Den Ridderlige oc Adelige Fecht-Konstis (1646)

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Den Ridderlige oc Adelige Fecht-Konstis (1646)

Postby Jan » 20 Jan 2014 16:25

Full title:
"Den Ridderlige oc Adelige Fecht-Konstis grundelige oc Methodiske Beskriffuelse, Ledendis dennem, som udi dette Exercitio sig forlyste oc versere, som ved en Gienvey, til det Eenfache Rapiers Kundstab, baade udi Stød oc Hug at giøre, imod den Keigthaandet, saa vel som imod den Rœthaandet"

Digitalisat:
http://digital.bibliothek.uni-halle.de/hd/content/pageview/1798043

Content:
Den første Part aff den første Bog / indholdendis / huorledis en Rethaandet / skal fechte med en anden Rethaandet / paa Stød / med eenfach Rapier.
Cap. I. Tracterer nogle Præcognita, som bør at vidis førend vi komme til Konsterne i sig selff.
Cap. II. Anlangendis Guardierne.
Cap. III. Huorledis forbemelte Fire Guardier skal brugis / oc i huad Tilfald huer Guardie i sœr / efterdi der er stor Forskiel paa dem i deris Brug.
Cap. IV. Huorledis du skalt stringere ret / oc der bør at merckis / anlangendis Stringering.
Cap. V. Huorledis / oc naar du bør at cavere.
Cap. VI. Huorledis du paa atskillige Maneer skalt forsœtte oc parere alle slaugs Stød / som giøris uden til ved din Klinge.
Cap. VII. Huorledis du skalt parere oc forsœtte alle de Stød / som bliffuer giort inden til ved din Klinge.
Cap. VIII. Huad du skalt giøre mod allehaande Positurer oc Guardier.
Cap. IX. Huorledis du skalt forrekomme oc forhindre Passadam.
Cap. X. Remedia for Volten.
Cap. XI. Huorledis du skalt i din Vederpartis Finta'r dig forholde.
Cap. XII. Anlangendis nogle Observationes imod det forregaaende siette Capitel.
Cap. XIII. Indeholder nogle Observationes imod det foregaaende 7. Capittel.
Den Anden Part aff den første Bøg / Indeholdendis Huorledis en Ret=Haandet skal fechte med en anden Ret=Haandet paa Hug.
Cap. I. Dersom din Vederpart hugger efter dit Hofuet / uden til din Klinge / huorledis du da skalt parere samme Hug.
Cap. II. Huorledis du skalt parere de Hug som din Vederpart giør inden til din Klinge / effter dit Hoffuet.
Cap. III. Huorledis du skalt parere de Hug huilcke din Vederpart giør effter din høyre Arm uden til.
Cap. IV. Huorledis du skalt parere de Hug som din Vederpart giør efter din Arm inden til.
Cap. V. Huorledis du skalt parere alle de Hug huilcke din Vederpart giør effter dit høyre Been uden til.
Cap. VI. Huorledis du skalt parere de Hug / som giøres inden til efter dit Been.
Cap. VII. Indeholder nogle Observationes imod det foregaaende første Capitel.
Cap. VIII. Indeholder nogle Lectiones imod det 2 foregaaende Cap.
Cap. IX. En Observation imod det Fierde foregaaende Cap.
Cap. X. Imod det Femte nest foregaaende Capittel.
Cap. XI. Observationes imod det nest foregaaende 6. Cap.
Cap. XII. Huorledis du skalt forholde dig imod atskillige Guardier som kommer udi Fechten paa Hug.
Cap. XIII. Indeholder nogle offensiv Lectioner.
Den Anden Bogs Første Part / Indeholdendis huorledis mand skal fechte paa Stød imod hannem der fechter met den venstre Haand.
Cap. I. Huorledis du skalt bruge alle de fire Guardier imod den der fechter linchs.
Cap. II. Indeholder huorlodis du skalt bruge de fire Guardier imod hannem der fechter linchs.
Cap. III. Huorledis du skalt parere alle de Stød som din linche Vederpart kand giøre uden til ofuer din høyre Arm.
Cap. IV. Indeholder huorledis du skalt parere de Stød / huilcke din lincke Vederpart giør inden til din Klinge.
Cap. V. Huorledis du skalt forholde dig imod din Vederpartis atskillige Guardier oc Positurer.
Cap. VI. Huorledis du skalt forholde dig imod din kegthaandet Vederpartis Passader.
Cap. VII. Huorledis du skalt forholde dig imod forbemelte din Vederpartis Volte.
Den Anden Bogs Anden Part / Indeholdendis huorledis mand skal fechte med en from er kegthaandet paa Hug.
Cap. I. Dersom din kegthaandet Vederpart ville hugge dig uden til offuer dit Hoffuet / huorledis du skalt parere det.
Cap. II. Dersom din keithaandet Vederpart hugger dig inden til ester dit Hoffuet / huorledis du skalt forholde dig.
Cap. III. Dersom din kegthaandet Vederpart hugger ester din Arm uden ... din klinge / huorledis du da skalt forholde dig der imod.
Cap. IV. Dersom din keithaandet Vederpart hugger dig inden til ester din høyre Arm / huad du da skalt giøre.
Cap. V. Dersom din kegthaandet Vederpart hugger dig uden til ester dit høyre Been / huorledis du da skalt forholde dig.
Cap. VI. Huorledis du skalt parere alle de Hug / huilcke din keithaandet Vederpart giør inden til effter dit høyre Been.
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Re: Den Ridderlige oc Adelige Fecht-Konstis (1646)

