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rapier-books-msg - 2/12/12


Period and modern books on rapier combat.


NOTE: See also the files: fencing-art, merch-rapier-msg, p-rapier-msg, SPD-msg, Silver-1-man, r-tourn-ideas-msg, bucklers-msg, Styles-Swrdpl-art.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org



From: shick at europa.asd.contel.COM (Steve Hick)

Date: 22 Jul 91 16:41:30 GMT


Solveig Throndardottir writes:


*> ....I wish to point out that to the best of my

*> knowledge, most if not all "martial arts" were developed in a post

*> warfare (read post feudal) environment.  Many were in fact developed

*> post-period.  


This is not true.  The great schools of European fencing tradition had their

start prior to the end of the medieval period.  The German schools of fencing

exist back to the 13th century, although they did not receive charter from

royalty until late in the 15th century.  These include the Marxbruders and

Lixbruders. In Spain, there existed cnters of fencing in the cities of Leon,

Toledo , Perpognan and Valladolid.  Documentary evidence of formalized system of

examinations from the 15th century.  In Italy, the great schools of Bologna

and Naples existed alos prior to the close of the 15th century.  These are,

in fact, the same schools which participated in the developments of the rapier

in the middle and late 16th century.   There is evidence of organized training

in these arts from the late 12th-early 13 th century, and the earliest manuals

date from ca 1300.


                             Solveig Throndardottir



Bibliographic references:


Early European


Anonymous; "Notandum quod generaliter omnes dimicatores sive

omnes homines habentes gladium in manibus etaim ignorantes artem

dimacatoriam utuntur his septem custodiis", Fechtbuch [ca late 13th

per A. Lhotsky, 14th per S.  Kramer], {Tower of London I-33 (Ms

membr. I 115) (Ref. Hils pg. 84)}


Aylward J. D.  The English Master of Arms from the Twelfth To the

Twentieth Century. London: Routledge and K. Paul, 1956. {LOC}


Castle, Egerton Schools and Masters of Fence: From the Middle Ages

To the Eighteenth Century.  London:  Arms and Armour Press,



Castel, Egerton, Bibliotheca Artis Dimicatroi, London, 1897 {LOC}


Flos duellatorum in  armis, sine  armis, equester, pedester;  il fior  di

battaglia di maestro Fiore dei Liberi da Premariacco.   Testo inedito

del MCCCX  publicato  ed  illustrato a  cura  di  Francesco Novati;  

Bergamo: Istituto Italiano d'Arti Grafiche, 1902 (UCLA, PML)


Gelli, Jacopo; L'Arte dell'Armi in Italia; Bergamo, Instituto Italiano

D'Arti Grafiche, 1906 (LOC)


Gelli, Jacopo; Bibliografia generale della scherma; Milano, Hoepli, 1895  (LOC)

HERGSELL, G., Die Fechtkunst im XV. und XVI. Jahrhundert, Prag 1896 {LOC}


Hils, Hans-Peter;   Meister  Johann   Liechtenauers  Kunst   des  

langen Schwertes; Frankfurt am Main, New York: P. Lang, c1985.,



Hutton, Alfred; The sword and the centuries; London, G. Richards,



Leguina y Vidal, Enrique de; Bibliografia e Historica de la Esgrima

Espanola; Madrid; Est. Tip. De Fortanent, 1904 {LOC}


Leguina y Vidal, Enrique de; Libros de Esgrima, Espanoles y

Portugueses; Madrid, Imp. Y Lit de Los Huerfanon, 1891 {LOC}


Merignac, Emile.  Historie de l'escrime dans tous les temps et dans

tous les pays.  Paris, Impr. reunies, C. [etc.] 1883-1886 (NYP)


Sousa Vitterbo, Francisco Marques de; A Esgrima em Portugal,

Subsidios Para a Sua Historia; Lisboa, Gomes, 1899 {LOC}


Vigeant, Arsene; La bilbiograhie de l'escrime ancienne {LOC}


Wierschin, Martin;  Meister  Johann Liechtenauers  Kunst  des  

Fechtens; Munchen: Beck, 1965. (UVA, LOC)


Wise, Arthur; The Art and History of Personal Combat; Greenwich,

Conn, Arma Press, 1971



From: nusbache at epas.utoronto.ca (Aryk Nusbacher)

Newsgroups: rec.sport.fencing,rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Elizabethan Fencing Manuals

Date: 23 Mar 1994 16:08:17 GMT

Organization: EPAS Computing Facility, University of Toronto


DiGrassi, Silver and Saviolo are available both in hard covers (as

_Three Elizabethan Fencing Manuals_) and in cerlox-bound photocopy (as

seperate volumes from Falconwood Press).  Various sutlers sell the

latter, notably Capt. Sykes of Sykes' Sutlery.  I don't have his

address handy, but he has sold at Pennsic for the last few years, so

anybody with a Pennsic programme should be able to look him up for you.


