Senichev V.

Abstract: The article presents a brief review and translation of the treatise titled Memorial Da Prattica do Montante (MS 49.III.20.nº.21) which is devoted to an Iberian two-handed sword by the name of ‘montante’. The treatise is written by the Portuguese Mestre de Campo Diego Gomez de Figueredo for his student, the prince Dom Theodosio de Bragança, son of the king of Portugal Jean IV the Restorer. The treatise by de Figueredo, although being the most recent in terms of creation, is also one of the most comprehensive ones written about the Iberian two-handed sword. The manuscript describes thirty-two rules or regras for a large two-handed sword, designed to strengthen the body and prepare a person to confront any number of opponents armed with any type of weapon. The rules are divided into complex and simple types according to the execution techniques. They also have a tactical component that describes the situations in which these rules are most applicable. In the conclusion of his treatise de Figueredo also offers general advice on the use of the sword, the rules of cutting and thrusting sequences. A characteristic feature of the Iberian montante is its opposition to a large number of opponents armed with different weapons and the possibility of using it both in limited space and in large areas. The treatise fits well into the Spanish-Portuguese tradition of fencing with a two-handed sword in the context of destreza comun, dating back to the beginning of the 16th century. Treatise by de Figueredo can be considered canonical for this weapon, since some of the rules included are completely coincide with the ones described in the earliest extant sources about the Iberian two-handed sword tradition.

Keywords: fencing, two-handed sword, montante, destreza comun, Portugal.