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Martin Syber Translation

PostPosted: 11 May 2011 11:58
by Michael Chidester
I completed one of my various side projects tonight, a new translation of Martin Syber's Neu Zedel. I love Syber for reasons I can't really articulate, and it was a shame to see his article on the Wiktenauer incomplete.

Syber's work is tough to translate because, like Liechtenauer's Zedel, it mostly consists of sentence fragments and key words rather than fully-developed ideas. I tried to keep my terminology consistent with the well-known translations out there, especially Dr. Forgeng's work since Meyer uses a lot of Syber's terms, and I referred to Jeffrey Hull's old translation several times to untangle the most confusing passages. All errors are my own.

This is just a rough draft, and any suggestions or corrections are appreciated.

Re: Martin Syber Translation

PostPosted: 11 May 2011 14:04
by KeithFarrell
Looks good, thanks. Yet another piece on the Wiktenauer to distract me from the things I'm supposed to be doing :P

Re: Martin Syber Translation

PostPosted: 27 Dec 2011 03:01
by MauriceBooij
Nice work!

I have, however, a minor question of geographical nature. I have not yet had the fortune of reading the original texts, but on the wiktenauer page, in the list of regions where Syber says to have learned the art, there are three spellings of one region; Prabandt, Prabant, and Profant. It seems to me the latter of these has been the reason to, rather logically, assume the translation 'Provence'.

Looking at Prabant and Prabandt, feelings of doubt creep upon me.
First, to be certain linguistic barriers do not cloud my question too much:
Holland is (and was in the the 15th century) a region in the west of the low countries, nowadays known as the Netherlands.
In the south of the Netherlands (and the north of modern day Belgium) there is a region called Brabant.
Nowadays provinces of the subsequent countries, in the 15th century a Duchy, ruled by the dukes of Burgandy.

My research in historical texts is not yet very substantial, but I've come across plenty examples in which in medieval dutch and german texts words are spelled with a 'P' where we nowadays would write a 'B'.

Could it be that it is this Duchy Syber means in his texts?

Re: Martin Syber Translation

PostPosted: 27 Dec 2011 05:54
by Michael Chidester
That's not a bad thought. Honestly, the assumption that it represented Provence was sort of grandfathered into all translations that I'm aware of from Jeff Hull's work. He did the first translation of Syber that I'm aware of, and he was working solely from the Salzburg version (the Glasgow Fechtbuch was not very well known at that time, and the Rostock Meyer hadn't been discovered yet--and is still virtually unknown even today). His interpretation of Profant as Provence--I suspect based on the fact that the surname Provan/Profan means "from Provence"--has been accepted by all later translators, including myself and Talhoffer. (Further digging suggests that the surname Profant originates with Lanarkshire, Scotland, which is quite unhelpful.)

The reference to Brobant, an important duchy in this period, is feasible. A strike against it is that the earliest surviving version of the text is also the only one to use "profant" instead of "probant", indicating that the B may be a corruption to the text and not a reflection of the original meaning. A much stronger case would be made if it can be demonstrated that "profant" was an accepted spelling of Brobant in period.

Re: Martin Syber Translation

PostPosted: 27 Dec 2011 18:45
by MauriceBooij
I believe I can. Or at least give one example.

From 1368 till 1437 lived a ruler named Kaiser Sigmund (aka Sigismund of Luxemburg), ... an_Emperor

In 1838 Sir Joseph Aschbach Ph.D, professor in Frankfurt,
wrote a book* about him called 'Geschichte Kaiser Sigmund's' (The History of Emperor Sigismund), including quotations from 15th century sources. Amongst which is the next:

"Do kam dem A. Sigmund Mcre, wie das der Herzog von Profant (Brabant) Jm den Weg wc- rcn wolte. Also sante der Konig zu dem Herzoge von Gelren..."

(Basically; Sigmund learned the Duke of Profant (Brabant) was counteracting his corronation as ruler of the Holy Roman Empire (in 1414AD) and turned to the duke of Gelre (amongst others) for help)
Found on page 410, in footnote 46 at the bottom of the page (hurray for GoogleBooks ).

This is a quotation from Eberhard Windeck (+/- 1380-1440)
Who wrote 'Kaiser Sigismunds Buch' (Emperor Sigismund's Book), a history of Sigmund, of which there are still several versions in existence, from which the quote was taken (c.31. page 1093), dated 1438-1442.

It is but one example, but it's a start, I think.

*Actually, it's a book consisting of 4 volumes describing different periods in the life of Sigismund, written between 1838 and 1845.

Re: Martin Syber Translation

PostPosted: 27 Dec 2011 19:12
by Michael Chidester
Very interesting. That's good enough for me, since I can't seems to find a reference to Provence being called Profant.