Aryk Nusbacher



From: groff at epee.enet.dec.com ()

Newsgroups: rec.sport.fencing,rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Elizabethan Fencing Manuals

Date: 23 Mar 1994 19:21:17 GMT

Organization: Digital Equipment Corporation


Baron Sir Patri du Chat Gris (Carolingia) has many different period fencing

manuscripts available in Photocopy form.  He basically charges copying costs

to those doing period research.


If you need contact information, send me mail directly.





Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Per. rapier book source!

From: david.razler at compudata.com (David Razler)

Date: Sun, 13 Nov 1994 19:45:00 -0500

Organization: Compu-Data BBS -=- Turnersville, NJ -=- 609-232-1245


TD>In article <3a0tkk$7qf at newsbf01.news.aol.com>, bgarwood at aol.com (BGarwoo



> Some time ago I recall seeing an offering for a book on period rapier

> fencing techniques, but don't recall where.  Anybody here know what th

> is and where it can be obtained?  Maybe a C.A. reprint or something??


>   Thanx


> Berwyn


Syke's Sutlering, 1732 Magdalene Way, Johnstown, PA, 15905-3064,

(814) 255-3027 or (814) 241-8530 Compuserve: 74405,30 Internet:

74405.30 at CompuServe.Com George R. Paczolt, proprieter, has EXACTLY what

you're looking for!


Giacomo di Grassi - His True Art of Defense - $8

facsimillie of 1594 ed.


Vincentio Saviolo, His Practice - $10

fac. of 1595 ed.


Paradoxes of Defense, by George Silver - $7

fac. of 1599 ed.


The Complete Fencing Master by W. Hope - $18

fac. of 1692 ed of 1687 book.


George also sells late-period and post-period attire, accessories, modern

books on late period through post-period musketry and cannon.


                                 Aleksandr the Traveller

                              [david.razler at compudata.com]



From: rapiercs at aol.com (RAPIERCS)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period Fencing Manuals

Date: 28 Jun 1995 22:23:45 -0400

Organization: America Online, Inc. (1-800-827-6364)


There is a very good analysis on the "Three Elizabethan Fencing Manuals"

written by Craig Turner and Tony Soper entitled "Methods & Practice of

Elizabethan Swordplay" (ISBN 0-8093-1562-9).  It's in modern English and

gives a good transliteration and analysis of the works.  While written by

stage combatants, only a small part at the end is devoted to stage combat.

I HIGHLY recommend this work.  


Hans Durrmast Von der Wanderlust (Dormouse)



From: proctorand at aol.com (Proctorand)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: An interesting ad...

Date: 3 Oct 1995 01:52:35 -0400

Organization: America Online, Inc. (1-800-827-6364)


I saw this on rec.sport.fencing, and thought that one or more members on

the rialto would appreciate the info.  I feel obligated to apologize for

the blatant capitalistic nature of the post, but it intrigued me enough to





There is only one periodical in the world that focuses completely and

exclusively on the traditions and history of swordplay.


It is called Hammerterz Forum.


Published quarterly by Hammerterz Verlag (P.O. Box 13448, Baltimore MD

21202 USA), it critically examines the literature and practical

applications of the sword and its edged relatives throughout centuries,

cultures, spheres of influence. Hammerterz Forum takes long-established

fencing myths and relentlessly explodes them by confronting them with the

historical record.


After only one-and-a-half years in print, we take a certain pride in

having a third of what coaches pass on as background knowledge to their

students these days REDUCED TO RUBBLE. (Or rubbish, as may be...) And

we're taking aim at what's left as we speak.


The Fall 1995 issue (vol. 2 #2) has just been mailed to subscribers on

three continents and five countries. In it, you'll find the description of

an up-to-now undiscovered system of baton fencing, predating the Dussack



Also, find out how a Californian spent 3 years of his life crafting a

leaf-bladed bronze sword in a home-made blast furnace; how American GIs

were to fend off sword-wielding Nazis empty-handed in WWII; a statistical

comparison of two-handed and Bastard swords at the arsenal at Graz; Emil

Beck's system in paperback; a rare description of an American epee duel --

right in the middle of Chicago; and our historic books and fencing weapons



(By the way, there is a 2-volume set of Henry Angelo's Reminiscences for

US$375 (minimum bid) for sale in our MARKETPLACE feature. The same title

was offered to us a year ago at $850. This is the kind of deal you only

find in Hammerterz Forum.)


