Historical Fencing Manuals and Works of European Masters

There are no sources like the material of the period sources and the original Masters in their own words. Anyone who asserts that there are no histoprical European fighting manuals or that there are no real sources for historical Western martial-arts is entirely ignorant of this subject. There were more than one hundred works published before 1620 and almost as many afterward. There are at least half-a-dozen other significant German works remaining on great-swords, two-handers, and long-swords that have yet to be fully analyzed or carefully studied. A number of recently recovered works on German and English great-sword and two-handed sword have also come to light but it will be some time before they become available.

ARMA presents the most complete lists of the historical European fighting manuals below. WITH FEW EXCEPTIONS, ONLY THOSE MANUALS WHICH ARE CONFIRMED TO STILL EXIST ARE LISTED.  A few rarer manuscripts and newly discovered works have yet to be made publicly available, but this is now changing . Only a dozen or so of these are currently available in hard copy or microfiche, and most are untranslated from their native language. A few of these can be obtained from sources on the Internet (along with widely varying editorial comments and interpretations), or in abridged formats within some of the published titles listed later here. More works are increasingly being distributed as scholars and students of the sword share resources.

This list purposely excludes many works after 1670 on small-swords, other blade forms (sabers, etc.) and classical / sport fencing. It also does not lists works for which only a title or author is cited in references but for which no actual copy is currently available .
The approximate overall number of surviving printed books relating, wholly or in part, either to sword fighting…up to the year 1620 (and excluding reprints and revised editions…) consists of aproximately 40 Italian, 25 German, 16 Spanish, 10 French and 8 English works. 

Tower Fechtbuch I.33 - Fechtbuch MS I.33 (previously Royal Armouries MS I.33 originally held at the Tower of London, now in the Royal library Museum, British Museum No. 14 E iii, No. 20, D. vi) – the Walpurgis manuals, an anonymous 13th century German “sword and buckler” manuscript. An anonymous Medieval German work on the use of the sword and buckler (currently the earliest known European work, now being translated by several sources). One version forthcoming from the Royal Armouries.

Johannes Liechtenauer - (compiled by Hanko Doebringer) Influential German fechtbuch of 1389 on swordsmanship and other weapons by the "grandfather" of the German school (only portions survive through the commentaries of later masters).

Andres Liegnitzer - 14th century German master who produced a treatise on short sword, sword and buckler, wrestling, and dagger fighting.

Fiore dei Liberi (Italy) - 1410, Flos Duellatorium in Armis ("Flower of Battle").  Leading master of the Bolognese school of fighting, primary source today for Italian long-sword. Studied under German masters and his method strongly reflects their style. Text also includes dagger fighting & wrestling. Currently three distinct versions exist.

Das Solothurner Fechtbuch - c. 1423 ("The Solothurn Fightbook"): Features mainly armored fighting, long-sword, dagger, unarmed. Swiss-German. Similar to Talhoffer, although its date precedes him.

Boris Ferres - Milan, 1428. [NOT LOCATED OR DETERMINED TO YET STILL EXIST]

Dom Duarte, King of Portugal - Lisbon. "Livro da ensinanca de bem cavalgar" c. 1428 - 1436 Also 1434, "Regimento para aprender a jogar as armas of Dom Duarte, Rey do Portugal". This material contains sections on mounted combat and fighting in armor.

The Harleian Manuscript (British Museum MS. 3542, "The Man Who Wol"). An obscure 15th century English text on the use of two-handed great-swords. This rare text presents in verse form a brief glimpse at one of the few examples of a Medieval English method of using a single long blade. Unfortunately, it's words are nearly indecipherable and open to considerable interpretation. See the Harleian Manuscript Analysis Project online here.

Additional Manuscript 39564 – a previously unrecorded 15th century English velum scroll on swordplay (possibly great-sword). Apparently penned by one “J. Ledall”.  Although cryptic its content of cuts, thrusts, footwork and strikes sheds light on similar works.

"Gladiatorie" – mid-1400s.  Anonymous German Fechtbuch manuscript  A significant work covering armored combat.

"Goliath" – late-1400s/early-1500s. Anonymous German manuscript and significant work covering unarmored great-sword combat and wrestling.

Sigmund Ringeck - Fechtbuch from 1440's. Interpretations on Liechtenauer. A fascinating view of the pragmatic art of Medieval German swordsmanship.

Codex Vindob II093. (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna). An anonymous 15th century manual in Parchment. Southwestern German in origin.  46 pages with illustrations on every page. Contains long sword in armor on foot, axe fighting in armor, wrestling, and mounted sword combat. Clothes, armament and weapons point to the middle of the 15th century. Configuration, scope and contents associate this is of those manuscripts that are not explicitly in the “Liechtenauer tradition”. 

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. (a long-awaited modern English edition is also finally available! "Medieval Combat: A 15th Century Manual of Swordfighting and Close-Quarter Combat", Translated by Mark Rector. Greenhill Books/Lionel Leventhal; (September 2000) ISBN: 1853674184)

"Le Jeu de la Hache" - ("Axe Play") - An anonymous 15th century work on the use of the medieval pole-axe, recently re-translated by Prof. Sydney Anglo.

Peter Von Danzig - Fechtbuch from 1452.   Copy Arriving Soon!

