Sword length (Article by Guy Windsor)

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Sword length (Article by Guy Windsor)

Postby Dithyrambus » 03 Aug 2012 19:33

Mark H.

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Re: Sword length (Article by Guy Windsor)

Postby leonardo daneluz » 03 Aug 2012 22:14

I thought that there is a while since the general consensus was that Fiore´s sword was shorter than in later manuals. But I don´t see Fiore paying great interest into sword length.
Also may be the stress that Fiore puts on zogho streto is more due to the possibility he is implying some kind of body protection, and that "senza arme" means more "without plate armour" than merely "without armour".
Is it not possible that in modern interpretations there is some kind of need to find a little key aspect (like a few inches of sword lenght or some degrees in the position of the feet) that would allow us to understand things in a much better way?
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Re: Sword length (Article by Guy Windsor)

Postby Dithyrambus » 03 Aug 2012 22:26

I thought it was an interesting article and I should certainly leave commentary to you guys. Windsor does make it clear that this is only a theory, but it would seem to be an advantage to have the longer sword in the bind, but again I am hardly an experienced fencer. :)
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Re: Sword length (Article by Guy Windsor)

Postby leonardo daneluz » 04 Aug 2012 01:43

It is an interesting read, but since Windsor is a noted expert, it sounds strange to me that this question was not discussed before by him. I cannot properly recall when but I have the impression that this has been told several times in the last years. Comparing Vadi to Fiore and the passing step, for example.
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Re: Sword length (Article by Guy Windsor)

Postby Thearos » 05 Aug 2012 12:47

Not to be a spoilsport, but the translations always seem very slightly off-- nothing serious, but just about every verse contains one, non-serious translation. A native Italian speaker may confirm this impression.
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Re: Sword length (Article by Guy Windsor)

Postby leonardo daneluz » 05 Aug 2012 18:49

Yes, I have the same impression. When translating into spanish this seems less a problem. Several idiomatic expressions in Fiore are also used in spanish so there is not a necessity to think a lot about it. But when translated into english there is always a feel of excessive literalism.
I don´t know if this happens to native italian speakers. But I do know is a problem in almost every translation from spanish to english.
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Re: Sword length (Article by Guy Windsor)

Postby Thearos » 05 Aug 2012 23:07

Change what I wrote to a "non-serious translation SLIP". And I exaggerate a little.

I had better give an example.

WIndsor:

El mzzo tempo est solo uno suoltare
De nodo: presto et subito alferrire
E raro po falire
Quando le fatto con bona mesura

The half time is just one turn
Of the knot: quick and immediately striking,
It can rarely fail
When it is done in good measure.

*****

"subito alferire", shouldn't that be "ready and quick IN STRIKING", al ferire, "in the striking" ? Doesn't matter and the article makes for gripping reading.
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Re: Sword length (Article by Guy Windsor)

Postby leonardo daneluz » 06 Aug 2012 00:18

To me it sounds more like:



The half time is just a turn
around the knot: fast and inmediately strike (or "quick in striking", the meaning is clear)
And rarely it can fail
when it is done with good measure.

Edit: checked the transcription, it was "svoltare" not "suoltare".
I think it is more understandable "around the knot" ie around the crossing point."Nodo" = knot, node.
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Re: Sword length (Article by Guy Windsor)

Postby admin » 06 Aug 2012 10:29

Dithyrambus wrote:http://guywindsor.net/blog/?p=129


Guy's theory? I have been saying this on SFI and all over the forums since about 2002.....
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Re: Sword length (Article by Guy Windsor)

Postby admin » 06 Aug 2012 10:43

Related thread from 2009:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=11425
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Re: Sword length (Article by Guy Windsor)

Postby admin » 06 Aug 2012 10:59

Here is a discussion about blade length and Fiore from 2003 (9 years ago):

http://www.swordforum.com/forums/showth ... or-does-it
http://www.antique-swords.co.uk/

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Re: Sword length (Article by Guy Windsor)

Postby admin » 06 Aug 2012 12:05

By the way, having re-read that thread it is a beautiful casebook example of how Greg Mele and Bob Charron used to play team-tag at semantics and verbal flatchulence on SFI in those days. If anybody wrote anything about one of their 'pet' subjects then they would team up and bully people out. This relates to the 'clique' being discussed in the pub section. Thank god those days are gone!