A one-year subscription to HAMMERTERZ FORUM costs US$30 for active fencers

and USFA members. If you don't like what we do, you can request a FULL

100% refund within the first 3 months of your subscription, and a

pro-rated refund at any point later.


Make your check/M.O. payable to "Hammerterz Verlag" (sorry, no credit

cards) and send you order to Hammerterz Verlag, Dept. BBS, P.O. Box 13448,

Baltimore, MD 21202 USA. (Non-U.S. subscribers, please add US$10 for

airmail shipping.)



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: angotti at world.std.com (Laura D Angotti)

Subject: Obtaining Documents/Books on Combat/Rapier

Organization: The World, Public Access Internet, Brookline, MA

Date: Fri, 6 Sep 1996 13:24:23 GMT


Greetings to all:


I have been following the discussion of documentation for fighting and

fencing techniques with some interest.  What I have not seen is enough (to

my mind) hard information to help those newly interested, or those with

a some resources, to find more.  And thank you to those who have given

specific citations.


In the interests of getting the ball rolling, I offer the following list

of selected sources and where they can be obtained.  Some information is

incomplete - it is based on what I have readily at hand.  I include as

much as possible on how to find them.  Both light and heavy weapons are

included, with some bias towards my primary interest in fencing (see

below for French manual I am translating).  I also

know of many more books on philosophy and regulation of war and single

combat which are not included for brevity.  Reference are in chronological

order with some comments.


On the places to obtain said books:


Falconwood Press: I do no know if they have direct order, I have been

told recently they may be discontinuing operations.  These books are

carried by several SCA merchants (from Pennsic: Sykes Sutlering & St.



Patri Pugliese: 39 Capen Street, Medford, MA 02155. Sells copies of many

combat manuals from period (and after).  I recommend sending him a SASE

for prices and ordering information (I will not post it here without his

knowledge), manuals generally run from $5 to $30.


Early English Books: A collection of about 2,000 rolls of microfilm of

books from English libraries which is put out by UMI (University

Microforms International; Ann Arbor, MI, USA)  Books are dated between

1475 and 1640.  I have only looked at a few of the combat related sources

in this resource, there are many more.  This set of microfilm is

supposedly held by many research libraries, and is an amazing resource

for all sorts of things (ask me about brewing...)


Now on to the Bibliography:


Talhoffer. 1467. Fechtbuch.

   Missing 5 of 270 plates, mostly illustrations with brief

descriptions. Includes a variety of armed combat styles and unarmed

combat. Available from Patri Pugliese.


Marozzo, Achille. 1536. Opera novo.

   Long book, in Italian with some illustrations. A variety of weapons

forms. Available from Patri Pugliese.


Agrippa, Camillo. 1553. Trattato di Scientia d'Arme.

   In Italian, some illustrations. Much sword and dagger work with some

variety. Available from Patri Pugliese.


St. Didier, Henry. 1573. Traicte ... sur l"espee Seule.

   In French, many illustrations, detailed text explaining actions in

each illustration. Single sword only. Available from Patri Pugliese.

In English Translation. 'Tract Containing the Secrets of the First Book

on the Single Sword, Mother of all Arms'. I am mostly done with a

translation of this text, and expect to publish it this fall. Drop a line

to the Email address below if you are interested in being informed when it

becomes available.


Viggiani, Angelo. 1575. Lo Shermo.

   Available from Patri Pugliese


Lovine, G.A. c.1580. Traite d'Escrime.

Mostly illustrations with text in Italian. Available from Patri Pugliese.


Loque, Bertrand. 1591. Discourses of War and Single Combat.

   In English. Two essays, one on war, the other on duels. Morality and

justifications for each. Available from Patri Pugliese.


Sutcliffe, Matthew. 1593. The Practice, Proceeding, and Lawes of Armes.

   In english. Philosophy and tactics. Available from early English Books.


di Grassi, Giacomo. 1594. His True art of Defence.

   In English. Covers a wide variety of rapier fighting forms. Few

pictures. Available from: Early English Books, Patri Pugliese, Falconwood



Saviolo, Vincentino. 1595. V. Saviolo, His Practice in Two Books.

   In English. On rapier and dagger and on honor. Few pictures. Available

from: Falconwood Press, early English Books, Patri Pugliese.


Silver, George. 1599. Paradoxes of Defence.

   In English. A variety of weapons. No pictures. Available from: Early

english Books, Patri Pugliese, Falconwood press.


Fabris, Salvator. 1606. De Lo Schermo overo Scienza d'Arme.

In Italian. Available from Patri Pugliese.


Capo Ferro, Ridolfo. 1610. Gran Simulacro dell'Arte Edell'uso della Scherma.

In Italian. Available from Patri Pugliese.


Swetnam, Joseph. 1617. The Schoole of the Noble Science of Defence.

