A Rapier 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 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.
In Spain, rapier fencing came to be known under the term of destreza 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, 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.