Jud Lew - Fechtbuch from 1450 - 1455, Augsberg Universitatsbibliothek Cod. I.6.4x.3;

Paulus Kal - The Fencing and Wrestling Pictures of Paulus Kall c.1460. Kal was a fencing master in the service of a Bavarian duke between 1458 and 1467. Several editions are still in existance (at least one from 1507).
Copy Arriving Soon!

"Codex Wallerstein" – (UB Augsburg: Cod.I.6.4.2) Collection of anonymous German text and somewhat stylized illustrations from c. 1470 including material on the Langenschwert, Messerfechten, dagger and wrestling.  The Bauman edition contains a wide range of  useful artwork and captions.

Filippo Vadi (Fillipe Vadi) -1482-87 (Italy) De Arte Gladiatoria Dimicandi ("About the Gladiatorial Art of Fighting"). Padua. On long-sword / great-sword, dagger, spear, and wrestling. A master from the town of Pisa who served noblemen and was master at Urbino. His treatise is in 2 parts, one text and one mainly pictures with explaining lines (not all very understandable). Vadi teaches fencing is a science, not an art and offers something of the ethics of a Master at the time and that a Master only needs teach to knights and noblemen, since they have the role of protecting widows and orphans and weak people, etc. The weapons covered are mostly great-sword/long-sword, dagger (including unarmed defense against the dagger), and short pike. For the sword he writes of cuts and the thrust plus footwork, specific techniques. The guards he uses often have the same names of the guards of Fiore dei Liberi, but interestingly the position for the same name not always identical. Obviously many guard names passed from various schools and masters with modifications in name and/or position. 

Johannes Leckuechner - Fechtbuch of c. 1482 (& 1530), "Der Alten Fecter an fengliche Kunst" ("The Original Art of the Ancient Fencers"). Includes long-sword sword, grappling, falchion & other weapons. In 1551, the book is supposedly attributed to Hans Lebkommer and published as Der alten Fechter gründliche Kunst ("Complete Art of the Olden Fencers"). Compiled and printed by Christian Von Egenolff/Egenolph (Christian Erben) of 1555, Frankfurt ("Die ritterliche mannliche Kunst..." "The knightly and manly art"). Also said to include materials from one Andre Pauerfeindt’s fechtbuch of 1516 and one Sigmund Ringeck's fechtbuch of c. 1440. Consists of various editions from the 16th & 17th centuries. The 1530 edition will soon be online here!

Peter Falkner - Fechtbuch from 1490, includes long-sword, Messr, axe, dagger, and others. Copy Arriving Soon!

Hans von Speyer - Fechtbuch from 1491.  Copy Arriving Soon!

Pietro Monte - (Spaniard in Italy) Exercitiorum atque artis militaris collectanea – the first ever published work on wrestling (also on swordsmanship and other weapons), 1509, Milan. Also De Singulari Certamine Sive Dissensione, 1509 – the first ever published work on the duel (and critical of private fighting).  Monte was a master of the well-established Bolognese school tradition and wrote extensively in the 1480's and 1490's on wrestling, swordsmanship, mounted combat, physcial fitness, deulling, military theory, and the use of shields and other weapons.

Diego de Valeria - "Treatise on Arms" from the late 1400s (c. 1510), Spanish knight who also wrote many works on chivalry.

Albrecht Dürer's Fechtbuch - 1512.  Ed. F. Dörnhöffer, Jarhbuch der Kunsthistorischen sammlungen des Allerhöchsten Kaiserhauses, XXVII, 1909. Superb artwork on wrestling and sword use by the famed early Renaissance German artist (long/great-sword, wrestling, single-hand swords, falchion and dagger).

Andre Pauernfeindt - Fechtbuch (itterlicher Kunst der Fechterey or Ergrundung ritterlicherkunst der fecterey) from 1516. A major German work on swords and wrestling, extending and editing Liechtenauer.Pauernfeindt transcribed Liechtenauer’s verses as prose and rearranged their order as well as added his own passages and half-swording material. Consists of 166 lines of verse. Was later copied into French and Italian. A French edition was produced in 1538.

Martin Hundfeld - 15th century, short-sword techniques based on Ringeck.

Fabian von Auerswald - 1462-1537, Die Ringer-Kunst des Fabian von Auerswald ("The Wresting Techniques of Fabian von Auerswald).

Ludwig Von Eyb – Germany, c. 1500. Military compendium featuring sword and buckler fencing. – Getting a copy.

Fecht und Ringerbuch ("Fighting and Wrestling Book") - c. 1508.  A collection of texts by Liechtenauer, Emring, Adres Juden, Ott, Hundfeld, and Liegnitzer.

La Noble Science - Paris, 1533/1538, this is a partial French translation of an illustrated two-handed sword text of c. 1516 by Andre Paurnfeindt (Freyfechter czu vienn in Osterreich"). Based on Italian & French texts.

Jörg Wilhalm Hutor - Large handwritten color Fechtbuch from 1523. Based on Liechtenauer this work contains the largest range of long-sword & great sword technqiues of any manual, both armored and unarmored. Over 50 pages of paintings with captions, and another 50 without plus 18 pages of additional text.  Three other later versions also survive. Includes messer and mounted combat. Online version coming soon!

