Jerónimo Sánchez de Carranza

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Jerónimo Sánchez de Carranza
Jerónimo Sánchez de Carranza.jpg
OccupationThe first in the science of handling weapons
Notable worksThe founder of the Spanish school of fencing

Don Jerónimo Sánchez de Carranza, (Spanish: Jerónimo Sánchez de Carranza), Jerónimo de Carranza, Portuguese: Hieronimo de Carança, 1539 (?), Sevilla, Kingdom of Savilla, The Kingdom of Castile and León 1600 (?) / 1608 (?)) - Sevillian nobleman, humanist, scientist, one of the most famous fencers, the creator of the Spanish school of fencing - Destreza. The author of the treatise on fencing "The Philosophy of Arms" ("De la Filosofía de las Armas y de su Destreza y la Aggression y Defensa Cristiana") (1569, published in 1582). Carranza created the ideal of a poet and a warrior, which became the main life guide of a nobleman.[1]

His work on fencing is the beginning of the fighting style in Spain, which lasted almost 300 years.

Jeronimo de Carranza, as the founder of Destreza, is also called "the pioneer of the science of handling weapons." His work was continued by his followers: pupil Don Luis Pacheco de Narvaez and Dutchman, master of fencing Gérard Thibault d'Anvers. It was they who invested in the battlefield philosophical, intellectual and moral ideals, continued to develop the School of Spanish fencing.[2]


Hidalgo Jerome Sanchez de Carranza was born in Seville around 1539.[1]

Educated at the universities of Seville and Salamanca.[1]

In the early 1560 he arrived in the city of Sanlucar de Barrameda where he entered the service of Alonso Pérez de Guzmán and de Zúñiga Sotomayor, the 7th Duke of Medina Sidonia. Together with the Duke participated in the invasion of the Algarve, part of the military campaign that eventually led Philip II of Spain to the Portuguese throne. For his services to the Spanish crown, Carranza became a knight, and then was appointed commander of the Order of the image of Christ.[1]

During this period of his life Don de Carranza wrote his famous treatise "The Philosophy of Arms".

In 1584 he moved to Madrid, where he worked as a judge. Five years later he was appointed governor Honduras. In Honduras, he faced the treasurer Gregorio Santiago and Gaspar de Andrade, the bishop of Komayagui, who later was accused of corruption. In 1595, he defeated a group of French privateers who landed near Puerto Caballos. At the end of the governorship in 1596, he moved to the city of Santiago de Guatemala, where he took the vacant position of a lawyer.[1]

He died probably in Guatemala about 1608.[1]


Another Sanlucaré with Catalina Perez de Aguilar had several children, but never married. Two of his sons went with him to Honduras: the eldest son of Hil Sanchez de Carranza (died returning from the Philippines in 1606) and Geronimo Sancho de Carranza.[1]

"The Philosophy of Arms"[edit]

A Treatise on "The Philosophy of Arms", Jerónimo de Carranza («Compendio de la filosofia de las armas de Geronimo de Carrança»)

Jeronymo de Carranza wrote his treatise "The Philosophy of Arms", during the service at the court of the Duke of Medina Sidonia. The only publication of the book took place in 1582 in Sanlucar de Barrameda, where the court of the Dukes of Medina Sidonia was located. "The philosophy of weapons" is a humanistic dialogue dedicated to the presentation of a new art of fencing. "The philosophy of weapons and the art of owning it" is the name given to the author by his work, because he does not just describe the new system of fencing, but does it with a bias toward philosophy (the treatise is written with references to Plato, Aristotle, Ljul, Ficino, etc.). In his treatise Carranza also touches on medicine, mathematics, geometry, ethics, created the concept of philosophical fencing esgrima filosófica, or combat philosophy, unique in the European history of martial arts.[3]

Participants in the dialogue, following Plato and his Renaissance followers, including Castiglione, he also borrowed a number of dialogues. There are four of them with the treatise, where conversations are held about the true art of fencing. Under the fictitious names of the interlocutors are himself Carranza, the poet Fernando de Herrera, the humanist Juan de Mal Lara and the doctor Pedro de Peramato (their names were named in his presentation of Carranza's science by his disciple and follower of Don Luis Pacheco de Narvaez, 1600).

