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His Practise, in Two Bookes (Vincentio Saviolo)

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His Practice, in Two Books
Saviolo Title.png
Title page of the first edition
Full title His Practice, in Two Books:
the First Entreating the Use
of the Rapier and Dagger,
the Second of Honor and
Honorable Quarrels.
Author(s) Vincentio Saviolo
Translator(s) John Florio (?)
Dedicated to Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl
of Essex
Place of origin London, England
Language English
Genre(s) Fencing manual
Publisher John Wolff
Publication date 1595
Pages 152
Treatise scans

His Practise, in Two Bookes is an English fencing manual written by Vincentio Saviolo and printed in 1595; it was possibly ghost-written by his friend John Florio, a noted British linguist and dictionarian.[1] The first book explains the use of the extremely popular rapier, both singly and with a dagger, apparently combining concepts from both Italian and Spanish schools of fence. The second, longer book treats the subject of honor and dueling.

George Silver's treatise Paradoxes of Defence, publish four years later in 1599, can be seen as a direct response to the teachings of Saviolo contained in this work.

Publication History

His Practise, in Two Bookes was published in London, England by John Wolff in 1595.


A1r - B3v Preface by Vincentio Saviolo
B4r - O2v Single Rapier and Rapier and Dagger by Vincentio Saviolo
O3r - Mm3v Treatise on dueling by Vincentio Saviolo


Title pages

Book 1
Saviolo Title.png
Book 2
Saviolo Title 2.jpg


Figure 1
Saviolo 1.jpg
Figure 2
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Figure 3
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Figure 4
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Figure 5
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Figure 6
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Additional Resources

  • di Grasso, Giacomo; Saviolo, Vincentio; Silver, George. Three Elizabethan Fencing Manuals. Ed. James Louis Jackson. Scholars Facsimilies & Reprint, 1972. ISBN 978-0820111070
  • Hand, Stephen; Martinez, Ramon. "Spanish Influence in the Rapier Play of Vincentio Saviolo". Spada: Anthology of Swordsmanship 1: 132-149. Union City: Chivalry Bookshelf, 2002. ISBN 978-1-891448-37-9
  • Saviolo, Vincentio. A Gentleman's Guide to Duelling: Of Honour and Honourable Quarrels. Ed. Jared Kirby. 2014. Frontline Books, 2014. ISBN 978-1848325272


  1. Hand, Stephen and Martinez, Ramon. "Spanish Influence in the Rapier Play of Vincentio Saviolo". Spada: Anthology of Swordsmanship. Ed. Stephen Hand. Union City, CA: Chivalry Bookshelf, 2002. p 132.

Copyright and License Summary

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

Work Author(s) Source License
Public Domain.png
Transcription Early English Books Online Index:His Practise, in Two Bookes (Vincentio Saviolo)