Di Antonio Manciolino - (Italy) Opera Nova. 1531. The first surviving Italian printed manual.Venetian edition dated 1531, which claims to be "newly corrected and printed" (but we do not know from what).   (sword & buckler and single sword),  Not illustrated.  Covers sword and buckler, spada sola (single sword), two swords (one in each hand). 
Online version coming soon!

Gregor Erhart - Fechtbuch c. 1533, work on long-sword, falchion, spear, dagger. Copy Arriving Soon!

Hans Czynner - little known Fechtbuch on armored long-sword & dagger. Dated 1538 but reflecting 15th century combat.  Features approx. 70 pages of half-swording and then dagger combat in color with accompanying captions and approx. 40 text pages.

Antonius Rast - Augsburg Fechtneister of the 1500s.

Christian Erben / (Christian Egenolph) - Fechtbuch 1553/58 or 1555, "Die ritterliche mannliche Kunst..."; ("The Knightly and Manly Art".). Frankfurt a. Main. 40 woodcuts by H. Weitz. [8x Gs 1644]. Primarily sword & buckler.   Copy Arriving Soon!

Achille Marozzo (Italy) - manuals on fence, Opera Nova ("New Work by Achille Marozzo of Bologna, Master General of the Art of Arms"), Modena, 1536, Art del Armi..., 1568. One of the first to focus on use of the thrust over the cut, considered by many an "early rapier" manual despite his use of a clearly cutting and thrusting blade. Considered of the more significant masters.  Modern Italian edition recently published.

Sigmund Schining – Fechtbuch, 1539, based on Sigmund Ringeck.
Copy Arriving Soon!

Juan Quixada de Reayo – (Spain) 1548. Doctrina del arte de la caualleria. Colophon, Medina del Campo, P. de Castro, impressor, actually a text on mounted combat.

Francesco Altoni (Italy) - Del trattato dell'arte di scherma, Firenze, 1550. Florentine master and contemporary of Marozzo (whose ideas he disputed). Recently found.

Paulus Hector Mair (Germany) c. 1550. - an official from the city of Augsburg who compiled and edited at least three older Fechtbucher on a great variety of swords and weapon use. He was obsessed with collecting arms & armor and fencing texts.  His compilation is quite significant in the range of techniques, weapons, and information it provides.

Martinus Heemskerck (Martin von Heemskerk) - Dutch artist, Fechten & Ringen, 1552.  Copy will be online here soon!

Angelo Vigianni (Italy) - 1575, Lo Schermo ("The Shield" or "Fencing") (rapier). The actual date of Vigainni's work is 1551 and not 1567 or 1575 and it thus predates Agrippa in the Italian school.  Dr. S. Anglo is preparing a study of the differences in the various editions of Vigianni's work.

Camillo Agrippa (Italy) -  Treatise on the Science of Arms and a Dialogue on the Same Theme, 1553 (cut & thrust sword/rapier). Another of the first to focus on use of the thrust over the cut. One of the earliest rapier manuals yet still includes several cutting techniques. Considered another one of the more significant Italian masters.

Camillo (Acamillo) Palladini - (Italy) c. 1560, Discorso sopra l'arte della scherma. "Discourse on the Art of Fencing".  On single sword, sword & dagger, sword & cape, single dagger, dui spada, two-handed sword, halberd and pike, but not sword & buckler, or sword & targa.

J. Descors - 1568 manual on fence.   IF YOU HAVE A COMPLETE ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THIS OR KNOW WHERE TO OBTAIN IT PLEASE CONTACT ARMA 

Jeronimo De Carranza (Spanish) -1569, "De La Philosophia de las Armas" (rapier). One of only two of the known major Spanish renaissance fencing manauls that have survived.

Giacomo Di Grassi (Italy) - 1570 (English version 1594) His True Arte of Defense - rapier ("The Correct Method of Safely Using Arms, Both for Offense, as Well as for Defense, with a Treatise on Deceit, and with a Way to Train on One's Own, in Order to Obtain Strength, Judgment, and Dexterity").

Hans Senger - Venice, 1570. The Duelling School. Reportedly a series of woodcuts possibly influenced or copied from Joachim Meyer. Covers long-sword, dussack, short staff, long staff, and halberd.

Joachim Meyer (German) - 1570, Kunst der fechtens ("A Thorough Description of the Free Knightly and Noble Art of Fencing"), a major Renaissance work on long sword, dussack and messer, rapier, hastate weapons, the staff and wrestling. Contains 73 exceptional woodcuts.

Giovanni Dell'Agochie (Italy) - 1572, Dell 'arte de Scrimia.  A major work on arming-sword/cut-thrust/side-sword/field-sword/spada/early rapier.

Henry de Sainct Didier - Paris, 1573, "Tracicte' contenan les ecrets du premier livre de l'espee seule".

Henrici a Gunterrodt - De veris principiis artis dimicatoriae: tractatus brevis, ad illustrissimum principem Joannem ducem Magapolensem. Matthaus Welack, 1579.

Girolamo Cavalcabo (Itlay) - fencing book of approx. c. 1580, French translation edition of 1597, another of 1609, and German editions of these in 1611/12. Concerned primarily with sword & dagger, and also with single sword and sword & cape.
Modern English translation forthcoming.

Giovanni Antonio Lovino - (Italy) - 1580, Traite d Escrime ("Fencing Treatise"). On rapier and other swords. More than 90% of the actual text of Lovino's work, the Ragionamento, has in fact not been previously published and is unknown to scholars (!).

