Posta Breve la Serpentina.

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

Postby Bulot » 19 Mar 2014 03:43

Hi, language question here :

Both the Ms.Ludwig XV-13 and the Ms. M.383 refers to a 'segno' in the description of the Posta Breve la Serpentina.
Here are the texts :

Getty :
Noy semo VI Magistri che savemo ben armezare, e zaschuno de noy quell'arte sa ben fare. E de arme manuale curamo ben pocho de tagli e de punte se defendemo s'el zi fa loco. Io son posta breve la serpentina meglior de le altre mi tegno. A chi darò una punta ben gli pararà lo segno.

The same guard from the Pollaxe section :
"Io son posta breve la Serpentina che megliore d'le altre me tegno. A chi darò mia punta ben gli parerà lo segno."

Morgan :
In posta breve la serpentina io voio venire. Se tu non è bene armato ben te lo farò sentire per ferirte de punta meior delle altre guardie mi tegno. Perché delli tagli cum la crose mi segno e niente mi pon fare. In arme e senza arme lo voio provare.

and translations available online :
on the wiktnauer :
I wound better in the crossing than any other guard that I have, and you can do nothing to me"

or on the AEMMA website :
Here I parry him with a good point to hit his target.


Quite literally, the bold line in the Getty text means :

"To whom I give a thrust, my sign will parry it well."
And in the Morgan : "because I'm signing myself with the cross against the cuts, you can do nothing to me".

My assumption is Fiore is talking about doing the christian sign of the cross : while in Posta Breve la Serpentina, he brings his right hand to his chest, shoulders or face to parry various cuts and thrusts.

Does it sound reasonable, or am I far off on this ?
Last edited by Bulot on 19 Mar 2014 16:11, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Posta Breve la Serpentina.

Postby Alberto Dainese » 19 Mar 2014 16:00

Hi bulot,

here my two cents:

Getty sword in armor:
"Noy semo .vj. magistri che savemo ben armezare et zaschuno de noy quell'arte sa ben fare. E de arme manuale curamo ben poco de tagli e de punte se defendemo sel zi fa loco. Io son posta breve la serpentina, meglor de le altre mi tegno, A chi darò una punta ben gli pararà lo segno"

my own translation would be:

"We are six masters that know well how to fight (in armuor) and each of us knows well that art. And we concern very little with the cuts of handheld weapons and from the point we defend ourselves (this point may means something slightly different). Io son posta breve the serpentina e I consider myself better than the other. To whom I'll give a point, well he'll feel the mark."

Getty pollaxe:
"Io son posta breve la serpentina, che megliore de le altre me tegno. A chi darò mia punta ben gli parerà lo segno. Questa punta si è forte per passare coraze e panceroni. Deffende ti che voglio far la prova".

my own translation would be:

"I'm posta breve the serpentina (snake like), and I consider myself better than the other. To whom I'll give a point, well he'll feel the mark. This point is so strong to pass cuirasses and plackards. Defend yourself that I want to try."

Morgan (I quote you, I've no ready access to the original text, now):
"In posta breve la serpentina io voio venire. Se tu non è bene armato ben te lo farò sentire per ferirte de punta meior delle altre guardie mi tegno. Perché delli tagli cum la crose mi segno e niente mi pon fare. In arme e senza arme lo voio provare."

my translation:

"I want to come in posta breve the serpentina, if you're not well arm(or)ed well I'll make you feel (my blows, I think). To wound you with my point, I consider myself better than the other guards. Because i mark myself with the cross and the cuts can do nothing to me. In armour and without I want to try"


So I think that in the Getty "segno" means the effect of the strike, I think that the concept is that the guard is able to give very strong thrusts ("to pass cuirasses and plackards" "if you're not well arm(or)ed").

In the Morgan, the meaning is maybe the one you imply, both from a practical point of view, i.e. moving the sword between the four points of the cross sign to guard off the blows; as well as from a symbolic point of view as to say that, when in armour, I trust it against the cuts and so I just hope for the best (mark myself with the cross sign to have God keep one eye on me) and keep focused on giving and defending thrusts.

