The importance of books 22: Roberto Gotti

Image by Thomas Kelley, from

This is a series of interviews with well-known HEMA practitioners from around the world. The subject is the importance of books in the HEMA community. Personally, I think books are immensely important to the community (and in general!), but I am interested to find out more about how other people see the issue.

This week’s interview is with Roberto Gotti, who is a well-known international collector, fencer and instructor.

1) Do you feel that modern publications are valuable for the HEMA community? Whether yes or no, can you explain your answer briefly? 

Yes of course, to study ancient questions we need a modern discussion that is full of life, and sharing of ideas.

2) Was there a book that inspired you to become involved in HEMA, or that inspired you to study HEMA more seriously than before?

Many many years ago, some people were telling that they where the tradition, the martial art owner…. only the direct contact with the sources is the way… for me at that time it was not a modern book but an original first copy of Marozzo 1550. It was not a complete copy, but the two-handed sword section was complete.

3) Can you list between three and five books that you feel are invaluable to your study of HEMA, and say something briefly about why each book is so important to you?

Marozzo, Anonimo Bolognese and Pietro del Monte, of course I’ll love to discuss them with you.

4) Are there any kinds of publications you would like to see become available to the community?

Serious understanding of entire ancient systems.