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  • <p>This is a translation of the section concerning how to step correctly in Henri de Sainct Didier’s Secrets of the Single Sword (1573). More sections of the text will be translated as time allows.</p>
<ul>
<li>Secrets of the Single Sword – Jeu de Paulme</li>
</ul>
<p>The translation is based on the transcription of the copy in the Library of the city of Blois (available at Bibliotheque Virtuelles Humanistes) made in 2010 by Olivier Depuis for l’Association pour la Recherche et le Développement des Arts Martiaux Historiques Européens. All amendments to the text made in the transcription have been assumed and are not  […]</p>

    Sainct Didier’s Comparison of Fencing and Tennis

    This is a translation of the section concerning how to step correctly in Henri de Sainct Didier’s Secrets of the Single Sword (1573). More sections of the text will be translated as time allows.

    • Secrets of the Single Sword – Jeu de Paulme

    The translation is based on the transcription of the copy in the Library of the city of Blois (available at Bibliotheque Virtuelles Humanistes) made in 2010 by Olivier Depuis for l’Association pour la Recherche et le Développement des Arts Martiaux Historiques Européens. All amendments to the text made in the transcription have been assumed and are not […]

  • <p>This is a translation of the section concerning how to step correctly in Henri de Sainct Didier’s Secrets of the Single Sword (1573). More sections of the text will be translated as time allows.</p>
<ul>
<li>Secrets of the Single Sword – Disarms and Subtleies</li>
</ul>
<p>The translation is based on the transcription of the copy in the Library of the city of Blois (available at Bibliotheque Virtuelles Humanistes) made in 2010 by Olivier Depuis for l’Association pour la Recherche et le Développement des Arts Martiaux Historiques Européens. All amendments to the text made in the transcription have been assumed and are not  […]</p>

    Sainct Didier’s Disarms and Subtleties

    This is a translation of the section concerning how to step correctly in Henri de Sainct Didier’s Secrets of the Single Sword (1573). More sections of the text will be translated as time allows.

    • Secrets of the Single Sword – Disarms and Subtleies

    The translation is based on the transcription of the copy in the Library of the city of Blois (available at Bibliotheque Virtuelles Humanistes) made in 2010 by Olivier Depuis for l’Association pour la Recherche et le Développement des Arts Martiaux Historiques Européens. All amendments to the text made in the transcription have been assumed and are not […]

  • <p>This is a translation of the section concerning how to step correctly in Henri de Sainct Didier’s Secrets of the Single Sword (1573). More sections of the text will be translated as time allows.</p>
<ul>
<li>Secrets of the Single Sword – Triangle and Quadrangle</li>
</ul>
<p>The translation is based on the transcription of the copy in the Library of the city of Blois (available at Bibliotheque Virtuelles Humanistes) made in 2010 by Olivier Depuis for l’Association pour la Recherche et le Développement des Arts Martiaux Historiques Européens. All amendments to the text made in the transcription have been assumed and are not  […]</p>

    Sainct Didier’s Footwork

    This is a translation of the section concerning how to step correctly in Henri de Sainct Didier’s Secrets of the Single Sword (1573). More sections of the text will be translated as time allows.

    • Secrets of the Single Sword – Triangle and Quadrangle

    The translation is based on the transcription of the copy in the Library of the city of Blois (available at Bibliotheque Virtuelles Humanistes) made in 2010 by Olivier Depuis for l’Association pour la Recherche et le Développement des Arts Martiaux Historiques Européens. All amendments to the text made in the transcription have been assumed and are not […]

  • This is a translation of the section concerning how to draw the sword in Henri de Sainct Didier's Secrets of the Single Sword (1573). More sections of the text will be translated as time allows. The translation is based on the transcription of the copy in the Library of the city of Blois (available at Bibliotheque Virtuelles Humanistes) made in 2010 by Olivier Depuis for l’Association pour la Recherche et le Développement des Arts Martiaux Historiques Européens. All amendments to the text made in the transcription have been assumed and are not noted here.

