Gran Simulacro dell'Arte e dell'Uso della Scherma

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Manual Demographics

  • Published in 1610 in Padua.
  • Dedicated to the Duke of Urbino.
  • # pages? including 41 plates.

Online Translations

  • Translation with plates (pdf) by William E. Wilson and Jherek Swanger, edited by Roger Kay. Includes all the plates and is very nicely typeset and formatted, but is rather large (8.6 MB). Download this to print or to read on your computer. (Alternative URLs: 1 2)
  • Translation without plates (pdf) by William E. Wilson and Jherek Swanger. Same translation, but not as pretty; lacks the plates, but is a much smaller download (<100 kB). Download this to read on your smartphone, or if you have a slow connection.

Published Translations

Published Interpretive Works


The manual covers the following weapon styles:


Capo Ferro's manual is divided into 4 parts.

The Art of Fencing

The Use of Fencing

The Terms of the Use

The Plates

  • Plates 1 through 5: The Guards and the Lunge.
  • Plates 6 through 14: Ways of striking on the outside.
    • Plate 6: (Instructional) Way of gaining the sword on the inside.
    • Plate 7: Thrust of second following constraint of the opponent on the inside.
    • Plate 8: Countering a cut to the leg.
    • Plate 9: Passing thrust of second following constraint on the inside.
    • Plate 10: Countering a rising reverse cut.
    • Plate 11: 5 methods of striking under the sword (with contact).
    • Plate 12: Low, two handed passing thrust of third.
    • Plate 13: The "scanatura".
    • Plate 14: 2 methods of striking under the sword without contact.
  • Plates 15 through 20: Ways of striking on the inside.
    • Plate 15: (Instructional) Gaining the sword on the inside and outside.
    • Plate 16: Thrust of fourth following constraint of the opponent on the outside.
    • Plate 17: Void of the right foot.
    • Plate 18: Passing thrust of fourth.
    • Plate 19: Void of the left foot.
    • Plate 20: Beat on the inside followed by a passing thrust of second and seizure of the opponent's arm.
  • Plates 21 through 35: Plays of sword and dagger.
    • Plate 21: (Instructional) Constraining with sword and dagger.
    • Plate 22: Inside cover with the dagger.
    • Plate 23: Feint in fourth outside the dagger, disengaging over to thrust in second between the weapons.
    • Plate 24: Reverse-thrust disarm.
    • Plate 25: High dagger parry, responding to a false-edge thrust.
    • Plate 26: Thrust of fourth on the inside with sword and dagger united.
    • Plate 27: Feint in second outside the dagger, disengaging under to thrust in fourth between the weapons.
    • Plate 28: Keeping the opponent on the outside by supporting the thrust of second under the arm with the dagger.
    • Plate 29: Thrust of second on the inside via a beat to the sword and disengage of the dagger in one tempo.
    • Plate 30: Feint between the weapons, disengaging to thrust in second outside the dagger.
    • Plate 31: Striking upwards between the weapons.
    • Plate 32: Dagger cover beneath a thrust of fourth between the weapons.
    • Plate 33: Reverse pass lunge thrusting between the weapons in third.
    • Plate 34: Reverse pass lunge thrusting outside the dagger in second.
    • Plate 35: Thrust of third in the tempo of the opponent's dagger cover.
  • Plates 36 and 37: Plays of the cape.
  • Plate 38: Opposing a left handed fencer.
  • Plate 39: Meeting a cut with sword and dagger crossed.
  • Plates 40 and 41: Strikes with the dagger.
  • Plates 42 and 43: Plays of the Rotella.


  • In plates 6 and 15 Capo Ferro describes the constraining technique that is applied in all of the plays.
  • The initial play of plate 10 counters the intelligent play of plate 8.
  • The initial play of plates 19 and 20 are both counters to a false-edge thrust.