On the Five Words “Vor/Nach, Indes, Stark/Schwach”

Hans Talhoffer

Q: Master Talhoffer, what is the true meaning of the Five Words of Master Liechtenauer?
A: Try to connect all four fingers tipps of your hand to the tip of the thumb. How does it look like?
Q: It looks like the number 5 on a dice. Two fingers are opposite and two are next to each other and the thumb is in the middle.
A: And there you have the true meaning of the Five words!
Q: But how to I apply them in a fight.
A: Use the things that are next to overcome what is opposite.

opposita iuxta se posita magis elucescunt / vel exposita oppositorum cui autem

Aristotle states in the Peri hermaneias that there are certain logical relationships between the four kinds of categorical proposition. These relationships became the basis of a diagram originating with Boethius (6th century). In the “Liechtenauer System” all opposites used…

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