Download the Ambras Manuscript here


The Book on Fighting by Hans Talhoffer, written in 1459, is one of the most mysterious manuscripts of the Middle Ages in the world.

It is composed of 150 sheets written in Swabian dialect, and in its illustrated pages is a unique collection of pictures of bloody fights, war machines and unique inventions.

The pages of this very little known manuscripts have been restored with modern technology, but still today the major part of its content and of its history remain unexplained.

According to this manuscript, the real history of Europe during the Middle Ages reveals itself to have been much more sophisticated and spiritual that we usually think of it. This book holds a trove of knowledge.

Hans Talhoffer (1420-1490) is the most well-known of all master fencers in the South German area in the 15th century.

He is a contemporary of the master of arms Paulus Kal, with whom the manuscript suggests an professional rivalry.

Talhoffer taught according to the tradition of Johannes Liechtenauer. His name appears in the Zurich archives, which indicate how he occasionally taught near the Rathaus in 1454.

He authored several illustrated treatises on the methods of fighting using a great variety of weapons such as long swords, daggers, sticks, horse fighting and bare hands combat.

These manuscript (which is part of a series of three written by Talhoffer) correspond to the historical period immediately preceding that of the Great Swabian League which allowed the restoration of law and order in this area between 1488 and 1533.

The illustrated writings of the master of arms Hans Talhoffer are a reference in matters of medieval combat.
Download the Ambras Manuscript here