Unterrichtung vom Hieb-fechten - Henning - 1658

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Unterrichtung vom Hieb-fechten - Henning - 1658

Postby Reinier » 11 Apr 2014 17:53

This week in the Corble collection in Leuven, I stumbled upon a small printed German Cut-fencing treatise from 1658 by Erhardus Henning. I have completed a transcription, a translation will follow soon, I hope. The treatise does not contain any illustrations.

http://bruchius.com/docs/Henning%20tran ... %20RvN.pdf
…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: Unterrichtung vom Hieb-fechten - Henning - 1658

Postby Reinier » 04 May 2014 08:39

And a translation:
http://www.bruchius.com/docs/Henning%20 ... %20RvN.pdf


PS - Jan Schäfer pointed out that I missed a small section in my transcription, so you might want to re-download that!
…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: Unterrichtung vom Hieb-fechten - Henning - 1658

Postby Barbatus » 10 May 2014 20:09

Only managed to take a quick glance into it so far but it seems to be the first source from 17th century that rich in information. What weapon was the treatise specifically written for? This is especially interesting for me in the context of reconstructing the art of Polish sabre fencing from that period - the treatise was published in Koenigsberg only a year after the city broke it ties with Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
Are you aware of any other existing cut fencing technique descriptions from 17th century (other than 2 plates in Heussler and a very general desription in Marcielli)?
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Re: Unterrichtung vom Hieb-fechten - Henning - 1658

Postby Reinier » 12 May 2014 13:35

Henning mentions cross-cutting in his last chapter.

I think the section in Heussler on cutting is more than just 2 plates.

I have photos of a Pascha 1661 with thrust and cut-fencing that I will have ready to share in a week or three (in June).

R
…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: Unterrichtung vom Hieb-fechten - Henning - 1658

Postby Barbatus » 12 May 2014 18:29

Great news!

I only saw 2 plates of Heussler translated into English.

Looking forward for your next translations.
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Re: Unterrichtung vom Hieb-fechten - Henning - 1658

Postby Jan » 13 May 2014 13:53

As Reinier said Heussler + Paschen (eight chaptters about cut-fencing). Additionaly Dietz.
+ the intended books about cut-fencing of Köppe and Bruchius (unfortunately never published or lost).
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Re: Unterrichtung vom Hieb-fechten - Henning - 1658

Postby Barbatus » 29 May 2014 22:59

I'm translating Reinier's English translation into Polish and few things confuse me.

Cutting directions. I already read explanations somewhere but still can't figure out prime and tertie: prime is a cut from below upwards and tertie - downwards cut? Then what exactly is a half-quarte parry - how does it block a Prime? Judging from the text, prime is supposed to be cut diagonally from the right side?

"Cut to the x, slice to the y". Does it mean that a "chopping" cut is followed by drawing the blade across opponent's body?

Attacking "the weak" - means abdomen?

Thanks in advance. More questions on the way (I'm afraid).
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Re: Unterrichtung vom Hieb-fechten - Henning - 1658

Postby Reinier » 30 May 2014 07:36

It would help if you could add page numbers to translation questions.

I asked about numbered cuts in the General section of this forum not too long ago, and Alex Kiermayer then confirmed my expectations.

I think the numbered cuts refer to the Italian (rapier) guard system, and are all long edge cuts (unless otherwise indicated). Then, the Prime is a vertical upward cut. The Secunde a horizontal cut from your left to your right (i.e. with the thumb turned down). The Tertie a vertical downward cut. And the Quarte a vertical cut from your right to your left (thumb on top). (all for a righthanded fencer). Diagonal cuts would be indicated as a combination of the two, i.e. a diagonal cut from high right to low left would be a cut between Tertie and Quarte.


I do believe that cut to the x, slice the y implies a chopping cut if followed by a drawing of the blade across the same or a different target. I get the impression a (chopping) cut is often used to enter, and a drawing slice to get back to guard (and distance). If that makes sense.


I understand "the weak" to refer to the weak of his blade - i.e. you cut aside his blade, and then follow with an attack to his face/body/whatever.
…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: Unterrichtung vom Hieb-fechten - Henning - 1658

Postby Barbatus » 30 May 2014 13:45

Thanks, Reinier. This clears things a bit.

Another question that gives me a major headache about German cut fencing from that period: should parrying be performed mostly as static blocks (as in 19th centurty sabre) or as counter cuts against opponent's blade, displacing it aside?

and
indeed one parries the Prime in the following way, in two different manners.
Firstly with the Prime, while I tuck my head behind the hilt, and retreat a little, which parry
is derived from the Secunde-guard, and
Secondly, with the half Quarte, while I hold the pommel of the sword equal with the front of
the body, so that, when a cut is cut past somewhat, this would not at all be able to offend me.


The half - Quarte. Is it supposed to be something in the manner of Hutton's horizontal quart? Then I don't get the part about positioning the pommel - can't imagine how this could improve defence in any way.
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Re: Unterrichtung vom Hieb-fechten - Henning - 1658

Postby Reinier » 30 May 2014 17:44

I am not sure what is meant with the half quarte either. It appears that you draw back the arm (the basic guard has an extended arm) and parry there. That is the best I can make of it at this time.

In the section "About parrying" the parries are described. From your (quite) extended arm (tertie) position, you turn the blade to quarte or secunde from the wrist only/mainly so that you catch his blow on your long edge, and while you lift your tip to make an angle. This means that a parry is quite static, but with an extended arm, and not a 90 degree cross close to the body as I believe is normal in sabre (?). It definitely is not a cut either. I think the face is protected by leaning behind your blade (as in cutting).

Does this help?

R
…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: Unterrichtung vom Hieb-fechten - Henning - 1658

Postby Barbatus » 31 May 2014 20:19

Yes, that definitely helped. Thanks a lot!
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Re: Unterrichtung vom Hieb-fechten - Henning - 1658

Postby admin » 02 Jun 2014 12:33

Fascinating stuff :)
http://www.antique-swords.co.uk/

I like swords more than you.
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Re: Unterrichtung vom Hieb-fechten - Henning - 1658

Postby Reinier » 07 Aug 2014 05:45

I updated the translation of Henning. Based on Pascha's description of the "Schlangenhieb", I decided that "Snaking cut" was a more appropriate translation than "Coiling cut" so I changed that.
…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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