The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Fiore dei Liberi and his treatises Fior di Battaglia/Flos Duellatorum c.1410.
Open to public view.

The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby CPenney » 19 Oct 2012 03:23

I’ve been thinking about something for a while and I’m really curious to hear other people’s perspectives. It’s about how the Getty seems slightly set apart from the other three manuscripts.

Most people look at the Getty as their ‘primary’ source, as it is the only manuscript that is both complete (like the Pisani-Dossi) yet contains much more extensive explanations for individual plays (like the Morgan). Besides this, the Getty has unique information, making it the one source that everyone turns to. On the other hand, there are a number of ways in which the Getty differs from the other three manuscripts, and I’ve never heard anyone consider these differences, or discuss the implications on how we interpret Fiore.

Some of the differences I’m referring to include:

    The Getty is the only manuscript to show posta di dona in a forward-weighted stance (with any weapon).

    The Getty has a different set of ‘12’ sword in two hands poste - the other three actually show only 11 poste, showing posta di dona on the right twice. The Getty adds middle boar’s tooth, which is not shown anywhere else. The Getty does not indicate that the 12 poste stand in opposing pairs - something which the Pisani-dossi states.

    Middle iron door (in the sword section) - the Getty states that the guard calls for a long blade, while the Morgan explicitly states that it should not be used with a long blade. (interestingly the PD refers to the length of the sword in this posta, without going into specifics.)

    The Getty is the only MS where the three pairs of figures in the incrosada (the 1st and 2nd Master of the gioco largo and the Master of the gioco stretto)are not each wearing crowns (though in the gioco stretto one crowned Master faces a scholar with a garter in the Getty). The Morgan even adds a line of text to stress that the victor will be the one who does better.

    In the spear poste mezza porta di ferro the Morgan adds the term “short” in describing the lance held by the Master where the Getty does not. In the Pisani-Dossi the text is consistent with the Morgan, stating “your spear is long and short is mine”.

My question, I guess, is what does all of this mean? Even looking at the Morgan and the Getty, where the vast majority of the text is identical except for some spelling, the author of the Morgan makes sure to modify the text and the order of the plates, frequently making them consistent with the Pisani-Dossi (I don’t have a translation of the Florius, but where these differences are based on images, it certainly appears consistent.

From my perspective, the individual who produced the Getty has some differing views to the producers of the other three. This might, for example, signal a change of opinion on the part of Fiore himself, but I don’t really buy that. This also begs the question of why some of the changes are not mere modifications, but in several cases directly contradict each other (the statements about sword length, for example).

In general, we are talking about a small handful of cases, but the fact that the Getty stands alone from the other is clear. The main implication for me is how we approach some of the information that appears only in the Getty? This includes the dagger variations of porta di ferro, the dagger strike angles and the introductory text at the beginning of the sword in two hands. Who’s words are these? Considering that that section of text is a fundamental part of most people’s interpretation of the sword, should we take it with a degree of caution?
Chris Penney
Ottawa Medieval Sword Guild
User avatar
CPenney
Staff Sergeant
 
Posts: 157
Joined: 01 Jan 2007 22:00
Location: Ottawa

Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby Sean M » 19 Oct 2012 06:25

Those are some good questions. Unfortunately, research on the differences between the manuscripts is mostly passed on in person right now. That is why a journal must be founded.

Bob Charrette's book is the best introduction to the problem right now, although Keith Alderson's essay in In Service to Mars is also useful and has more pointers to scholarly literature.

