This article gathers a series of notes written while studying the sources on the Iberian montante sword of the late XV century and following centuries. The extant sources are listed and analysed. Different approaches to teaching this weapon's handling are described, stressing those who can provide a context for its use.

Why «Iberian» and not «Portuguese» or «Spanish» montante?

It is far from my intent here to delve into a historical and political analysis of the Iberian Peninsula during the centuries in which our weapon of choice was in use (occasionally the same but often different monarchs, holding separate crowns, and even under these several different kingdoms with sometimes separate institutions, such as the monopoly on fencing instruction). However, when reading the source texts we soon find basically the same tradition or system to teach the usage of the montante under the Castillian and Portuguese crowns --not unlike the common traditions in use for many other weapons, famously the rapier sword. It is because of this geographic demarcation that we have chosen to address the system as «Iberian».

What is a montante?

Saint Peter and Saint Paul, which holds a montante by his side. El Greco,  1595.

Saint Peter and Saint Paul, who holds a montante by his side. El Greco, 1595.

According to the current definition from the Real Academia de la Lengua Española dictionary a montante is, in the meaning that interests us, a «large sword with wide quillions which must be wielded in both hands, which only has since been used by masters-at-arms to separate fencers showing excessive enthusiasm» (our translation). More succinctly, the Dicionário Priberam da Língua Portuguesa includes an archaic meaning for montante as a «large sword of old which was wielded in both hands».

Spanish speakers use, even today, the set phrase «meter el montante» («to put [or to place] the montante in between») which again the RAE describes as «when speaking about a master-at-arms: separate fencers with said sword» and «when speaking about a generic person: to stand in between in a dispute or fight in order to stop it».

If we go a little further back in time, we find this definition from the Diccionario de Autoridades, volume IV, from 1734 -- a time when the montante was still in use, as we will see:

Montante, substantive: sword of wide blade and large quillions, which the masters-at-arms wield to separate fights between fencers. It takes its name from ancient swords, which were played with both hands. Latin: Praegrandis gladius utraque manu versatilis. Romphea, ae. SOLIS, Hist. de Nuev. Esp., book 1, chapter 19: long swords wich were wielded on both hands, in the manner of our montantes.

RAE. Diccionario 1734. p.599

However, we will find the most interesting definition in the first Spanish dictionary, Tesoro de la Lengua Castellana y Española by Sebastián de Covarrubias, published in 1611, which also tells us about a possible etymology for the word:

Two-handed sword, well-known and prized weapon. From montar*, an Italian word meaning “to go up”, either because the montante exceeds the height of a man, or because it is played high.

Covarrubias, Tesoro, p.534

But beyond the definitions by the Real Academia, which refer to the late usage of such weapons by masters-at-arms in their teaching and arbitration practice, when we speak of montante we refer also to the great swords which were developed in the late fifteenth century to be used with both hands, on foot and on the battlefield. They were common during the first half of the XVI, and became increasingly used within a civilian context as the century advanced. Ultimately, they were relegated to being a symbol and tool of the master-at-arms during the seventeenth century and even, as we shall see, reaching the XVIII.**

Through the surviving specimens we know that the weight of these weapons was somewhere around 2.5kg. Regarding their length, we have the instructions from two historic masters which will allow us to calculate it with precision.

* T.N.: sic. However, at least in modern Italian, the correct spelling would be montare . One of the modern meanings is still «to go up». Which is, by the way, the main meaning of montante in modern Portuguese, according to the Dicionário Priberam da Língua Portuguesa.

** We won't however consider montantes the war swords used in the sphere of influence of the Holy Roman Empire, the Zweihänder or Bidenhänder, or the great swords of the medieval battlefields.

Length and proportions of the montante according to Pacheco de Narváez and Rodríguez del Canto

Page from Rodriguez del Canto's El Discipulo Instruido, detailing the relative proportions between a montante, a single rapier with the arm holding it, rapier & dagger and smallsword.

Page from Rodriguez del Canto's elusive treatise El Discipulo Instruido, detailing the relative proportions between a montante, an arm holding a single rapier, rapier & dagger and smallsword.

