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Thread: Yet another I.33 thread

  1. #1

    Yet another I.33 thread

    This time however it'll be a quick one...

    Has anyone actually worked out their own translation of this manuscript?

    I have been spending a bit of time in front of the original with a huge pile of Mediaeval Latin-English and German-English dictionaries and have come up with a few interesting ideas that give the translation a slightly different slant. I'd be interested to hear what other people have found.

    To make it a bit more specific let's look at the phrase
    Dum ducitur halbshilt cade sub gladium quoque scutum
    The only word I am still having trouble with is "Ducitur" the only meanings I have been able to find for it are lead, command etc. which don't quite seem to fit. Any thoughts?

    Oh, Dave... Happier with the footwork after last night. Still think I'm right (don't I always?)

    Take Care

    Oz
    Learn English Martial Arts

    "I have declaired in my prdoxes of defence of the false teachinge of the noble scyence of defence used here by the Italyon fencers."

    "The time of the foot is when you step forward to strike"

  2. #2
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    Re: Yet another I.33 thread

    Oz,

    This is quite similar to a word of the same sorts of meanings used in what apparently is the same context in Fiore. Fiore uses "tra, trarre, traga", etc. This similar meanings to duco, ducere. I have so far been translating this word in it's context as "leads with," "comes with", "attacks with".

    Originally posted by M J Austwick
    This time however it'll be a quick one...

    Has anyone actually worked out their own translation of this manuscript?

    I have been spending a bit of time in front of the original with a huge pile of Mediaeval Latin-English and German-English dictionaries and have come up with a few interesting ideas that give the translation a slightly different slant. I'd be interested to hear what other people have found.

    To make it a bit more specific let's look at the phrase The only word I am still having trouble with is "Ducitur" the only meanings I have been able to find for it are lead, command etc. which don't quite seem to fit. Any thoughts?

    Oh, Dave... Happier with the footwork after last night. Still think I'm right (don't I always?)

    Take Care

    Oz
    Bob Charron
    St. Martins Academy of Medieval Arms

  3. #3
    Thank you Bob

    That helps a lot. That is a sentence that is regularly repeated throughout the manuscript and the translation I had before just didn't seem to make sense. It does now!

    Thanks again.

    Oz
    Learn English Martial Arts

    "I have declaired in my prdoxes of defence of the false teachinge of the noble scyence of defence used here by the Italyon fencers."

    "The time of the foot is when you step forward to strike"

  4. #4
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    Hi Oz,

    I'm working from Jeff Forgeng's translation (which is coming out from Chivalry Bookshelf in a few months, accompanied by Paul and my interpretation). He translates ducitur on plate 3 as adopted, "when half-shield is adopted, fall under the sword and shield". He translates ducuntur on plate 2 as used, "these seven parts are used by common ones". It certainly fits, though why he uses these exact translations, you'd have to ask him as my Latin is at a level somewhere below that of Graham Chapman in Life of Brian.

    Cheers
    Steve

  5. #5
    Steve,

    I picked this phrase for two reasons, one because as you know it is constantly repeated whenever Halbschilt is shown and secondly because the translation didn't seem to make any sense.

    Let me show you what I have now...

    Dum: It certainly can be "when" but equally it can be nearer "as soon as"

    Ducitur: This one I couldn't find but Bob's comments help a lot.

    Halbschilt: obvious...

    Cade: Fall, but more in the manner of fall upon from above than simply fall.

    Sub: It can indeed be under but it has also been used in medieval literature as meaning "close to"

    Gladium quoque Scutum: Yes, sword and sheild works but quoque means more than just "and" it means a joining or together. I think of it more as the junction of the two.

    So I now have
    As soon as your opponents threatens with Halbschilt fall (assumedly cut) down upon the junction of his sword and sheild.
    This fits a lot closer to what I actually do and makes me think that Dave may have been closer than I originally thought with his attack to the hands. Having tried this in practice it changes things subtly but it makes the exchange of swords much easier and you end up in that odd position whith your sword under one of his arms and over the other, which is something I've always had toruble with.

    I only wish I could demonstrate this in person as I'm sure it would make a lot more sense than my ramblings.