Some of the problems are explained when you read about medieval book production and deduce the process that must have occurred to produce a "first generation" Fiore manuscript. First, Fiore composed the manuscript in his head, possibly discussing the problems with his patron or colleagues and with whoever he had hired to make the book. (“If you want another four more pictures, and some colour, that will cost you an extra florin.”) Then, an illuminator or illuminators made the pictures (probably using live models for the body positions but filling in the faces and clothes based on discussions with Fiore). Mistakes in the art were occasionally corrected, but sometimes left, as in the Fourth Remedy Master dagger play where the scholar has three hands. Then, Fiore dictated the text to a scribe who copied it into the book. Both of these last stages could introduce 'transmission error' (either Fiore or his models made a mistake, or the scribe or illuminator copied incorrectly). This process of composition explains why we expect to see differences, although it doesn't explain each one. It also explains how Fiore could have two different texts for the same material (a short mnemonic in the PD and a long exposition in the Getty and Morgan).

A number of people seem to feel that the Getty is 'different' and 'most polished.' I haven't studied any of the manuscripts deeply enough to have an opinion, although the different lists of guards in the Getty and the PD/Morgan/BNF is instructive.

As far as we can tell from art style, handwriting, and textual criticism, the PD, Morgan, and Getty are all more or less contemporary to Fiore in space and time. The Getty and Morgan seem to be about five years earlier than the PD which was finished in August 1410 Gregorian (edit: but as Bob Charette pointed out to me, the line about "fifty years" in the PD is part of a rhyme and so the difference between "forty years and more" and "fifty years or more" may just be whatever fit the metre). You sometimes see the idea that one or more of the manuscripts is a copy, but the only evidence I have seen is that the armour in the PD is very "avant-garde" for 1410. Until we get a trained codicologist to look at the manuscripts, I think the weight of the evidence is on the PD, Morgan, and Getty having been produced under Fiore's supervision. If any is a copy, the copying was done in northern Italy in the early 15th century. I'm used to gaps of a thousand years or more between composition and the oldest manuscript, so to me this is a pretty good situation!

CPenney wrote:The Getty has a different set of ‘12’ sword in two hands poste - the other three actually show only 11 poste, showing posta di dona on the right twice. The Getty adds middle boar’s tooth, which is not shown anywhere else. The Getty does not indicate that the 12 poste stand in opposing pairs - something which the Pisani-dossi states.

The PD/Morgan/BNF set of sword poste actually teaches two of the twelve possible versions of posta di donna: right refused low and right refused horizontal. The Getty teaches right refused low and left refused horizontal. But since all poste can do volta stabile, and doing volta stabile without turning your head gives a refused guard, we can generate the other forms. (Forms of posta di donna show three variables: whether the weapon is on the Right or Left side, whether the point is High, Horizontal, or Low, and whether the guard is forward-weighted or Refused). I suspect that Fiore chose to show posta di donna twice because its an important guard and one with many variations. Twelve poste is both a good mnemonic number and compatible with the layout of the manuscripts. The PD also gives us left posta di donna in its "seven swords" page.

The Getty has already told its readers about guards opposing each other at the "two guards who talk about foorwork and turns" section at the start of the sword in two hands, so that doesn't need to be repeated in the section of named poste.
how could anyone resist becoming
part of what I thought you were?
Sean M
2nd Lieutenant
 
Posts: 341
Joined: 26 Feb 2009 13:14

Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby admin » 19 Oct 2012 10:25

Two important things to note:

1) The text of Getty's prologue says that it has been arranged according to the patron's wishes (ie. Niccolo d'Este), the Morgan at the exact same place says that it has been arranged according to the author's (Fiore's) own sense. Getty and Morgan are clearly closely related, but it seems that at least some of the differences of Getty can be attributed to Niccolo d'Este's requests.

2) The weight forward or backward point is really no relevant IMO, as the text of Getty clearly states that any posta can make a volta stabile and therefore be either forward or back weighted.

