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Rapier / espada ropera
Rapiere-Morges-kitsch.jpg
Rapier, first half of the 17th century.
Type Sword
Place of origin Spain
Production history
Designed around 1500
Specifications
Mass avg. 1 kg (2.2 lb)
Blade length avg. 104 cm (41 in)
Width avg. 2.5 cm (0.98 in) to sharp point

Blade type single or double edged, straight blade
Hilt type complex, protective hilt

A Rapier (/ˈrpiər/) or Espada ropera is type of sword with a slender and sharply-pointed two-edged blade that was popular in Western Europe, both for civilian use (dueling and self-defense) and as a military side arm, throughout the 16th and 17th centuries.

Important sources for rapier fencing include the Italian Bolognese group, with early representatives such as Antonio Manciolino and Achille Marozzo publishing in the 1530s, and reaching the peak of its popularity with writers of the early 1600s (Salvator Fabris, Ridolfo Capo Ferro). In Spain, rapier fencing came to be known under the term of destreza ("dexterity") in the second half of the 16th century, based on the theories of Jerónimo Sánchez de Carranza in his work De la Filosofía de las Armas y de su Destreza y la Agression y la Defensa Cristiana ("The Philosophy of Arms and of their Dexterity and of Agression and the Christian Defence"), published in 1569. The best known treatise of this tradition was published in French, by Girard Thibault, in 1630.

The French smallsword or court sword of the 18th century was a direct continuation of this tradition of fencing, adapted specifically for dueling.

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