    Sainct Didier’s Six Basic Strikes

    This is a translation of the section concerning how to draw the sword in Henri de Sainct Didier's Secrets of the Single Sword (1573). More sections of the text will be translated as time allows. The translation is based on the transcription of the copy in the Library of the city of Blois (available at Bibliotheque Virtuelles Humanistes) made in 2010 by Olivier Depuis for l’Association pour la Recherche et le Développement des Arts Martiaux Historiques Européens. All amendments to the text made in the transcription have been assumed and are not noted here.
  • <p>Continuing my delving into medieval Italian literature, I came across this gem. <em>Il Novellino</em> is a collection of short anecdotes and popular stories written around 1250-1300. Most (semi-?)educated people of the time knew these tales and would recognise them if heard told. Many are familiar to us as forming the basis of the stories of Boccaccio, Chaucer, Shakespeare, etc. As there’s no easily obtainable copy of this public domain text, I’ve formatted the text into ePub and PDF formats.</p>
<p><em>Il Novellino</em> is one of the first works extant in the developing Italian language. Latin at this time is slowing losing  […]</p>

    Il Novellino: The Hundred Old Tales

    Continuing my delving into medieval Italian literature, I came across this gem. Il Novellino is a collection of short anecdotes and popular stories written around 1250-1300. Most (semi-?)educated people of the time knew these tales and would recognise them if heard told. Many are familiar to us as forming the basis of the stories of Boccaccio, Chaucer, Shakespeare, etc. As there’s no easily obtainable copy of this public domain text, I’ve formatted the text into ePub and PDF formats.

    Il Novellino is one of the first works extant in the developing Italian language. Latin at this time is slowing losing […]

  • This is a translation of the section concerning how to draw the sword in Henri de Sainct Didier's Secrets of the Single Sword (1573). More sections of the text will be translated as time allows. The importance that Sainct Didier gives to drawing the sword is a puzzle that I believe is only resolved when the illustrations are considered literally. All the draws start with the opponents facing each other, feet together and hands on hilts. This does not suggest to me a military application but a civilian and social setting, whether a judicial duel, duel of honour of friendly competition.

    Sainct Didier’s Drawing the Sword

    This is a translation of the section concerning how to draw the sword in Henri de Sainct Didier's Secrets of the Single Sword (1573). More sections of the text will be translated as time allows. The importance that Sainct Didier gives to drawing the sword is a puzzle that I believe is only resolved when the illustrations are considered literally. All the draws start with the opponents facing each other, feet together and hands on hilts. This does not suggest to me a military application but a civilian and social setting, whether a judicial duel, duel of honour of friendly competition.
  • <div id="attachment_1854" style="width: 282px" class="wp-caption alignright"><p class="wp-caption-text">P&O Pacific Dawn Cruise Route</p></div>
<p>I’m back from my Xmas and New Year break for a new year. Yay me!</p>
<p>This post is a collection of rather stream of consciousness notes I made during my cruise around New Caledonia and Vanuatu. I’m not promising any depth or profundity – just a bunch of thoughts that struck me at the time and were recorded thanks to the portability of tablet PCs.</p>
<p>Links to photos will be edited in as soon as I can knock them into some kind of shape.</p>
Day One – Leaving Brisbane
<p>Crowds, crowds, customs officers, crowds. I  […]</p>

    Pacific Dawn Cruise (5-12 Jan 2013)

    P&O Pacific Dawn Cruise Route

    I’m back from my Xmas and New Year break for a new year. Yay me!

    This post is a collection of rather stream of consciousness notes I made during my cruise around New Caledonia and Vanuatu. I’m not promising any depth or profundity – just a bunch of thoughts that struck me at the time and were recorded thanks to the portability of tablet PCs.

    Links to photos will be edited in as soon as I can knock them into some kind of shape.

