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Opera Nova (Antonio Manciolino)

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Opera Nova
A New Work
Opera Nova Manciolino.jpg
Full title By Antonio Manciolino of Bologna, a new
work wherein are all the instructions and
advantages that are to be had in the
practice of arms of every sort; newly
corrected and printed.
Author(s) Antonio Manciolino
Illustrated by Unknown
Dedicated to Don Luisi de Cordola
Place of origin Venice, Italy
Language Italian
Genre(s) Fencing manual
Publisher Nicolo d’Aristotile
Publication date 1531
First english
Leoni, 2010
Pages 63 pages
Treatise scans

Opera Nova ("A New Work") is a Bolognese fencing manual written by Antonio Manciolino and printed in ca. 1523,[1] and possibly the earliest printed Italian fencing treatise. This treatise is important as it is the earliest work currently known from the Dardi (Bolognese) style of Italian swordsmanship.

Publication History

Opera Nova was printed in Venice in 1531 by Nicolo d’Aristotile detto Zoppino. Based on historical details in the text, it seems to have been written in 1523, and thus an earlier edition may have been printed around that time; no copies of the original manuscript or any print editions prior to 1531 are known to exist.[1] In 2009, a second edition was self-published by Steven Reich, who retitled it Antonio Manciolino's 1531 Treatise on Bolognese Swordsmanship.

In 2008, a modern Italian translation was published Rome by Il Cerchio Iniziative Editoriali under the title Opera Nova (1531).

In 2010, Manciolino's treatise was translated into English by Tom Leoni and published by Freelance Academy Press as The Complete Renaissance Swordsman: Antonio Manciolino’s Opera Nova (1531). A second English translation was self-published by W. Jherek Swanger in 2021 under the title How to Fight and Defend with Arms of Every Kind, by Antonio Manciolino.


1r - 6v Introduction
7r - 19r First Book
19v - 19v Second Book
30r - 37v Third Book
38r - 49r Fourth Book
49r - 58r Fifth Book
58r - 63v Sixth Book


Manciolino 1.jpg
Manciolino 2.jpg
Chapter 1
Manciolino 3.jpg
Chapter 2
Manciolino 4.jpg
Chapter 3
Manciolino 5.jpg
Chapter 4
Manciolino 6.jpg
Chapter 5
Manciolino 7.jpg
Chapter 6
Manciolino 8.jpg
Printer's mark
Manciolino 9.jpg

Additional Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 Leoni pp 11-12.

Copyright and License Summary

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

Work Author(s) Source License
Images File:Opera Nova (Antonio Manciolino) 1531.pdf
Public Domain.png
Transcription Steven Reich Index:Opera Nova (Antonio Manciolino)