I think it's important not to view medieval texts through the eyes of a modern person expecting a scientific research paper. Take even a modern 60 year old fencing teacher and they will explain the same technique several different ways on different occasions. Even a university lecturer will explain things slightly differently in each lecture. Remember that this was an old man's fighting system being written down a handful of times, without editors or peer review. Variations are interested and may be important in some cases, but they are also inevitable. The meisterhau of the German sources are supposed to be the same set of techniques but are described in quite wildly different ways in different sources.
http://www.antique-swords.co.uk/

I like swords more than you.
User avatar
admin
Emperor
 
Posts: 35036
Joined: 13 Mar 2006 17:28
Location: Guildford, Surrey, England.

Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby CPenney » 19 Oct 2012 12:40

admin wrote:Two important things to note:

1) The text of Getty's prologue says that it has been arranged according to the patron's wishes (ie. Niccolo d'Este), the Morgan at the exact same place says that it has been arranged according to the author's (Fiore's) own sense. Getty and Morgan are clearly closely related, but it seems that at least some of the differences of Getty can be attributed to Niccolo d'Este's requests.

2) The weight forward or backward point is really no relevant IMO, as the text of Getty clearly states that any posta can make a volta stabile and therefore be either forward or back weighted.


1) I wonder if that wasn't more of a standard 'boilerplate' dedication - I don't think it necessarily follows that Niccolo d'Este requested specific content (which would assume that he was familiar with the contents of Fiore other books, or at least Fiore's full intent).

2) SInce it's the Getty that states that bit about the forward and back weighted, we can't really take that as proof af anything - it goes with the forward-weighted drawing, and is thus not really corroborative. All it tels us is that the producer of the Getty (a senior student, perhaps?) felt it was a legitimate variation (and one that clearly, to me, reflects move we see in Vadi to a more forward-facing sword style (the Getty variation is also vary severely twisted back from the waist up - I interpret that as an emphasis on maintaining a lot of power, rather than sacrificing more power for the sake of quickness.

Secondly, are we sure that the Getty meant that all (12) guards can do volta stabile and mezza volta? That paragraph jumps between talking about the two di dona variations, to all guards, to the three so-called 'point-guards', and eventually back to the two di dona variations, then the four 'general things' about the art. Given the way the text moves around, I'm not convinced that volta stuff doesn't refer specifically to the di dona variations.

I think it's important not to view medieval texts through the eyes of a modern person expecting a scientific research paper. Take even a modern 60 year old fencing teacher and they will explain the same technique several different ways on different occasions. Even a university lecturer will explain things slightly differently in each lecture. Remember that this was an old man's fighting system being written down a handful of times, without editors or peer review. Variations are interested and may be important in some cases, but they are also inevitable. The meisterhau of the German sources are supposed to be the same set of techniques but are described in quite wildly different ways in different sources.


Agreed 100% (see my thoughts on the volta). I don't feel in this case I'm taking about minutiae. The stuff about the "short" spear or the sword length is small, but pretty specific, and definitely relevant to the discusion of the technique, IMO.
Chris Penney
Ottawa Medieval Sword Guild
User avatar
CPenney
Staff Sergeant
 
Posts: 157
Joined: 01 Jan 2007 22:00
Location: Ottawa

Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby Michael Chidester » 19 Oct 2012 13:21

The Morgan spear material makes more sense when you translate it as "extended" vs "withdrawn".

As for the significance of that line in the introductions, it's been argued many time over the years, but there's no way to lone how much influence Niccolo possessed or exerted.
User avatar
Michael Chidester
Colonel
 
Posts: 1425
Joined: 28 Sep 2008 00:20
Location: Brighton, MA

Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby Bulot » 19 Oct 2012 16:17

The Getty has a different set of ‘12’ sword in two hands poste


I think Fiore was trying to have exactly 12 positions, even though his system has roughly 8-10, depending how you count. The number 12 bears a lot of meaning in medieval symbolism. Note that the PD has a slightly different set of guards as well, as he does'nt have a left guard of the lady, but has a left guard of the window.

The Getty does not indicate that the 12 poste stand in opposing pairs - something which the Pisani-dossi states.


