Angelo Viggiani opens his discussion on learning to fence with an arguement about the construction of swords.
Argument for sharp on one side only
- The sword will be stronger and safer
- You can use your left hand to increase the strength of the attack – Could he be referring to half-swording in the longsword sense?
- If the blade is beaten back into your face you won’t get hurt
Argument for sharp on both sides
- If your blade is beaten into your face, it is your fault, not the swords
- It isn’t as safe, but has greater opportunities to attack.
Argument for sharp from the center to the point
- Again, you can place your left hand on the blade
Argument for sharp from hilt to point
- A sharp false-edge forte is “quite opportune” when in crossed swords.
- Double-edged swords were in fashion in the time of David, as per the Bible
- They are rarely seen (circa 1575)
Half-swording in German fencing means holding the sword like a short spear with one hand on the blade itself.
Half sword in Italian fencing means when the swords are crossed. To reduce confusion, I will translate this as “crossed swords” wherever I see it.