Transcription and translation of the Libr. pict. A 83

The Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin published the scans of the fencing book Libr. pict. A 83. This books contains drawings and only four pages with text. The book was produced in the beginning of the 16th century the exact date and the author is currently unknown to me.

I transcribed and translated the four pages with text and added the text back to the image.

In the text below I marked the major differences in the transcription of Dierk Hagedorn in brackets “( alternative )”.


Zwo huet

Schwing Zum stich


Aussen {binden} und In
wendig durch den
Arm gestochen und
dan auff gestanden


das fassen mit dem schwert
Losen an die kelen die huft

Stuck zum ochsen (ersten) damit
gestochen durch den arm


freyer straych

zwen pruch
spitz und knopf
an den hals


stossen schlahen und


Dortschlag (Donerschlag) under
durch geschossen fur
das visir pruch
die linck hant
an seyn gehultz
und mitt dem
knopf durch


In das gehult[z]
prich uber win[t]
mitt der kling
und her[u]nder reist (hinder reit)

zucken schwert
uber hals



Two guards

Swing  To the thrust


{binding} Outside and in{-}
side through the
arm thrusted and
than standing up


To grab with the sword
releasing at the hollow of the knee  the hip

A piece against the ox (first) with it
thrust through the arm


free strike

two breakings
point and pommel
to the neck


push hit and


deathstrike (thunderstrike) under
thrust through for
the visor break
the left hand
at his hilt
and with the
pommel through


In the hilt
break wind over
with the blade
and tear downwards


twitching sword
over neck


Note: Thanks to Dierk Hagedorn this is now a proofread, corrected version. If you have any recommendations, corrections, or annotations that will improve the content on this page, please help me by commenting.

Remarks: the translation of “Zucken” to “twitching” is not exactly matching. It is a small backward or forward movement with the blade. There is no perfect translation to that word. On one hand it means “withdrawing” the blade a bit, on the other hand it means to threaten with the weapon. 

Transcription Rules

The transcription is created to make the text readable. So the abbreviations and errors are resolved and marked:

[ ] Square Brackets: resolved abbreviation.
{ } Curved Brackets: added missing or corrected words or letters
( ) Normal Brackets: alternative transcriptions or translations

See the Glossary of translated terms for more information.


5 thoughts on “Transcription and translation of the Libr. pict. A 83

  1. My dear Hans,

    congratulations on your transcription of this curious manuscript. I just realized this post after having completed my very own version of these fabulous four pages. Interestingly, with only so little text, we differ quite a lot.

    Well, feel free to compare my attempt:

    And perhaps, if we should ever meet (again), in Vienna for instance, we might actually have a longer conversation than last time.

    Interesting things you pull off recently.

    Best greetings

    1. Dierk, that’s great news. Now I can change the status of this text from “Draft” to “Corrected” by comparing. Thanks again for commenting. Sadly there is no comment option on your page, so some of the minor errors I found over the years in your work are lost. But if I will find some in future I will send you a mail if you want me to.

      1. Sure, absolutely. Since you are as thorough a nitpicker (or even more so) than I am (and I mean this as a compliment) I do appreciate any comment that enhances my work.

      2. *lol* “nitpicker” is part of our job-description, isn’t it . Have a look at the final version here. I compare our both works with the images. So the final version should come near the original writing. There will be no “safe” transcription on such a small text. Without proofreading and correcting, there are to many errors. I am no professional after all 😉 . I am glad that I got some people reading some of my works and correcting it.

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