Not as explicitely, but it is stated in the guards description. When he presents the different grips of the sword for instance, between the grip of the position of the lady, and the grip of the sword/axe thingie, he says "questa che m'è contra".
It could be inferred from the brief description of the guard with the two donna variations as well.
Last edited by Bulot on 19 Oct 2012 16:48, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Bulot
Captain
 
Posts: 677
Joined: 17 Dec 2007 14:15
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada

Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby Motley » 19 Oct 2012 16:43

Bulot wrote:
The Getty has a different set of ‘12’ sword in two hands poste


I think Fiore was trying to have exactly 12 positions, even though his system has roughly 8-10, depending how you count. The number 12 bears a lot of meaning in medieval symbolism. Note that the Getty has a slightly different set of guards as well, as he does'nt have a left guard of the lady, but has a left guard of the window.



Did you get that the right way round?

Bulot wrote:
The Getty does not indicate that the 12 poste stand in opposing pairs - something which the Pisani-dossi states.


Not as explicitely, but it is stated in the guards description. When he presents the different grips of the sword for instance, between the grip of the position of the lady, and the grip of the sword/axe thingie, he says "questa che m'è contra".
It could be inferred from the brief description of the guard with the two donna variations as well.


Does he not say something about opposing in the intro section before he get's in to Abrazare?
Dan Sellars
Context is everything
User avatar
Motley
Lieutenant General
 
Posts: 2566
Joined: 20 Jan 2008 17:04
Location: Great White North

Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby Bulot » 19 Oct 2012 16:48

Motley wrote:
Bulot wrote:
The Getty has a different set of ‘12’ sword in two hands poste


I think Fiore was trying to have exactly 12 positions, even though his system has roughly 8-10, depending how you count. The number 12 bears a lot of meaning in medieval symbolism. Note that the Getty has a slightly different set of guards as well, as he does'nt have a left guard of the lady, but has a left guard of the window.



Did you get that the right way round?



post edited. I meant the PD, not the Getty.
User avatar
Bulot
Captain
 
Posts: 677
Joined: 17 Dec 2007 14:15
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada

Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby Michael Chidester » 19 Oct 2012 17:11

Bulot wrote:Note that the PD has a slightly different set of guards as well, as he does'nt have a left guard of the lady, but has a left guard of the window.

Yes, but that's an error (present in the PD but not the Morgan). It's still Posta di Donna la Sinestra.
User avatar
Michael Chidester
Colonel
 
Posts: 1425
Joined: 28 Sep 2008 00:20
Location: Brighton, MA

Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby Bulot » 19 Oct 2012 17:30

Maybe, and maybe not. It is pretty hard to see on the fac-simile if the blade of the sword is behind or in front of the face of the master. There is definitely fine lines on the face of the master where the blade should be.

Image
User avatar
Bulot
Captain
 
Posts: 677
Joined: 17 Dec 2007 14:15
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada

Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby Michael Chidester » 19 Oct 2012 18:58

Your brain is playing tricks on you, the sword is clearly behind the head. Likewise in the morgan:

Image

(And in the Florius, but it doesn't signify since Finestra is also behind the head there.)
User avatar
Michael Chidester
Colonel
 
Posts: 1425
Joined: 28 Sep 2008 00:20
Location: Brighton, MA

Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby Bulot » 19 Oct 2012 20:54

There is no question for the Morgan, Getty and Florius : the sword is behind the head, and it is posta di donna la sinestra.

For the PD, where the text says it is finestra, I suspect the sword was supposed to be in front of the head, and the illustrator mistakenly painted the golden crown on top of the blade (once again, if you look very closely a fine line in continuation of the blade appears in filigrane).
Maybe you are right and my brain plays optical tricks on me, though. Am I the only one here who sees a possibility for the blade to be drawn in front of the face ? (not that it really matters anyway, but still ?)
User avatar
Bulot
Captain
 
Posts: 677
Joined: 17 Dec 2007 14:15
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada

Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby Motley » 19 Oct 2012 21:47

Bulot wrote:There is no question for the Morgan, Getty and Florius : the sword is behind the head, and it is posta di donna la sinestra.

