The greatsword is a true two-handed sword that can trace it’s develpment to the end of the 15th Century, and is typically in excess of 5 feet (150 cm). Called Greatsword or two-handed sword by the English, claymore by the Scots, zweihander by the Germans, montante by the Spanish & Portuguese and spadone by the Italians, this weapon rightly developed a fearsome reputation on the battlefields of Europe during the 16th & 17th Centuries. As an infantry weapon it was used to break up pike formations, as the honour guard defending the Unit’s banner or as the preferred weapon of civilian bodyguards. This was due to it’s excellent ability to confront multiple opponents, or as described by Giacomo di Grassi in his fencing manual “because one may with it (as a galleon, among many galleys) resist many swords, or other weapons.”
The use of the spadone is first described in 1536 by Achille Marozzo, one of the primary Bolognese Swordsmanship manuals. A more generic Italian system was first described in the MS Riccardiano (c, 1550) and followed by Camillo Agrippa in 1553, Giacomo di Grassi in 1570, Francesco Alfieri in 1653 and finally Guiseppe Colombani in 1711.
Our spadone work at Stoccata is based upon Francesco Alfieri’s Lo Spadone manual of 1653.