    Take Care

    Oz
    Learn English Martial Arts

    "I have declaired in my prdoxes of defence of the false teachinge of the noble scyence of defence used here by the Italyon fencers."

    "The time of the foot is when you step forward to strike"

  6. #6
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    Re: Yet another I.33 thread

    Originally posted by M J Austwick

    Oh, Dave... Happier with the footwork after last night. Still think I'm right (don't I always?)
    Oz
    Good, you may well be right, see you at the weekend
    Take it easy.
    D'Goat.
    LONDON LONGSWORD ACADEMY
    For practice is better than art,
    hit him
    your exercise does well without the art,
    keep hitting,
    but the art is not much good without the exercise
    do not miss.


    author of the DVDs:
    Obsesseo
    Lutegerus Sword and buckler(I.33) "Intention".
    & Lutegerus Sword and buckler(I.33)Part II "Timing and Distance".

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    I.33 manuscript

    Dear sirs,

    Greetings! Let me start off by introducing myself as a first time poster I've always been interested in history and swords, especially the 13th cen., so when I saw I.33, I had to take a look.

    Mr. Austwick or Mr. Hand, I was wondering if you could tell me where to find a copy of the manuscript. You see, I'd actually love to do exactly what Mr. Austwick is doing--work on it myself! I do have the acrobat reader version of the manuscript, but sadly, the text is so marred that I can't make it out.

    As for my little two cents about the word "ducitur," it literally means, as Mr. Charron pointed out, he/she/it is led (pres. passive). So a likely translation is, "When the halbschilt is led, fall beneath the sword and also the shield," which actually makes some sense once I thought it out

    Thanks!
    Nathan G.
    Mathrox431@yahoo.com
    -------------------------------
    Come, behold the works of the Lord,
    Who has made desolations in all the earth.
    He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;
    He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
    He burns the chariot in the fire.
    Psalm 46:8-9
    -------------------------------
    "Your sword's blowing glue!" --Dalboz of Gurth

  8. #8
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    Re: I.33 manuscript

    Dear Nathan,

    Jeff's translation will be coming out from Chivalry Bookshelf in May or June. It will have the plates, accompanied by a transcription AND a translation of the text.

    Oh, and OZ, sorry for not responding sooner. The key to understanding this passage is the meaning of the word under. Literally it could mean cutting to the legs, but as you're explicitly told not to do that it's unlikely. Under is not used by the author to refer to something being at a lower height, it's used to refer to being underbound on your opponent's sword. Being underbound means that your sword is under his in the bind. It's not always obvious to the eye which sword is overbinding and which sword is underbound, but it makes a huge leverage difference.

    Falling under the sword is an act of underbinding, from which a myriad of actions flow. We were stumped for over a year trying to translate this action as a direct attack. It isn't. It's a neutralisation of the counterer's attacking potential, simultaneously threatening an attack of your own. It's a very subtle action which is central to understanding the rest of the system. Once I realised what falling under the sword was, everything else in the system just fell into place.

    Cheers
    Stephen

  9. #9
    Stephen,

    You misunderstand me. I am not attempting to discuss the nuances of the technique, just the accuracy of the translation. As I understand it we have reached very similar conclusions about the exact nature of that particular action however my concern was that the phrase did not actually describe the action. After an entire afternoon in the RA with the original and a large pile of medieaval latin and german dictionaries I came up with a similar phrase with a slightly different slant. That is what I was attemtping to discuss.

    The key to understanding this passage is the meaning of the word under
    This I will have to disagree with you on. The key is not the word "under", it is the word "sub" which has been translated by Mr Forgeng as under. It can however have other less obvious translations and in this case I believe it does. If we cannot be sure of the original text and how it translates into a language we can work effectively with then we can certainly not be sure that we are actually following the teachings of the manuscript however effective and coherent our style is.

    Take Care

    Oz
    Learn English Martial Arts

    "I have declaired in my prdoxes of defence of the false teachinge of the noble scyence of defence used here by the Italyon fencers."

    "The time of the foot is when you step forward to strike"

  10. #10

    Re: I.33 manuscript

    Originally posted by Nathan G.
    Dear sirs,

    Greetings! Let me start off by introducing myself as a first time poster I've always been interested in history and swords, especially the 13th cen., so when I saw I.33, I had to take a look.

