Paulus Hector Mair was perhaps the most intriguing figure in the Liechtenauer tradition of German Renaissance martial arts. An enthusiastic practitioner of fencing, wrestling and other martial arts, he was determined to preserve the knowledge of the combat arts of his time. His dream is realized in this remarkable book by authors David James Knight and Brian Hunt.
Mair collected a vast combat library, including works by Jörg Wilhalm, Antonius Rast, Gregor Erhart and Sigmund Ringeck, as well as copies of both the Codex Wallerstein and the Königsegg-Talhoffe manuscript. Circa 1540, Mair produced the Opus Amplissimum de Arte Athletica, or Ultimate Book of the Art of Athletics, a massive compendium heavily influenced by the earlier works in his library but surpassing them in content and depth. Today only three complete manuscripts of his Opus survive in German and Austrian collections.
In Polearms of Paulus Hector Mair, authors Knight and Hunt make their contribution to the endeavor that Mair began so many centuries ago. Working from both the German and Latin versions of Mair’s Opus, they present chapters on combat with the poleax, halberd, spear and shortstaff, and lance and longstaff, with text in the original German and Latin, along with the English translation. The illustrations, taken from the Dresden codices, C93 and C94, have been meticulously restored to give a clear view of the techniques.
This amazing volume, a labor of love of the arts of combat, belongs in the library of everyone with an interest in Renaissance martial arts.