Category Archives: 17th Century

FencingClassics to release “missing link” late 17th-ct. German fencing manuscript!


This recently re-discovered transcript by an anonymous German noble could fill an important gap in the documentation of German fencing approaches between Paschen and Schmidt.

Under the sponsorship of the new Administration, we’re preparing a limited release of the manuscript.

Continue reading

Secret History of the Sword: Dead Poets Society—Rencontre in Hog Lane, 1589

Despite their distinct dislike for things Catholic and South European, Elizabethans were suckers for Italian fencing techniques and concepts of honor and dueling.

Some of the most prominent figures of the cultural elite of the period engaged in Italian-style swordplay. Among them was the poet Christopher Marlowe, whom we’re catching on an Indian summer afternoon on the outskirts of London, sword in hand, and ready to engage in moderate mayhem… Continue reading

Free Resources: Fabris’ German edition

Who’d have thought that university archives would ever change their time-honored policy of keeping non-academic riffraff out of their collections—and even throwing their rara open to the Great Unwashed?

The Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, where I spent many a semester doing things other than visiting libraries, has recently put a copy of Salvatore Fabris’ “Italiänische Fechtkunst” online… Continue reading

Swords in the News: The Sword of Lalgarh

Nobody tell us we’re Euro-centric.

(Okay, we are, so sue us!)

But that doesn’t keep us from scouring the world for interesting stories relating to the Sword. Like this one from India, where an ancient sword is a living symbol of resistance against outside aggression… Continue reading

Antiquariat: Forget Facebook, get into fencing books!

Still enraged about Facebook’s recent facelift? We say “Get a life!” Even better—get into something that hasn’t changed one bit in 100, 200, 500 years:

FencingClassics announces it has joined forces with actor-fighter-antiquarian Jared Kirby, to make both antiquarian fencing and Historical European Martial Arts resources and bibliophile appraisal services available to practitioners and collectors. Continue reading

Swords of Shakespeare: “Hurt Him in Eleven Places”

How much did Shakespeare know about contemporary Italian rapier fencing?

William Gaugler follows the clues from his plays into the Italian fencing literature of the 16th and 17th century. Continue reading

Teaching Fencing: Curriculum and Diploma

What makes a fencing master? And how is the body of knowledge he (or she) is supposed to transfer to his students to be defined?

Dr. William Gaugler explores the historical background of fencing accreditation and codification… Continue reading

English Version: Fencing in the “Visible World” of Johann Amos Comenius

Not sure why, but we’ve been getting a ton of requests to provide English translations of our German-language contributions.

(What’s wrong with you people?)

We’re reluctantly happy to comply, starting with the shorter ones… Continue reading

Rapier; Germany, c. 1610, Part II


More of the Tesche Wirsberg Rapier

More of the Tesche Wirsberg Rapier

Yes, we do requests… here are more pictures of our 1610 rapier

Continue reading

Five Fencing Classics that deserve more views than they got

Épée fencer; France, c. 1890
Foil Fencers; Germany, c. 1920
Wrestling; Germany, c. 1550
Épée Fencer; France, c. 1900
Saber fencers; Italy, 1897