A few years ago I translated the first book of Mr. Nicolleto Giganti into Castilian. The book I used for the translation was printed in 1644 by Zetter in Frankfurt with the text translated into German and French.
I must confess that this fencing felt quite lively and fresh, although I noted the lack of nomenclature of the guards, already seated among the masters of his time. Apart from that the book doubtless contained some innovations, passes, contra-passes both inside and outside (as the long points for example) in its 42 beautiful prints. In short, the treaty left me impressed.
I know Mr. Salvatore Fabris very well. I’ve worked two years translating his two books into Castilian. Personally, I consider him the greatest master of the rapier. His art, science, system… And its only objective throughout the pages of his books is to teach and do it methodically and thoroughly. The books used for these translations were the originals printed in Copenhagen in 1606 by Henrico Waltkirch.
So my impression of the work of Mr. Nicolleto was very friendly and although I considered the allegations made by Mr. Salvatore to be caused by potential jealousy and envy among masters. As for my opinion about Mr. Salvatore and his work I retain my deepest admiration.
This year I began to carefully study the second book of Mr. Nicolleto, the Zetter version, printed in Francort in 1644, the treatise for which he was accused of plagiarism by master Salvatore Fabris. One after the other I found clearly copied teachings, and clearly not coincidences, but direct proof that the book is an act of plagiarism made without any shame.
This is easy to say, now I’ll prove it. Because the plagiarism is very clear I will use his prints first and then discuss some randomly selected texts to support my statements. The book of Mr. Giganti is, from the first until the last plates, nothing but plagiarism, and there is no possibility of mistake, let’s have a look:
This is the first illustration of Mr. Nicolletto Giganti treatise.
And this is the first illustration of Mr. Salvatore Fabris treatise.
These are obviously very similar, but this could still be a coincidence. But go ahead and choose any random figure in the book, for example the figure of ilustration nº 40 for the fifth advantage of Mr. Nicolleto Giganti. Here it is:
Evidently illustrations are plagiarized, but we will also address the content of the book to see if it too has been plagiarized.
-The second book by Mr. Salvatore Fabris talks about the assault on the move and go to the enemy without stopping.
-The book plagiarized by Mr. Nicolleto Giganti talks about going to the enemy without stopping.
- Mr. Salvatore Fabris in his second book, explain 6 rules for sword alone to go to assault the enemy without stopping and 4 rules for the sword and dagger.
-Mr.Nicolleto Giganti explain 6 advantages to go to the enemy without stopping to sword alone and 4 advantages for the sword and dagger.
And yet another example, Figure nº121, Mr. Salvatore Fabris text reads
“You will now see a second wound to the body and passing beneath and outside ….“
Figure nº13 of the book plagiarized
“Strike at the last second with which it passes on the outside and below …”
This continues throughout the book.
Plagiarism is also evident here, and there is no doubt about it. In addition to this, as translator of the both masters I find significant variations between the first and the second book of Mr. Nicolleto Giganti, the first only explain the high and low guards, inside and outside; and in this second book the explanations use an elaborate terminology and show the whole arsenal of guards. The book however keeps the mild language of the first book, which makes me think that Giganti doctored the texts to not match the original 100%.
For me, this solves the question and the vileness of it denigrates Mr. Nicolleto Giganti, which I find rightly accused of plagiarism by Mr. Salvatore Fabris fencing master and supreme Knight of the Order of the Seven Hearts.
Bilbao, December 2012.
-La esgrima o la ciencia de las armas, libros I y II. Salvatore Fabris 1606
-Escuela o teatro, libros I, 1606 y II, 1608 . Nicolleto Giganti.
-Bibliografia Generale della Scherma del Cav. Jacopo Gelli. Firenze. Tipografia Editrice di L. Niccolai. 1890.
-Trattato di scherma: sopra un nuovo sistema di giuoco misto di scuola italiana e francese. Di Alberto Marchionni. Pubblicato da Dai Tipi Federigo Bencini, Firenze 1847.