Alfonso Fallopia (Italy) -– 1584, Nuovo et Brieve Modo di Schermire (1584) on the civilian rapier.

Frederico Ghisliero – 1587, Regole do molti cavagliereschi esserciti - or literally, "Rules of Many Chivalrous Armies". A very rare work by a young Italian soldier and swordsman revealing connections to Spanish styles. Offers some fascinating material and alternative views. Previously thought lost.

Vincentio Saviolo (Italy) - 1595, His Practice in Two Books (rapier) One of the more influential (and now today popular) of the true rapier manuals.

George Silver (England) - 1598 & 1605 - the grand English sword master Paradoxes of Defense & Brief Instructions... (cut & thrust sword)

Don Luis P. de Narvaez (Spain) -1599, Libro de las Grandezas de la Espada ("Book of the Grandeur of the Sword in Which Many of the Secrets of the Methods Developed by Comendador Geronimo de Carranza are Explained"). On rapier. One of only two of the known major Spanish renaissance fencing manauls that have survived. 

Das Ringersbuch der Hans Wurm - Bavarian, c. 1600.  23 plates from a little known German wrestling manual by Hans Wurm.

Don Pedro de Heredia Traité des Armes, c. 1600. Rare Spanish rapier text which includes grappling by a master-of-arms, cavalry captain and member of the war council of the king of Spain.   Surviving French edition with 54 color plates.

Marco Docciolini (Italy) - 1601, Trattato in materia di scherma. On rapier.

Lelio de Tedeschi - 1603, manual on the art of disarming

Giovanni Alberto Cassani - 1603. Essercitio militare, il quale dispone l’huomo à vera cognitione del scrimire de spada, e dell’ordinare l’essercito à battaglia ... ("Military Exercise, which prepares a Man to the True Knowledge of Fencing with the Sword, and Dispose the Army for Battle"). Naples, Appresso T. Longo, 1603.

Nicoletto Giganti (Italy) - 1606, Scola overo Teatro ("School or Theatre").  On rapier.

Salvator Fabris (Italy) - 1606, Sienz e Practica d Arme ("About Fencing , or Rather, the Science of Arms") rapier

Giovan' Battista Gaiani - (Italy) two books on sword for horseback, Arte di managgiar la spada a piedi e a cavallo, 1609, and Discorso del tornear a piedi, 1619.

Ridolfo Capo Ferro (Italy) - 1610, Gran simulacro... ("Great representation/description"). Considered the great Italian master of the rapier and father of modern fencing.

Jacob Sutor (German) - 1612, New Kunstlitches Fechtbuch (great sword & rapier).

Antonio Quintino - Genoa, 1613. Gioielo di sapienza nel quale si contengono mirabili secreti, e necessarii avertimnenti per difendersi da gli huomini, e da molti animali. Its true authorship is obscure. Titled in English: “Advertisements necessary for defending oneself against an enemy in many ways, according to various accidents which might occur.  Added thereunto also the way to keep yourself safe from many harmful animals…Collected by Giovanni Briccio, Roman. And brought to light by Lorenzo Leandro, Venetian.” Viterbo, 1613. Carl Thimm also under a “Boiccio” lists the work as edited by one Antonio Quintino and entitled, Gioielo di sapienza or “Jewel of Wisdom in which are contained wonderful secrets and necessary advertisements for defending oneself against men and many animals….” Milan, 1613.

George Hale -1614', The Private Schoole of Defence. A rare English work commenting on fighting schools of the day as well as recommendations on the rapier method. Contains interesting theories and terms but little in the way of actual methods. A short but highly practical work with interesting views. Reveals further the influence of Italian civilian fencing on English fighting styles.

Sebastian Heüsler - Nürnberg, 1615. "Kriegsman und Freyfechte" / "Neu Künstlich Fechtbuch". Nuremberg, 1615. Rapier based on Fabris. Over 100 illustrations.------IF KNOW WHERE TO OBTAIN A QUALITY COPY PLEASE CONTACT ARMA 

Atanasio de Ayala – (Spain), 1616, rare short text dealing with staff weapons

Joseph Swetnam (England) - 1617, The Schoole of the Noble and Worthy Science of Defence (rapier, cut & thrust sword, others)

Joachim Koppen (German) - 1619, Newer Diskurs...Kunst des Fechtens (rapier)

Hans Wilhelm  Schöffet / Schoffer von Dietz - Marburg, 1620. Grundtliche und eigentliche Beschreibung der freyen Adelichen und Ritterlichen Fechtkunst im einfachen Rappier und im Rappier und Dolch, nach Italianischer Manir und Art … Large text on Italian rapier.

Bonaventura Pistofilo – “Il Torneo”, Bologna, 1627, on poleaxe & staff weapons.

Hans Wilhelm Schöffer (Hans Schofer von Dietz) – 1620, Fechtkunst. Contains 672 crude illustrations all fully described and annotated by the author. Volume I has five preliminary figures (showing the four "haupt Guardien" and a diagram of the rapier) and then 321 pairs of rapier fencers, Vol. II has 345 pairs of rapier and dagger fencers.  

