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Antonio Manciolino

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Antonio Manciolino

Illustration from the title page of Manciolino's treatise
Born late 1400s?
Died after 1531
Occupation Fencing master
Citizenship Bolognese
Patron Don Luisi de Cordoba
Movement Dardi School
Genres Fencing manual
Language Italian
Notable work(s) Opera Nova (1531)
First printed
english edition
Leoni 2010
Concordance by Michael Chidester

Antonio Manciolino was a 16th century Italian fencing master. Little is known about this master's life; he seems to have been Bolognese by birth and he is thought to have been a student of Guido Antonio di Luca,[citation needed] the master who also taught Achille Marozzo. His fencing manual is dedicated to Don Luisi de Cordoba, Duke of Sessa, Orator of the Most Serene Emperor to Adrian VI; this dedication may indicate that Manciolino was attached as fencing master to the ducal court.

In 1531, Manciolino published a treatise on swordsmanship called Opera Nova ("A New Work"),[1] which is the oldest extant treatise in the Dardi or "Bolognese" school of swordsmanship.[2] The 1531 edition describes itself as "corrected and revised" and was probably based on an earlier version printed in ca. 1523; this date is based on the fact that Don Luisi de Cordoba was only orator to Adrian VI between September of 1522 and September of 1523.[3] Despite the breadth and detail of his work, Manciolino's efforts were overshadowed by the release of Marozzo's even more extensive work on Bolognese fencing thirteen years later.


As Craig Pitt-Pladdy has refused our request to host his translations on Wiktenauer, we instead have links to their locations on other sites in the appropriate sections until such time as another translation appears.

Additional Resources


  1. The full title was Di Antonio Manciolino Bolognese opera noua, doue li sono tutti li documenti & uantaggi che si ponno ha uere nel mestier de l’armi d’ogni sorte nouamente corretta & stampata, which translates to "New Work by Antonio Manciolino, Bolognese, wherein are all the instructions and advantages that are to be had in the practice of arms of every sort; newly corrected and printed".
  2. Both Dardi and Luca are thought to have published treatises in the 15th century that have since been lost.
  3. Leoni, Tommasso. The Complete Renaissance Swordsman: Antonio Manciolino’s Opera Nova (1531). Wheaton, IL: Freelance Academy Press, 2010. pp 11-12.