Mexinensis & Suveno

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

Mexinensis & Suveno

Postby Matt Galas » 29 Jul 2008 22:53

Greetings, All!

Some of you may know about my research on Johane Suveno and Nicolai de Toblem of the diocese of Mexinensis. For a long time, I have been a champion of the view that Johane Suveno could well be Johannes Liechtenauer, and have argued Mexinensis is most likely Metz, and that Toblem is modern Tomblaine near Nancy.

However, I have recently found a period reference to Mexinensis, the only one I know of besides the reference to that name in Pisani-Dossi. Matt Easton will be gratified to hear that the Mexinensis in this source was referring to Messina, in Sicily. Moreover, there is a small town in northern Italy, up in the mountains, called Suveno.

The upshot of this is that there is a possibility that Fiore's master lineage may be purely Italian after all. Of course, this is far from conclusive, and the arguments for the connection to Swabia and Metz are pretty strong, given the identities of the Patriarchs of Aquileia at key points in time (ie, a former Bishop of Augsburg in Swabia, and a bastard son of Emperor Charles IV of Luxembourg, near Metz).

More on this as it develops...

Regards,
Matt Galas
Erbisoeul, Belgium

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Wer do leit / Der ist tot / Wer sich ruret / Der lebt noch
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Matt Galas
Sergeant
 
Posts: 127
Joined: 28 Jul 2008 20:55
Location: Erbisoeul, Belgium

Postby Fab » 29 Jul 2008 23:55

User avatar
Fab
Field Marshal
 
Posts: 7915
Joined: 14 Mar 2006 14:54
Location: Under the Hat of Awesomeness.

Postby admin » 30 Jul 2008 10:31

This is really interesting stuff - I was dubious when Fab proposed Messina, but the use of the same Latin form does seem to give it some weight! Something that troubles me though is that the south of Italy seems pretty disconnected to the north at this time - I mean, you seemingly have more links between France, Austria, Germany, Hungary and even England with the northern City States than you seem to have between the north and south Italy. But hey, that doesn't mean much when we're talking about just one individual. There may have been a master from Timbuktu wandering around Italy somewhere. :)

Matt - on the subject of non-Italian inspiration in Fiore's art, we definitely know there was, because he says so clearly - he mentions German masters before Italian masters, which in context I think is pretty weighty. To me that means that they were important enough to mention, and the fact that they were German was important. I wonder why Fiore felt the need to say that he'd learnt from German masters as well as Italians? I guess they had a good reputation...

Of course, even if we believe that Fiore did study with German masters (and that Fiore was not just saying that for kudos), we're left to wonder "where are the German bits?" in Fiore's system. It doesn't look very German, with his gioco largo footwork, no winding, no zwerch-type things etc. Or maybe our concept of 'German' fencing is too coloured by Liechtenauer and there were German masters who taught things which looked more like Fiore (and more like what we see in French and English art - which generally looks more like Fiore to me). Perhaps 'normal' German fencing in c.1400 did look like Fiore - perhaps Liechtenauer's lineage was still the weird special type of secret fencing for beating the normal fencers.
http://www.antique-swords.co.uk/

I like swords more than you.
User avatar
admin
Emperor
 
Posts: 35034
Joined: 13 Mar 2006 17:28
Location: Guildford, Surrey, England.

Postby Fab » 30 Jul 2008 11:55

admin wrote:Or maybe our concept of 'German' fencing is too coloured by Liechtenauer and there were German masters who taught things which looked more like Fiore (and more like what we see in French and English art - which generally looks more like Fiore to me). Perhaps 'normal' German fencing in c.1400 did look like Fiore - perhaps Liechtenauer's lineage was still the weird special type of secret fencing for beating the normal fencers.


I think you put the finger on it - something I've been saying for quite a time actually. The whole Art of fighting in Germany at that time was not only Liechtenauer, no more than S&B fighting in the early 1300s was all I.33 ; this is actually quite explicitely stated in the various texts.
User avatar
Fab
Field Marshal
 
Posts: 7915
Joined: 14 Mar 2006 14:54
Location: Under the Hat of Awesomeness.

Postby admin » 30 Jul 2008 12:33

Well, I've been of the opinion for some years now that what we have surviving in most of the treatises are the lineages who cared about making treatises. The Liechtenauer lineage obviously cared about making books. So did the Bolognese. Apart from that all we have are residuals - Fiore because he was specially requested to, Vadi because he obviously saw Fiore's, Le Jeu de la Hache, Codex Wallerstein, I.33 and Gladiatoria all residual unrelated texts etc. And I would describe the English texts as random lucky survivals of personal notes.
And as Matt G has pointed out numerous times, the list of techniques included in Maximillian's treatise request includes things not covered by the Liechtenauer lineage. Ergo they are from some other Germanic lineage.

So, while it seems I'm now way off on a tangent, what I'm trying to say is that while Fiore claimed to have studied with German masters, that does not mean we should see Liechtenauer in Fiore, because clearly there was a lot more to martial arts in Germany than just Liechtenauer, and for all we know some of those other Germans may have been doing things that looked like Fiore's art.
http://www.antique-swords.co.uk/

I like swords more than you.
User avatar
admin
Emperor
 
Posts: 35034
Joined: 13 Mar 2006 17:28
Location: Guildford, Surrey, England.

Postby D. de Grenier » 31 Jul 2008 22:40

Hello,

I agree with you. The variety of style in the german area is distinguishable in the little manuals out of the mainstream like the CGM 558, the HS 7020 or even in the MS 3227a talking about other masters.

For exemple, in CGM 558 we have no proof of the zwerch hau existence and binding with winding are very rare. On the other side we find the "triangle" wich makes me think to the colpi vilano.
This "triangle" technic is well developped in the HS 7020 and also in Der Altenn Fechter anfengliche Kunst printed work.

So yes, we can grasp an idea of the german MA substrate from which Liechtenauer has extracted is specialized system. This substrate is may be an european substrate and probably the root of Fiore system.

There is a lot of interesting work to do to compare the systems we have in hands...

@+

Didier, sometime here...
D. de Grenier
Private
 
Posts: 11
Joined: 31 Mar 2006 16:13

Postby David M. Cvet » 05 Aug 2008 18:33

The life of Fiore is in my opinion, one of those "Holy Grail" sort of things. Any bits of information found, in particular, to the work of Matt Galas will add to our overall understanding, knowledge and appreciation of the man known as Fiore dei Liberi. One of our students (Russ Howe) has written a paper on the motives and origins of Fiore, which has been recently published in the Journal of Western Martial Art, entitled "Fiore dei Liberi : Origins and Motivations". An interesting approach of examining the politics and geography of the area in the time of Fiore which may help with refining the comparative analysis of documentation and other sources from the period.

/d
User avatar
David M. Cvet
Private
 
Posts: 16
Joined: 05 Aug 2008 13:20
Location: Toronto / Digby, Canada

Postby admin » 06 Aug 2008 00:48

Cool stuff! I know Mark Lancaster of the Exiles has been following a similar line of research and I did for a bit but started coming up against too many dead ends. I'm still firmly of the opinion that Milan is the place to look though, rather than Ferrara.
http://www.antique-swords.co.uk/

I like swords more than you.
User avatar
admin
Emperor
 
Posts: 35034
Joined: 13 Mar 2006 17:28
Location: Guildford, Surrey, England.

Postby Fab » 06 Aug 2008 01:38

admin wrote: I'm still firmly of the opinion that Milan is the place to look though, rather than Ferrara.


Same here. Ferrara only took importance because it's mentionned in Fiore's latest works - the ones that are available to us. But other strong indications point to Northern Italy at large. Fiore was from Friuli, but worked abroad, and Milan was a major player, employer, center of gravity and generally speaking, hub for a lot of things.



Re. the JWMA article : lots of questions, interesting points, but it would need further research. And people shouldn't rely on Nicolle too much ;).

Novati mentions there were a lot of German fencers in the area anyway, so it may explain aprt of the 'German connection' in Fiore.

As for the language question, by no means I can pretend to be an expert in medieval Italian dialect, but Fiore's written words don't seem too awkward to me. Besides, I'm not too sure that we can trust Dr Anglo's comments on the subject, as he's known to have made other mistakes in other languages elsewhere (though his work remain undoubtedly a cornerstone of our present knowledge). We should remember it's not supposed to be Italian, but dialect, and since then many, many Italian dialects have been lost and would barely be understandable to but the best specialists in the matter.



The Milan connection seems the way to me - I mentionned it quite heavily in an article I submitted to the Journal de la Renaissance (it would need a bit of editing before being published, but I have too many other things to do at the moment). Fiore's employers, and the people he mentions, seem to change accordingly to the political shifts of the time, and the local balance of power in Northern Italy.
User avatar
Fab
Field Marshal
 
Posts: 7915
Joined: 14 Mar 2006 14:54
Location: Under the Hat of Awesomeness.

Postby Brewerkel » 06 Aug 2008 04:03

admin wrote:Cool stuff! I know Mark Lancaster of the Exiles has been following a similar line of research and I did for a bit but started coming up against too many dead ends. I'm still firmly of the opinion that Milan is the place to look though, rather than Ferrara.