Both Pacheco de Narváez in his «Nueva Ciencia» and Rodríguez de Canto a century later state that a montante must be as tall as a man of the standard proportions at the time, which is to say two castilian varas. A vara castellana equals 83,59 centimetres, which means the ideal montante height would be 167.18cm --nearly 170cm, or about 5.5 feet. Pacheco also instructs that the proportions between blade and hilt should be six to two, which means the ideal montante should have 125.38cm of blade and 41.80cm of hilt.

Furthermore, the sources in portuguese and spanish we have detailing its use depict a weapon of wide reach, generally applied to scenarios where the wielder is outnumbered, in an urban, civilian context*, and only very rarely facing another montante.

These two issues --the length of the weapon as described by Pacheco and Del Canto, plus the advice on usage from the extant sources-- bring us to call into question Stephen Hick's statement, on his otherwise wonderful paper Memorial da Prattica do Montante (Memorial of the Practice of the Montante, Eric Myers & Steve Hick, 2009), that the weapon itself must measure 1530mm, which does not agree with the sources we have mentioned already.

* Actually, considering the time which had passed since the montante had a real application in the battlefield, the only military application listed in Godinho and Figueyredo descriptions is, from our point of view, a residual one: the defence of a galley's gangway.

Iberian sources on the montante

Ten sources written in the Iberian Peninsula remain, either in Spanish, in Portuguese or in a mixture of both languages. These sources are, in chronological order:

  1. Anonymous; 1563. Annotations in a theology book. 7 rules.
  2. Sánchez de Carranza, Jerónimo; 1582. De la filosofía de las armas […].
  3. de Paredes, Pablo; 1599. Quoted in Les Passetemps of Jehan de L´Hermite. 12 rules.
  4. Godinho, Domingo Luis; 1599. Arte de Esgrima. 15 rules.
  5. Pacheco de Narváez, Luis; 1625. Modo fácil y nuevo para examinarse []
  6. Pacheco de Narváez, Luis; 1572. Nueva ciencia[…]. Written in 1629 but published in 1672.
  7. Díaz de Viedma, 1639; Método de enseñanza de maestros […].
  8. Gomes de Figueyredo, Diogo; 1651. Memorial da prattica do montante. 16 twin rules.
  9. Pérez de Mendoza; 1675. Resumen de la verdadera Destreza.
  10. Rodríguez del Canto; 1742. El discípulo instruido.

How the different masters approach montante study

These ten sources present two opposite approaches when teaching of the play of the montante.

Part of them (the older ones, generally speaking) are structured in «rules» (reglas [es], regras [pt]), which describe strict sequences of movements, both foot- and blade-work. Four of these (the Anonymous, Paredes, Godinho and Figueyredo) perfectly reflect this approach, which we can trace back to even older treatises now lost, such as Francisco de Román's, of whom we know (through Carranza) that in 1532 published at least 16 rules in his Tratado de la esgrima con figuras. Diaz de Viedma, on the other hand, does not present rules per se, but a series of exercises very similar in nature.

Apart from these authors stands Carranza, in his Diálogo Segundo, where the «common» fencing master enumerates the names of several rules, but does not describe them. The text clearly displays Carranza's disagreement with this way to structure montante play.

The last and most recent source, El Discípulo Instruído by Rodríguez del Canto (1742) can not be ascribed to either approach, since it only provides measurements for the weapon and brief instructions on its utility, as well as how it was used in friendly fencing bouts: for the fencers to take oath and for the master to set them apart or even to punish them** in case they commit some sort of wrongdoing.

What should we take from this scenario? Clearly, authors standing on the «rules» side of this dispute prefer to teach set series of movements which would be of use in specific contexts*, usually in urban environments such as: in a wide street, in a narrow alley, to defend some goods that are being carried, etc. However, most (although not all) authors ascribing themselves to the new fencing system favoured by the Castilian crown from 1624 onwards --that is, Verdadera Destreza-- reject this way to structure montante play, favouring a more generic approach.

