The Complete Renaissance Swordsman
Antonio Manciolino's Opera Nova (1531)
Translated by Tom Leoni
Dating from the 1520's, Bolognese swordsmaster's Antonio Manciolino's Opera Nova is the earliest surviving printed book on Italian martial arts. This seminal and eclectic Renaissance work contains clear and systematic instruction on the use of the sword and small buckler, sword and large buckler, sword and targa, sword and dagger, sword and cape, two swords, sword alone, and sword and rotella, plus a fascinating compendium on the use of polearms. Clearly and elegantly written, Manciolino's text is one of the best and clearest presentations of the martial skills required of the ideal Renaissance man.
For the first time since its original publishing, this book has been translated into English by experienced historical fencing instructor Tom Leoni. Also included is a valuable and extensive technical introduction, complete with illustrations from both original sources and modern photographs, making it easy to follow Manciolino's instructions, sword-in-hand, even by beginners, while providing years of training for veteran martial artists.
Foreword Author's Preface Acknowledgements Introduction Martial Arts in Renaissance Italy Martial Arts and the Italian Renaissance: What They Were, Who Taught Them, Who Learned Them Tackling Manciolino's Opera Nova: A Primer of Bolognese Swordsmanship Lines, Measure, Tempo and Stances The Guards (Guardie) Footwork (Passeggiare) The Attacks (Offese): Moving Between the Guards Defense (Difese): Parries and the Role of the Buckler Other Actions and Definitions The Assalto and the Main Parts of the Play Attitude and Mental Disposition In Bolognese Swordsmanship Giovanni dalle Bande Nere, the Great Devil: A Portrait of a Famous Swordsman of the Bolognese Style A Note on Language, the Translation, and on Editorial Decisions Opera Nova OPERA NOVA TO LEARN How to Fight and Defend with any Sort of Arms, Written by Antonio Manciolino, Bolognese HERE BEGIN A FEW Main Rules or Explanations on the Valiant Art of Arms The Complete Renaissance Swordsman OF COMBAT AND FENCING WITH ALL SORTS OF WEAPONS IN SIX BOOKS BOOK ONE BOOK TWO BOOK THREE BOOK FOUR BOOK FIVE BOOK SIX
Tom Leoni was born in Switzerland and grew up in Northern Italy. Since an early age, he developed a passion for antique arms and armour and Renaissance-Baroque culture. His meticulous research of Italian swordsmanship treatises helped him become an internationally-known teacher specialising in the Italian styles of the 1500s and 1600s. In 2005, Tom published an English translation of Master Salvator Fabris' 1606 rapier treatise Scienza d'Armi, one the of the most important fencing works of the late Renaissance. In 2009, he published a translation of Italy's earliest extant martial-arts treatise, Fiore de' Liberi's Fio di Battaglia (circa 1409).