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The rapier, derived from the Spanish espada ropera, 'swordffor the robe', is a further development of the idea of a civilian sword. The blade, lightened and extended relative to the military swords of its era, and the enhanced protection of the hand made the rapier one of the most popular swords for civil fencing from the end of the XVI century to the beginning of the XVIII century. The hilt of the rapier is supplied with a large number of arches and side rings, providing protection of the hand and control of the binding in unarmored. The reorientation of the rapier blade on thrusting also affected the combat techniques that fencing treatises convey to us. The active development of lunge, deflection and precision work with the angle and line of attack have become famous characteristics of the Italian and Spanish fencing traditions. The length of rapier exceeds the length of ordinary sideswords and reaches 115 cm.

Sources on the use of such swords

  • Ragione di adoprar sicuramente l'Arme by Giacomo di Grassi (1570
  • Paradoxes of Defence by George Silver (1599)
  • Lo Schermo, overo Scienza d’Arme by Salvator Fabris (1606)
  • Gran Simulacro dell'Arte e dell'Uso della Scherma by Ridolfo Capo Ferro da Cagli (1610)
  • L’arte di ben maneggiare la spada by Francesco Fernando Alfieri (1648)


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