An Interview with Chris Amberger

On the Making of Codex Amberger, Life Changes, and COVID.

[We wouldn’t have thought there’d be any interest, but we received several — okay, two! — requests for an English translation of the German-language interview we posted yesterday. So here you go…]

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Ein Ferngespräch mit Christoph Amberger

About the making of the Codex Amberger, life changes, and Covid.

[The following is the transcript of a Zoom conversation between a long-time friend tasked with the unfortunate responsibilities of filling the pages of the annual association newsletter and FencingClassics’ head honcho Chris Amberger. Sorry, German only.]

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Dueling in the French Foreign Legion, 1831

The following passage is from the reminiscences of the German writer August Jäger (also called von Schlumb). Jäger’s claim to fame is the 1835 novel Felix Schnabel oder Der deutsche Student—the semi-autobiographic tale of an aimless, drifting German fraternity student, who duels and drinks his way through many a university city, and, having failed his exams, sees his only perspective in “becoming an infantryman in the Greek Army” (where, at the time, a not inconsiderable number of German ne’er-do-wells were assisting the rebel cause)…

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Hot off the presses: Codex Amberger

Hidden among the stacks of a New York City book dealer, its existence unknown to even the most erudite scholars, the Codex Amberger was lost to history until its chance discovery in 2005. Originally thought to have been created by Albrecht Dürer, now attributed to the sphere of the Augsburg patrician Paulus Hector Mair, it may have been part of a much larger treatise whose remnants are yet to be found….

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Duel Léon Blum vs. Pierre Veber, 1912

It’s been a while, but here’s a new piece on a 1912 French duel with epees de combat.

50 Dueling Swords

“On the dueling grounds, Monsieur Pierre Veber exhibited the most elegant bravery. When he fought with Robert de Flers, I was in directing the fight…”

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The Classical Lunge


The good Juncker von A. called it “Lanzenstechen auf Schusters Rappen”*: The back leg does not begin to straighten until the arm s fully extended. Since this reduces the tip speed to that of the body, it helps when the opponent (a) doesn’t move and (b) doesn’t attendmpt to parry. But we like the follow-up to the mask, even though it is useless in foil fencing.

  • this idiomatic expression literally translates as “lance-running on shoemaker’s black horse”; shoemaker’s black horse is, of course, a pair of shoes. Pedestrian jousting, in other words.

Saber Fencing at Joinville-le-Pont, 1900-1914

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Terrain v. Planche: A brief history of late 19th-century fencing spaces

via Terrain v. Planche: A brief history of late 19th-century fencing spaces


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