The true meaning of “Vorschlag” and “Nachschlag”

Hans Talhoffer

The understanding of the terms “Vorschlag” and “Nachschlag” in the teaching of Johannes Liechtenauer is widely based on the interpretations done in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The early reception of the texts had been flavored by the modern understanding of 16th century fightbooks like those of Joachim Meyer. While Joachim Meyer himself never mentioned both terms in his books, it is assumed and interpreted, that he thought of the “Vorschlag” and “Nachschlag” if he talks about the tactics especially in “Zufechten”. This creates a chain reaction of “misunderstanding” because of Meyer’s different perception of the underlying terms “Vor”, “Nach”, and “Indes” in comparison to their original medieval meaning. But what seems logical and good caused is in fact a misreading of the chaotic flood of relative clauses, unresolved medieval words, and unstructured text in the original manuscript.

In this article I will provide a deep analysis of the concept of…

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