For the PD, where the text says it is finestra, I suspect the sword was supposed to be in front of the head, and the illustrator mistakenly painted the golden crown on top of the blade (once again, if you look very closely a fine line in continuation of the blade appears in filigrane).
Maybe you are right and my brain plays optical tricks on me, though. Am I the only one here who sees a possibility for the blade to be drawn in front of the face ? (not that it really matters anyway, but still ?)


Now that you mention it, I had not seen before, but it is possible. But I don't think it is clear enough to say much more than 'possible'.
Dan Sellars
Context is everything
User avatar
Motley
Lieutenant General
 
Posts: 2566
Joined: 20 Jan 2008 17:04
Location: Great White North

Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby Bulot » 19 Oct 2012 21:59

Clearly not.
And anyway, it matters very little : either the writer or the painter made a mistake, but it doesn't deeply change our understanding of the guards.
User avatar
Bulot
Captain
 
Posts: 677
Joined: 17 Dec 2007 14:15
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada

Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby Sean M » 20 Oct 2012 00:14

CPenney wrote:2) SInce it's the Getty that states that bit about the forward and back weighted, we can't really take that as proof af anything - it goes with the forward-weighted drawing, and is thus not really corroborative. All it tels us is that the producer of the Getty (a senior student, perhaps?) felt it was a legitimate variation (and one that clearly, to me, reflects move we see in Vadi to a more forward-facing sword style (the Getty variation is also vary severely twisted back from the waist up - I interpret that as an emphasis on maintaining a lot of power, rather than sacrificing more power for the sake of quickness.

We can figure out that volta stabile, forward weighted versions of guards, and rear-weighted versions of guards exist without relying on the text because the manuscripts don't just consist of text. They also consist of pictures and actions, and those both reinforce the discourses on theory and imply theory which he forgot to spell out. For example, to pass forward from a refused position you must become forward-weighted, and to enter a refused position from a forward-weighted one you must do a volta stabile. The last two of the six ways of holding the sword contrast forward-weighted and rear-weighted posta di donna, and they are present in both the PD and the Getty.

Guy Windsor has written (The Swordsman's Companion, ch. 6 note 2) that when he first encountered the Getty manuscript after working on the PD he found that he had worked out most of the contents of the “turns and guards” paragraph, and that he (working from the PD) and Bob Charron (working from the Getty) had come to similar interpretations. Since then I understand they have diverged, but this does suggest that the differences between those two manuscripts are not fundamental. I suspect that there are other cases like this, but you would need to ask someone who was in the community in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

CPenney wrote:Secondly, are we sure that the Getty meant that all (12) guards can do volta stabile and mezza volta? That paragraph jumps between talking about the two di dona variations, to all guards, to the three so-called 'point-guards', and eventually back to the two di dona variations, then the four 'general things' about the art. Given the way the text moves around, I'm not convinced that volta stuff doesn't refer specifically to the di dona variations.

The Italian says "E zaschuna guardia pò fare volta stabile e meza volta." I would need an Italian reader to tell me whether zaschuna implies "each of two" or just "each" but its pretty clearly something like "Et quisque guardia potest facere voltam stabilem et dimidiam voltam." But whatever the exact nuances, its clear that every guard can do volta stabile, mezza volta, and tutta volta because we can get up from our computers and do just that. I see the two guards who talk about theory as exemplars of what two opposed fencers can do, so speaking about them specifically isn't so different from speaking of guards in general.

I think that last post sounded too authorititive. I think we have more questions than answers right now about the differences between the four manuscripts. But I do think that this model of book production works fairly well and gives a framework for classifying those differences. Some are scribal or dictation errors, some reflect pedagogical and book-design choices by FIore, some reflect changes in Fiore's views, and some are hard to explain like the disagreement between the Morgan and the Getty about what sword is best for Mezzana Porta di Ferro.