I agree with you. Milan was where it was happening during Fiore's "working life." Russ did some stellar work ferreting out the little discussed history of Austria and Aquilea in that period but I remain unconvinced that Fiore was German. What is it your Scottish jurors say? "Unproven!"
User avatar
Brewerkel
Brigadier
 
Posts: 1895
Joined: 12 Sep 2006 13:05
Location: Toronto Canada

Postby admin » 06 Aug 2008 10:30

Fab wrote: people shouldn't rely on Nicolle too much ;).


Indeed, he is one of the people who has perpetuated the Del Serpente rubbish.

As for the language question, by no means I can pretend to be an expert in medieval Italian dialect, but Fiore's written words don't seem too awkward to me.


I am no expert either, but I know people from Friuli and they say this seems perfectly Friulan.

Besides, I'm not too sure that we can trust Dr Anglo's comments on the subject


I agree entirely. I remember pointing out to him at the Wallace Collection back in about 1999/2000 that Morgan was not an unfinished version of Getty. He seemed surprised and told me that he hadn't really looked at Fiore much...

Fiore's employers, and the people he mentions, seem to change accordingly to the political shifts of the time, and the local balance of power in Northern Italy.


Yes, but practically all the known people he mentions were in the sphere of influence of Milan. And let's not forget that he mentions the Duke and Duchess of Milan more times than he mentions the Marchese of Ferrara. The most important people Fiore mentions, in relation to this question, are his students. And they were all firmly attached to Milan's social structure.
http://www.antique-swords.co.uk/

I like swords more than you.
User avatar
admin
Emperor
 
Posts: 35034
Joined: 13 Mar 2006 17:28
Location: Guildford, Surrey, England.

Postby D. de Grenier » 06 Aug 2008 12:42

Hello,
admin wrote:
As for the language question, by no means I can pretend to be an expert in medieval Italian dialect, but Fiore's written words don't seem too awkward to me.


I am no expert either, but I know people from Friuli and they say this seems perfectly Friulan.


Interresting...

What is the status of the investigations based on a linguistic approach ?
Fiore writes in italian, isn't he ? It is not friulan language, I am right ?
Friulan is a rhaetian language like the romansh in Switzerand and it is not an italian dialect.
So, a linguistic analysis of Fiore texts, through vocabulary, mistakes and expressions for exemple, could give us an answer of Fiore's mother tongue, german or friulan.

@+

Didier
D. de Grenier
Private
 
Posts: 11
Joined: 31 Mar 2006 16:13

Postby admin » 06 Aug 2008 13:40

This article seems good:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friulian_language

I suppose what the person meant was that Fior di Battaglia looks like an Italian text written by a Friulan.
Example - zenghiaro instead of cinghiale etc etc
http://www.antique-swords.co.uk/

I like swords more than you.
User avatar
admin
Emperor
 
Posts: 35034
Joined: 13 Mar 2006 17:28
Location: Guildford, Surrey, England.

Postby admin » 06 Aug 2008 13:43

Also, let's not forget that Fiore calls himself 'd'Ostria'. Now, whether that means of the dioscese of Ostria or 'of Austria' is a rather complicated matter in itself.
http://www.antique-swords.co.uk/

I like swords more than you.
User avatar
admin
Emperor
 
Posts: 35034
Joined: 13 Mar 2006 17:28
Location: Guildford, Surrey, England.

Postby David M. Cvet » 18 Aug 2008 21:31

On a somewhat related tangent, why only in the PD version of Fiore's treatise does he name Maestro Johane, student of Master Nocholas? I have not noticed any discussion on this point on any forums, and certainly, not over hoisting ales on this side of the Atlantic.

The Getty's has far more textual detail, as compared to the PD version, yet this little detail, which seemed important enough to be included in the PD version was omitted, or in the least, not included in the other two versions?

Any ideas?
User avatar
David M. Cvet
Private
 
Posts: 16
Joined: 05 Aug 2008 13:20
Location: Toronto / Digby, Canada

Postby admin » 18 Aug 2008 23:00

In short, I don't know. But I think PD is later, and I think it was possibly created after Fiore's demise, or at least not under his eyes. And if it is later then that could be important... but as to how those things might be connected, well there are various possibilities, all of which would probably be impossible to proove.
http://www.antique-swords.co.uk/

I like swords more than you.
User avatar
admin
Emperor
 
Posts: 35034
Joined: 13 Mar 2006 17:28
Location: Guildford, Surrey, England.


Return to Fiore dei Liberi

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests