The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Fiore dei Liberi and his treatises Fior di Battaglia/Flos Duellatorum c.1410.
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Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby Michael Chidester » 22 Oct 2012 18:31

Okay, clearly we're defining "backwards" differently. I agree that it never points directly back, but in most cases it seems to me to be pointed in "a rear-ward direction", somewhere between straight back and straight side-ways.
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Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby Bulot » 22 Oct 2012 18:41

That's what bugs me. I don't see it.

I see it that way : forward is where the opponent stands, backward is...well.. the opposite.

Vom Tag points backward, and it does not look like any pic explicitely called PdD
Image

This is a back-weighted PdD :
Image

That kind of stuff is way easier to show in person, I hope I don't come across as obnoxious, but I find this discussion interesting.
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Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby Motley » 22 Oct 2012 19:10

I am with Bulot on this one. :-) carry on.
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Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby Michael Chidester » 22 Oct 2012 21:02

Bulot wrote:This is a back-weighted PdD :
Image

That kind of stuff is way easier to show in person, I hope I don't come across as obnoxious, but I find this discussion interesting.

When I stand in Zornhut, my sword is pointing to the left and slightly backward.
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Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby Motley » 22 Oct 2012 21:11

Michael Chidester wrote:
Bulot wrote:This is a back-weighted PdD :
Image

That kind of stuff is way easier to show in person, I hope I don't come across as obnoxious, but I find this discussion interesting.

When I stand in Zornhut, my sword is pointing to the left and slightly backward.


Assuming he is facing in the direction his eyes are looking, which to me looks about in line with both feet.

Lets make that line 12 o'clock. To me the sword looks like it is somewhere around 11 o'clock, definitely not less than 10. So I see it as facing forward. This seems consistent with Fiore to me.

From your description Mike, I am think you are saying you hold your sword somewhere between 7 and 9 o'clock?
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Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby Bulot » 22 Oct 2012 21:15

But that's not what is depicted here, is it ? :wink:

We can argue all we want about the lack of perspective in treatise illustrations, and the difficulty of representing depht perception accurately, but Meyer and Fiore are pretty good at it, and there is a way to stand in PdD while closely resembling what is painted :

Try doing that : go from finestra, and without moving your hands nor your foot, place your blade on your shoulder, behind your head.
It is not very comfortable. It is not "natural". But it matches text and image. Plus, it really makes volta stabile a crucial move, and allows to throw "hidden thrusts" by lifting your arms above your head instead of going for a very "pulsative" fendente.
You can vary the height of your arms and hands and look over or under you arm.
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Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby Michael Chidester » 22 Oct 2012 21:27

Motley wrote:From your description Mike, I am think you are saying you hold your sword somewhere between 7 and 9 o'clock?

Depending on how I orient my shoulders, yes. I'd say in that picture, he's standing with his sword at the 9 o'clock position.
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Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby Motley » 22 Oct 2012 21:31

Michael Chidester wrote:
Motley wrote:From your description Mike, I am think you are saying you hold your sword somewhere between 7 and 9 o'clock?

Depending on how I orient my shoulders, yes. I'd say in that picture, he's standing with his sword at the 9 o'clock position.


assuming that 12 is the line between the heels? I just want to check we are using the same reference point as I can't wrap my brain around it being 9.
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Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby Joeli » 22 Oct 2012 21:31

When I am standing in posta di donna, I can sometimes see my sword tip from the corner of my eye. It could be that I am just being silly and trying to copy the old images, or it could be that the weird mechanics are there for a reason. I suppose figuring out what's the thing that makes the position work the best for you is the key, so that you have some kind of internalized reason to the way you move in and out of the guard.

Btw, has anyone wondered about the strange upper body position that's present in some of the versions of posta di donna? If we only look at the fencer and not the sword, the pflug in von danzid is eeriely similar to getty's donna. It really makes me think about the possible reasons for coiling up like this.

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Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby Motley » 22 Oct 2012 21:35

Joeli wrote:When I am standing in posta di donna, I can sometimes see my sword tip from the corner of my eye. It could be that I am just being silly and trying to copy the old images, or it could be that the weird mechanics are there for a reason. I suppose figuring out what's the thing that makes the position work the best for you is the key, so that you have some kind of internalized reason to the way you move in and out of the guard.

Btw, has anyone wondered about the strange upper body position that's present in some of the versions of posta di donna? If we only look at the fencer and not the sword, the pflug in von danzid is eeriely similar to getty's donna. It really makes me think about the possible reasons for coiling up like this.

Image


I agree, I see/am aware of the tip in my peripheral vision.

My working reason for why to stand like this is that it is coiling the force for the strike into the hips and torso, like loading a spring.
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Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby Bulot » 22 Oct 2012 21:36

Joeli wrote:[...]It really makes me think about the possible reasons for coiling up like this.


My theory ? keeping the arms behind the weapon.
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Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby Sean M » 22 Oct 2012 22:21

Joeli wrote:
Sean M wrote:I think its certainly possible that one or more of the Getty, Morgan, or PD is a copy, but I don't see a lot of evidence for this, and if they are copies they seem to be very close to Fiore in space and time. The art style is north Italian and circa 1410, the script and dialect are plausible for that date and time, and the art and text are largely consistent. We know more about the production of these books than we do about many manuscripts.

When comparing the images, you speak of Pisani Dossi. Wouldn't that be a bit dangerous, as we only have a soon hundred year old copy of it by Novati. Any confusion between these two could be quickly cleared by being able to have a look at the PD original, but from what I've understood nobody's seen it in HEMA, and we don't know how faithfully the art is copied from PD to Novati. There are claims that the line shading in the facsimile is in 20th century style, even though the hand writing is in 15th c style. Sorry, I don't carry a reference to the source that made this claim, and I haven't studied art history myself to make a comment about the trustworthiness of Novati images, but I'm sure that some of the more dedicated scholars can dig up the reference.

That's an interesting suggestion. I have been working on the assumption that it was printed from photographs, but I would be very interested in any evidence otherwise. Claude Blair accepted the authenticity and date of the art, and he knew his armour.

Rumour has it that some people know which private collection it is in, and may have seen it, but the current owners don't want publicity, so negotiations with them are very slow.
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Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby CPenney » 23 Oct 2012 01:36

Joeli wrote:Btw, has anyone wondered about the strange upper body position that's present in some of the versions of posta di donna? If we only look at the fencer and not the sword, the pflug in von danzid is eeriely similar to getty's donna. It really makes me think about the possible reasons for coiling up like this.

Image


Hi, Joeli. I think the similarity here is largely superficial - If you look at the seam on the front of the chest, the posta di dona from the Getty is clearly coiled around. In the von Danzig example, the left shoulder is definitely not in the correct anatomical position, and the artist seems to have taken great pains to show the chest as straight on to his opponent. This to me, is an artifact of how the torsos are essentially drawn the same (i.e with an hourglass shape). It is only the drawing of the centre seam that shows us how the body inside is positioned.
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Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby CPenney » 23 Oct 2012 02:13

Bulot wrote:
Joeli wrote:[...]It really makes me think about the possible reasons for coiling up like this.


My theory ? keeping the arms behind the weapon.



For what purpose? Considering the sword is behind the head I can't see it as a way to protect the hands.

My feeling on posta di dona is as follows - All of the depictions of posta di dona in the P-D, Morgan and Florius (multiple versions in the sword section, and in the poll-axe section) are all rear-weighted. I think that is a valuable clue. If you try and strike from these rear-weighted positions, they are a little slower, but they can generate a lot more power with a lot less effort.

I don't know whether or not the Getty was a later variation/expansion by FIore, or was a work by someone else (a senior student, perhaps?) but I think the introduction of a forward-weighted version of the guard (and the corresponding addendum to the text that the guard can do this) represents an innovation, and a precursor to the more forward-weighted guards we see in Vadi. For what it's worth, I note that neither of the forward-weighted depictions in the Getty are shown in the "12 poste" proper. It is my belief based on the combined evidence of all four MSS that the forward-weighted variation is an alternate version, and the rear-weighted version is the "regular" way of doing it, for want of a better word.

If you look at these two forward-weighted guards (folios 22r and v) they are both twisted around so that while the weight is shifted forward, the upper body is almost completely turned around. In fact, the upper body looks very similar to rear-weighted variations depicted in the P-D (carta 17b and 18b). I think that the forward-weighted variation may be something just coming into Fiore's tradition at this time, but the emphasis was still on delivering as strong a blow as possible.

I'm not sure if other people have had any thoughts on the presence/absence of forward and rear-weighted versions of posta di dona, and the context in which each version appears, but I'm curious to know what people think.
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Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby Joeli » 23 Oct 2012 09:01

Thanks for the thoughts on the forward posta di donna. I like CPenney's idea that the upper body position is constant regardless of the volta stable. I have fenced with people who are good at keeping their upper and lower bodies loose like that, and they seem to be able to put a lot of pressure on me by moving forwards and backwards while not letting it affect too much on how they hold their sword.

So far, the thing I have been doing from the forward position is kind of tangential to Bulot's and Motley's. By keeping the point in presence early on and the shoulders cocked, I just lift my point over my head while keeping my hands behind the cross guard all the time, then I just ram the sword forwards in the same time as step the motion into a downward cut. This kind of attack can just bulldoze forward from any crossing the opponent makes as it has a lot of force going forwards and not just on a downward diagonal. Pushing a cut in like this seems to be okay way of cutting tatami mats and it ties with the concept of giocco stretto as I see it.

