Libro de las Grandeza de la Espada

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Las Grandezas de la espada (Greatness of the sword)

Manual demographics

Published in Madrid 1600, by Don Luiz Pacheco de Narvaez.



Pacheco's book begins with the notes on the license to print, errata page, as well as several sonnets written by others, in which they praise the book and author. The main work is then divided into five parts. The work is built up via demonstrations, the first parts laying out the groundwork and proofs, which will later be used to show the validity of the tretas, based on philosophy and geometry. Throughout its text, he makes extensive references to Carranza’s book as well as works by Aristotle, and other classics of Mathematics and philosophy.

  • First Part -
    • Prologue to the Reader
    • Letter from a friend to the author.
    • The fundamentals of la Verdadera Destreza. fol.1
    • The parts, outward signs, and composure of the extremities which should be possessed by those professing Destreza, an important point for Captains wishing to recruit people. Fol 6
    • The Internal parts. Contains five important points. Fol 12
    • Understanding and its importance. Fol.13
    • Ingenuity and its value in Destreza. Fol.14
    • Memory and its function. Fol.16
    • Prudence, and what it is in charge of. Fol.18
    • Spirit and its value. Fol.19
    • What parts should a Master, who would teach Destreza, possess. Fol.22
    • What parts should a student possess, and some advice for the Master on how to teach, when to train, and what to train first. Fol.32
  • Second Part -
    • The precepts which should be observed by those wishing to be Diestros, in which it is shown how to place the feet, which is the first Fundament, and how to hold the arm to be well profiled, all via demonstrations. At this point it is shown where each wound from the ordinary Destreza is formed, and how to hold the sword. fol.36
    • How to choose the medio de proporcion, with swords of equal or unequal length, which is very important. fol.51.53.55.
    • Demonstration in which is shown how to step safely in Destreza, fol 56
    • Another demonstration where the rectilinear angles are shown. Fol. 58
    • An important advice pertaining compasses, and what is a simple compass, and a double compass, what distance should each have. Fol.66.67
    • A demonstration, showing the three circular movements made by the arm, according to its joints, the wounds of each, and which will defeat which, fol. 69
    • Another demonstration in which it is shown of three types of wounds, which are named: wound of full circle, of half circle, and of quarter circle, and which will win, fol. 71
    • Another demonstration of chord and arc, which is the same as, straight movement versus circular movement, in which it is proven which shall proceed to wound faster, fol.72
    • Another very important demonstration, in which it is shown that the Right Angle reaches more than other angles, fol. 75
    • A declaration of four lines, which are: straight line, pararell line, circular line, and mixed line, fol.78
    • An important advise on what to observe to better understand this book, fol.82
    • A declaration, which notes what is a wound, and of what it is composed, as well as what is a wound before time, in time, and after time, fol.84
  • Third Part - In which it is shown, via demonstrations, the lack of proper foundation of the most common techniques of the vulgar Destreza, and which remedies to use against them.
    • Crossing the sword in front of the chest. Fol.93
    • Treta del llamar, fol.97
    • Treta del tentado, fol.101
    • Treta de estocada de puño, fol.105
    • Treta de arrebatar, fol.107
    • Treta of hitting the sword, fol. 112
    • Treta de Tajo Rompido, fol.116
    • An advise on the theory of the Brazal, and how it is done, of the hand slap, and the thrust to the foot, and thrust to the elbow, as well as remedy against them, fol. 121
    • A particular advise on which weapon, be it dagger, cloak, buckler, or rotella can serve best for defense, fol.126
    • An advise on Medio proporcionado, what it is, and its importance, fol.131
  • Fourth Part
    • Fourth part in which the particulars of Verdadera Destreza are demonstrated, as well as wounds of first, and second intention, tajos, reveses, thrusts, and parries. Also about the way Turks stand on guard, and how to wound them, fol 135.
  • Fifth Part
    • In the firth and last part, in which eigth important points are put forth, which are... fol.243
    • The exercise which the Diestro should have: how to exercise fol.286
    • Five paths

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