Postby Andreas Engström » 20 Jan 2014 20:29

That is very, very interesting. The OCR scanning seems a bit off, but the book itself is no problem reading. It's funny how 17th century Danish and 17th century Swedish were so much closer to each other.

Too bad that the latter part of the book has lost quite a bit of text due to rats (I surmise).

I wonder who the mysterious author G.A. was. Apparently he based the treatise on a much longer treatise by a Hans Wilhelm Schöpfer, fencing-master at Sorö, where at the time there was a "knightly academy" for royal and noble danish youth (apparently the princes of Denmark attended it). This academy existed between 1623 and 1655.

It seems that G.A. liked the treatise but wanted to "epitomize" it, shorten, re-organize and edit and add a bit of his own ideas to boot. G.A. says he also has some type of position at Sorö (perhaps he had superseded Schöpfer as fencing-master?), which might make it possible to find out who he was...

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Re: Den Ridderlige oc Adelige Fecht-Konstis (1646)

Postby Andreas Engström » 20 Jan 2014 20:56

Oh, perhaps I should mention what the treatise is about :-) it's single rapier, against right- and left-handed opponents. It seems like a style with an upright posture. It also seems to emphasize cutting quite a bit.

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Re: Den Ridderlige oc Adelige Fecht-Konstis (1646)

Postby Reinier » 27 Jan 2014 07:01

The author name G. A. set me thinking.
The book section titles (thrusting first, right-hander against right-hander, then right-hander against left-hander; cutting next, right-hander against right-hander, then right-hander against left-hander) also reminded me of something.

The Pallas Armata, published in London in 1639 was also written by a "G. A.". Furthermore, it contains the same main sections. Finally, both treatises have the same Latin poem (at the end of both books). I have not yet compared the content more thoroughly, but I would not be surprised if they are (at least more or less) the same book, by the same person! (I am awaiting confirmation on if the content is the same.)

This is very interesting, as the author of this book is connected to Schöffer, and thus to Fabris, and then the Pallas Armata could suddenly be connected to Schöffer and Fabris as well.
Also, it might help in identifying this "G. A." person if he was perhaps in London in 1639 and in Copenhagen in 1646. But is the Pallas Armata then the first version, or is there an earlier one?
…en A alſoo liggende kan aen B, ſonder eenigh beletſel, met de zijde van ſijn hooft, op het aengeſicht van B, ſoo veel ſtoten als hy begeert. – Nicolaes Petter, 1674.

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Re: Den Ridderlige oc Adelige Fecht-Konstis (1646)

Postby Andreas Engström » 27 Jan 2014 14:44

A quick check seems to confirm that this and Pallas Armata are indeed without doubt two versions of the same book, though they're not exact translations of each other.

