What do you think this means?

Fiore dei Liberi and his treatises Fior di Battaglia/Flos Duellatorum c.1410.
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What do you think this means?

Postby Motley » 11 Jun 2012 17:03

At the start of the long sword plays where Fiore is talking about the sword he says this:

"I am expert in defense and offense, and always strive to finish in those."

What do you think this means? The first bit is kind of clear but what does the second part of the sentence actually get at?
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Re: What do you think this means?

Postby admin » 11 Jun 2012 17:29

I don't know where that translation is from, but here is mine from Getty:

25 RECTO

Spada son contro ogni arma mortale, né lanza né azza né daga contra mi vale. Longa o curta me posso fare e me strengo e vegno allo zogho stretto, e vegno allo tor d’ spada e allo abrazare, mia arte si è rotare e ligadure so ben fare de coverte e ferire sempre in quelle voglio finire. Chi contra me farà ben lo farò languire. E son Reale e mantengo la justicia, la bontà acresco e destruzo la malizia. Chi me guarderà facendo in me crose, de fatto d’armizare gli farò fama e vose.

The Sword, I am mortal against any weapon; no spear, no pollaxe, no dagger, is effective against me; long or short I can do. And I will come to Gioco Stretto; and come to sword disarms and to wrestling; with my art I can do breaks and binds, I know well how to make covers and injuries; always in these I want to finish. I will make those who fight against me weep. And I am Royal and I maintain the justice; I increase goodness and I destroy malice. Those who will look at me making my crosses, of facts of armed combat I will make famous and vose.



IMO it is simply stating that he covers himself, offends the enemy and hence finishes the fight.
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Re: What do you think this means?

Postby Michael Chidester » 11 Jun 2012 17:42

I think the previous clause is the key.

mia arte si è rotare e ligadure so ben fare de coverte e ferire sempre in quelle voglio finire.

"My art is to break and to bind; I know well how to cover and how to strike, and always in these I want to finish."

Now, "rotare" is a difficult verb because it doesn't appear anywhere else in the Getty; Leoni and others translate it the orthodox way, as "rotate" (it can also mean to sharpen). However, this makes no sense in context, so I would make a bit of a leap and associate it with "rota", which is a Spanish word used several times in the Pisani-Dossi to mean "broken" (as in "your sword will be bent or broken"). The association with binds makes sense, and thus the meaning of the second half is that the covers and strikes of the sword want to end in breaks and binds--which they generally do in Fiore's teachings.

If you stick with Leoni's translation, then the covers and strikes of the sword want to end in rotations and binds, but I think if that were the intended meaning he would have used voltare (for turning) or tornare (for "twisting the sword" or disarming), as he does everywhere else.
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Re: What do you think this means?

Postby admin » 11 Jun 2012 17:51

Yes, that more or less follows our logic - also Florio has 'Rotta' as 'break'...
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Re: What do you think this means?

Postby Michael Chidester » 11 Jun 2012 17:57

:oops: Heh, so he does. I was just sort of shooting from the hip on that one, I haven't translated the Getty. Florio also has "rottare" as a verb, meaning (of course) "to break".

And here I half thought I might have to justify why he didn't use "rompere" (which is also the verb form in Spanish).
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Re: What do you think this means?

Postby Motley » 11 Jun 2012 18:02

Excellent, thanks guys.

and yes I forgot to state, the translation is Tom Leoni's I intended to cite it but forgot before I hit send.
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Re: What do you think this means?

Postby Thearos » 11 Jun 2012 20:36

Can I be so bold as to propose literally:

"so ben fare de coverte e ferire sempre in quelle voglio finire"

"I know well how to make covers and to strike, and always in those I wish to finish".

Ferire is a verb, not a noun, yes ?
Quelle= feminine plural, must go with "coverte"
Those= the covers or guards

= I always aim to end in one of the guards which I know.

Does that make sense ?
Last edited by Thearos on 11 Jun 2012 20:36, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What do you think this means?

Postby admin » 11 Jun 2012 20:36

Is Tom a native Italian speaker? It seemed obvious to Eleonora that this meant 'break', not 'rotate'.
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Re: What do you think this means?

Postby Piermarco » 11 Jun 2012 20:52

Michael Chidester wrote::oops: Heh, so he does. I was just sort of shooting from the hip on that one, I haven't translated the Getty. Florio also has "rottare" as a verb, meaning (of course) "to break".

And here I half thought I might have to justify why he didn't use "rompere" (which is also the verb form in Spanish).


Not sure I agree, Florio has "rottare" as a verb, which he defines as "to belch, to raspe, to breake winde upward", but this is just an archaic spelling of the modern Italian "ruttare" - to burp.

As a noun “rotta” does mean “break”, but as stated this derives from a different verb “rompere”.

Going back to the original passage however, Malpiero transcribes “rotare” as “roture”. This equates to the modern “rotture” or “breaks”, and would indeed make more sense in the context.

To answer Motley's original question I think Matt's translation is fundamentally correct:

“so ben fare de coverte e ferire sempre in quelle voglio finire.”

“I know well how to make covers and injuries; always in these I want to finish.”

Thearos wrote:Ferire is a verb, not a noun, yes ?
Quelle= feminine plural, must go with "coverte"
Those= the covers or guards


But I agree the key is that “quelle” i.e. “these” is feminine and plural in the original. It must therefore refer to the covers “coverte” rather than to “ferire” which is a verb. So he is just saying that he ends in covers.
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Re: What do you think this means?

Postby Michael Chidester » 11 Jun 2012 20:57

Fiore uses ferire as a noun sometimes. In fact, he plays fast and loose with pretty much all of the rules of modern grammar.
Last edited by Michael Chidester on 11 Jun 2012 20:59, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What do you think this means?