Francois Dancie - Tulle, 1623. "L'espée de Combat". ------IF KNOW WHERE TO OBTAIN A QUALITY COPY PLEASE CONTACT ARMA

Luis Méndez de Carmona - (Spain) 1639

Girard Thibault d'Anvers  - 1630, Academie De L'Espee.  The most elaborate and lavishly illustrated Renaissance fencing text on rapier. Written in French by a Flemish master teaching a version of Spanish fencing.

Jean Baptise la Perche du Coudray - (France) 1635, L Exercise des armes... (rapier)

Pallas Armata - The Gentleman's Armory (or "The Armory of Pallas Athena") by G.A. (England) - 1639. A very interesting English language work on rapier and  sword. The author may have been one Gideon Ashwell.

Mendes de Carmona - Libro de la destreza berdadera de las armas…- (Spain) 1640.  "Book of the Destreza truthful of the arms". Unpublished manuscript on paper recently re-discovered. By, fencing master in Seville, who previous wrote a work on Carranza’s method. A substantial manuscript covering the principles and fundamentals of fencing and tactics to use in specific situations and earlier working drafts, plus several incomplete later drafts. 

Francesco Alfieri (Italy) - 1640/1653, La Sherma (rapier) La Spadone (longsword) La Picca (pike).

Charles Besnard - (France) 1653 - "Le Maitre d'arme libéral". (rapier)

Johannes Georgius Pascha (Johan Georg Pascha) - (German) 1657, rapier, pike, & unarmed combat (contains many unique unarmed techniques).

Alessandro Senesio - 1660, Il Vero Maneggio di Spada (rapier) ------IF KNOW WHERE TO OBTAIN A QUALITY COPY PLEASE CONTACT ARMA

Johans Georg Paschen - 1661, rapier & unarmed combat. Dutch.

"Stoss und Hieb" (Thrust and Cut) - Frankfurt-on-the-main, 1661. Illustrated German fencing text. ------IF KNOW WHERE TO OBTAIN A QUALITY COPY PLEASE CONTACT ARMA

Daniel L’Lange - (French) 1664, rapier.

Pallavicini, Giuseppe Moriscato (Italy) - 1670, La Scherma Illustrata (rapier)

Theodore Verolini - work from 1679 dervived from Joachim Meyer's with other material.

William Hope - The Scots fencing-master. 1687. Edinburgh: John Reid. And The Compleat Fencing-Master - Hope, W. 1692. 2nd edition. London: Dorman Newman. Plus other works in 1691 & 1714. See teh Linacre School of Defence on the Links page for online copy.

Zachary Wylde - 1711, The English Master of Defence. Later English basket-hilt broadsword, plus quarterstaff and wrestling.

----------------------

Historical Works of Interest on Medieval Military Arts,
Renaissance Dueling, Honor and War

Mercurio Spetioli da Fermo – 15th century Italian master who produced a short poem on swordsmanship that survives now only as a small scroll of 571 lines in verse, the first third devoted to fencing and mounted combat.  Capitolo di M. Mercurio Spetiolo da Fermo, nel quale si mostra il modo di saper bene Schermire, & Cavalcrae. Bologna, by Giovanni Rossi, 1577.

Antonio Cornazzano - 1446. De L’Integritta de la militare art.  Book III on armors and offensive and defensive weapons. ---IF YOU HAVE A COMPLETE COPY OF THIS OR KNOW WHERE TO GET ONE PLEASE CONTACT ARMA!

Diego de Valera / Valeria (Spain) - Espejo de verdadera nobleza ("Mirror of true nobility"), c. 1441. A treatise on the proper conduct of nobles, including parts on knighthood, honor, lineage, armorials, and nobility, etc., no combat. Also, Ceremonial de príncipes (1449 ad quem) and Tratado de las armas (1462 - 1465).

"Q.D.B.V. De Ludis Equestribus, vulgo Thurnier und Ritterspielen...".   Struve, Burkhard Gotthelf & Georg Schubart. Jena; Sam. Adolf Mulleri: 1689.   A rare book on the lore and law of the tournament and jousting, also examines the legal status and ramifications of the tournament and equestrian contests.

Giovanni da Legano - Tractatus de bello, de represaliis et de duello. 1477. Treatise on war and the beginning of Italian legal interest in the duel.

Ponç de Menaguerra – c. 1497 "Lo Cavaller, in Tractats de Cavalleria". Spanish work on the lance and jousting.

Christine de Pisan - Livre de fais d’armes et de chevalerie ("The Book of Faytttes of Armes and Chyvalrye") – a 15th century military manual by, actually compilation of the text of the Roman Vegetius Frontinus, Valerius Maximus, Honoré Bonet & co., with original work by Christine herself.  Later reprinted in English by William Caxton (1489).

"Knyghthode and Bataile" – Anonymous 15th century military manual. ---IF YOU HAVE A COMPLETE COPY OF THIS OR KNOW WHERE TO GET ONE PLEASE CONTACT ARMA!

Caspar Rutz – a 16th century engraver who produced a book on costume, not fencing

Paris de Puteo - Duello, c. 1470.

Ramon Llul (Raymond Lull) – The Book of the Order of Chyvalry or Knyghthode, English by William Caxton, c. 1484. Actually a reprint of "Libre del orde de cavallerie", printed in the early 1330's, and about moral virtues and behavior of knighthood and chivalry.

