Posta counters

Fiore dei Liberi and his treatises Fior di Battaglia/Flos Duellatorum c.1410.
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Posta counters

Postby TyHar7 » 27 Dec 2012 23:41

I'm curios on what peoples preferred guards are when facing each one of Fiore's Postas? Also does Fiore state a lists himself?

For example when facing Posta Di Donna I will assume Tutta Porta Di Ferro.
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Re: Posta counters

Postby CPenney » 08 Jan 2013 04:42

Hi. Interesting topic! I guess things are a little quiet here after Christmas.

In several places in the manuscripts Fiore refers to specific pairings. The most specific one is in the Getty Pollaxe section where di dona counters middle iron door (or boar's tooth - the text is inconsistent).

Other than that, Fiore states in the Pisani-Dossi that the 12 poste of the sword in two hands stand counter to one another:

Poste e guardie chiamare per nome si façemo,
E una simille cum l’altra contrarie noy semo;
E segondo che noy staxemo e semo poste,
De far l’una contra l’altra façemo le mostre.
(Novati carta 18A, transcription Società d’Arme dell’Aquila)

Twelve crowned masters
We are called post and guards by name
And we are one contrary to the other;
And depending on how we stand or are positioned
We'll show how one stands against the other. (Trans. Knights of the WIld Rose)


This statement is further reinforced by the fact that in these "12" guards, he shows posta di dona on the right twice. The second time, Fiore writes:
Anchora son posta de dona contra dent de zenchiar:
Cum mie malicie e ingani asa’briga io ghi ò a dar.


Again I'm the GUARD OF THE WOMAN
against the boar's tooth With my malice
and cunning I will fight you.


Note however, that these 12 poste are not consistent across all of the manuscripts - In the Getty, Fiore only shows di dona once each from the right and the left, and introduces middle boar's tooth. In addition, the ordering of the remaining poste in the Getty is unique to that manuscript. My feeling is that they may not have been placed into specific "sets'' of matched pairs, but that's just my own feeling.
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Re: Posta counters

Postby TyHar7 » 10 Jan 2013 14:42

Thanks Cpenney for your response.

Just so I'm clear, you offer evidence from the Getty that suggests the postes have been paired together; however your personnel belief is that isn't correct because the other Treatise don't feature this pairing and have the additional postas that aren't featured in the Getty?

However if the suggested paired postas are counters to one another they would be just so.

Porta di Ferro - Posta de Donna Destraza

Posta de Finestra - Posta di Donna la Senestra

Posta Longa - Porta di Ferro Mezzana

Posta Breve - Dente di Cenghiaro

Posta coda Longa - Posta Di Bicorno ? Curious to know why this is?

Posta Frontale ditta Corona - Posta di Dente de Zenchiaro Mezana

Anyone found that these work best against each other or have any other preferences?
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Re: Posta counters

Postby TyHar7 » 10 Jan 2013 22:55

A couple of other noteable things Posta coda Longa - Posta Di Bicorno are paired together, from training these two must be the least used guards in my opinion, they also seem like an odd match compared to the rest.

Secondly something I've noticed which wasn't mentioned as evidence of the pairings is that each center guard, those that can be either on the left or right side is met in opposition with a guard from the left.
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Re: Posta counters

Postby CPenney » 10 Jan 2013 23:17

TyHar7 wrote:Thanks Cpenney for your response.

Just so I'm clear, you offer evidence from the Getty that suggests the postes have been paired together; however your personnel belief is that isn't correct because the other Treatise don't feature this pairing and have the additional postas that aren't featured in the Getty?


Hi. In the pollaxe section of the Getty there are two poste where Fiore specifically states they face each other. I'm not suggesting that this means that "all" poste in the Getty that stand in pairs are therefore also paired in the same way.

In the Pisani-Dossi manuscript, Fiore tells us the sword in 2 hands poste are paired. The order of poste is the same in the PD as in the Morgan and Florius, but different in the Getty. I cannot offer any reason why they're different in the Getty, but my suggestion is that if we want to explore the pairings that Fiore gives us, it might be good to start with the PD pairings, before looking at the Getty ones (though some are the same).

As far as the bicorno/coda longa pairing, I don't really know. One thing I'd suggest, however, is that a fighting system won't alway fit neatly into these sort of rigid structures - Perhaps those two poste simply have no other 'natural' pairing.
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Re: Posta counters

Postby admin » 21 Jan 2013 13:26

IMHO this is covered at the start of the section on guards with the sword in Getty:

Noy semo doi guardie una sì fatta che l’altra, e una è contraria de l’altra. E zaschuna altra guardia in l’arte una simile de l’altra si è contrario salvo le guardie che stano in punta zoé posta lunga e breve e meza porta di ferro che punta per punta la più lunga fa offesa inançi.


My translation: We are two guards, one is made like the other, and one is the countrary to the other. And any other guard in the art is similar to the other, and is its contrary, except the guards which stay in point/thrust, which are Posta Lunga [Long Position] and Breve [Short Position] and Meza Porta di Ferro [Half Iron Door], because point by point the longer one offends before.

In other words, any guard is good for facing any other guard, except the point-online guards, which should be faced with something else. I do not think there is a significance to which guards face each other in the 12 Guard section. The pollaxe section, as stated above, is the only place where Fiore gives a specific example of one guard that is good for dealing with another. In other parts of his treatises he clearly shows that from one guard (eg. Tutta Porta di Ferro) you can wait and defend against cuts, thrusts and thrown weapons (which by necessity and example can and do come from different opposing guards).
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Re: Posta counters

Postby CPenney » 21 Jan 2013 22:18

Hi, Matt. What do you think is the significance of the text in the Pisani-Dossi? A better translation than the Knights of the Wild Rose would be helpful (as an aside I think it's a real shame that there has been no other available translation of the only Fiore MS in the public domain) but that statement has always seemed pretty straightforward to me.
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Re: Posta counters

Postby Michael Chidester » 22 Jan 2013 06:05

As usual with the PD, there aren't quite enough words to be certain of any specific translation--there's no real way to give a neutral reading. I think these are the parts you want:

Six Masters we are, and we dispute one to another
Each does something that the others do not:
And every one of them holds his sword in guard;
We will explain and demonstrate that which they are.

--

We are called stances and guards by name,
And we are each one similar and contrary to another;
And following the way we stand and are positioned,
We will demonstrate how to make one against another.
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Re: Posta counters

Postby TyHar7 » 22 Jan 2013 10:03

Although I wish to continue the debate about Fiore's possible preferences. Some personnel opinions and preferred choices from sparring experience were ask for in the OP.

Thanks
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Re: Posta counters

Postby admin » 22 Jan 2013 15:56

CPenney wrote:Hi, Matt. What do you think is the significance of the text in the Pisani-Dossi?


If you mean the text that Michael posted then I don't think much about it at all really. To me it just says that guards are capable of doing various things, some better at certain things than others, and that any guard can more or less oppose any other guard. In fact I think there is quite a weight of evidence against there being specific 'approved' guard oppositions.

As for personal experience/preference, I find that low guards are best opposed by Breve, Longa and Bichorno, those point-online guards are best opposed with Frontale, di Donna or Fenestra, high and 'pulsativa' guards are best opposed with Longa or Mezza Porta di Ferro (with feints).
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Re: Posta counters

Postby CPenney » 23 Jan 2013 02:34

Michael Chidester wrote:As usual with the PD, there aren't quite enough words to be certain of any specific translation--there's no real way to give a neutral reading.


Hi, Michael. I think it's clear that, apart from the idea of a "neutral" reading, any passage in any of the manuscripts can be taken by someone to mean what they want. I would note, however, that In the P-D (and Morgan and Florius) Fiore repeats PdD on the right, first placing it opposite Tutta PdF, then against DdC (even noting the pairing in the text). Considering that Fiore refers to the same pairing in the Getty pollaxe section, I think this is good evidence that Fiore had a specific purpose in placing these two poste together. To speak to Matt's point, however, no, I do not think that this is meant to show that each guard has one and only one contrary poste (I would suggest the repetition of di dona is an indication of it's versatility) but If there is at least the possibility that Fiore suggests these pairs, there is therefore value in exploring them.

...


As far as preferences while fencing, I tend to oppose di dona with the same di dona - allowing either for me to attack, or cover if I'm attacked to lead into an incrosada. I might also stand in DdC or tutta PdF against right and left di dona, respectively, in order to beat attacks aside and return with a cut.

Against DdC or a middle guard (or finestra) I like tutta PdF, either to exchange the point from a lower thrust, or cover into frontale against a high thrust. The only reason I stand in breve is to threaten a thrust - I don't see it as a defensive guard (in fact, I'd suggest that Fiore didn't either - he only says that it thrusts, and he also tells us it is more appropriate in armour than without).
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Re: Posta counters

Postby Michael Chidester » 23 Jan 2013 04:06

CPenney wrote:I think it's clear that, apart from the idea of a "neutral" reading, any passage in any of the manuscripts can be taken by someone to mean what they want.

People often say that, but when it comes to Fiore at least, I have to agree with Leoni that the text is generally very clear, for all his sloppy conjugation and variable point of view. 99% of the time, in the Getty and Morgan at least, you have to be pretty dishonest or obtuse to misinterpret what the words are saying. Even if you can't always convert them to physical actions readily, the meaning of the words is clear.
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