GMN 3227A 28v Schielhau (transcribed, translated)

I tried to translate the transcription not too literal. That makes the reading of some lines easier while it safes as much from the original intention as possible. If you like to compare the transcription with another one, have a look at the work of Dierk Hagedorn.

In the translation to modern German and English you may notice that I translated the word “Schiel” to “Slanted”. That is because it is the meaning of that word. It is a sidewise diagonal movement of the eyes. It has the same meaning like “schicks” but “schicks” is crossing a ground (like an acre) in a diagonal angle and “scheel” is does not include a crossing or a diagonal it is just lateral in any way. As the text is not given us a hint if the angle is wide or close, or it is plain lateral, I choose “slant” but if you find a better translation, let me here about it (see Deutsches Wörterbuch von Jacob Grimm und Wilhelm Grimm for the meaning of “scheel” and “schicks”).

“Bedöbern” was translated to impress, see Allgemeines Verteutschungswörterbuch der Kriegssprache, Karl Christian Müller, Bruder und Hofmann, 1814.

Transcription of the manuscript:

28v Das ist von dem Schilhawe

Schiler im bricht, was püffel im
slet ader sticht // wer wechsel drawet
schiler dor aus in berawbet / schil kürzt
her dich an, durchwechsel das
sigt ym an / Schil zu dem Orte, und
nym den hals ane vorchte / Schil in
dem öbern, hawpte hende wiltu be=

#Schil ker dem rechtem, is[/ob] daß du wol gerecht vechte
Den schilhaw ich preiße kumpt her dar nicht zu leyse#

Glosa hie mercke und wisse das eyn krumphaw schilhaw ist ein öberhaw, von
der rechten seiten mit der hindern  schneiden des schwertes, dy die linke seite ist genannt, und get recht zum schilende oder schiks dar zu eyner zeite aus geschreten zu der rechten mit verwanten schwerte und verworfner hat / Und der selbe haw der bricht als das püffel das ist eyn pawer mag geschlagen, von oben neder as sie phleken zu tuen / recht zam der twerhaw auch das selbe bricht, als vor ist geschreben / Und wer mit durchwechsel drewt, der wirt mit dem schilhaw beschemet / Und eyner sol wol schilhawe und lank genuk und den ort vaste schiessen anders her wirt gehindert mit dem durchwechsel / Und eyner sol wohl schilen mit dem orte, zu dem halse künlich ane vorchte / Und [LEER]

In modern German:

28v Das ist von dem Schräghau (Schielhau)

Der Schräge bricht, was ein Büffel schlägt oder sticht.
Wer mit Wechseln droht, daraus der Schräge ihn beraubt.
Schräg kürzt er dich an, Durchwechseln, das sieht man ihm an.
Schräg zu dem Orte und nimm den Hals ohne Furcht.
Schräg in den Oberen, Haupt und Hände willst du imponieren.
Schräg kehr dem Rechten, ist dass du wohl gerecht fechtest.
Den Schrägen ich preise, kommt daher nicht zu leise.

Glosse: Hier merke und wissen, dass ein Schräghau ein Oberhau von der rechten Seite mit der hinteren Schneide, die linke Seite [des Schwertes] genannt wird, ist. Und der geht recht zum Schrägen oder schief daher, zu einer Seite aus geschritten, zu der Rechten mit verwendeten Schwert und verworfener Hand.

Und derselbe Hau, der bricht alles, das ein Büffel (das ist ein Bauer) mag schlagen von oben nieder, wie sie zu tun pflegen. Genauso wie der Querhau (Twerhau) auch dasselbe bricht, wie vorab geschrieben.

Und wer mit Durchwechseln droht, der wird mit dem Schräghau beschämt. Und einer soll wohl schräg hauen und lang genug, und den Ort feste schießen, ansonsten wird er mit dem Durchwechseln gehindert.

Und soll wohl schräg zu dem Orte, zu dem Halse kühn ohne Furcht.

Und [leer]

Translation in modern English:

28v This is about the Slant-Strike

The Slant breaks, what a buffelo strikes or thrusts.
Who is threatening to change through, the Slant is robbing him from there.
Slant he is short to you, he looks like changing through.
Slant to the point, take the neck without fear
Slant in the high above, head and hands you want to impress.
Slant turn (to) the right, is that you fence well and right.
The Slant I praise is not to come very quietly.

Gloss: Here mark and know, that a Slant-Strike is a strike from above the right side with the back edge, named the left side [of the sword]. And it goes to the slant or diagonal, pacing to one side, to the right with rotated sword and overturned hand.

