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Venetian fencing master of the late 16th and early 17th centuries; long known less for leaving behind one fencing treatise than for the mystery of a possible second. He was Master of Arms to the Order of St. Stephen, a naval military order devoted to opposing the Barbary corsairs and which fought at Malta and Lepanto; he claims to have had 28 years' experience in teaching the sword when he first took up his pen.

Giganti's first book, published in 1606, deals with the rapier alone and the rapier and dagger; it's orthodox in the Italian style, comparatively brief, and known for its clear explanation of the lunge, three facts which have compounded to make it a commonly recommended beginner's text in historical fencing, in spite of its indifferent illustrations. There are in it few traces of what we might call an individual fencing style.

As for the second, as early as the late 17th century, writers and cataloguers questioned whether this second treatise existed; the matter was muddled further by an illicit reprint of the first treatise in tandem with the (uncredited) second book of the treatise of Salvator Fabris in 1622, leading to accusations — apparently unfounded — of plagiarism (Giganti seems to have been simply another victim of intellectual theft). Nevertheless, as late as 1847, Marchionni describes a second treatise published in 1608, »illustrated with 53 figures, very badly drawn and likewise engraved; neverthless his treatise is filled with very useful teachings«, and speculation continued on this matter. Subsequently, in 2012, a copy of this lost book was really found, in the Wallace Collection in London — this second work is far more characteristic, and despite its awful illustrations, of great interest to a fencer.


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