Codex Wallerstein: A Medieval Fighting Book from the Fift... and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 4 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Codex Wallerstein: A Medi... has been added to your Basket
Trade in your item
Get a £4.21
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Codex Wallerstein: A Medieval Fighting Book from the Fifteenth Century on the Longsword, Falchion, Dagger, and Wrestling Paperback – 1 Jul 2002

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
£16.84 £19.13
£30.00 FREE Delivery in the UK. Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Frequently Bought Together

Codex Wallerstein: A Medieval Fighting Book from the Fifteenth Century on the Longsword, Falchion, Dagger, and Wrestling + Medieval Combat: A Fifteenth-Century Manual of Swordfighting and Close-Quarter Combat
Price For Both: £42.40

Buy the selected items together

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Trade In this Item for up to £4.21
Trade in Codex Wallerstein: A Medieval Fighting Book from the Fifteenth Century on the Longsword, Falchion, Dagger, and Wrestling for an Amazon Gift Card of up to £4.21, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Product details

  • Paperback: 386 pages
  • Publisher: Paladin Press,U.S. (1 July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581605854
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581605853
  • Product Dimensions: 27.6 x 21.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 471,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

About the Author

Grzegorz Zabinski is a medievalist from Upper Silesia in Poland. Apart from medieval and early Renaissance military history and martial arts, his fields of interest include problems of medieval social and economic history, with special reference to the Cistercian order. He is currently working on a Ph.D. dissertation on early 16th-century comments on the swordsmanship treatise of Johannes Liechtenauer. Bartlomiej Walczak is a student of nuclear physics, but his real passion is the study of medieval martial arts, which he has been pursuing since 1997. He is the chief of the Brotherhood of the Eagles' Nests, a member of the Historical European Martial Arts Community and the director of Association for Renaissance Martial Arts in Poland. Currently, he is working on a training curriculum based on Johannes Liechtenauer's teachings. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 4 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By RLPOLLITT on 18 Feb 2009
Format: Paperback
The Codex Wallerstein is a facsimile of a 15th century German manual detailing many nifty ways of fighting, disarming and killing your opponent using weapons such as the sword, dagger, falcion and even shields with sharpened corners. I bought this book for a friend of mine who takes part in Medieval reenactments and he said it was his favourite gift for Christmas 2008! There is a very interesting section on unarmed combat which includes instructions on how to take down more that one opponent on your own! The original Medieval German text has been included with both modern German and English translations so there is the chance for those of you with language skills to read the original text. The book includes original illustrations which provide a great source of reference for male clothing and hairstyles from the period. Curiously all the illustrated characters look very pleased with themselves and are perfect models of fine, well shaped Medieval men dressed in fashionable fitted hose and doublets! Altogether a good primary reference source and will be useful for re-enactors and living history demonstrators, military historians, combat enthusiasts and anyone interested in medieval military life.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mike on 8 Dec 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am highly impressed by this book, due to several main reasons. It shows with a simple and clear description; the purpose of the techniques shown and the goal they aim to achieve. It does not waste time walking you through every little detail, it is an advanced manual that assumes you have the basics such as blade grips, stance and general melee weapon knowledge. The one picture shown per technique along with the description is enough to fully understand what is bieng shown, but may take a few reads to sink in. I highly reccomend practice with wooden wasters (Safely) To really sink in the knowledge via practical application. You will find no sword twirling here, instead you will find a healthy amount of using these weapons as tools of fighting, not as a statement to impress. This book is translated superbly and is a refreshing realistic showcasing of the highly underrated and very much lethal western martial arts. I would only reccomend this book to serious practioners of weaponplay who are rediscovering the old methods, or historians/ people of extreme interest in the subject.

One criticism is that the Falchion section is very small, literally 4 pages long i believe. I bought this book largely (initially) on the strength that i would learn more of the facts of this weapons' use.

That bieng said it is very expansive on the longsword and grappling (some of which i am finding works well in an mma environment), and it has rekindled my interest in the multitude of techniques it can offer, such as striking with the hilt/guard and so forth.

This book is also quick to take into account that we are not all the same, and it specifies very often that a larger/ stronger man can take advantage in certain situations.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First of all, this four-star rating is based on how useful I found the source as a practicing scholar.
I realize the authors are working with a historical source so are probably limited with how much they could convey so this is not a criticism of their expertise. Having said that though, the reasons I could not award five stars is as follows:

1) the book itself is a bit large and cumbersome. If you're someone traveling with a fencing helmet, PPE and a book-reading stand in your bag you might find this book impractical to carry with you for practicing. As an urban resident, I don't have the luxury of a garden so must practice outside in a few select locations or in a training session. I've struggled to fit this in my bag with everything else. The layout of the book has illustrations on the right side page and on the left hand you have plate description + translation. However, there are many many pages with less than a 1/3 or 1/2 written on the left page. I felt the authors could have used to this extra space to elaborate further than on each plate. It's possible this book could have been half the size/weight without compromising on quality.