And the same strike breaks everything that a buffalo (that is a peasant) may strike down from above, like they use to do. Likewise the Crossing Strike (Twerhau, Zwerchhau) breaks the same, as written before.

And who threatens with the changing through, will be ashamed by the Slant-Strike. And one should strike well slanted and long enough, and should shoot with the point, otherwise he will be hindered by the change through.

And he should well [strike] slanted to the point, to the neck [throat] without fear.

And [empty]


Note: This is a not proofread, uncorrected version. My first draft. If you have any recommendations, corrections, or annotations that will improve the content on this page, please help me by commenting.

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

See the Glossary of translated terms for more information.


7 thoughts on “GMN 3227A 28v Schielhau (transcribed, translated)

  1. Dear master Talhoffer,

    Regarding “Bedöbern”, it sounds and looks very similar to “bedöva”, which is Swedish for “to numb”, “to stun”, “to anesthesise”. Could the words be related?


  2. Hi T.,

    As you asked for comments:
    The link to Dierk’s transcription of this section is actually
    Also in line 2 of your English version you probably mean “Who” not “Ho”.
    Translating the Merkvers is always going to be difficult. Given as they needed commentary on it at the time when the terminology will have been used much more widely, there’s probably no “right” translation for the modern day.

  3. Hi Hans,

    (Second attempt at commenting, apologies for any accidental double posts) As you asked for comments. Dierk’s transcription of the section is actually in this link:
    In your translation line two, you probably mean “Who” not “Ho” at the beginning. Personally I think the merkvers can only really give you a flavour of what is meant. Given as commentary was required even at the time when the terminology was used much more widely it is pretty much impossible to find a “correct” translation. Not to mention that there is an element of versification in it which always stretches exactness.


    1. No, problem with double comments. I have to approve a comment before it is visible. And thanks for finding the two small bugs. I corrected it.
      As you said there is no such thing like a correct translation of any written word without the original author explaining and correcting it. My comment in Facebook “Schielhau in the 3227a – it is soooo easy. You just need a correct translation ;-)” was merely a joke. The Schielhau isn’t easy at all.

      Best wishes.

  4. I am not one to say “I am right and you are wrong”, so please take this translation-in-progress as simply something to consider.

    This is of the Schielhau(splitting or separating strike)

    The Schielhau breaks what the buffalo cuts or thrusts.
    Whomever theatens change, the Schielhau robs him of it.
    Split quickly his Durchwechsel, that will defeat him. Split
    to the point, and take his neck without fear. Split above
    the tops of his hands if you would beset him. Split boldly
    his right if you would fight well spryly. The Schielhau I will
    prize if it does not come too slowly

    Here note and know that the Schielhau is an Oberhau from the right side with the back edge of the sword such that the left side is close and goes rightward splitting or scraping there to a side with a stepping out to the right side with a wound sword and forward hands. And the same strike that breaks the buffalo. it is a peasant made strike from above downward when it flies. Rightward the Zwerchhau also breaks the same strike as is was written above. And whomever threatens with the Durchwechsel, the schielhau shames. And one shall Shielhau well and long enough and the point well shot, otherwise the durchwechsel will overtake you. And one shall split well with the point to the neck quickly without fear

    Note, I play with the idea that Schil cold be:

    SCHIL SCHAL SCHÂLEN GESCHOLN spalte, gehe aus einander, trenne. Gr. 2,54. gesch. d. d. spr. 903. vergl. schol, schille

    There are many homophones and spelling is a bit untrustworthy throughout the centuries of the fechtbuch’s. 3227a is also a bit difficult to pin down in the MHG/FNHG spectrum as well as dialect. So possible translations of the word are ‘to split or to separate’, ‘to squint or difficult to see’, ‘to ring out like a bell’

    Also note that schick can also be translated as ‘to scrape’ and in that sense is an onomonopeaic word. Sorry, I can’t find my notes on that ATM. When I find it, I’ll provide a source.

    Kölner Fechtbuch (MS Best.7020 W*150) has some interesting language in it that highlights my pet theories of homophones and semantic drift.

    A last word on my translation style. I do not find it necessary to translate every word when the text encompasses some jargon that doesn’t necessarily have an orthodox, one-to-one translation. I know it bugs some people and to them I say, “I’m sorry. I’ll try harder next time.”

    Thanks for your work.

    1. Thanks for your comment. SCHIL SCHAL SCHÂLEN GESCHOLN comes from the word “schälen” and it has the meaning of peeling or barking (tree log). As this “schil” is often connected with the eysight I do not think that it has something to do with “splitting”.
      Best wishes,

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