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Fencing: En garde!

History of Fencing

The earliest depiction of swordplay is a relief in the temple of Med─źnat Habu, near Luxor in Egypt, built by Ramses III about 1190 BCE. This relief must depict a practice bout or match, as the sword points are covered and the swordsmen are parrying with shields strapped to their left arms and are wearing masks (tied to their wigs), large bibs, and padding over their ears. Swordsmanship, as a pastime and in single combat and war, was also practiced widely by the ancient Persians, Babylonians, Greeks, and Romans as well as by the Germanic tribes.

The Romans brought sword combat to a highly systematic art that was taught to both their legions and their gladiators. Gladiators were trained in schools (ludi) by professional instructors (doctores). Beginners practiced with a wooden sword called a rudis. More-advanced training took place with weapons that were somewhat heavier than those used in actual combat.  Continue reading from Britannica


From the Collection

Link to Proud by Ibtihaj Muhammad in the Catalog
Link to The Art and Science of Fencing by Nick Evangelista in the Catalog
Link to The Mask of Zorro in the Catalog
Link to Fence by C.S. Pacat in Hoopla
Link to Coronets and Steel by Sherwood Smith in the Catalog