Weisskunig ("White King") biography of Maximilian I, von Habsburg, c. 1506. Depicts fighting practice. ---IF YOU HAVE A COMPLETE COPY OF THIS OR KNOW WHERE TO GET ONE PLEASE CONTACT ARMA!

Freydal Codex PS 5073 fol 64, 1515. By Hans Burgkmair. Includes engravings of Maximillian I's martial training. In the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien. ---IF YOU HAVE A COMPLETE COPY OF THIS OR KNOW WHERE TO GET ONE PLEASE CONTACT ARMA!

Baldassare Castiglione - 1528, The Courtier

Girolamo Muzio - 1550, Il Duello

Sebastiani Fuasto - Duello, Milan 1560 --this is actualy an anti-dueling treatise.

Girolamo Mutio. Vinegia, 1564. - "Il Duello Del Mutio Lustinapolituno, Con Le Riposte Cavalleresche". ---IF YOU HAVE A COMPLETE COPY OF THIS OR KNOW WHERE TO GET ONE PLEASE CONTACT ARMA!

Jeremias Schemel - c. 1568 - illustrated treatise jousting tournaments which includes on material on types of arms & armor.---IF YOU HAVE A COMPLETE COPY OF THIS OR KNOW WHERE TO GET ONE PLEASE CONTACT ARMA!

Thomas Churchyard. - 1579. "A Generall Rehearsall of Warres" "- wherein is five hundred severall services of land and sea: as sieges, battailles, skirmiches, and encounters. A thousande gentle mennes names, of the best sort of warriours. A praise and true honour of soldiours: a proofe of perfite nobilitie. A triall and first erection of heraldes: a discourse of calamitie. And joyned to the same some tragedies and epitaphes as many as was necessarie for this firste booke ..." London, Imprinted by E. White, 1579. 

Leonard Digges. "An Arithmetical Militare Treatise, named Stratioticos ..." London, Printed by H. Bynneman, 1579.

Thomas Styward. – 1581. "The Pathwaie to Martiall Discipline" "- devided into two bookes, verie necessarie for young souldiers, or for all such as loveth the profession of armes. The first book entreateth of the offices from the highest to the lowest, with the lawes of the field, arming, mustering and training of souldiers, with the imbattailing of such numbers, to the greatest force of the like regiments. The second booke entreateth of sundrie proportions and training of caleevers and how to bring bowes to a great perfection of service, with imbattailling of greater regiments: also how to march with a campe royall: likewise how to encampe the same, with divers tables annexed for the present making of your battells, as otherwise to know how manie paces they require in their march & battels from 500 to 1000." London, Imprinted by T. East for M. [Myles] Jenyngs, 1581.

John Sadler - The Four Bookes of Martiall Policye, actually 1572 translation of "De re militari" (which is Vegetius).

John Bossewell – Workes of Armourie, 1572, actually about heraldry and an abridgement of an earlier work.

Heinrich von Gunterrodt - De veris principiis artis dmicatoriae. Wiitenberg, 1579. A short treatise on the origin of the art of fencing.---IF YOU HAVE A COMPLETE COPY OF THIS OR KNOW WHERE TO GET ONE PLEASE CONTA

Luis Gutierrez de la Vega. – 1582. "A compendious treatise entituled, De re militari, containing principall orders to be observed in martiall affaires. Written in the Spanish tongue. And newlie translated into English, by Nicholas Lichefild ..." London, Imprinted by T. [Thomas] East, 1582.CT ARMA!

Cesare d' Evoli - Delle ordinanze et battaglie, 1583, containing detailed information on arms & armor. ---IF YOU HAVE A COMPLETE COPY OF THIS OR KNOW WHERE TO GET ONE PLEASE CONTACT ARMA!

Sir John Smythe (England) - 1590, Certain Discourses. Manual on military drill and practice. Interesting comments on the rapier.

Sir R. William - 1590, A Brief Discourse of Warre ---IF YOU HAVE A COMPLETE COPY OF THIS OR KNOW WHERE TO GET ONE PLEASE CONTACT ARMA!

W. Giarard - 1591, The Art of Warre ---IF YOU HAVE A COMPLETE COPY OF THIS OR KNOW WHERE TO GET ONE PLEASE CONTACT ARMA!

Bertrand de Longue - 1591, Discourses of Warre and Single Combat. This is a philosphical work not on a fighting treatise.

Bertrand De Loque - 1591. "Discourses of Warre and Single Combat". Jerusalem, 1968 Facsimile of the 1591 edition. Two key 16th treatises, one on the justification of religious war, the other an attack on the new-fangled practice of duelling. Strong evidence from the plays that Shakespeare was familiar with both.

Matthew Sutcliffe. "The Practice, Proceedings, and Lawes Of Armes." London, Deputies of Christopher Barker, 1593.

The Courtiers Academie: Comprehending seven severall dayes discourses. by Count Annibale / Haniball Romei (1598). Chapter 4 – “Of Combat and Single Fight”. ---IF YOU HAVE A COMPLETE COPY OF THIS OR KNOW WHERE TO GET ONE PLEASE CONTACT ARMA!

Robert Barret. "The Theorike and Practike of Moderne Warres." London, William Ponsonby, 1598.

