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Acta Periodica Duellatorum

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A Long Time Ago in a Library Far, Far Away ... The Adventures of the Gladiatoria Manuscript from New Haven

© Dierk Hagedorn. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Citation Information: Acta Periodica Duellatorum. Volume 2015, Issue 1, Pages 183–208, ISSN (Online) 2064-0404, DOI: 10.1515/apd-2015-0006, September 2015

Publication History

Published Online:
2015-09-19

Abstract

In this paper I will describe the adventurous history of an important late medieval German fechtbuch—a fighting manual—that belongs to a number of manuscripts known as the Gladiatoria group. In the beginning, the extent and the characteristics of this group of codices are explained; later on I will deal with one specific specimen that formerly belonged to a library in Germany—the Herzogliche Bibliothek in Gotha—from where it vanished during or after World War II. Until quite recently this manuscript was believed to be lost. I was able to identify a Gladiatoria manuscript from the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut, as that missing manuscript. The article presents a detailed description of the manuscript; it follows the path of the many places the codex passed through from the days of its creation until the present time; it offers a thorough line of argument that proves on one hand that the manuscript from New Haven is in fact identical to the one that disappeared from Gotha, and that verifies on the other hand an assumption by the renowned researcher Hans-Peter Hils that it is identical to yet another believed-to-be-lost manuscript that was sold by auction in Heidelberg in the 1950s and 1960s as single leaves; and finally it makes an attempt to reconstruct the original structure of the manuscript after it had been pulled apart.

Keywords: Harness fencing; fechtbuch; sword; spear; dagger

VI. BIBLIOGRAPHY

    VI.1. Primary sources

    • Augsburg, Universitätsbibliothek, Cod.I.6.4º.2.

    • Cracow, Biblioteka Jagiellońska, Ms. Berol. germ, quart. 16.

    • Dresden, Sächsische Landesbibliothek Mscr. Dresd. C.93/94.

    • Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Cod. icon. 393.

    • New Haven, Connecticut, Yale Center for British Art, MS U860.F46 1450.

    • Paris, Musée National du Moyen Âge, CL23842.

    • Vienna: Kunsthistorisches Museum, KK 5013.

    • Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. Vindob. 10825/6.

    • Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August-Bibliothek, Cod Guelf. 78.2 Aug. 2º.

    VI.2. Secondary literature

    • Benary, Walter, “Ein unbekanntes handschriftliches Fragment einer Lope’schen Komödie”, Zeitschrift fur Romanische Philologie, 3/6 (1912), p. 657–678.

    • Ehwald, Rudolf, Chart. B 1974 (Gotha: Forschungsbibliothek, n.d.)

    • Frühmorgen-Voss, Hella, Ott, Norbert H., Bodemann, Ulrike, Stöllinger-Löser, Christine and Leng, Rainer (eds.), Katalog der deutschsprachigen illustrierten Handschriften des Mittelalters Band 4/2, Lfg. 1/2:38. Fecht- und Ringbücher (München: Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2009).

    • Hagedorn, Dierk, Peter von Danzig. Transkription und Übersetzung der Handschrift 44 A 8, (Herne: VS Books, 2008).

    • Hagedorn, Dierk and Walczak, Bartłomiej, Gladiatoria — New Haven, MS U860.F46 1450 (Heme: VS Books, 2015).

    • Hils, Hans-Peter, Meister Johann Liechtenauers Kunst des langen Schwertes (Frankfurt am Main: Verlag Peter Lang, 1985).

    • Hils, Hans-Peter, “Gladiatoria. Über drei Fechthandschriften aus der ersten Hälfte des 15.Jahrhunderts.”, Codices manuscript, 1/2 (1987), p. 1–54.

    • Hopf, Cornelia, Die abendländischen Handschriften der Forschungs- und Landesbibliothek Gotha. Bestandsverzeichnis. 2. Kleinformatige Pergamenthandschriften Memb. II (Gotha: Forschungs- und Landesbibliothek, 1997).

    • Jacobs, Friedrich and Ukert, Friedrich August, Beiträge zur ältern Litteratur oder Merkwürdigkeiten der Herzogl. öffentlichen Bibliothek zu Gotha, Fünftes Heft oder dritten Bandes erstes Heft (Leipzig: Dyk’sche Buchhandlung, 1838).

    • Wierschin, Martin, Meister Johann Liechtenauers Kunst des Fechtens (München: C.H. Beck’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1965).

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