    Day One – Leaving Brisbane

    Crowds, crowds, customs officers, crowds. I […]

  • <div id="attachment_941" style="width: 212px" class="wp-caption alignright"><p class="wp-caption-text">Linda M Paterson – The World of the Troubadours</p></div>
<p><strong>Title</strong>: The World of the Troubadours: Medieval Occitan Society, c.1100-c.1300<br />
<strong>Author</strong>: Linda M Paterson<br />
<strong>Paperback</strong>: 384 pages<br />
<strong>Publisher</strong>: Cambridge University Press, 1995<br />
<strong>Language</strong>: English</p>
<p>This is a book of lists which concentrates on the topics of:</p>
<ul>
<li>the nature of feudalism and vassalage in Languedoc and Provence</li>
<li>medieval medicine and surgery and their Arabic influences</li>
<li>the place and role of women in society which contrasts sharply to the north of France</li>
<li>religion and heresy, especially the reasonably well-known Albigensian Crusade and the Gregorian Reforms</li>
</ul>
<p>Scholarship in English  […]</p>

    The World of the Troubadours

    Linda M Paterson – The World of the Troubadours

    Title: The World of the Troubadours: Medieval Occitan Society, c.1100-c.1300
    Author: Linda M Paterson
    Paperback: 384 pages
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press, 1995
    Language: English

    This is a book of lists which concentrates on the topics of:

    • the nature of feudalism and vassalage in Languedoc and Provence
    • medieval medicine and surgery and their Arabic influences
    • the place and role of women in society which contrasts sharply to the north of France
    • religion and heresy, especially the reasonably well-known Albigensian Crusade and the Gregorian Reforms

    Scholarship in English […]

  • This is my translation of the defenses and counters outlined in Day Two of Giovanni Dall'Agocchie’s On The Art of Fencing. I’ve simplified and condensed drastically to discover the basic bio-mechanic movements behind the the vast catalogue of Italian terminology. Bolognese scholars are free to think this post sacrilege.

    Table of Defenses Actions in Dall’Agocchie

    This is my translation of the defenses and counters outlined in Day Two of Giovanni Dall'Agocchie’s On The Art of Fencing. I’ve simplified and condensed drastically to discover the basic bio-mechanic movements behind the the vast catalogue of Italian terminology. Bolognese scholars are free to think this post sacrilege.
  • <p>I’ve finished Days One and Two of Giovanni Dall’Agocchie’s On the Art of Fencing and I’ve got some notes and observations to share. And I’ve got to say I’m terrified of making my little contribution to the field public given the amount and depth of study others have put into the Bolognese tradition.</p>
<p>I’m just a simple swordsman and I reckon that learning from the sources can give me an edge over others I bout with. This may mean I look at the tradition from a slightly different angle and it may help beginners unravel some of its intricacies.</p>
<p>The  […]</p>

    Notes on Dall’Agocchie’s Days One and Two

    I’ve finished Days One and Two of Giovanni Dall’Agocchie’s On the Art of Fencing and I’ve got some notes and observations to share. And I’ve got to say I’m terrified of making my little contribution to the field public given the amount and depth of study others have put into the Bolognese tradition.

    I’m just a simple swordsman and I reckon that learning from the sources can give me an edge over others I bout with. This may mean I look at the tradition from a slightly different angle and it may help beginners unravel some of its intricacies.

    The […]

  • <p><strong>Title</strong>: A Canticle for Leibowitz<br />
<strong>Author</strong>: Walter M Miller, Jr <br />
<strong>Paperback</strong>: 368 pages</p>
<p>A wholly remarkable book but not for the reasons usually trotted out by its fans:</p>
<ul>
<li>it is not about Catholicism or the benefits bestowed by religion,</li>
<li>it is not about trite clichés such as ‘those who do not listen to history are doomed to repeat it’ or ‘with great power comes great responsibility’,</li>
<li>it is not about power of faith in the face of destruction.</li>
</ul>
<p>The novel outlines a thesis which describes humanity as fundamentally and irredeemably broken. Humanity, after global nuclear war brought  […]</p>

    Review: A Canticle for Leibowitz

    Title: A Canticle for Leibowitz
    Author: Walter M Miller, Jr 
    Paperback: 368 pages

    A wholly remarkable book but not for the reasons usually trotted out by its fans:

    • it is not about Catholicism or the benefits bestowed by religion,
    • it is not about trite clichés such as ‘those who do not listen to history are doomed to repeat it’ or ‘with great power comes great responsibility’,
    • it is not about power of faith in the face of destruction.