Sir William Segar - Book of Honor and Armes. England, 1602. "Honor, military and civill, contained in foure bookes. Viz. 1. Justice, and jurisdiction military. 2. Knighthood in generall, and particular. 3. Combats for life, and triumph. 4. Precedencie of great estates, and others. London, Robert Barker, Printer to the Queenes most excellent majestie."  Concentrates on rules of honour and military conduct.    Displays good artwork including early Renaissance sword & dagger in armor.

William Bass (England) - 1602, Sword & Buckler: Or, The Serving Man's Defence . This is NOT a martial work, but sadly a religious one referring to the weapons as metaphors.

Lodowick Bryskett 1606, A Discourse on Civil Life

Marc de la Berdoudiere - 1608, Combat de seul e seul

Vital d Audiguler -1617, Le vray et ancien usage des duels (The True and Ancient Practice of Duels). ---IF YOU HAVE A COMPLETE COPY OF THIS OR KNOW WHERE TO GET ONE PLEASE CONTACT ARMA!

John Selden - 1610, The Duel, or Single Combat.  Possibly a religious anti-dueling text.

Adam van Breen. 1618. De Wapen-handelinge van schilt, spies, rapiers, en targis. Nae de nieuwe ordere, vanden...prince van Oraignien, Mauritius van Nassauw ... Door Adam van Breen in figuren ... The Hague, Ghedruckt ... door H. Hondius, 1640. Later reprinted as "Mars His Field", "- or The Exercise of Armes, wherein in lively figures is shewn the Right use and perfect manner of Handling the Buckler, Sword, and Pike With the wordes of Command and Brefe instructions correspondent to every Posture." London, c. 1611.

Giovan’ Battista Gaiani – 1619, Arte di Maneggiar la spada a piedi e a cavallo, text on mounted swordsmanship only.

Sir Thomas Kellie - 1627, Pallas Armata, or militarie instructions. Another "Pallas Armata" title - possibly a work on sword or rapier.

Henry Hexham - Principle of the Art Militairie.  England, 1637.

Sir Clement Edmonde, "The Maner of our Moderne Training", 1600. "Observations, upon the five first bookes of Caesars Commentaries, setting fourth the practise of the art military, in the time of the Roman empire. Wherein are handled all the chiefest points of their discipline, with the true reasons of every part, together with such instructions as may be drawn from their proceedings, for the better direction of our moderne warres."

Thomas Digges. "Foure Paradoxes" "- or politique discourses: 2 concerning militarie discipline ... by Thomas Digges ... 2 of the worthinesse of warre and warriors, by Dudley Digges, his sonne ..." London, H. Lownes for C. Knight, 1604.

Sir Robert, Dallington. 1613. "Aphorismes civill and militariei amplified with authorities, and exemplified with historie, out of the first quarterne of Fr. Guicciardine." London, Imprinted for Edward Blount.

Gervase Markham. (supposed author) "A Schoole for Young Souldiers" " - containing in briefe the whole discipline of warre, especially so much as is meet for the captaine to teach, or the souldier to learne, that is, to trayne or to be trayned. Fit to be taught throughout England." London, Printed for R. Higginbotham, 1616.

Gervase Markham. 1625. "The Souldiers Accidence." Or, An introduction into military discipline, containing the first principles and necessary knowledge meete for captaines, muster-masters, and all young souldiers of the infantrie, or foote bandes. Also, the cavallarie or formes of trayning of horse-troopes, as it hath beene received from the latest and best experienced armies. A worke fit for all noble, generous, and good spirits that love honor, or honorable action. London, Printed by J. Dawson for J. Bellamie.

Gervase Markham. 1626. "The Souldier’s Grammar" "- containing, the high, necessarie, and most curious rules of the art militarie: as first, whether it be in great motions in generall: Or foote motions especially? Or motions of horse, generall, or speciall? The ranges of foote, or horse? The ranges of officers. The several imbattailings of foote, and horse. The imbattailings of a regiment. The joyning of many regiments. Or the forming of maine battailes, of any extent, or number; with their formes, and figures, in lively demonstration &c. By G. M. gent. Unto which is added the booke of postures, according to that which is ordered by the Lords of his Maiesties most honorable Privie counsell. Printed at London, for William Shefford, and are to be solde at his shop in Popes-head alley, going into Lumbard street, 1626-27."

Thomas Adams. 1617. "The Souldiers Honour." "Wherein by divers inferences and gradations it is evinced, that the profession is just, necessarie, and honourable; to be practised of some men, praised of all men. Together with a short admonition concerning munition to this honour’d citie. Preached to the worthy companie of gentleman, that exercise in the Artillerie Garden: and now on their second request, published to further use. London, Printed by A. Islip and E. Blount, 1617."

1623. "The military discipline wherein is most martially shone the order of drilling of ye musket and pike, 1623. Set forth in postures with the words of command and brief instructions for the right use of the same. To be exercised in musters by order from ye Lords of his Maties most noble Privy Counsaile. [London], Are to be sould by R. Daniell, [1623]".

James Achesone. 1629. "The Military Garden, or Instructions for all young soldiers, And such who are disposed to learn ..." Edinburgh, J. Wreittoun, 1629. ---IF YOU HAVE A COMPLETE COPY OF THIS OR KNOW WHERE TO GET ONE PLEASE CONTACT ARMA!

