Medicine, Logic, or Metaphysics?

Aristotelianism and Scholasticism in the Fight Book Corpus

  • Karin Verelst Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Keywords: Fight book, Hausbuch, Galenic Medicine, Aritotelian Natural Philosophy, Social History, Cultural History


We tend to study fight books in isolation, which explains why it is so difficult to understand the precise place they occupy in the sociocultural and historical fabric of their time. By doing so, we may miss the many clues they contain about their owner, local society, and intended purpose.  In order to unlock this information, we need to study them in their broader sociocultural and historical context. This requires background and research skills that are not always easily accessible to everyone. To illustrate the point, in this article we show in some detail what is required to make sense of the claim that Aristotelian philosophy and science influenced the medieval fight books in relevant ways, and that understanding this influence helps us to better understand the fight books per se. we give an outline of the general historical framework, and apply it to a test case: Talhoffer’s Thott 290 2° Ms., with some interesting results. Our hope is that this framework may be of some use to other researchers in HEMA Studies who want to dig deeper into sources of interest to them.


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How to Cite
Verelst, K. (2023). Medicine, Logic, or Metaphysics? : Aristotelianism and Scholasticism in the Fight Book Corpus. Acta Periodica Duellatorum, 11(1), 91–127.