Paulus Hector Mair

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Paulus Hector Mair
Wappen des Paul Hector Mair.png
Coat of arms
Augsburg, Germany (aged 62)
Cause of deathExecution by hanging
OccupationCivil servant
Known forCollecting and compiling Fechtbücher

Paulus Hector Mair (1517–1579) was a German civil servant fencing master from Augsburg. He collected Fechtbücher and undertook to compile all knowledge of the art of fencing in a compendium surpassing all earlier books. For this, he engaged the painter Jörg Breu the Younger, as well as two experienced fencers, whom he charged with perfecting the techniques before they were painted. The project was very costly, taking a full four years, and according to Mair, consumed most of his family's income and property. Three versions of his compilation, and one later, less extensive manuscript, have been preserved.

Not only did Mair spend huge sums on his collections and on his projects, he also had a very expensive lifestyle, frequently hosting receptions for the more important burghers of Augsburg. His own income was not sufficient for this, and during many years, he misappropriated funds from the city treasury, with the supervision of which he had been entrusted since 1541. His embezzlements were discovered in 1579, and Mair was hanged as a thief at the age of 62.

Martial arts compendium[edit]

Two techniques from the longsword section in the Dresden codex
Depiction of a judicial duel in the Munich codex

Mair compiled a voluminous, encyclopedic compendium of the martial arts of his time, collected in 16 books in two volumes. The compendium survives in three manuscript copies. The subject matter treated is:

Volume 1:

Volume 2:



  • Knight, David James and Brian Hunt. Polearms of Paulus Hector Mair. Paladin Press, 2008. ISBN 978-1-58160-644-7.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]