2) The illustrations do provide a nice medieval feel and some of these techniques might be recognizable intuitively by intermediate/advanced learners. However, there were some plates where I felt there was a disconnect between the descriptions and what the pictures where conveying and I have a feeling this would be confusing for novices. For some of the "plates", it's a bit confusing who in the picture is performing techniques/actions because of visual ambiguity (the illustrations are in 2D).
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Pezz on 9 Nov 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
very useful
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 23 reviews
48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
Excellent, but not for the casual swordsman 29 Sep 2003
By Stephen Hand - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book. Grzegorz and Bart are to be commended for their fine work translating this important medieval fechtbuch. The book contains some of the most important material on medieval unarmed combat and is an absolute must for anyone working in that area. It also contains many plates on longsword, messer and a range of other weapons.
What this book is: An excellent translation of a significant and well illustrated medieval fechtbuch.
What this book isn't: It isn't a guide to medieval fencing. Wallerstein is primarily illustrations. With minimal text and no interpretation, it's up to you to work out what's being done in the plates. If you're like me, this is great. If you're beginner, expecting a book teaching you medieval swordsmanship, this is not that book.
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
A fine treatment of an important manuscript 21 Feb 2003
By Christian Tobler - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Messrs. Zabinski and Walczak have made a great contribution to the study of Historic European Martial Arts with their translation and analysis of the 'Codex Wallerstein'. This fascinating 15th Century German manuscript contains illustrated fighting techniques for the hand and a half knightly sword (the longsword), close quarters combat both unarmed and with a dagger, combat with the messer (a falchion-like short sword), and for fighting in the full armour of the day. The original plates from the manuscript are presented side by side with both modern German and English translations. Definitely a must-have for the sword practitioner or student of the late Middle Ages - it certainly has served *this* researcher well in my own ongoing study of German fighting arts.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Resource for the Practicing Medieval Swordsman as Well as Historian 1 Aug 2006
By EquesNiger - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of the great challenges of studying medieval forms of the martial arts is the fact that there is no school anywhere that preserves the actual fighting techniques of this era intact. While some of the techniques have survived, the decline of the necessity for a gentleman post Renaissance to be a man of arms as well as letters and learning has resulted in much knowledge being misplaced, lost and forgotten. As a result, modern schools of medieval martial arts can, and will, teach you basic techniques, but, as opposed to some of the better preserved Renaissance arts with the epée or rapier, most of the material tends to be appropriate for and focused on purely theatrical fighting. As such, this fighting manual of the late medieval period is invaluable, particularly due to the accessibility of the techniques contained therein.

While others may find this volume a bit advanced for the novice of medieval swordsmanship, I find the pictures and descriptions eminently understandable (and I'm certainly a novice). Frankly, learning any martial art through a book is a bit of a challenge, but, in this case, the manual is extremely easy to follow, which accounts in large part for its popularity in the 15th Century. The text focuses on the REAL art of the fighting man, centering on applications of the long sword, dagger, falchion and unarmed combat, and it's neither "chivalrous" in the modern sense of the word, nor pretty. The techniques within are designed for the professional fighting man, and the full emphasis is on surviving a fight, and not looking pretty while you do it. As such, in using the techniques, you will get cut, without a doubt - some of the holds, particularly in unarmed versus armed combat, and such put your bare skin on the edge of the opponents blade. However, they do increase the likelihood of being the one to walk (or stagger, or stumble) away from the encounter.

From the perspective of one only interested in the historical aspects, the book is fascinating in that it presents facsimiles of the original plates from the book, with a Latin alphabet version of the old German text on each plate, as well as modern German and English translations of the text. It's also fascinating, again, in that this was designed for the professional warrior, and the presumed context in which it would be read, and intent and value system of the reader of the day, is vastly different from what many hold as misconceptions of the period.

Highly recommended!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Excellent book, GREAT Translation. A MUST HAVE!! 10 Jun 2005
By Rich the Writer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been involved in Chinese martial arts for close to 35 years. One day I received a book, in German; Talhoffers to be exact. Many things in their reminded me of things I saw in Chinese arts, and that to my purchase of Codex Wallerstein.

The methods shown in that book, as well as Arte Gladitoria Dimicandi, and Flos Duellatorum are just as effective as any other arts I have been exposed to over the decades.

So much was my interest in these books, that I decided to

write a few articles on the methods I had read about, and these were well received by the medieval martial arts community worldwide. I even got into contact with Grzegorz Zabinski, when I saw, and decoded several of the strange glyphs, or doodles; as I called them, that are shown in the Codex.

This book is for experienced people, and those with an explorer's

mind. If you have previous martial arts skill, you will no doubt

figure out many of the fine methods illustrated within this book.

Be warned however that the explanations accompanying some of the

drawings might be inaccurate, as I have some understanding of medieval German, and a great ability with modern Hoch Deutsch, I found a few gaffs in the manual. When in doubt, look to the pictures!!!!

I give this book a hearty and well deserved thumbs up!!
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
A "must have" historical resource. 30 July 2002
By David M. Cvet - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Anyone who is about to enter the world of historical European martial arts today are the most fortunate with respect to the increasing availability of English translated historical manuscripts that describe these fighting arts. Practitioners who currently study the historical manuscripts, slogging away at medieval German or medieval Italian or Latin now find relief with publications such as this. The Codex Wallerstein, one of the most comprehensive manuscripts depicting early European martial arts including longsword, dagger, wrestling, armoured combat, messer, hewing shield now has its "secrets" unlocked by the impressive work of Gregorz Zabinskik with Bartlomiej Walczak. A brilliant academic effort by Gregorz who enhances the credability of the work by including not only the English translated text, but the original middle high German text of the period and text of the transcription of middle high German to modern German. The publication also contains all of the original illustrations making this a must have, invaluable resource for any practitioner's reference library interested in the study and practice of historical European martial arts.
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know