A RAPIER BIBLIOGRAPHY
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
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
- 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.
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