The other thing I noticed in the Freelance translation of the Morgan is that the Morgan doesn't mention counter-remedies! The Getty does, but only has two, and the PD supposedly has them but doesn't seem to mention them. But Fiore seems to have been torn about whether they were worth including.

Edit: Wrong Bob!
how could anyone resist becoming
part of what I thought you were?
Sean M
2nd Lieutenant
 
Posts: 341
Joined: 26 Feb 2009 13:14

Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby Sean M » 20 Oct 2012 00:28

Michael Chidester wrote:
Bulot wrote:Note that the PD has a slightly different set of guards as well, as he does'nt have a left guard of the lady, but has a left guard of the window.

Yes, but that's an error (present in the PD but not the Morgan). It's still Posta di Donna la Sinestra.

Doesn't the 10th sword in two hands guard in the PD call itself Vera Finestra (L refused) and look like Posta di Donna (L, high, refused)? I think that the tenth guard is horizontal Posta di Donna (L, refused) in the Morgan and BNF so I'm not certain what happened there.
how could anyone resist becoming
part of what I thought you were?
Sean M
2nd Lieutenant
 
Posts: 341
Joined: 26 Feb 2009 13:14

Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby Michael Chidester » 20 Oct 2012 00:33

Sean M wrote:Doesn't the 10th sword in two hands guard in the PD call itself Vera Finestra (L refused) and look like Posta di Donna (L, high, refused)?

Correct. Probably a scribal error, possibly evidence that Fiore didn't personally oversee its production.

Sean M wrote:I think that the tenth guard is horizontal Posta di Donna (L, refused) in the Morgan and BNF so I'm not certain what happened there.

I don't attach much significance to the angle of the blade in a given illustration of Donna.
User avatar
Michael Chidester
Colonel
 
Posts: 1425
Joined: 28 Sep 2008 00:20
Location: Brighton, MA

Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby Sean M » 20 Oct 2012 00:36

Bulot wrote:There is no question for the Morgan, Getty and Florius : the sword is behind the head, and it is posta di donna la sinestra.

For the PD, where the text says it is finestra, I suspect the sword was supposed to be in front of the head, and the illustrator mistakenly painted the golden crown on top of the blade (once again, if you look very closely a fine line in continuation of the blade appears in filigrane).
Maybe you are right and my brain plays optical tricks on me, though. Am I the only one here who sees a possibility for the blade to be drawn in front of the face ? (not that it really matters anyway, but still ?)

It looks possible to me, and would match the guard which Vadi calls vera finestra. If you are right, that would give us a name for the “horseman's guard” which the common fencer who delivers a one-handed cut is standing in. We see it all over late medieval artwork,such as the famous gilt statue of St. George and the dragon from the 1390s, but I have never seen a manual which teaches it.
how could anyone resist becoming
part of what I thought you were?
Sean M
2nd Lieutenant
 
Posts: 341
Joined: 26 Feb 2009 13:14

Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby CPenney » 20 Oct 2012 05:05

Motley wrote:
Does he not say something about opposing in the intro section before he get's in to Abrazare?


In one of the MS at least (from memory I can't recall which, but I think it's the PD) he states that the four abrazare guards form two opposing pairs - longa against boars tooth and frontale against iron gate.