This second approach is defended --it couldn't be otherwise-- by the two paladins of the by then emergent Verdadera Destreza: Jerónimo Sánchez de Carranza and Luis Pacheco de Narváez. These express their contempt for the old structure of the «rules», or do not even mention that way to organize knowledge.

Carranza, as we mentioned, very succinctly describes his philosophy regarding the montante by having one of the listeners question the «common» fencing master, in his 2nd Diálogo: «Pry tell: why do you number the rules of the montante, when they truly are infinite in what can be done, as with all other weapons» [Sánchez de Carranza. Filosofia de las armas. f.110v]. We can infer from this that their approach to montante play is «free», without restricting themselves to the fixed «rule» structure the master being questioned defends.

This same «common» or «vulgar» fencing master attributes sixteen rules to another well-known «common» master, Román, and claims to have invented two of his own. He doesn't, however, describe the rules themselves in the text, just naming them, and these names do match those in use by other authors:

I will give you now all the rules to be played high and low, in both modern and in ancient style, close to the body and free from it, montantes and famontantes with their locks; how to charge in four directions, how to keep your cape and how to defend your dame... with fetters and even without them, how to exit without injury from a narrow street, how to sweep a square, how to surrender two rodelas, how to make another montante retreat, how to bring peace -- and this nobody knows how to do as well as I do it-- to people behind and in front of you, all together with a thousand new things -- do not laugh! For that was how the brawl I will now narrate to you was stopped...

Sánchez de Carranza. Filosofia de las armas. f.111

Pacheco follows the lines of Carranza, instructing us with his general theories in the same manner as for the the sword alone, but in his two texts*** which address our weapon of study he writes about specific situations (against polearms, against another montante...), taking into account the special characteristics of a heavy and two-handed weapon use.

The remaining authors, Pérez de Mendoza and Diaz de Viedma, both stand within the Verdadera Destreza school of thought, with their respective treaties addressing the montante barely separated by 36 years. However, they express totally opposing views, both regarding the importance of the weapon and the means of teaching it, as we shall see.

* These rules vary in content, if not in name, from teacher to teacher, even when they seem to address the same situation.

** «Le castigará severamente con el montante dándole con él sobre el sombrero.» («And he [the master] will punish severely by striking with the montante on his [the wayward student's] hat»).

*** The second of these texts, Nueva Ciencia, includes and develops the concepts introduced in Modo fácil.

Context of usage for the Iberian Montante

Martyrdom of St. Claire (1524), fresco, Lorenzo Lotto - highlighted

Detail of the Martyrdom of St. Claire fresco by Lorenzo Lotto, 1524, showing two montantes being carried in what seems to be a civilian context.

As mentioned, the montante was in its origins a weapon of military application, and in that sense we can see almost legendary references about the exploits of Diego Garcia de Paredes with this weapon in the Italian wars of the Gran Capitán at the beginning of the XVI century [ Tamayo de Vargas, Tomás. Diego García de Paredes y relación breve de su tiempo. Madrid: Luis Sánchez, 1621 ].

However, the montante treatises that survived belong to a time when its utility as a tool of war was waning, as proven by the fact that all rules refer to a civilian environment. The only exceptions would be the two authors who develop the rules in more extension: Domingo Luiz Godinho and Diogo Gomes de Figueyredo, who address the specific situation of a naval battle, on the gangway of a galley. To this sole military application Figueyredo devotes one of his rules, numbered XI, while fifty years earlier Godinho stated that on the gangway of a galley one would perform in the same manner as in a very narrow alley, and then describes the rule for this case in detail.

It is here, in the streets, in an urban environment, where the authors set their scenarios of use, against possible situations of urban threat.