Anyway, after a decade passed and people forgetting that it was my original assertion (regarding relative blade lengths in longsword sources), I see that most sensible people (like Guy) now agree with me. :roll: :lol:
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Re: Sword length (Article by Guy Windsor)

Postby Ilkka Hartikainen » 06 Aug 2012 12:35

Hi,

just a quick note, "nodo" might still be the wrist. Look here: http://books.google.fi/books?id=c_E9AAA ... o.&f=false

The Bolognese (anonimo) also uses the word to refer to the wrist. Not saying it is one way or another, but keep an open mind -- I can't recall a "confirmed" use of the term "nodo" to refer to the crossing point of swords anywhere. And out of curiosity, does the expression "turn of the knot" mean something intuitively to you native English speakers?

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Re: Sword length (Article by Guy Windsor)

Postby leonardo daneluz » 06 Aug 2012 12:52

I do remember it was from you who said that a long time ago and continued to say that. But today I feel that is something pretty accepted and known.
What I think is more annoying is the tendency to say "Oh, I have found that in N matter a few inches changes everything, it´s my new groundbreaking theory!".
It makes me want to say: "Is that so? So everything you said until now is BS?"
Like R.P. in the other thread in the pub: "Oh, c`mon, we changed pretty much every interpretation since 2009" .
-"Ah, ok, so what you did before was wrong. Shall we see a massive refund then?"
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Re: Sword length (Article by Guy Windsor)

Postby admin » 06 Aug 2012 12:56

Ilkka Hartikainen wrote: And out of curiosity, does the expression "turn of the knot" mean something intuitively to you native English speakers?


Not to me.
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Re: Sword length (Article by Guy Windsor)

Postby admin » 06 Aug 2012 13:03

leonardo daneluz wrote:-"Ah, ok, so what you did before was wrong. Shall we see a massive refund then?"


Hehe.

For me it is patently obvious that the *average* kind of sword Fiore uses is not a big longsword. He does so many actions with the sword which are only really sensible and practical with a small or average sized longsword (he uses it in one hand, a lot, not to mention specific actions like stabbing someone whilst locking their arm in a ligadura mezzana). This also happens to be the predominant type of longsword found in late-14thC Italy.
Binding and winding as you see in sources like Paulus Hector Mair does make more sense if you have a bigger longsword. You see the same thing in long rapier sources of course, compared to generally shorter-bladed sidesword and basket-hilt sources. It's not rocket science - a long blade wants to keep the point online and is slower to wave around, a short blade can uncross and close more easily.
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Re: Sword length (Article by Guy Windsor)

Postby leonardo daneluz » 06 Aug 2012 13:07

I said "around the knot" since I also thought may be "turn of the knot" means something specific in english .

About nodo: It is used in the sense of the joint, but any joint. I don´t believe it could be the case here since the rest of the text seems straightforward. I don´t see it in Florio used that way.
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Re: Sword length (Article by Guy Windsor)

Postby admin » 06 Aug 2012 13:10

I should add though that I do think you could 'do' Fiore with a big sword if you want to. You just have to change how certain things work slightly. My point has always been and remains that Fiore clearly (to me at least) was using a typical Italian knightly hand-and-a-half sword of circa.1410, not a great big two-hander. Nearly all the surviving Italian (and English, incidentally) longswords of that time have blades of between 34-38 inches. Swords exceeding that size from that period are very rare in Europe in general and most examples I have seen have been German or Polish. Longer longswords seem to have become more and more common the later you get in the 15th century.
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Re: Sword length (Article by Guy Windsor)

Postby leonardo daneluz » 06 Aug 2012 13:14

admin wrote:
leonardo daneluz wrote:-"Ah, ok, so what you did before was wrong. Shall we see a massive refund then?"


Hehe.

For me it is patently obvious that the *average* kind of sword Fiore uses is not a big longsword. He does so many actions with the sword which are only really sensible and practical with a small or average sized longsword (he uses it in one hand, a lot, not to mention specific actions like stabbing someone whilst locking their arm in a ligadura mezzana). This also happens to be the predominant type of longsword found in late-14thC Italy.
Binding and winding as you see in sources like Paulus Hector Mair does make more sense if you have a bigger longsword. You see the same thing in long rapier sources of course, compared to generally shorter-bladed sidesword and basket-hilt sources. It's not rocket science - a long blade wants to keep the point online and is slower to wave around, a short blade can uncross and close more easily.


I was about to say spanish Destreza which also used extremely long blades.
Do you believe that it could also be related to the question of using or not using some kind of armour?
Because Fiore´s sword not only seems shorter, may be is more pointy and stiffer too.
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Re: Sword length (Article by Guy Windsor)

Postby admin » 06 Aug 2012 14:07

Yes, I think it is relevant that Fiore describes unarmoured duelling happening in leather gloves and an arming doublet. For a start leather gloves make blade-grabbing a lot easier and secondly the arming doublet makes things like 'schnitt' less useful.
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