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Scienza d’Arme (Salvator Fabris)
|The Science of Arms|
|Dedicated to||Christian Ⅳ of Denmark|
|Place of origin||Copenhagen|
|Sources||GI.kgl.Saml.1868 4040 (1601)|
|Publication date||1606, 1619, 1622, 1624, 1650, 1672,|
De lo Schermo, overo Scienza d’Arme ("On Defense, or the Science of Arms") or Sienza e Pratica d’Arme ("Science and Practice of Arms") is an Italian fencing manual written by Salvator Fabris in the 1590s and printed in 1606. It treats the use of the rapier, both solo and in conjunction with the cloak, dagger, and rotella shield; it also discusses unarmed defenses against the dagger. Fabris's treatise is one of the most influential rapier manuals in history, reprinted many times and copied or expanded by numerous other authors.
Scienza d’Arme was first printed in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1606 by Henrico Waltkirch. It was based on Fabris' earlier manuscript treatise Scientia e Prattica dell'Arme (GI.kgl.Saml.1868.4040); the text was rewritten in a more flowery style, and the artwork of the manuscript (which was drawn from life) was redrawn in an exaggerated, classical style. It included a title page and portraits engraved by Nicolaus Andrea of Flensburg, heraldry and most illustrations by Christian Ⅳ's court artist Jan van Halbeeck, and additional illustrations by Francesco Valesio. In 1624, unsold copies of the first edition were apparently acquired by Pietro-Paolo Tozzi in Fabris' native Padua, who replaced damaged pages from the first signature and released them under the title Della vera pratica et scienza d’armi. The publication information at the back of the book was further covered by a decorative paper.
The first translation of Fabris was in 1619, a German edition published in Leiden by Isack Elzevier under the title Des Kunstreichen Italiänische Fechtkunst ("The Illustrated Italian Art of Fencing"); this version also replaced the elaborate copperplate engravings of the original with rudimentary woodblock figures. This edition was reissued in Nuremberg in ca. 1650. Another German translation was produced in ca. 1635, but was never published and only survived in the MS Dresd.C.94a.
In 1622, book II of Fabris' treatise received another German translation and its first French translation, which were published in Frankfurt by Jacob de Zeter. This the first multilingual and parallel text edition of Fabris' work. Zeter included this work as book II of his 1619 translations of Nicoletto Giganti's 1606 treatise Scola, overo teatro ("School or Theater"), which he published in separate French and German editions titled Escrime Novvelle ov Theatre ("New Fencing or Theater") and Newe Fechtkunst Oder Schawplatz ("New Fencing Art or Show Place") respectively, both of which contained both translations of the text. This has oddly lead various fencing historians to accuse Giganti himself of plagiarism. Unsold copies were sold as a new edition, including a new title page but merely covering the year 1622 on the title of Fabris' section with a slip of paper saying "1644".
In 1676, Johann Joachim Hynitzsch published an Italian-German parallel text in Leipzig titled Sienza e pratica d’arme. This edition included yet another German translation, either by Hynitzsch or possibly his teacher, Hans von und zum Felde, as well as a preface in which he denigrated all prior German publications on Fabris (specifically mentioning the translations of Elzevier and Zeter and the derivative works of Hans Wilhelm Schöffer and Sebastian Heußler). There is evidence that this translation was circulated in multiple manuscripts prior to publication. Hynitzsch's edition was reprinted in Leipzig in 1713.
Fabris' treatise was translated into English by A. F. Johnson in the early 1900s; multiple typescripts were produced of the final draft, but it was not published until the HEMA Bookshelf edition of 2022. A second English translation was produced by Tom Leoni and published by Chivalry Bookshelf in 2005 under the title The Art of Dueling: Salvator Fabris' Rapier Fencing Treatise of 1606; this was reprinted (without its introductory material) through a self-publishing service in 2016. In 2010, it was translated into Spanish by Eugenio Garcia-Salmones and published under the title La esgrima o la ciencia de las armas ("Fencing, or the Science of Arms").
|1 - 76||Book 1 part 1 - Rapier by Salvator Fabris|
|76 - 133||Book 1 part 2 - Rapier and dagger by Salvator Fabris|
|134 - 149||Book 1 part 3 - Rapier and cloak by Salvator Fabris|
|151 - 218||Book 2 part 1 - Rapier by Salvator Fabris|
|218 - 242||Book 2 part 2 - Rapier and dagger by Salvator Fabris|
|243 - 256||Book 2 part 3 - Grappling, dagger, and cloak|
An apparently-unique copy of Fabris owned by a private collector in UK has the entire second signature and one sheet from the third signature replaced for unknown reasons. These are the replacement pages, which seem to have been added before the original binding.
The second edition was apparently created using unsold copies of the first edition. The inner and outer sheets of the first signature (including the title page) were replaced, possibly due to damage to all remaining books. The replacement pages are included below. Additionally, the colophon on the final page was covered up with a decorative paper patch.
The following is a list of publications containing scans, transcriptions, and translations relevant to this article, as well as published peer-reviewed research.
- Fabris, Salvator; Tom Leoni (2005). Art of Dueling: Salvator Fabris' Rapier Fencing Treatise of 1606. Highland Village, TX: Chivalry Bookshelf. ISBN 978-1-891448-23-2.
- Fabris, Salvator; Eugenio Garcia-Salmones (2010). La esgrima o la ciencia de las armas: Libro primero, 1606. Editorial Sacauntos. ISBN 978-84-937207-8-0.
- Fabris, Salvator; Eugenio Garcia-Salmones (2011). La esgrima o la ciencia de las armas: Libro segundo, 1606. Editorial Edizer. ISBN 978-84-938120-8-9.
- Fabris, Salvator; Tom Leoni (2016). Art of Dueling: Salvator Fabris' Rapier Fencing Treatise of 1606. Self-published.
- Fabris, Salvator (2022). Fencing or the Science of Arms: Unillustrated Edition. Trans. by A. F. Johnson. Ed. by Michael Chidester. Somerville, MA: HEMA Bookshelf. ISBN 978-1-953683-21-2.
- Fabris, Salvator (2022). Fencing or the Science of Arms: Illustrated Edition. Trans. by A. F. Johnson. Ed. by Michael Chidester. Somerville, MA: HEMA Bookshelf. ISBN 978-1-953683-23-6.
- This accusation was first made by Johann Joachim Hynitzsch (see below), who attributed the edition to Giganti rather than Zeter and was incensed that he gave no credit to Fabris.
Copyright and License Summary
For further information, including transcription and translation notes, see the discussion page.
|Images||Nicolaus Andrea of Flensburg, Jan van Halbeeck, Francesco Valesio||Guy Windsor|
|Transcription (1606)||Michael Chidester||Index:Scienza d’Arme (Salvator Fabris) 1606|
|French Translation (1619)||Index:Escrime Novvelle ou Theatre (Salvator Fabris) Book 2|
|German Translation (1677)||Alex Kiermayer||Index:Sienza e pratica d’arme (Johann Joachim Hynitzsch)|