A translation of Francesco Antonio Mattei’s Della scherma napoletana (“Neapolitan Fencing“) has been sitting in my pile of mostly complete projects for far too long, so I have finally taken the time to polish and release it.
Tracing his teachings through his brother, Giovanni Mattei, to Giovanni Battista Marcelli, Francesco Antonio Mattei published this clear but unillustrated work on the sword and dagger and single sword of the “Neapolitan School” in 1669, claiming to be the first to do so. Interestingly, the book states that an earlier, unfinished version of the sword and dagger content had been previously published without Mattei’s permission by an unnamed person who had been loaned the manuscript. Sadly, there do not appear to be any surviving copies of this earlier edition of the work.
This release has omitted a large amount of dedicatory poetry in Latin and Italian and has left the scattering of Latin quotations in the text untranslated. In the future a published version will be available that includes this content and also annotations explaining the many mythological, historical, and contemporary events and figures mentioned throughout.
You can download Neapolitan Fencing for free in Translations.
Keep an Eye out for Marcelli
My heavily annotated translation of Francesco Antonio Marcelli’s 1686 treatise Regole della scherma (“Rules of Fencing“) is drawing ever closer to the finish line. Keep an eye out for news here and from Fallen Rook Publishing. Francesco Antonio Marcelli being a fellow student of Giovanni Mattei (and Giovanni Battista Marcelli’s son), his book compliments Della scherma napoletana quite well, both works shedding light on some areas the other lacks detail, while also differing in intriguing ways.