Ultimately the Maestro Mayor Rodriguez del Canto, in 1742, would present the montante as a tool for the master who would regulate public fencing bouts, a function which also seems to have been favoured in the territories under the portuguese crown. To this purpose, the montante was equalled to the «master's staff», of some 1.76 meters tall, as Thomas Luiz recorded in his Tratado das lições da espada preta e destreza, que hão de usar os jogadores dela in 1685: «...for when you want to strike back to the person with whom you are fighting, and you find the staff or the montante stopping your action.». Diogo Gómes de Figueyredo, in his Oplosophia, states he prefers the master's staff because of its easier to manoeuvre, compared to the montante or the halberd which also served for these purposes --thus providing yet another record for the sword that is the focus of this article being used at the salles and structured competitions in the 1630's Portugal.

A description of the sources' content

Here follows a small list of the rules each author taught:

In the 1563 anonymous 7 rules are briefly described, comprising generic actions without specific application: «Rule I: enter with tajo [a cut from the right side] and revés [a cut from the left side] / and exit with tajo and revés and two thrusts». As we can see, this is too vague for interpretation, since it does not give us any context for the actions.

In the second text (written in 1569 but published in 1582) Carranza just left record of the names for several tretas [ T.N.: a term recurrent in Iberian fencing literature literally meaning «tricks», but better translated as «plays», «pieces» or even «techniques»], expressing opposition to them. The chronological proximity between Carranza and the Anonymous, together with subsequent repetitions of this phenomena, allows us to speculate that trend at the time was to structure in rules and «baptise» these chains of movements.

In Pablo de Paredes we find the same sort of context-less chains of actions the Anonymous recorded («4th [rule]: Three turns with three tajos when entering, and three reveses on exit»). However, of his twelve rules six have a name of their own which hints at application: 7th [rule] - «hacer plaza» [«to clear a space»], 8th - «for a narrow street», 9th - «to defend your cape», 10th - «plaza redonda» [«to clear around yourself»], 11th - «bregua» [T.N.: possibly the same as briga, «quarrel»], 12th - «for a wide street».

Luis Godinho presents 15 rules in total, although he didn't number rule 15 nor did he list it with the rest of the rules, instead including it at the final notes. Of these rules, the 1st gives us some brief indications on dealing with another montante. The rest depict several situations: 2nd («very narrow street»), 3rd («narrow street»), 4th («against a rodelero [a rotella-bearing swordsman]»), 5th («against two rodeleros»), 6th («to defend your lady and goods»), 7th («to defend your cape and goods»), 8th («to defend your cape»), 9th («for wide streets»), 10th («for when you are surrounded in a square, field or street»), 11th («for wide streets, attacked from one and other sides»), 12th «to stop a briga [quarrel]», 13th («at the intersection of two streets»), 14th («flourish for the master-at-arms»), and the 15th is unnamed.

Luis Pacheco de Narváez does not describe any rules, writing instead about how a montante should face another one, or the best actions to be carried against pole-arms.

Díaz de Viedma describes a few simple, regulated exercises. In the third exercise he mentions it is useful for clearing a space (hacer plaza). We will come back to this.

The most famous and complete text is undoubtedly that of Diogo Gomes de Figueyredo, from 1651, dedicated to Prince Dom Theodozio. It adds 16 rules, doubling them by describing for each simple and composite forms. Of them we can say that 13 are «named», describing their application: 3rd rule («to sweep opponents at your front»), 4th («to fight back and front»), 6th («to fight against montantes»), 7th («to prevent people from traversing a street»), 8th («against rodeleros»), 9th («for narrow streets»), 10th («to defend your lady»), 11th («to fight on a galley gangway»), 12th («another version to fight with people behind and in front»), 13th («to defend your cape»), 14th («against pole-arms»), 15th («to separate fights») and 16th («for a wide street»).

About Perez de Medoza and the information he passed on we will talk below but, as we already mentioned, he wrote no rules.

And finally, as late as 1742 Rodríguez del Canto reports of the montante use in «warnings for the public fencing space», a section from his book El discípulo instruído y Diestro aprovechado en la Ciencia philofóphica y Mathemática de la Destreza de las Armas. There he instructs on how those going to fight in a friendly bout should take oath over the montante, how it should be used to punish those who break the rules, etc, and also about the ideal measurements for the weapon.