However, it is honestly a bit difficult to really throw myself into training a particular fendente like this to the fullest, as one would do when aiming at a higher level of martial art proficiency, as it's all just built upon sketchy suppositions.
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Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby Bulot » 23 Oct 2012 16:01

CPenney wrote:For what purpose? Considering the sword is behind the head I can't see it as a way to protect the hands.


I meant as opposed to this.
Image

I don't know whether or not the Getty was a later variation/expansion by FIore, or was a work by someone else (a senior student, perhaps?) but I think the introduction of a forward-weighted version of the guard (and the corresponding addendum to the text that the guard can do this) represents an innovation, and a precursor to the more forward-weighted guards we see in Vadi. For what it's worth, I note that neither of the forward-weighted depictions in the Getty are shown in the "12 poste" proper. It is my belief based on the combined evidence of all four MSS that the forward-weighted variation is an alternate version, and the rear-weighted version is the "regular" way of doing it, for want of a better word.


That's a possibility.
Another one is simply that the Getty is more explicit on Fiore's use for his guards, and what they can and cannot do.

I'm curious about how does this influence your training, though. Do you refrain from using forward-weighted donna ?
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Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby CPenney » 24 Oct 2012 00:12

Bulot wrote:
I don't know whether or not the Getty was a later variation/expansion by FIore, or was a work by someone else (a senior student, perhaps?) but I think the introduction of a forward-weighted version of the guard (and the corresponding addendum to the text that the guard can do this) represents an innovation, and a precursor to the more forward-weighted guards we see in Vadi. For what it's worth, I note that neither of the forward-weighted depictions in the Getty are shown in the "12 poste" proper. It is my belief based on the combined evidence of all four MSS that the forward-weighted variation is an alternate version, and the rear-weighted version is the "regular" way of doing it, for want of a better word.


That's a possibility.
Another one is simply that the Getty is more explicit on Fiore's use for his guards, and what they can and cannot do.


The reason I don't think of it in that way is that it implies that the other MSS present an incomplete system. Now, if you never show posta di dona forward-weighted, it's not unreasonable to imagine the forward-weighted version, but the message you get from the other three versions is that the rear-weighted version is the way Fiore chooses to show it, and I think there is significance to that.

I'm curious about how does this influence your training, though. Do you refrain from using forward-weighted donna ?


No, I still use it, but I form it the way it is depicted in the text (with the torso twisted around), and I try to emphasize the rear-weighted version (which, to be honest, I see so rarely in anyones freeplay).

To me, the forward-weighted version represents a posta more suited for unarmoured fighting, where speed takes precedence over power. It's reasonable that those sorts of positions (I know many "Fioreists" who form posta di dona closer to Vadi's version than Fiore's) are more useful in modern free play. I think that Fiore, in his time, emphasized a system that was more balanced to either armoured or unarmoured fighting. Rather than modifying things to make it more amenable to modern bouting, I'd rather explore what I think Fiore intended, which, to me, means placing more of an emphasis on the rear-weighted version.
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Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby Sean M » 27 Oct 2012 01:54

One last comment, since I only post on weekends and since we mostly agree.

I have tried to avoid forward-weighted Posta di Donna on foot since I completed my first study of the lists of poste in 2011. I don't see much differences between the different manuscripts on this. Since any guard can do Volta Stabile, and since when one is standing in right Posta di Finestra and passes forward left Posta di Donna is a natural end point, both forms are in the art ... but not all poste and movements in the art are equally favoured.

Posta di Donna on horseback appears to be forward-weighted, for obvious practical reasons. The mounted combat is the other thing which people tend to neglect, because most of us don't have horses and because it wasn't translated until recently.
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Re: The Getty versus the other manuscripts.

Postby wmjdelsolar » 28 Jun 2014 05:37

So upon recent review of the PD stretto sections I noticed that there are several counter remedy masters of the sword depicted after the pommel strikes and throat takedowns. Where as in the Getty each of the CRM is only a stretto scholar until the CRM of the variation of the 1st RM of Dagger. PD Carta22b through 23a vs. Getty folio 29r through 30v.

The questions that come to mind are:
1: PD is Fiore showing actions of the left master in the stretto crossing followed by the actions of the right master in the stretto crossing?
2: PD is fiore showing CRM actions to the scholar's of the stretto (even thought the structure differs from the identified master, scholar, remedy master, counter remedy master, counter counter remedy master method)?
3:Getty is fiore showing the gambit of stretto techiniques?

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