In english. A few pictures. Philosophy and instructions for rapier

combat. Available from: Early English Books, Patri Pugliese.


Anonymous. 1625. Mars, Mars his Field.

In English. Woodcuts with brief description. Pike, sword & shield.

Available from Early English Books.


A.G. 1639. Pallas Armata, The Gentleman's Armoria.

   In English. Use of rapier and sword. A few Pictures. Available from

Patri Pugliese, early English Books.


Markhan, Gervase. 1639. The Soldier's Exercise.

In English. Theory, formations, duties of individuals in armies.

Available from early English Books.


I hope that this information will prove useful.


Yours in research.


Laura Angotti           Known in the SCA as Morgaine ferch Cadwr

angotti at world.std.com                   Carolingia, East

Arlington, MA, USA



Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2000 12:58:59 MST

From: "Zimmermann, Lenny" <zimmerml at kci1.com>

Subject: RE: ANST - Re: The Book of Fencing

To: ansteorra at ansteorra.org


Stefan wrote:

> This gentleman in Switzerland is looking for the bibliographic info

> on a period rapier book. He used a search engine and found a partial

> reference to the book he seeks in my shields-msg file in the COMBAT

> section of my Florilegium. Unfortunately, I believe this is the only

> reference to this book in my files.


> I am hoping that someone on this list can answer his questions or

> forward this note to perhaps the rapier maillist if no one here has

> the answers.


From www.thehaca.com


"Hans Talhoffer - German fechtbuch of 1443, 1449, 1459 and 1467 editions.

Covers longsword & other weapons, includes some material of Liechtenauer

and Austrian wrestling of Ott the Jew. Surviving versions ussualy consists

of various editions from the 16th & 17th centuries. A very nice new modern

German edition has recently been. Very similar to Charles Studer's work.

Three different versions exits."


It is also available online, along with many other period combat manuals, at



Honos Servio,

Lionardo Acquistapace, Bjornsborg

(Lenny Zimmermann, San Antonio)


Yoo-Mi Steffen wrote:

> Dear Stefan,


> First of all I would like to present myself. My name is Yoo-Mi and I

> am in charge of the Olympic Museum's Library in Lausanne, Switzerland.


> I was looking for an old book, very famous among fencers. After my

> research on the web (Thalhofer and fencing on Metacrawler.com), your

> site was referenced in the first place.

> Could you be kind enough to give me - if possible of course - the

> complete reference of the following book :

> "Book of fencing : code de Gotha" by Hans Thalhofer, 1467

> The place of publication, the editor or printer would be very valuable

> informations.


> Thank you in advance and kindest regards,

> Yoo-Mi Steffen (Ms.)

> Head of Library



Date: Thu, 24 Sep 2009 11:31:35 +0800

From: "rcull at ozemail.com.au" <rcull at ozemail.com.au>

Subject: [Lochac] New Spanish and Italian fencing manual translations


To: fencers at sca.org.au, lochacfighters at yahoogroups.com,

        stoccata at googlegroups.com

Cc: lochac at sca.org.au


Ken Mondschein has released an English translation of Camillo Agrippa's manual of 1553. (The earliest Italian rapier text)



(Just $31 USD with postage)


Mary Curtis from the Destreza Translation project has started releasing the English translation of Ettenhard's manual from 1675. Ettenhard is a concise explanation of the earlier work Spanish Destreza works by Pacheco, which he presented as part of his examination to be certified to teach Destreza.



It's free and will come out a chapter at a time.





Received: Fri, 22 Jul 2011 06:01:39 PM EDT

From: Jeremy Oneail <oneail at hotmail.com>

To: <academyofknightlyarts at yahoogroups.com>

Subject: [c-fence] KickASS Longsword Basics dvd is ready for sale!


I have just finished putting together a DVD on my take on the basics of

Italian based historical longsword called - Kickass Swordfighting Basics

Its a fun, engaging and memorable way to get into historical longsword. No

costumes, no churches as backgrounds, but there is blood, head explosions and


the 120 minute DVD includes

-solo drills

-partner drills

-instruction on footwork, sword positions and stances


Here is a preview-



The blurb from the back cover-

Jeremy Oneail has been a competitive sword fighter for 20 years and has won

national and international titles in 9 countires. Jeremy brings you his style

based on medieval manuscripts, practical experience and living tradition

martial arts in a fun, easy to understand and practical approach that is

invaluable for both solo practitioners and study groups.

"Get in touch with your inner knight and explore the martial tradition of



Each DVD is only $25 and that includes free shipping to the lower 48. Drop me

a line if you want shipping to other places.

You can pay by paypal to - oneail at hotmail.com

or you can call 978-239-2545 m-f 7am-9pm est and use a major credit card            

<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org