Diaz de Viedma, on the montante

Díaz de Viedma's approach is paradoxical, since he states, 36 years earlier, a view opposite to that of Pérez de Medoza: Viedma does not hold the montante in high regard, since it is not a weapon for the court. He does acknowledge it to be, however, a dangerous weapon, capable of presenting considerable threat and useful in specific circumstances -- a view which might remind us of the «rules» structure.

Consequent with this, the author proposes three different exercises in increasing degrees of complexity for the disciple to become familiar with the techniques of a weapon of such size. These exercises are simple and might be likened to the initial rules of Figueyredo:

- The first exercise recommends that students should throw tajos from above and from their right shoulder, with their right foot forward. After cutting in this manner as much as needed, they should step backwards, now leaving the left foot forwards, and likewise chain several reveses from the left shoulder.

- In the second exercise the students are to throw the same cuts, but this time stepping forward with the matching foot (right for tajo and left for revés), and then return stepping backwards, cutting in the same manner. Then they should thrust to both sides (although we are not told how) and then resume moving with tajo and revés, although now cutting twice from the same side with each matching step. Once more, return with backwards steps (cutting twice with each step too), and thrust at both sides.

- The third exercise is very vague, and only states the need to keep the montante close to the body when trying to clear a space (hacer plaza), taking wide or narrow steps as needed. Furthermore, cuts should end with the blade above a shoulder or even the head --an option favoured by many since they feel it will better cover their backs.

In brief, this approach reminds us strongly to the «rules» methodology.

Pérez de Mendoza, on the montante

Engraving from Miguel Pérez de Mendoza's «Resumen de la Verdadera Destreza de las Armas», 1675.

Engraving from Miguel Pérez de Mendoza's «Resumen de la Verdadera Destreza de las Armas», 1675. Around the master, the tools of his trade: rapiers, daggers, flail, bucklers or rotellas and the montante.

Pérez de Mendoza, however, regards the montante as the king of arms, even above the sword alone (which was the main weapon taught by Destreza masters), and yet offers little more than brief indications on how to wield it, how cuts and thrusts are to be done and the medios* in which to move.

Despite his obvious admiration, he does not develop on its use and it striking such an ardent advocacy of a weapon that should by then be undergoing an apparent obsolescence. In the same sense, another noteworthy aspect is that Mendoza equals the play of the montante with another unusual weapon for Verdadera Destreza, an even more obsolete one if possible: the flail**. To him both are equal in importance and style and technique, excluding of course thrusting, for the flail.

* T.N.: The different medios (literally, the «means» or «measures») are the distances along which practitionres of Verdadera Destreza move, and where weapons are effective in different ways. In other words: Mendoza talks about the relative distances between the montante-wielder and their opponent, about how to transverse them and at which relative distances different attacks are useful.

** The flail (mangual) must equal in length to the montante and the distance between the hands should be half a vara (41.80cm.).

Godinho, on the montante

Godinho gives us brief but interesting instructions on the montante before describing its rules.

To begin with, he writes about how to carry the montante when going out into the night (he does not clarify why --or whether-- these instructions only apply to this specific time of the day, so we can only speculate here): it should be carried bare, out of its sheath and ready to use, next to the cape, on the left arm (the author always assumes right-handers), reminding us that in case of a fight, leaving behind your cape, hat or sheath may be in some way a liability.* He specially criticizes those who carry the weapon hanging on their backs.

Godinho is also interesting because he states that his rules are for use in a real situation, and not what he called «flourishes» --that is, for exhibition. However, probably his most fundamental contribution is his stressing of the need to practice with the weapon, training the motion sequences taught in the rules, for without such training the montantero [montante-wielder] may lose balance or even their grip on the weapon. To illustrate this point, he writes that he has seen a montante (presumably in the hands of an inexperienced user) fall before an opponent who fought it, after having broken their sword, only with a dagger.

* T.N.: Probably, because brawls were forbidden and prosecuted, and those items could be used to identify the persons in question, or simply because they were expensive.

Figueyredo's view of the montante, and conclusions

So, to sum up, what can we learn from the various treaties which have survived?

