Perhaps the most famous fencing treatise of the 1600s, Ridolfo Capoferro's Gran Simulacro is a wonderful book, and an essential read for all fencing scholars. Characteristically, he spells his name as both Capoferro, and Capo Ferro, in the book itself; just one of it's many interesting quirks! It covers fencing theory, rapier alone, rapier and dagger, rapier and cloak, and rapier and shield. You can download your free copy of the treatise from here.
You are welcome to the RAW image files too (at about 25mb per image), just contact spada.press and we'll arrange to share them with you. The book is free, but you are welcome to drop some money into the (virtual) tin; once the book has raised enough money to pay for production costs, we will gladly produce an affordable printed facsimile. Please note that this book is in Italian.
Translations: William Wilson and Jherek Swanger (free): Capoferro
Tom Leoni, The Art and Practice of Fencing.
ed. Jared Kirby: Italian Rapier Combat
For an instruction manual on how to fence in Capoferro’s style, please my The Duellist’s Companion.