    The novel outlines a thesis which describes humanity as fundamentally and irredeemably broken. Humanity, after global nuclear war brought […]

  • <p></p>
<p>Imagine this. It’s sometime early in the ninth century and you’re a scribe. Louis the Pious, King of the Franks and Holy Roman Emperor, has just given you the task of making a copy of the bible in Old Saxon to convert to Christianity the pagan tribes on the other side of the River Elbe. How do you translate the Gospel’s message of peace and salvation in terms those battle-loving barbarians will understand?</p>
<p>One answer is the Heliand, a wacky paraphrase rather than translation of the Gospel in the form of a Norse or Germanic saga written around AD 825.  […]</p>

    The Schwarzeneggar Bible

    Imagine this. It’s sometime early in the ninth century and you’re a scribe. Louis the Pious, King of the Franks and Holy Roman Emperor, has just given you the task of making a copy of the bible in Old Saxon to convert to Christianity the pagan tribes on the other side of the River Elbe. How do you translate the Gospel’s message of peace and salvation in terms those battle-loving barbarians will understand?

    One answer is the Heliand, a wacky paraphrase rather than translation of the Gospel in the form of a Norse or Germanic saga written around AD 825. […]

  • <p>I’m about to embark on a review of Giovanni Dall’Agocchie’s 1572 fencing treatise “Dell’Arte Di Scrimia” (The Art of Fencing) and it terrifies me. Not because the text is difficult or unapproachable but because there’s already been so much research and practice of the Bolognese tradition that I doubt whether I can add anything to that body of work. My approach, however, may be a little different.</p>
<p>I’m not so much concerned with re-creating the style as it was but understanding how I can use what Dall’Agocchie can teach in my own practice. How, for instance, does he propose I  […]</p>

    Next: Giovanni Dall’Agocchie

    I’m about to embark on a review of Giovanni Dall’Agocchie’s 1572 fencing treatise “Dell’Arte Di Scrimia” (The Art of Fencing) and it terrifies me. Not because the text is difficult or unapproachable but because there’s already been so much research and practice of the Bolognese tradition that I doubt whether I can add anything to that body of work. My approach, however, may be a little different.

    I’m not so much concerned with re-creating the style as it was but understanding how I can use what Dall’Agocchie can teach in my own practice. How, for instance, does he propose I […]

  • <p>This is a translation of the essay at the front of Henri de Sainct Didier’s The Secrets of the Single Sword (1573). I have not translated the epistolary verses or any more of the text at this stage. This is a task for someone with more time available than I currently have available to me.</p>
<ul>
<li>The Secrets of the Single Sword – General Essay</li>
</ul>
<p>The translation is based on the transcription of the copy in the Library of the city of Blois (available at Bibliotheque Virtuelles Humanistes) made in 2010 by Olivier Depuis for l’Association pour la Recherche et le  […]</p>

    Henri de Sainct Didier’s General Essay

    This is a translation of the essay at the front of Henri de Sainct Didier’s The Secrets of the Single Sword (1573). I have not translated the epistolary verses or any more of the text at this stage. This is a task for someone with more time available than I currently have available to me.

    • The Secrets of the Single Sword – General Essay

    The translation is based on the transcription of the copy in the Library of the city of Blois (available at Bibliotheque Virtuelles Humanistes) made in 2010 by Olivier Depuis for l’Association pour la Recherche et le […]

  • <p>I’ve been reviewing my notes on both the sidesword and dusack techniques shown in Joachim Meyer‘s Art of Combat and a couple of key principles stand out. Master these and you’ve got the core of the single sword style he taught. This post outlines the core principles in a format from which a lesson plan could be developed.</p>
Core Principles
<p>Forget all the talk about the multitude of postures and cuts. The key is that you cut to attack and, for the most part, cut to defend.</p>
<p>Cuts are either vertical, horizontal or diagonal whether from above or below. When  […]</p>

    Learning Sidesword Fundamentals

    I’ve been reviewing my notes on both the sidesword and dusack techniques shown in Joachim Meyer‘s Art of Combat and a couple of key principles stand out. Master these and you’ve got the core of the single sword style he taught. This post outlines the core principles in a format from which a lesson plan could be developed.

    Core Principles

    Forget all the talk about the multitude of postures and cuts. The key is that you cut to attack and, for the most part, cut to defend.

    Cuts are either vertical, horizontal or diagonal whether from above or below. When […]