To my great regret, knights, whose main distinction must be a powerful spirit, are now more and more reminiscent of women or, better to say, dressed up in substances that are neither suitable for peacetime support nor for defense in times of war; and it even seems that some of them were born only to represent in the comedy dressed up silent figures ..." [4]

— Jeronymo Sanchez de Carranza "The Philosophy of Arms"

Jeronimo de Carranza invests in the formation of the ideal of a warrior, the master of a certain medieval meaning. "Hombre de letras" is a scientist, a knowledgeable, well-read person capable of applying science, describing his sphere of knowledge with the help of an extensive scientific and intellectual apparatus, comparing this volume with other sciences, and literally decorating it in an entertaining form. This, of course, corresponds not only to the humanistic goals of the era, but with all the desire of Carranza and his readers to build the philosophy and science of the new system of fencing.[3]

As the master of the Spanish school of fencing mentions, the follower of Pacheco de Narvaez, D. Gomez Arias Porres in his treatise "Summary of this Destreza on the management of the sword":

I would also like to mention my colleague Eronim de Caranz, because thanks to his enormous efforts, it was possible to strengthen the strength of the spirit of many men, primarily in the world and in war ...

— "A Summary of the Present Destroyes on the management of the sword"


  • (not published)Discurso sobre una pregunta que el Duque de Medina Sidonia hizo al Comendador Gerónimo de Carranza sobre la Ley de las injurias. Sanlucar de Barrameda. 1560–1598. pp. 12 h. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  • (not published)Discurso del comendador Gerónimo de Carranza sobre el honor, dirigido al rey [Felipe II]. Sanlucar de Barrameda. 1560–1598. pp. 9 h. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  • Libro de Hieronimo de Carança natural de Sevilla. Que trata de la Philosophia de las Armas. Sanlucar de Barrameda: en casa del mesmo autor. 1582. pp. [34], 9–280, [14] h., [2] en bl., [1] h. de grab. Retrieved 7 July 2018.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Mª Hermoso Rivero, José (2015). "Jerónimo Sánchez de Carranza (¿1539-1608?), creador de la Verdadera Destreza y gobernador de Honduras". Cartare: boletín del Centro de Estudios de la Costa Noroeste de Cádiz. № 5: 65–98. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  2. ^ Francis, Beaumont (1843–46). The works of Beaumont & Fletcher; the text formed from a new collation of the early editions. With notes and a biographical memoir by the Rev. Alexander Dyce. London: E. Moxon.
  3. ^ a b Ershova 2014.
  4. ^ «Y es lastima grandissima, q(ue) los Caualleros q(ue) deuian ser adornados de Animo Varonil, se hazen Effeminados, ò por mejor dezir Statuas vestidas, que ni valen, para aconsejar en tiempo de Paz, ni para defender en tiempo de Guerra, si no que solamente paresce, que nascieron algunos en el Mundo, solo para representar Personas Mudas vestidas en Comedia…» (Prólogo).


  • Egerton K. (2017). Schools and masters of fencing. Noble art of sword ownership. Litres. p. 7632.
  • Aylward J. D. (1956). The English master of arms from the twelfth to the twentieth century. Routledge & Paul. p. 87.
  • Ershova I.V."The philosophy of weapons" as a transformation of one cultural idea. Carranza and Cervantes.Literature. Literary studies. Folklore.New Philological Newsletter.2014.1—9


-DE MERICH, Stefano. “La presencia del libro de filosofía de la armas en el quijote. 1615”. Bulletin of the Cervantes Society. Fall 2007-2008. Pág. 155-180

-CURTIS, Mary Dill. "Jerónimo Sánchez de Carranza: a man of arms and letters". En MELE, Gregory D. In the service of Mars. Proceedings from the Western Martial Arts Workshop 1999–2009. Volume I. Wheaton (IL). 2010

-HERMOSO RIVERO, José Mª, “El tratado de esgrima de Jerónimo Sánchez de Carranza (1582). Una obra humanística en la corte del VII duque de Medina Sidonia” en Sanlúcar señorial y Atlántica. III y IV Jornadas de investigación y patrimonio histórico artístico (2013-2014) Coord. Cruz Isidoro, Fernando. Ed. Ayuntamiento de Sanlúcar. Imprime. Santa Teresa Industrias gráficas. Sanlúcar de Barrameda. 2016., pp 21–42 Enlace

- HERMOSO RIVERO,José Mª, "Jerónimo Sánchez de Carranza: un humanista en la Sanlúcar del siglo XVI". In medio Orbe: Sanlúcar de Barrameda y la I Vuelta al Mundo : Actas del I Congreso Internacional sobre la I Vuelta al Mundo, celebrado en Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Cádiz) los días 26 y 27 de septiembre de 2016 / coord. por Manuel Jesús Parodi Álvarez, 2017, ISBN 9788499592312, págs. 161-177 Enlace