We have studied nine different sources adressing the Iberian montante. In five of them the authors hardly give any specific instructions that might illustrate how to handle the weapon, or general impressions about its usefulness.

The other four provide some very strict «rules» of chained actions, both to perform «flourishes» and to carry real attacks on opponents (there is virtually no instance where we are described how to defend an attack) in very specific circumstances and for certain purposes: in an open space, in a narrow space, to protect an object, a person, etc.

And although each author presents different sequences of movements, all of them share the strategic approach of setting them into rigorous sequences that are to be trained and performed effectively to achieve these ends.

Therefore we can conclude that the «rules» structure for teaching and using the montante is very likely the continuation of a process of traditional, memory-based learning. Such a system might in many cases, by turning actions into pure routine, lead to an absurd and abstract construction of defaults that have nothing to do with the situation in which the montantero is involved. Such an issue was spotted and criticized by opponents of the «rules» system:

Esperad, dijo Eudemio, no tengáis tanta prisa, tiempo tenéis para bravear, hablemos ahora un poco sobre el montante, dadme a entender por qué cuando los maestros dan lecciones, las dan en el vacío y no contra aquellos hombres que dicen que han de reñir con el discípulo. ¿No entendéis que cuando llega el tiempo de probarlas y se hallan delante algunos hombres con espadas nunca aciertan a hacer alguna de las reglas que han aprendido sin defensa, si no del miedo que ha puesto en el ánimo de los ignorantes la opinión del montante por moverse con dos brazos, sin hacer consideración de lo mucho que se detiene en las heridas y de lo que pierde en todos los movimientos y lo mucho que es menester para saber darle el medio de proporción conforme a su longitud?

[ Wait, Eudemio said, not so much be in a hurry, you will have time enough to brag: let's talk a little about the montante. Pry tell to me why when masters teach their lessons, they do so in a vacuum and not against the men who want to quarrel with the disciple. Do you not understand that when the time to put their words to practice arrives and these masters face men with swords they never manage to perform any of these rules they have so learned without opposition, other than the fear that has been seeded in the minds of the ignorant because the montante is a sword that is wielded in both hands, without consideration of how slow it becomes after striking, and how much is lost in all movements and how much one must know in order to provide this weapon with the means of proportion that its length demands? ]

Sánchez de Carranza. Filosofia de las armas. f.111

However, the emphasis on training sets of specific «rules» with fixed motion sequences very likely has its roots on the drawbacks of the montante itself, a heavy and bulky weapon that forces the montantero not to perform wrong movements in order to avoid losing control of the situation.

This idea, which we could easily accept also for any other weapon, is especially important here since the inertia derived from its movement demands that the strike, stab or cut, must perfectly match footwork. Failure to do so might lead to lose control of the weapon itself without the intervention of the adversary, as Luis Godinho warns on his «Arte de Esgrima» chapters dedicated to the montante, stressing the need for knowledge and practice of the rules.

However, even for the authors who develop descriptions in sufficient detail so that we can understand and try to apply the rules in the situations they propose, we can see that although they are adequate, these rules are also clearly insufficient to resolve and end the situation in question. Therefore, the question arises: what else should a montante fencer train and practice in order to use the weapon effectively?

And it is in answering that question where I think the words of Diogo Gomes de Figueyredo in his «Memorial da Prattica do Montante» may be enlightening:

Com advertencia que nemhum destro precizamente deve fazer esta, ou aquella regra, senao, tirar de todas o que mais entender que lhe serve para vencer os contrarios, com tal prudencia, encadeando hũas nas outras, que nem a pressa confunda a memoria, que se deve ter dellas, nem a remissao desmaye a actividade com que se devem obrar

[ And be warned, that no fencer should perform this or that rule, but instead take from each of them whatever they may find more useful to defeat their opponents, prudently chaining one after another rule, in such a way that neither should haste hamper the memory one should have [of the rules], nor should lassitude take from the energy with which they must be performed. ]

Figueyredo. Memorial da prattica do montante
(transcribed by Myers, E and Hick, S) p.24

Learn, therefore, the routines set in the «rules», but understand the final words of Figueyredo.

