The Art of Fencing: The Discourse of Camillo Palladini


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Piermarco Terminiello‘s research interest is focused on sixteenth and seventeenth century Italian swordplay. He has an extensive knowledge of technical manuals from the period, including a number of widely overlooked works. Along with Kevin Maurer he was recognised as “Best Researcher” in the inaugural HEMA Scholar Awards of 2013. Amongst other research, he has unearthed and translated (co-authored) the “lost” second book of Nicoletto Giganti (1608), unearthed the lengthy manuscript treatise of Giovanni Battista Maffani (1629) not listed in any fencing bibliography, published English translations of Francesco Ferdinando Alfieri’s La Bandiera (1638) and La Scherma (1640); Giuseppe Colombani’s L’Arte maestra (1711); the fencing treatise of Marco Docciolini (1601); the treatise of Jacopo Monesi (1640); and a transcription of the Biblioteca Trivulziana Cod.256 (c.1680). He has helped bring HEMA to a wider public, having previously lectured at the Wallace Collection, in London UK; has published in the long-established peer-reviewed Journal of the Arms and Armour Society; is a member of the Historical European Martial Arts Coalition (HEMAC); and a member of the Advisory Board of the peer-review journal Acta Periodica Duellatorum. He has enjoyed success as a competitive fencer, winning numerous international competitions.


Camillo Palladini’s manuscript for his discourse on fencing is housed in the De Walden Library at the Wallace Collection, London. Hitherto unpublished and largely unknown, it is of central importance to a modern understanding of Italian rapier play in the sixteenth century. This stunning book, a joint endeavour between the Royal Armouries and the Wallace Collection, reproduces the 46 red chalk illustrations in the manuscript together with a transcription and translation of the original Italian text. It showcases a striking example of Renaissance swordsmanship, and is perfect for students of fencing, lovers of Italian art and sixteenth-century researchers.