This is a second edition of our first published book, Tratado das lições da espada preta, by the late XVII century portuguese master Thomas Luiz. Where the first one was a critical edition, documenting the stemma codicum with its variant sources and setting down the canonical copy, this second edition aims to make this book accessible to a worldwide public.
With a revised and corrected text for the Portuguese source laid side-by-side with the English translation carried out by Denís Cabrera, Eric Myers, Manuel Campo and Manuel Valle, this edition is extensively annottated to help clarify the meaning, set context and facilitate the approach to first-time readers.
The text itself is a likely representative of the average Fencing in Portugal in the late XVII century, written by the Master of Arms to the King: an amalgam of Verdadeira Destreza roots spliced with «common» and unorthodox resources and oppinions, presented in the form of anecdotæ and general advice rather than the usual heavy, thick theoric style frequent in VD treatises.
Some of the advice Thomas Luiz gives pertains to:
– Requirements For The Master
– The Play Of The Single Sword
– The Play Of Sword And Dagger
– On Left-Handed Swordplay
– Encounters And Quarrels At Night
– Rule To Fight Against Two Or Three
– Rule For Sword And Rodela
– The Play Of Sword And Buckler
– The Sunbeam Thrusts
Sprinkled throughout the technical advice are warnings about cheats and tricks people use in fencing salles and in street fights, views on life and general attitudes, up to how one should actually wear the sword in dress.
The source text is preceded by an editorial history and declarations of edition and translation criteria. It is also accompanied by two essays which help to set context on Portuguese baroque fencing: Uses and Customs in Iberian Fencing Salles of the XVI and XVII centuries and A Brief History of Portuguese Destreza. These have also been corrected and annotated, and the sources for the research are provided.