If you want to own your own copy of the manuscripts we work from, then you’ve come to the right place! Here are a few of the editions we use in class:
For beginners, we recommend Stephen Cheney’s no-nonsense translation of the Ringeck, Danzig, and Lew glosses. Cheney’s translation emphasizes readability and immediate applicability to practical fencing, and also includes intelligent footnotes pointing the way to deeper questions. Highly recommended! It’s available here.
We spend a lot of time working from a 15th century manuscript known as the Starhemburg Fechtbuch. It’s also sometimes known as the ‘Peter von Danzig’, or the ‘Pseudo-von Danzig,’ since it includes the longsword mateiral that was originally wrongly attribiuted to him. It also includes a lot of other material: wrestling plays, sword-and-buckler fencing, armored and mounted combat… Christian Tobler and Dierk Hagedorn have produced a very handsome edition of it which is available here.
The other major early fencing commentary is known as ‘ms3227a’, and it’s a fascinating point of reference, since it offers a different take on the same material. We highly recommend the Michael Chidester and Dierk Hagedorn’ beautiful version, available here.
Getting broader now, Michael Chidester’s company Hema Bookshelf sells a wide range of fascinating late medieval and early modern fencing books in attractive editions. You can take a look at the offerings here.
If you really love beautiful books, Hema Bookshelf also makes truly gorgeous facsimiles of the original manuscripts. These are custom-bound books painstakingly designed to be as close as possible to the original late medieval manuscripts or early modern print editions. Take a look, and drool!
Lastly, no self-respecting New Havenite should fail to mention that it’s possible to buy a lovely printed edition of the New Haven Gladiatoria, an important late-medieval manual of armored combat which lives right here in our backyard! You can find out more about the New Haven Gladiatoria here.