Postby admin » 11 Jun 2012 20:59

Very interesting! 8)

I particularly like it because it conforms to how we 'do Fiore', always accentuating finishing behind a covered line.
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Re: What do you think this means?

Postby Piermarco » 11 Jun 2012 21:08

Michael Chidester wrote:Fiore uses ferire as a noun sometimes. In fact, he plays fast and loose with pretty much all of the rules of modern grammar.


You can use a verb as a noun in modern Italian too, so "il ferire" could work, but it would be singular and masculine.
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Re: What do you think this means?

Postby Piermarco » 11 Jun 2012 21:09

admin wrote:Is Tom a native Italian speaker? It seemed obvious to Eleonora that this meant 'break', not 'rotate'.


He is, but since "rotare" isn't a word in modern Italian, (without delving deeper into the philology) he would have had to take a view on whether it equated to the modern "ruotare" ("to rotate"), "rotture" ("breaks") or an obscure archaic/dialectal variant of "rompere" ("to break"), although I think the latter is the least convincing.
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Re: What do you think this means?

Postby Thearos » 11 Jun 2012 21:10

In my view, the text needs a bit of punctuating, and perhaps emending. Like so--

Spada son, contro ogni arma mortale. Né lanza né azza né daga contra mi vale. Longa o curta me posso fare e me strengo e vegno allo zogho stretto, e vegno allo ?tor d’ spada? e allo abrazare. Mia arte si è : rotture e ligadure so ben fare de coverta, e ferire sempre in quei voglio finire.


I am SWORD, deadly against all weapon. Neither spear nor axe nor dagger is worth anything against me. I can make myself long or short, and I draw myself in and I come to close play, and I come to ??? and to wrestling. Thus is my art: I can make breaks and binds out of cover, and always strike those with whom I sish to make an end.


Notes:
some obvious punctuations and changes to translation (deadly rather than "mortal", etc).
Si è = cosi è, is this.
So ben fare must go with the rotture (excellent change by Piermarco). De coverta instead of de coverte, "out of cover", because "so ben fare" already has an object (rotture e ligadure).
"I know how to strike" is clear-- "Sempre in quelle" is sort of meaningless, especially since "coverte" / "coverta" cannot be the object of "so ben fare", and hence there is no antecedent for "quelle". So I interpret the phrase I something like "in quei" = "those in who". "questi in cui".
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Re: What do you think this means?

Postby Motley » 11 Jun 2012 21:17

Piermarco wrote:
Michael Chidester wrote::oops: Heh, so he does. I was just sort of shooting from the hip on that one, I haven't translated the Getty. Florio also has "rottare" as a verb, meaning (of course) "to break".

And here I half thought I might have to justify why he didn't use "rompere" (which is also the verb form in Spanish).


Not sure I agree, Florio has "rottare" as a verb, which he defines as "to belch, to raspe, to breake winde upward", but this is just an archaic spelling of the modern Italian "ruttare" - to burp.

As a noun “rotta” does mean “break”, but as stated this derives from a different verb “rompere”.

Going back to the original passage however, Malpiero transcribes “rotare” as “roture”. This equates to the modern “rotture” or “breaks”, and would indeed make more sense in the context.

To answer Motley's original question I think Matt's translation is fundamentally correct:

“so ben fare de coverte e ferire sempre in quelle voglio finire.”

“I know well how to make covers and injuries; always in these I want to finish.”

Thearos wrote:Ferire is a verb, not a noun, yes ?
Quelle= feminine plural, must go with "coverte"
Those= the covers or guards


But I agree the key is that “quelle” i.e. “these” is feminine and plural in the original. It must therefore refer to the covers “coverte” rather than to “ferire” which is a verb. So he is just saying that he ends in covers.


Wow thanks all, I didn't realise I would start this but it is very interesting.

So if I re-write the sentence in my own words would you consider it to grasp the correct meaning.

"the sword can cover and wound, it always ends it's action in a cover"

Or have i misunderstood the back and flow of the posts?

Cheers,
Dan.
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Re: What do you think this means?

Postby Piermarco » 11 Jun 2012 21:26

Mostly looks ok but I don't agree with changing de coverte to de coverta (without checking I assume to transcription is the former.

I would read the "de" in "de coverte" as the modern "delle", i.e. literally "I understand of the covers", therefore it can go together with "so ben fare", if that makes sense :)
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Re: What do you think this means?

Postby Piermarco » 11 Jun 2012 21:27

Motley wrote:
So if I re-write the sentence in my own words would you consider it to grasp the correct meaning.

"the sword can cover and wound, it always ends it's action in a cover"

Or have i misunderstood the back and flow of the posts?

Cheers,
Dan.


Pretty much :D
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Re: What do you think this means?

Postby Thearos » 11 Jun 2012 21:29

Piermarco wrote:Mostly looks ok but I don't agree with changing de coverte to de coverta (without checking I assume to transcription is the former.

I would read the "de" in "de coverte" as the modern "delle", i.e. literally "I understand of the covers", therefore it can go together with "so ben fare", if that makes sense :)


Actually that looks right.

So maybe:

Mia arte si è : rotture e ligadure. So ben fare de coverte, e ferire. Sempre in quelle voglio finire.

Thus is my art: breaks and binds. I know how to execute well guards, and to strike. Always in these guards I aim to end.
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Re: What do you think this means?

Postby Piermarco » 11 Jun 2012 21:37

Looks about right to me, if "coverte" translates as another term for "guards".
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Re: What do you think this means?

Postby admin » 11 Jun 2012 22:28

Within the context of Fiore I don't really agree that it does. Fiore uses the word 'cover' usually to describe a parry or defensive action, or literally to be covered/protected, whereas he uses 'posta' or 'guardia' to describe guards per se.
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