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Opera Nova (Achille Marozzo)

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Opera Nova
A New Work
Opera Nova Marozzo.jpg
Full Title A New Work by Achille Marozzo
of Bologna, General Master of
the Art of Arms
Also Known as The Art of Arms of Achille
Marozzo of Bologna
Author(s) Achille Marozzo
Illustrated by Unknown
Dedicated to Count Rangoni
Place of Origin Bologna, Italy
Language Italian
Genre(s) Fencing manual
Publication Date 1536, 1546, 1550, 1568, 1615
Pages 296 pages

Opera Nova ("A New Work") is a Bolognese fencing manual written by Achille Marozzo and printed in 1536.[1] This is the most extensive and significant treatise on the Dardi (or "Bolognese") style of Italian swordsmanship, as well as one of the most influential fencing manuals of the 16th century.

Publication History

Opera Nova was first printed in Modena in 1536 by D. Antonio Bergolae. Older fencing bibliographies have made reference to an earlier edition in 1517, but this has recently been disproven.[2] The treatise was reset and reprinted in Bologna in 1546, and reprinted again in Venice in 1550 using the original typeset. In 1567-68 it was reprinted in Venice again, but this time based on the 1546 Bologna printing.

A revised edition was released by Marozzo's son Sebastiano in 1568 under the title Arte dell'Armi di Achille Marozzo Bolognese ("The Art of Arms of Achille Marozzo of Bologna"). This edition featured corrections to the text (but omitted additions made in the 1546 printing) and replaced the original woodblock images with smaller copperplates by Giovanni Battista Fontana; it was printed in Venice in 1568 by Antonio Pinargenti, and reprinted in Verona in 1615.

There are a few references in fencing bibliographies to a French translation titled Livre d'escrime pour apprendre a tirer de l'espée et de toutes armes blanches, published in Lyon in 1580 by Pierre Mareschal, but there are no records of any copies ever existing and it seems likely that these references are spurious.


Ir - VIIv Preface and Dedication by Achille Marozzo
1r - 14v Introduction, Sword and Buckler by Achille Marozzo
15r - 54r Side Sword, Sword with Secondary Weapons by Achille Marozzo
54v - 80v Greatsword by Achille Marozzo
81r - 90r Pole Weapons by Achille Marozzo
90v - 148r Advice on Dueling, Unarmed vs. Dagger by Achille Marozzo


Woodblock Images (1536)

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Copperplate Images (1568)

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Additional Resources

  • Marozzo, Achille and Rapisardi, Giovanni (in Italian). Achille Marozzo, Opera Nova dell'Arte delle Armi. Padova, Italy: Gladiatoria, 1999.
  • Marozzo, Achille. Opera nova dell'Arte delle armi. Rome: Il Cerchio Iniziative Editoriali, [no date].


  1. According to the title page.
  2. "Marozzo Achille". Scrimipedia.com. Retrieved 2011-12-11.

Copyright and License Summary

For further information, including transcription and translation notes, see the discussion page.

Work Author(s) Source License
Public Domain.png
Images (Greatsword) Restored by Heidi Zimmerman Draupnir Press