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Jerónimo Sánchez de Carranza

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Jerónimo Sánchez de Carranza
Born 1539
Seville, Spain
Died 1600
Madrid, Spain
Patron Don Alonso Peréz de Guzmán el Bueno
Movement La Verdadera Destreza
Influences Camillo Agrippa
Genres Fencing manual
Language Spanish
Notable work(s) De la Filosofia de las Armas y de su Destreza y la Aggression y Defensa Cristiana (1569)

Jerónimo Sánchez de Carranza (Hieronimo de Carança; 1539-1600?) was a 16th century Spanish knight, philosopher, and fencing master. He seems to have been born in Seville, Spain in 1539;[1] his family was noble and he received education in fencing from a young age. As an adult he was named a knight, and later a Commander, of the Ordem do Hábito de Cristo ("the Order of the Habit of Christ"). He served as governor of Sanlucar de Barrameda on behalf of his patron Don Alonso Peréz de Guzmán el Bueno, Duke of Medina Sidonia, and from 1589 to 1594, as the royal governor of Honduras. Upon his return to Spain, he served as Head Master of Arms to the royal court until his death in 1600.[2]

In 1569, Carranza published a detailed fencing manual entitled De la Filosofia de las Armas y de su Destreza y la Aggression y Defensa Cristiana ("On the Philosophy of Arms and its Skill, and Christian Offense and Defense"). Amidst extensive philosophical musings, this manual presented a new system of rapier fencing based on science and geometry which he called la Verdadera Destreza ("The True Skill") in contrast to the esgrima vulgar ("vulgar fencing") taught by other masters.

Carranza is one of the most influential fencing masters in history. As the founder of the Verdadera Destreza, he was honored by later Diestros as El Primer Inventor de La Sciencia de Las Armas ("The First Inventor of the Science of Arms"); he was also immortalized in Spanish poetry and literature and his name became synonymous with skill in fencing. Carranza's treatise was reprinted several times over the following century and his successor, Luis Pacheco de Narváez, succeeded in virtually eliminating the other schools of Iberian fence in favor of Carranza's teachings.


Additional Resources


  1. Luis Pacheco de Narváez wrote that he was 30 when his treatise was published in 1569.
  2. Martínez, Ramón. Jeronimo de Carranza’s “Philosophy” of Arms. Martinez Academy of Arms. Retrieved 11 November 2011.