Nicoletto Giganti’s naked duellists


This is something you don’t generally see in swashbuckling films, a duellist being stabbed through the eye. To judge by the plates in Nicoletto Giganti’s sword-fighting manual it seems to have been a very common form of attack; duels with bare blades were a serious business. For some reason most of the combatants in these pictures also have bare bodies, possibly to better display the positioning of their limbs.

I found this 1644 book by accident last year while searching for something completely unrelated then forgot to bookmark the page. Good job, then, that the indispensable Mr Peacay at BibliOdyssey had come across the same pages. He also found plates from an older book dealing with different forms of hand combat.

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The men with swords archive
The etching and engraving archive

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Battle of the Naked Men

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