Secret Geometries of the Sword In the early years of the 17th century, Girard Thibault -- poet, physician, architect, painter, occultist, and master swordsman, a true Renaissance man -- astonished the courts of Europe with a new system of swordsmanship based on the principles of sacred geometry and Renaissance occult philosophy. In his youth, Thibault studied the art of the sword with the great Dutch fencing master Lambert van Someren, then traveled to southern Spain to learn _destreza_, the revolutionary Spanish system of rapier fencing, from Luis Pacheco de Narvaez and other masters of the art. After his return to the Netherlands around 1610, he won fame as one of the best swordsmen of the age, and set out to put everything he knew about the way of the sword into a single comprehensive textbook of rapier fencing that could be used by students who had no access to a teacher of his system. Originally published in 1630, _Academy of the Sword_ is that textbook -- the most elaborate manual of swordsmanship ever published in any language, packed with hundreds of clearly described and illustrated techniques. Starting with the geometrical foundations of his system, Thibault proceeds step by step to explain effective methods for drawing the sword, entering into measure, subjecting the opponent's blade, countering his attacks and defeating him, whether the contest is a friendly bout or a struggle to the death. He outlines competing systems of swordsmanship used in the Europe of his time, points out their weaknesses and explains how their proponents can be defeated, and he provides methods by which his pupils, armed only with a rapier, could overcome an opponent armed with rapier and dagger, rapier and shield, two-handed sword -- even a musket. Never before available in English, _Academy of the Sword_ has been trans
A longtime student of history and alternative spirituality, John Michael Greer is the author of more than a dozen books on the occult traditions of the Western world, including the award-winning New Encyclopedia of the Occult and The Druidry Handbook (Weiser, 2006), as well as translations of French and Latin occult texts. He lives in the mountains of Oregon.
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