A final treat: some pictures

Because you were patient enough to scroll to the bottom of this length article, here are a few nice pictures of several montantes kept at the Palazzo Ducale in Venice. Notice the points of the blades!

Bibliography & References

Covarrubias Orozco, Sebastian
Tesoro de la lengua castellana o española.
Madrid: Luis Sanchez, 1611

Dicionário Priberam da Língua Portuguesa (último acceso 14-4-15)

Diaz de Viedma, Luis [Valle .96]
Método de enseñanza de maestros en la ciencia filosófica de la verdadera destreza matemática de la armas. *
Barcelona : Sebastián y Iame Matevad, 1639

Figueiredo, Diogo Gomes de [Valle .160]
Memorial da prattica do montante. **
Alcantara : [s.n.], 1651

Godinho, Domingo Luis [Valle .188]
Arte de esgrima (Ed. Crítica)
Santiago de Compostela : AGEA Editora, 2015

Pacheco de Narváez, Luis [Valle .345]
Modo fácil y nuevo para examinarse los maestros en la Destreza de las armas y entender sus cien conclusiones
Madrid : Luis Sánchez, 1625

Pacheco de Narváez, Luis [Valle .345]
Nueva ciencia, y filosofía de la destreza de las armas, su teórica, y práctica.
Madrid : Melchor Sánchez, 1672

Paredes, Pablo [Valle .347]
[El Montante] ***
[S.l.] : [s.n.], [1599]

Pérez de Mendoza, Miguel [Valle .358]
Resumen de la verdadera destreza de las armas en treinta y ocho aserciones.
Madrid : Francisco Sanz, 1675

Real Academia Española
Diccionario de la lengua castellana en que se explica el verdadero sentido de las voces...
Madrid : Francisco del Hierro, 1734

Reglas del montante **** [Valle .386bis]
Toledo : s.n., post.1563

Rodríguez del Canto, Diego [Valle .394]
El discípulo instruido y diestro aprovechado en la ciencia filosófica y matemática de la destreza de las armas.
[S.l.] : [s.n.], 1734?

Sánchez de Carranza, Gerónimo [Valle .411]
Filosofía de las armas y de su destreza y de la agresió[n] y defensión cristiana.
Sanlucar de Barrameda : en Casa del mesmo Autor, 1582

Valle Ortiz, Manuel [Valle]
Nueva bibliografía de la antigua esgrima y de la destreza de las armas
Santiago de Compostela : AGEA/Edizer, 2012

* There is a translation available at:

** Transcription and english translation at:

*** Lhermite, Jehan. El pasatiempos. Aranjuez : Doce Calles, 2005. - p.506-8

**** Mendez Aparicio, Julia. «Las anotaciones manuscritas de los impresos del siglo XVI de la Biblioteca Pública del Estado en Toledo». Toletum. Boletín de la Real Academia de Bellas Artes y Ciencias Históricas de Toledo (2008) 55:31-93



Original text by Ton Puey.
With the help and contributions of Manuel Valle Ortiz.
Edited and translated by Denís Fernández Cabrera. Small edits of the HROARR article have also been made by the Chief Editor of HROARR.

Translator's Note

The original texts carried footnotes, which we have chosen here to display within the body of each section and marked with increasing asterisks (*, **, etc), to facilitate their reading within context.]

Ton Puey
Ton Puey grew up studying karate shotokan in his childhood and teenage years, before getting into sports fencing. He «got historical» in 2002, and around 2004 began researching and teaching the Iberian school of «Verdadera Destreza». Ton has taught workshops in Spain, Portugal, France, Austria or Italy, and has become a professional HEMA instructor under his own brand «Academia da Espada».

He is a founding member of AGEA (the Galician HEMA federation), HEMAC fellow and honorary member of FEEH (the Spanish HEMA federation). Ton also takes part in the governing body of AGEA editora, where he helps publish critical editions and modern texts on Destreza and HEMA in general.