Click to view the modern German transcription Joachim Meyer, "Gründtliche Beschreibung der [...] kunst des Fechten [...]", 1570

Straßburg, 1570 [VD16 M 5087]

Meyer's treatise roughly translated: "A Thorough Description of the Free, Knightly and Noble Art of Fencing, Showing Various Customary Defenses, Affected and Put Forth with Many Handsome and Useful Drawings" was first published in Straßburg in 1570, by Joachim Meyer and illustrated by Tobias Stimmer with woodcuts depicting fighters wielding pollaxes, rapiers, two-handed swords, dusaks along with unarmed fighting. Joachim Meyer (died 1571) was a self described Freifechter (literally, Free Fencer) living in Straßburg in the 16th century. The treatise consists of descriptive text, with only a few dozen woodcuts, each of which depicts several players enacting various techniques described in the text itself. The book consists of five chapters, covering the long sword, dussack (a training weapon not unlike the messer), rapier, dagger, and pole weapons.

Released: January 2, 2001 / Last modified: November 2, 2009

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Click to view the colour PDF file
  1. An English translation project in progress conducted by of AEMMA can be found at Meyer's Longsword.
  2. An excellent presentation that includes illustrations from Meyer's manuscript can be found at jf-gilles e-bibliotheque
  3. An interesting analysis by students of Meyer's manuscript can be found at Joachim Meyer in association with Higgins Armoury
  4. A colour digital copy in pdf format located at the Lund University, Sweden by clicking on the arms on the right.
  5. A pdf format of the same, in German found at the Hungarian Digitial Library.
  6. An online presentation of the manuscript found at Straßburg: Meyer, Joachim: Gründtliche Beschreibung des Fechtens, Straßburg, 1570 [VD16 M 5087]

Released: January 2, 2001 / Updated: July 10, 2008