Joachim Meyer: Die Kunst des Fechtens (The Art of Combat)

THU, MAY 19, 2016 (00:00)

One of the many treasures acquired by the Worcester Art Museum as part of the Higgins Armory collection is a rare original copy of Joachim Meyer's sixteenth-century swordplay manual, The Art of Combat (Die Kunst des Fechtens). This work is one of the most important sources for modern swordfighters who are today reviving the combat arts of Medieval and Renaissance Europe. In 2015 the museum also acquired an equally rare two-hand fencing sword of the type used by Meyer, one of only three examples known to be in the Americas. The museum's Curator of Arms, Armor, and Medieval Art, Jeffrey Forgeng, published the manual in translation in 2014, and he discusses the fascinating prints it contains to illustrate the Art of Combat.

(Image: Tobias Stimmer from Joachim Meyer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons, image cropped)

+ BIO: Jeffrey Forgeng

Jeffrey Forgeng is the Worcester Art Museum's Curator of Arms, Armor, and Medieval Art and a professor of Interactive Media and Game Development at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He was previously curator at the Higgins Armory Museum, and he led his students in creating a collaboration between the Higgins Armory, Worcester Art Museum, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute called the Virtual Armory that explores medieval combat equipment and strategies in an online setting.

Forgeng's main area of research is combat treatises of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. He has played a major part in translating the early texts that have helped us to understand the martial arts of this period, including Joachim Meyer's Die Kunst des Fechtens (The Art of Combat).

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