About Swords, Science, and Society: German Martial Arts in the Middle Ages
In medieval Germany, combat was a matter of life and death, and
knowing the Art of Fencing was to have control over it: to have the
power to save or take lives. Those who knew the Art of Fencing kept such
knowledge as a closely guarded secret.
In 15th century Bavaria, a small and secretive fellowship of fencing
masters encoded their knowledge into a cryptic and arcane verse. Their
Art, the ‘one true art of the sword’, was reserved only for the
initiated. At the head of this fellowship was a grand-master known as
Presented within this book is an investigation of the Company of
Liechtenauer, tracing their connections and influences through archival
records spanning more than a century. Scholarly Fencing is contrasted
with what was referred to as ‘Common Fencing’.
Separating the ‘common’ from the ‘initiated’, this book demonstrates
the Aristotelian and Scholastic approach that defined the secret Art of
Liechtenauer, and describes the science of sword-fighting in the 15th
and 16th centuries.