The two examples that Bulot states in the Getty come before the 12 guards 'proper'. At the start of the 'first six' in the Getty he specifically states that one guard is not like the other - the implication seems to be that those six represent speciality poste, for specific purposes (throwing, defending the dagger, defending the throw, etc.). Only the PD, to my knowledge, states that the 12 guards stand one against the other - Fiore mentions it up front, and reiterates the point when he shows di dona on the right for the second time, which he describes as standing before boar's tooth.
Chris Penney
Ottawa Medieval Sword Guild
User avatar
CPenney
Staff Sergeant
 
Posts: 157
Joined: 01 Jan 2007 22:00
Location: Ottawa

Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby CPenney » 20 Oct 2012 05:33

Sean M wrote:We can figure out that volta stabile, forward weighted versions of guards, and rear-weighted versions of guards exist without relying on the text because the manuscripts don't just consist of text. They also consist of pictures and actions, and those both reinforce the discourses on theory and imply theory which he forgot to spell out. For example, to pass forward from a refused position you must become forward-weighted, and to enter a refused position from a forward-weighted one you must do a volta stabile. The last two of the six ways of holding the sword contrast forward-weighted and rear-weighted posta di donna, and they are present in both the PD and the Getty.


The books do not consist of actions - they consist of words and pictures from which we infer actions. Many are spelled out with little ambiguity, and other less so. As for the next part of your statement, I have a real problem with the notion that Fiore "forgot to spell out" certain things that we are supposed to figure out by "reading between the lines". Fiore tells us that he's learned lots of stuff in this life, and this book includes what he considers the good stuff. What he doesn't include has it's own meaning, same as the stuff that he did include.

Also, a forward-weighted di dona does not exist in the PD. The only thing I can imagine you are referring to is the sword-axe - I will acknowledge that the closest thing it looks like to any of the poste is di dona, but that is not di dona. I suspect the pose is intended to show off the sword/axe, rather than a guard or position.

Guy Windsor has written (The Swordsman's Companion, ch. 6 note 2) that when he first encountered the Getty manuscript after working on the PD he found that he had worked out most of the contents of the “turns and guards” paragraph, and that he (working from the PD) and Bob Charron (working from the Getty) had come to similar interpretations. Since then I understand they have diverged, but this does suggest that the differences between those two manuscripts are not fundamental. I suspect that there are other cases like this, but you would need to ask someone who was in the community in the late 1990s and early 2000s.


Well, I started in 2001 - does that count? :)

A lot of the extra stuff we see in the Getty (such as the porta di ferro variations , and the crossed-arms and piu forteza covers from below in the dagger section) are helpful to us in the modern day who can use the additional info, but they don't really add anything new to someone who has presumably already studied this Art under Fiore.

The Italian says "E zaschuna guardia pò fare volta stabile e meza volta." I would need an Italian reader to tell me whether zaschuna implies "each of two" or just "each" but its pretty clearly something like "Et quisque guardia potest facere voltam stabilem et dimidiam voltam." But whatever the exact nuances, its clear that every guard can do volta stabile, mezza volta, and tutta volta because we can get up from our computers and do just that. I see the two guards who talk about theory as exemplars of what two opposed fencers can do, so speaking about them specifically isn't so different from speaking of guards in general.


I think you're being too loose in extrapolating to 'guards in general'. Leaving aside what you specifically mean that all guards can do any of the three turns, if they can do this, as you say, why would Fiore mention only two in that statement? It makes no sense. What I suspect is that he was referring specifically to posta di dona, giving emphasis to the weight-forward version of the guard that he seemingly introduces.

I think that last post sounded too authorititive. I think we have more questions than answers right now about the differences between the four manuscripts. But I do think that this model of book production works fairly well and gives a framework for classifying those differences. Some are scribal or dictation errors, some reflect pedagogical and book-design choices by FIore, some reflect changes in Fiore's views, and some are hard to explain like the disagreement between the Morgan and the Getty about what sword is best for Mezzana Porta di Ferro.


I get how book production worked, and definitely appreciate how that can lead to differences (the speling differences between the Morgan and Getty being a great example of that). I'm talking about differences that are clearly choices of content
Chris Penney
Ottawa Medieval Sword Guild
User avatar
CPenney
Staff Sergeant
 
Posts: 157
Joined: 01 Jan 2007 22:00
Location: Ottawa

Next

Return to Fiore dei Liberi

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest