1596 Fechtschule in Stuttgart – accident report

On Sonday the 18th February 1588 in the morning between 6 and 7am the doctor Felix Platter helped the baby boy Adelberg to his life of  the Basel in the 16th century (Basler Chroniken, S. Hirtzel, 1987). Felix Platter is a well known physician who lives works in Basel. He was born 28 October 1536 in Basel were he died 28 July1614.

Felix Platter studied medicine in Montpellier from 1552 to 1557 with Regus Professor Guillaume Rondelet, known also as Rondeletus (Rondeletius). Becoming a doctor he worked as a physician in Basel. In 1571 he was appointed city physician and professor at the University of Basel, whose rector and dean he was several times. He was famous collectors of art, musical instruments, stones, minerals and  plants.

Platter was a pioneer of the pathologic anatomy and a founder of forensic medicine. Under the influence of the optics he found out  in 1583 that the lens of the eye focus the image on the back of the eye and backed up his theory with distinct pathological cases. In his three-volume textbook Praxeos medicae opus (1602-1608) he gave an overview of clinical medicine. In the Pestbericht he reported of the plague epidemic of 1610 and 1611 in Basel. The observation of 1614 offer a collection of case histories.

He also introduced a systematic of the mental disorders, based on precise clinical and psychopathological observations. In it he described the forced and delusional symptoms, hypochondria, melancholia, delirium, drunkenness, jealousy and symptoms of “dementia”. This individual symptoms were described,which were then grouped into syndromes.

In his diary which was first published in 1840, he tells about his youth, his life as a student in France and the first time in Basel [1].

In the year 1596 he was invited to Stuttgart to the baptism of August of Würtemberg. The young prince was born at 24 Jan 1596 and died 21 Apr 1596.

In the festival that followed the baptism of the child a Fechtschul is held at the 12th of March. The report of that event is found in the diary of Felix Plattner first published in the year 1840. The report includes a accident and is the description is feasible enough.

Frytags den 12. Mart. hult man zehof im schlos ein fechtschul, waren by zwelf federfechter und so vil marxfechter wider sy, von allen orten, sunderlich von Straßburg dohin gezogen. Der hertzog verkindet inen, es mießte rot oder blut geben, sunst gelt es nit. Man fechtet in allen weren, sunderlich schlugen sy einander gar hart mit den dusecken schwertern und stießen mit dem stenglin. Irer waren wol zechen wundt; eim war mit der dusecken ein aug aus dem kopf geschlagen. Wer den anderen blutruns macht, bekam von den richteren ein gob, ettlich münchskopf, schnaphanen, auch ettlich thaler. Nach dem eßen umb nun uren gieng das fürwerch an. — Das sindt die herlikeiten, so man zu Stutgardt geiebt.

Friday the 12th March there was held a fencing school at court, were there twelve Federfechter and the same number of Marxbrüder against them, coming from all sites, particularly from Strasbourg to that place. The Duke announced to them, there should be red or bleeding, otherwise it would not apply. The fenced in all weapons and arms, they beat each other very hard  with the Dussacken, with swords, and stabbed with the the short staff. Their were at least ten wounds; one was struck one eye from the head by the Dussacken. Who made the other bleed  got a “Gob” (coin also known as Cavalotto) of the referees, a fair number of  “Mönchskopf” (bar or coin of silver with a monks head on it) , “Schnapphahn” (silver coin from the Netherlands), and also a fair number of Thaler (gold coin). After eating at nine they started the fireworks. – Such are the delights they practiced at Stuttgart.

[1] Wikipedia “Felix Platter”

4 thoughts on “1596 Fechtschule in Stuttgart – accident report

  1. Hi mr kleinau my name is said Ben Allal I bought an old Edwardian house 2 years ago and during restauration we found an original 17 or maybe 18 century copper printing plate of Felix platter the one in Latin transcript that you have in your article about 1596 fechtschule tournament I just wanted to know what book does it belong to and if it does hold any value historical or otherwise kind regards

    1. Mr. Allal, I am quite sure that this plate has some value and I would recommend to show it to an expert. I know a lot things about martial arts, but have a limited knowledge in regard of other books beside.

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