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Ridolfo Capo Ferro da Cagli

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Ridolfo Capo Ferro da Cagli
Born 16th century
Died 17th century
Occupation Fencing master
Patron Federico Ubaldo della Roevere
Influences Camillo Aggrippa
Influenced Sebastian Heußler
Genres Fencing manual
Language Italian
Notable work(s) Gran Simulacro dell'Arte e dell'Uso della Scherma (1610)
Concordance by Michael Chidester

Ridolfo Capo Ferro da Cagli (Ridolfo Capoferro, Rodulphus Capoferrus) was a 17th century Italian fencing master. He seems to have been born in the town of Cagli in Urbino and was a resident of Siena, Tuscany. Little is known about the life of this master, though the dedication to Federico Ubaldo della Roevere, the young son of Duke Francesco Maria Feltrio della Roevere, may indicate that he was associated with the court at Urbino in some capacity. The statement at the beginning of Capo Ferro's treatise describing him as a "master of the great German nation"[1] likely signifies that he was faculty at the University of Siena, either holding a position analogous to dean of all German students, or perhaps merely the fencing master who taught the German students.

Capo Ferro authored a fencing manual on the rapier entitled Gran Simulacro dell'Arte e dell'Uso della Scherma ("Great Representation of the Art and Use of Fencing"); it was published in Siena in 1610 and refers to Federico by the ducal title. Though this treatise is highly praised by modern fencing historians, it is neither comprehensive nor particularly innovative and does not seem to have been terribly influential in its own time.


Additional Resources

  • Capo Ferro, Ridolfo. Italian Rapier Combat: Ridolfo Capo Ferro's 'Gran Simulacro'. Ed. Jared Kirby. London: Greenhill Books, 2004. ISBN 978-1853675805
  • Capo Ferro, Ridolfo. Rapier: The Art and Use of Fencing by Ridolfo Capo Ferro. Trans. Nick S. Thomas. SwordWorks, 2007. ISBN 978-1906512279
  • Leoni, Tom. Ridolfo Capoferro's The Art and Practice of Fencing: A Practical Translation for the Modern Swordsman. Wheaton, IL: Freelance Academy Press, 2011. ISBN 978-0-9825911-9-2
  • Garcia-Salmones, Eugenio. Ridolfo Capoferro, "Gran simulacro del arte y del uso de la esgrima", Traduccion al castellano. Editorial Sacauntos, 2009. ISBN 978-84-937207-0-4