The Collection of Renaissance Military Arts and Exercises of Pietro Monte

The Collection of Renaissance Military Arts and Exercises
by Pietro Monte


I am delighted to share with you Pietro Monte’s definitive work on Renaissance strategy, philosophy and martial arts. The ‘Collectanea’ or ‘Exercitiorum Atque Artis Militaris Collectanea‘, never before available in English translation!

Pietro Monte (1457-1509)  is perhaps the most renowned master of arms of the Renaissance era, a warrior looked up to as an expert in strategy and military arts by such notables as Baldassare Castiglione, author of The Book of the Courtier, and even consulted for advice by Leonardo Da Vinci. In this wide ranging volume, he takes us through the martial arts of Renaissance Europe, from the individual combat techniques of a soldier, to the philosophy, psychology and strategic thinking required of an experienced general.  This is the first  edition available in English, translated by Mike Prendergast and Ingrid Sperber.

By detailing the how-to combat techniques, intertwined with his understanding of human nature and psychology, Monte gives us a unique general’s-eye-view into the mindset of Renaissance Europe. Modern Europe, and the Western world’s philosophy and strategy are steeped in the thinking of this time, and Monte’s work is a high water mark of this martial culture, which still has great relevance today.

This has been a long labour of love and I’m glad to share it here free as a gift to my fellow enthusiasts. Enjoy and please share your thoughts on this translation with me. – Mike Prendergast

If you wish to OPTIONALLY support this and my future translation projects, you can  make a donation of your choice here:

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23 Replies to “The Collection of Renaissance Military Arts and Exercises of Pietro Monte”

    1. Cheers, Mat. An author as significant as Monte deserves a couple of versions in translation to get a more 3D view of him. I was well into this project when I heard there was a print edition in the works. I am very looking forward to reading it too when it comes out!

    1. You’re welcome, C.J.! I was, for many years, in the position of feeling impatient that Monte hadn’t been published yet. So I’m happy to be able to share him with others who may also appreciate what he has to offer. Do let e know what you think of it!

    1. My pleasure, Wolfgang, thanks for saying! I will be pleased to hear any feedback form you on it as well. I am working on an updated edition, taking account of comments by my readers, which I will share with everyone who has already subscribed.

  1. Oh, my GOD. I remember typing this up for Stephen Hick, like… TWENTY YEARS ago, and hoping somebody could make use of it. I definitely want to see it!! (and will be donating tomorrow!)

    1. Hi Russ, good to hear from a fellow Monte enthusiast! I am impressed, it seems you made your transcription before I even heard of Monte! Thank you fir your generosity and I hope you enjoy my translation!

  2. Hello Mike!
    I would like to thank you again for your great work with Collectanea, and if you please, I would like to ask a two short questions about your view on one technique with sword from the block of Collectanea, dedicated to mounted combat (because I’m amateur of rossfechten and mounted combat in general and trying to systematize a Collectanea recipes about tactic and technique of mounted combat).
    «… And if he throws a stocchata, which is
    somewhat high, we must parry with a half stocchata and a half right-handed blow, lowering
    our arm, and our weapon should be extended forward, so that it can deflect the adversary’s
    mucro and go to strike in the chest or face, and this is common both on foot and on horseback
    against all blows which the other can strike….»
    1. What do you think, is this play (if we perform it on our right side when we fight on horseback) similar to play stringere with mandritto demonstrated in this video (at the beginning) dedicated to Bolognese tradition on foot (Anonimo Bolognese Solo Spada play No. 1, )? (To my mind if we smoothly interrupted mandritto and transform it to thrust to the face or chest, we exactly reproduce a Monte’s play cited above)
    2. And what do you think, what Monte bear in mind, when says about «go to strike in the chest or face» in the end of this his play – rather cut or thrust or both equally?

    Best regards,
    Maxim Zvyagintsev

    1. Hi Maxim,

      Thanks for your question. As we since discussed this via Facebook, a brief summary answer here: I see the action as a single-time counter and thrust, the timing is especially critical given the short window of time when done passing an opponent on horseback. So to me this is a downwards manudexter blow to the opponent’s sword, which places the point towards the opponent so that you then immediately thrust him.

  3. Hi Mike. First of all I’d like to say that it is most generous of you to share freely something that must have been a tremendous amount of time and effort. I’m just wondering has anyone had a problem with the file. I downloaded it but unfortunately when I try to open it I’m told that it is an invalid format. Is this a problem on my end or is something wrong with the file?

    Thanks again
    Stephen Curtin

    1. Hi Stephen,

      Thanks for that. On the file format, this is the first time I’ve heard of such a problem with the file. I’ll get in touch by email shortly and we can work out how I can get it to you.

      – Mike

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