  • 3r-14v, 21r, 21v longsword techniques
  • 22r-28v dagger
  • 29r-32v messer

Part B[edit]

  • 15r-20v, 33r-74r grappling
  • 74v drawing of an armed robbery (with instructions for the robber to draw blood from the victim's neck for intimidation)

[fol. 75 empty]

Part C[edit]

  • 1r, a drawing of a fencer with various arms, still used as a title page in the convoluted ms. and inscribed with Paulus Hector's name.
  • 1v-2r, a double page illustration showing a fighting arena with spectators
  • 76r-80v, 101r-102v longsword
  • 81r-91v, [fol. 92 empty] 93r-95v, 103r-108r armoured combat
  • 96r-96v, 98v judicial combat, Swabian law (with swords)
  • 97r-98r judicial combat, Franconian law (with clubs)
  • 98v-100v grappling (fol. 98v combines a grappling image with a judicial combat one)
  • 108v, image of a wedding ceremony.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The conventional name of Codex Wallerstein was given to the ms. in the context of HEMA revival c. 2000; Perhaps first mentioned online in early 2000 at as "the rare Codex Wallerstein" (without signature), and in December 2000 as "Universitätsbibliothek Augsburg: Cod. I.6.4° 2 A relatively unknown manuscript also known as the Codex Wallerstein" at, the name Codex Wallerstein being adopted by Grzegorz Zabinski in Several Remarks on the Bloßfechen Section of Codex Wallerstein, Journal of Western Martial Art, April 2001. There is, however, a group of seven "Wallerstein" fechtbücher (combat treatises), besides Cod. I.6.4º.2 all dating to the 16th century: Cod. I.6.2º.1: a 16th-century copy of a ms. by Hans Talhoffer; Cod. I.6.2º.2: a convolution containing: Jörg Wilhalm: Bloßfechten mit dem langen Schwert, 1523 (2r-41r); Johannes Liechtenauer: Kunst des langen Schwerts, 1523 (42r-49r); Lienhart Sollinger: Ergründung ritterlicher Kunst der Fechterei, 1564 (50r-72r). Cod. I.6.2º.3: a ms. by Jörg Wilhalm, dated 1522; Cod. I.6.2º.4: mid-16th century; Cod. I.6.2º.5 a convolution of two mss.: Augsburger Fechtordnung (1r-5v) - Ordnung und Chronik der Fechtbruderschaft Unserer Lieben Frau und Sankt Markus zu Frankfurt 1491 - 1566 (7r-20r) - Johannes Liechtenauer, Kunst des langen Schwerts (21r-42v) - Maerteen van Heemskerk, Fechter- und Ringerpaare (Stahlstiche, 43v-49r). Cod. I.6.4.5: dated 1522. See Fechtbücher aus der Bibliothek Oettingen-Wallerstein (
  2. ^ Hils (1991), p. 27, fn. 63
  3. ^ Mair inscribed the first page, noting the day of acquisition, vber khumben jm 1556 Jar am 26. Januarj Paulus hector Mair zu geherig
  4. ^ Leng (2008) "Wasserzeichen Traube, Piccard 14.763 (Schwäbisch Hall 1464, 1465)"
  5. ^ Leng (2008) ""Wasserzeichen Shwert, PICCARD 9.2, VII.314-315 (Nürnberg 1419,20)"
  6. ^ four figures in festive clothing; the bridegroom is saying ich nim dich, the bride ia ia liber löffel ia, with two witnesses pictured below.
  • Hans Peter Hils: Fecht- und Ringbuch - vermischtes Kampfbuch. Munich 1991
  • Rainer Leng, Fecht- und Ringbücher fascicle. 1/2 of vol. 4/2 of Katalog der deutschsprachigen illustrierten Handschriften des Mittelalters, eds. Hella Frühmorgen-Voss, Norbert H. Ott, Ulrike Bodemann, Christine Stöllinger-Löser, Munich, 2008, pp. 110-113 (Nr. 38.9.1).[1]
  • Rainer Welle, …vnd mit der rechten faust ein mordstuck - Baumanns Fecht- und Ringkampfhandschrift. Herbert Utz Verlag, 2014. ISBN 978-3831643776.
  • G. Zabinski, 'Several Remarks on the Bloßfechen Section of Codex Wallerstein', Journal of Western Martial Art, April 2001.[2]
  • G. Zabinski, with B. Walczak, Codex Wallerstein, A Medieval Fighting Book from the Fifteenth Century on the Longsword, Falchion, Dagger, and Wrestling, Paladin Press, (2002), ISBN 1-58160-339-8.

External links[edit]