    Mr. Austwick or Mr. Hand, I was wondering if you could tell me where to find a copy of the manuscript. You see, I'd actually love to do exactly what Mr. Austwick is doing--work on it myself! I do have the acrobat reader version of the manuscript, but sadly, the text is so marred that I can't make it out.

    As for my little two cents about the word "ducitur," it literally means, as Mr. Charron pointed out, he/she/it is led (pres. passive). So a likely translation is, "When the halbschilt is led, fall beneath the sword and also the shield," which actually makes some sense once I thought it out

    Thanks!
    Hi Nathan

    As well as the translation that Stephen mentioned the Royal Armouries will be releasing a high quality copy of the manuscript without any translation or interpretation for those of us that want both. I am reliably informed that this is on target for sometime in march.

    Take Care

    Oz
    Learn English Martial Arts

    "I have declaired in my prdoxes of defence of the false teachinge of the noble scyence of defence used here by the Italyon fencers."

    "The time of the foot is when you step forward to strike"

  11. #11
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    Dear Oz,

    You're correct that the word in question is sub, not under. However, whether we translate it as under or as close to, we still have to take that and make sense of it in terms of the illustrations and as an actual fighting system. Hence there are multiple areas where we must interpret, from Latin to English and then from English and illustration to action.

    We can never be sure that we are following the teachings of the manuscript. In fact about the only thing we can be certain of is that there will be places where we have it quite wrong. Playing around with the language can help, but we must be careful to ensure that our physical interpretation is based on our translation, not vice versa. You state "that the phrase did not actually describe the action" which disturbs me. This suggests that you've decided what the action is and you are going to reinterpret the text to fit this. Now I apologise if this misrepresents what you've done, but your post certainly reads that way.

    Coherence and effectiveness are interesting issues too. While, as you say, they don't guarantee correct interpretation, their lack pretty much guarantees incorrect interpretation. We interpreted falling under the sword in a number of ways, all direct attacks. While some of these were effective, none of them allowed the follow up actions to proceed as described. Therefore we cannot interpret passages and plates in isolation unless they are presented in isolation, which mostly in I.33 they are not. In this case, the initial action of falling under the sword leads to over a dozen possible fencing phrases. Hence our initial action must allow all these phrases to work. Of all the interpretations of falling under the sword, only the underbind (actually misleading in itself, if you actually make contact with his blade you limit your subsequent actions - the action is more just an extension into lengenort), preparatory to an attack, and to draw a response from the counterer allows the following actions to work as described. It also fits in with dozens of other binding actions presented throughout the treatise. This change in interpretation literally blew the manuscript open for me. Dozens of uncertain interpretations became clear, and along with a proper understanding of how wards and counters work, this turned a collection of techniques into a clear and coherent system. Occam's razor would suggest that an interpretation that achieves this is substantially correct, but of course Occam's razor suggests, it doesn't prove. Nothing short of necromancy can ever prove that an interpretation is correct. If it fits the text and it works then it MAY be right. Internal consistency makes this MAY, more likely, but nothing can prove that what we're doing is correct. Ultimately some people (not me BTW) will argue whether being correct matters. If your interpretation of the manuscript results in an effective fighting style then some will argue that you have achieved your purpose. I personally think that the right interpretation will also be the most effective one.

    Getting back to the translation, I wonder if we're not being too simplistic in trying to ascribe a single meaning to the word sub. Many English words have a specific meaning, but are used to illustrate a particular nuance. In this case we have two possible meanings, under and close to. It is perfectly reasonable for the word to mean both. Your sword must fall under your opponent's sword and shield but not far under. It should be under, but still close to their sword and shield (or the junction of their sword and shield). This is indeed what is illustrated in the plate (3 lower). And in fact this reinforces my interpretation of under as being used in terms of under and overbinding, to bind, a sword must be close to the opposing sword.

    I think this illustrates the usefulness of discussing any translation and the peril of fixing on any one translation too early. Though it wouldn't satisfy everyone, I think the best translation of fall under sword and shield would probably be

    "fall (possibly down) under and/or close to the junction of sword and shield".

    This is clumsy and couldn't appear in a completed translation, but is probably the most useful translation yet for anyone attempting a physical interpretation.

    Cheers
    Stephen

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