Does it make sense?

Bye
Alberto
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Re: Posta Breve la Serpentina.

Postby Bulot » 19 Mar 2014 16:34

Yes it does.
Thanks for taking the time to answer and welcome to the forum.
In the absence of the Morgan text, I'd be inclined to translate the text the way you did. The same meaning is attached to the word segno in the description of the fendenti strike, for instance :

e cum colpi fazemo de sangue segno
and with our blows we trace bloody marks

Yet, the contents of the text in the Getty and the Morgan are often very close from one another, both semantically and lexically, which is why I find it odd that the same expression translates very differently in the description of a single guard. Then again, I may be looking for similarities where there isn't.

I'm glad you concur with the idea the Morgan refers to the sign of the cross. The symbolic meaning idea that the Master places his Faith in God to protect him from the cuts is interesting, although it would be an odd thing to say in a treatise where one's safety is the top priority.

Side note : I would translate "In arme e senza arme lo voio provare" and "Deffende ti che voglio far la prova" as some kind of bravado provocation (a very common theme in Fiore's guards) like :

"In armour and without, I'm ready to prove it"
"Defend yourself, because I want to give you proof"
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Re: Posta Breve la Serpentina.

Postby Michael Chidester » 19 Mar 2014 17:00

I'll be the first to admit that that particular translation is a mess. That's the best I could do on my initial pass a couple years ago, and I see that I juggled the clauses around quite a bit. I plan to revisit the Morgan translation soon, but at the moment this is pretty much the best I can do, and it doesn't quite make sense:

In the Shortened Stance, the Serpent (Posta Breve, la Serpentina), I want to come. If you are not well armored, I will make you feel it; for wounding with the point, I hold myself better than the other guards. Because from the edges with the cross/crossing I sign and nothing can be done to me. In armor or without I want to prove this.

I think the signing refers to marking your opponent (Florio makes it mark, sign, brand, scar, etc.). For what it's worth, here's how Tom Leoni translates it.

I am coming against you in Posta Breve Serpentina: if you are not well armored, I will make you feel it! I consider myself superior to the other guards when it comes to grappling, since I sign myself with the cross against cuts, and they are worthless against me. I can prove this with and without armor.
Last edited by Michael Chidester on 19 Mar 2014 18:09, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Posta Breve la Serpentina.

Postby Alberto Dainese » 19 Mar 2014 17:04

Bulot wrote:welcome to the forum

Thank you :)

Bulot wrote:I'm glad you concur with the idea the Morgan refers to the sign of the cross. The symbolic meaning idea that the Master places his Faith in God to protect him from the cuts is interesting, although it would be an odd thing to say in a treatise where one's safety is the top priority.


Well, I'm not implying Fiore suggesting to rely on God protection alone, the connotation is more like: the armour will (almost completely) protect me from cuts so I don't need to concern myself too much about them, unless (very bad) shit happens so let's pray it doesn't and just keep trying sticking my strong point in my enemy :wink:

Bulot wrote:Side note : I would translate "In arme e senza arme lo voio provare" and "Deffende ti che voglio far la prova" as some kind of bravado provocation (a very common them in Fiore's guards) like :

"In armour and without, I'm ready to prove it"
"Defend yourself, because I want to give you proof"


Yeah, I agree, I tried to keep the translation as literal as possible but I think the meaning is exactly that, it's a really really Fiore thing to boast a lot in the glosse.

Bye
Alberto
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Re: Posta Breve la Serpentina.

Postby Thearos » 19 Mar 2014 22:37

Two tiny points

Getty sword in armor:
E de arme manuale curamo ben poco de tagli e de punte se defendemo sel zi fa loco. "

I would suggest

And we care very little for the cuts and thrusts of handheld weapons fi we defend [no idea what this means]."

Getty pollaxe:
" Deffende ti che voglio far la prova".

I suggest

Defend yourself, for I want to put (the thrust ? you ?) to the test"
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Re: Posta Breve la Serpentina.

Postby Bulot » 20 Mar 2014 01:12

Thank you all for your input. :)
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