A few smaller sections are absent in the danish treatise, like Chapter II (explanation of foreign terms).

Quickly looking at the part of general principles, the danish treatise contains an additional motivation for holding your off-hand above your eye; the Pallas only says it's to hand-parry away thrusts, the danish treatise adds the reason that it will also help avoiding being blinded by reflections of the sun in the weapons (whether or not this actually works I don't know).

Some sections are more detailed in the english version, some are more detailed in the danish. It would probably be a worthwhile endeavour to try to make a synthesis of the two to get a more "complete" Pallas Armata.

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Re: Den Ridderlige oc Adelige Fecht-Konstis (1646)

Postby Andreas Engström » 27 Jan 2014 15:44

There seems to be a wide-spread speculation (originally from Aylward) that the author of Pallas Armata was a fellow of Kings College, Cambridge, named Gideon Ashwell. I guess it's a possibility that after publishing the Pallas Armata in 1639 he somehow ended up employed at Sorö, learning excellent Danish rather quickly (or perhaps getting some help writing) and publishing the danish treatise in 1646, and then when the academy was dissolved in 1655 moved back home to England just in time to die in 1657... (I found a reference to him being buried in the small village of Landbeach north of Cambridge on the 31st October that year). It's not at all impossible.

Or the author of Pallas Armata was someone else altogether. :-)

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Re: Den Ridderlige oc Adelige Fecht-Konstis (1646)

Postby Andreas Engström » 27 Jan 2014 16:00

Ooooh, just found something interesting that would seem to point to G.A. not being Gideon Ashwell.

It's on page 14, I don't have time to translate the whole long and convoluted sentence right now, but anyway - the author says that he wishes to publish this treatise to the benefit of his countrymen (and various others). Now, I suppose Gideon Ashwell theoretically could have started identifying as a Dane after seven years (maximum) in the country, but it doesn't seem too likely...

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Re: Den Ridderlige oc Adelige Fecht-Konstis (1646)

Postby Michael Chidester » 27 Jan 2014 16:23

Or some Danish guy got a copy of Pallas Armata, thought it was brilliant, and went ahead and translated it into Danish for the benefit of his countrymen (leaving the initials G.A. on the cover as a rare and magnanimous gesture in this period when plagiarism hadn't been invented yet).
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Re: Den Ridderlige oc Adelige Fecht-Konstis (1646)

Postby Reinier » 27 Jan 2014 23:12

Except that if I am not wrong the initials G.A follow the rather Danish and definitely original dedication.
…en A alſoo liggende kan aen B, ſonder eenigh beletſel, met de zijde van ſijn hooft, op het aengeſicht van B, ſoo veel ſtoten als hy begeert. – Nicolaes Petter, 1674.

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Re: Den Ridderlige oc Adelige Fecht-Konstis (1646)

Postby Andreas Engström » 28 Jan 2014 11:14

Reinier wrote:Except that if I am not wrong the initials G.A follow the rather Danish and definitely original dedication.

Quite so. It's a long, personal (and typically nordic 17th century almost creepily humble, self-effacing and brown-nosy :) ) dedication written in first person. This is where he explicitly says that he holds a position at Sorö academy, and that his teachings are based on a much longer work by Hans Wilhelm Schöpfer, former fencing-master at said academy.

It's dedicated to several very august personages in Denmark (among others the Danish admiral and vice-admiral and a member of the royal council), also including the headmaster of Sorö, who of course instantly would know if there was a G.A. working for him or not.

He actually also explicitly adresses these people as "my highly honored friends", something fairly unusually intimate in dedications at the time, AFAIK. G.A. must definitely have moved in high social circles in Denmark.

The author not only signs the dedication G. A., he also separately signs the foreword again with G. A.

Ashwell might very well have been working at Sorö. Not uncommon for such high-level academies and universities to hire teachers internationally. The pay for teaching (among others) the Danish princes was probably a lot better than he could have achieved as an ordinary fellow at King's College.

He must have been quite successful in inserting himself into the higher circles of society, but such a position would have been a good starting-point for that..

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