John Cruso. 1632. "Militarie instructions for the cavallrie: or, Rules and directions for the service of horse collected out of divers forrain authors ancient and modern, and rectified and supplied, according to the present practise of the low-countrey warres." Cambridge, Printers to the Universitie, 1632. ---IF YOU HAVE A COMPLETE COPY OF THIS OR KNOW WHERE TO GET ONE PLEASE CONTACT ARMA!

Gerrat Barry. 1634. "A Discourse of Military Discipline". " - devided into three boockes, declaringe the partes and sufficiencie ordained in a private souldier, and in each officer; servinge in the infantery, till the election and office of the captaine generall; and the laste booke treatinge of fire-wourckes of rare executiones by sea and land, as alsoe of firtifasions. Brussels, By the widowe of J. Mommart. ---IF YOU HAVE A COMPLETE COPY OF THIS OR KNOW WHERE TO GET ONE PLEASE CONTACT ARMA!

Richard Elton. 1659. "The Compleat Body of the Art Military." "Divided into three books: the first, contenining the postures of the pike and musket ... the second, comprehending twelve exercises ... the third, setting forth the drawing up & exercising of regiments ... lastly, directions for ordering regiments or private companies to funeral occasions. Illustrated with variety of figures, of battail ... in a fuller manner than hath been heretofore published. The second edition with new editions, by Richard Elton ... London, Printed by R. and W. Leybourn.

Bonaventura Pistofilo - "Oplomachia’ Nella quale con dottrina morale, politica, e militare, e col mezzo delle figure si tratta per via di teorica e di practica del maneggio, e dell€vso delle Armi. Distinta in tre discorsi di Picca, d’Alabarda, e di Moschetto". Siena. Ercole & Agamennone Gori, 1621. Has 54 engraved plates of musket, pike and halbard exercises by Bertelli. One of the most impressive and richly illustrated of all seventeenth century costume and military manuals, includes an extended essay on military costume.

Adam van Breen. 1618. "De Wapen-handelinge van schilt, spies, rapiers, en targis. Nae de nieuwe ordere, vanden...prince van Oraignien, Mauritius van Nassauw ... Door Adam van Breen in figuren ..". The Hague, Ghedruckt ... door H. Hondius, 1640.

Heinrich Bocerus (or Bocer). 1616. "De bello et duello tractatus juris ... nuper ... varijs in locis recognitus ... reformatus, & denuo editus. Accessit Oration ... de privilegiis doctorum ... a Dn. Johanne Halbrittero ... dicta." 3rd ed. Tubingen, Johann Alexander Cellius.

Cataneo, Girolamo, fl. ca. 1540-1584. "Tavole brevissime per sapere con prestezza quante file vanno a’ formare una giustissima battaglia ... Et appresso un facilissimo, et approvato modo di armarla di archibugieri, &, di ale di cavalleria secondo, l’uso moderno. Di nuovo aggionte, et largamente ampliate ... dal medesimo auttore ... Brescia, appresso Thomaso Bozola", 1567. English edition translated from Italian by H. G. "The standard manual for the use of sergeants-major general, translated from the Italian of 1563."

Ferretti, Francesco, fl. 1577. "Della osservanza militare ... libri due ..." Venice, C. & R. Borgomineri fratelli, 1568.

Marozzo, Achille, 16th cent. "Arte dell’armi, di Achille Marozzo ... Ricorretto, et ornato di nuove figure in rame". Venice, Appresso A. Pinargenti, 1568.

Achille Marozzo - Arte dell’armi, di Achille Marozzo ... Ricorretto, et ornato di nuove figure in rame. Venice, Appresso A. Pinargenti, 1568. On warfare.

Domenico Mora - Il soldato di m. Domenico Mora, Bolognese ... nel quale si tratta di tutto quello, che ad un vero soldato, & nobil cavalliere si conviene sapere, & essercitare nel mestire dell’arme. Et questa, secondo l’ordine da noi posto è la quarta [i.e., quinta] gioia congiunta all’anella della nostra Collana historica ... Venice, Appresso Gabriel Giolito di Ferrarii, 1570.

Baron von Mindelheim Leonhardt Fronsperger, 1520-1575. "Kriegszbuch ..." 2 vols. in 1. Frankfurt, Sigmund Feyerabendt, 1573. Vol. 1. "Von kayserlichem Kriegszrechten, Malefitz und Schuldhändlen, Ordnung und Regiment. Jetzt von newem ... ubersehen, und ... gebessert. Vol. 2. Von Wagenburgk und die Feldleger ... item von allerley Geschütz und Feuerwerck ... Vol. 3. Von Schantzen unnd Befestunngen." This work also contains numerous woodcuts (including portrait of author), by Jost Amman. "The most important work on military science published during the sixteenth century, containing practically all that was considered of military interest, and forming the acknowledged authority of its subject".

Thomas Proctor - "Of the Knowledge and Conduct of Warres" 1578

 
 

Note: The word "ARMA" and its associated arms emblem is a federally registered trademark under U.S. Reg. No. 3831037. In addition, the content on this website is federally registered with the United States Copyright Office, © 2001-2019. All rights are reserved. No use of the ARMA name and emblem, or website content, is permitted without authorization. Reproduction of material from this site without written permission of The Association for Renaissance Martial Arts and its respective authors is strictly prohibited. Additional material may also appear from "HACA" The Historical Armed Combat Association copyright © 1999-2001 by John Clements. All rights are reserved to that material as well.

 

theARMA@comcast.net