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Translation of Gelli’s Entry on Dall’Agocchie

This is the entry found for Giovanni Dall’Agocchie’s Dell’arte di Scrimia libri tre in the 2nd edition (1895) of Jacopo Gelli’s Bibliografia Generale Della Scherma (General Bibliography of Fencing). This entry starts on page 58 (page 111 of the pdf found on Google docs at this link.) The original is printed in parallel columns in both Italian and French. Only the Italian is transcribed and translated here.

I am not fluent in reading Italian (working on it!) – so if you have suggested edits or corrections for the translation, please let me know – I will be sure to credit you in updated versions of this post.


DALL’ AGOCCHIE Giovanni, of Bologna.

The Art of Fencing in Three Books, by Mr. Giovanni dall’ Agocchie, Bolognese.

Briefly describing:

  • The art of fencing
  • the joust
  • the order of battle

A work necessary for captains, soldiers, and any gentleman. With privilege.

In Venice, 1572, printed by G. Tamborino.


Dedicated to Count Fabio Pepoli, Counte of Castiglione ; sheets numbered 79 (158 pages) ; with two illustrations.

This work is rare and sought for.


Il Mazzacchelli also cites a later edition:

Bologna, 1580 (?).


L’ Haym ( Library of Italian and news of rare Italian books, Milan, 1771, Galeazzi, page 602), and Fantuzzi (News of Bolognese Writers, Bologna, 1781, vol. 1, page 72 ), mention a first edition of this work, published in Venice in 1570. But, in spite of our most careful research, we cannot arrive at this result.

We believe then, with Fantuzzi (op. cit.), who says that when Orlandi (News of Bolognese Writers, Bologna, 1714, page 171) names a Girolamo Dalle Agocchie as author of a Treatise of Fencing and the Military Arts – (Bologna, 1580), that this is one of the many oversights where you must avoid that careless biographer; also Fantuzzi and Mazzucchelli (Italian Writers, volume 1, paragraph 1, page 202), hint at a new edition, that the work of Giovanni Dall’Agocchie would have been made in Bologna in 1580. Also, of this edition, which would be the third, we can discover no traces.

Dall’Agocchie, in this treatise on fencing, is not at all inferior to Agrippa and his other predecessors. A clear writer, an excellent teacher, with the very leading treatise of Italian fencing, and although this text lacks demonstrative tables, it is easy to understand what Dall’Agocchie means. It was Dall’Agocchie, finally, who introduced a variety of attacks with the tip; attacks which contributed to the fame of Italian fencing.