To my most illustrious Prince. Guido di Montefeltro. Duke of Urbino. I offer this little book to you, great Prince,. To which Muse my mind is devoted to. Saturday, November 19, at AM – PM UTC+ More than a year ago. pin. Halle am Schloßwall, Schlosswall 10, Osnabrück. 0 Went · 2. This is a full-colour facsimile edition of Philippo Vadi’s De Arte Gladiatoria Dimicandi, the art of swordsmanship. This book was written in the late s for the.
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In its continuing effort to bring to light the history and truth of Medieval fighting arts and promote accurate research into European martial culture, ARMA is proud to present this material from the rare 15th century Italian fencing manual of Filipo Vadi.
While produced two generations after Dei Liberi’s work, Vadi’s work shows unmistakeable connection to earlier methods, yet reveals changes that reflect his own style as well as improved armor. Vadi listed the same number of blows as Dei Liberi six cuts and one thrust and gave a similar, if not identical, series of twelve guards with only a few name additions. Although it is rapidly changing, little work so far has been done on Vadi’s material, but it is an important addition to the curriculum of today’s student of historical European martial arts.
The material presents substantial insight into fighting with the long-sword, poleaxe, spear, and dagger. Many students also feel study of Vadi offers insights into Fiore’s method. Vadi refers to the craft as an art or science and relates it to geometry. Written in rhyme, it reads rather cryptic today to those less familiar with the craft, but his advice is sound and several gems are buried within it.
Below we present a rough draft translation of Vadi’s introduction and 16 chapters by Luca Porzio, along with sharp images of the complete illustrations courtesy of Marco Rubboli’s recent Italian translation edition by permission.
The original manuscript is in color as can be seen to the side here. Liber de Arte Gladiatoria Dimicandi.
Draft translation by Luca Porzio from the Bascetti Edition. Editing and commentary by John Clements. What we know of the late 15th century Italian Master of Arms and teacher of swordplay, Philippo Vadi, is little more than a name. Vadi was one of a number of fencing teachers of his days travelling from court to court instructing in the noble sicence and Art of defence.
Although Vadi dedicated his verses to Guidobaldo, it is unknown if he ever was ever supported by the Duke or ws ever a member of the court of Urbino, where in the days of Federico another Duke of Urbino fencing teachers were regularly employed.
His verses describe a range of techniques and principles for various knightly weapons. Besides Fiore Dei Liberi manual ofVadi represents the only other Italian master of Medieval weapons and fencing that we now have.
Its resemblance is strong yet Master Vadi clearly wrote of his own understanding and method. The manual covers the standard knightly weapons of the time: His work also includes material on unarmed combat or wrestling and defense against a dagger while unarmed.
The text is also well illustrated with dozens of deceptions of stances, techniques, and movements. Illustrated with panels of simple figures in side profiles, the work is presented as a kind of study guide.
De Arte Gladiatoria Dimicandi
Each illustration depicts a posture or attack or counter-attack along with a short caption describing the concept or action. In translating and transcribing Medieval verses in to modern English certain captions had to be separated or combined in order to render them more easily understandable. By time he produced his text, Vadi would have been in his maturity and perhaps beyond his physical prime but could call on many years of experience acquired during the s and s.
He then says that all which he wrote in the book has been personally tested by himself, and that other dubious things were not included. After this he speaks of the superiority of intelligence over strength, which he declares makes possible for a man to defeat more than one foe, or for the weak to defeat the strong.
Finally, he says that anyone well versed in fencing is free to modify his work. It is interesting to note he states he studied from the experience and practical doctrines of masters of multiple countries.
This is the same view held by his contemporary Pietro Monte. This implies that such techniques were in fact employed with blades that were not fully sharp their entire length. The text was originally written in verse aete and so is sometimes obscure in portions sounds overly complex as a result. Some chapters are only very short sections. Vadi also occasionally uses metaphor whose meaning may no longer be clear.
The translation here however is presented without interpretation. Because Vadi wrote in verse the text often lacks details where it needs them while at other times contains statements meant only for rhyme. Translating this into Modern English therefore poses some problems.
It is suggested to not to try to read too much into passages where it appears obscure or even obtuse. In the future more precise wording will become available.
Fillipo Vadi – Liber de Arte Gladitoria de Dimicandi
A few end notes are provided for some of the more difficult passages. In the first and thriving years of my life I was spurred by natural attitude, produced by my sincere heart without cowardice, towards warlike acts and things so that, while growing as time wanted in strength and knowledge, I strove to learn more about the Art and cleverness of the said warlike acts and things: Of these things, thanks to the help of God, I acquired good knowledge, from the practical experience and doctrine of many masters of arms of different countries, well versed in their Art.
And not to lessen, but instead to augment this doctrine so that gladiatori will not perish for my negligence, for it is a source of no small help in battle, war, fights and other warlike events but instead it gives to men versed in this knowledge glafiatoria very useful aidI decided to write a book on things that later will be better described: This way he, with a generous heart, who sees my work should love it as a jewel and treasure and keep it in his heart, so that never, by means, should this Art and doctrine fall into the hands of unrefined and low born men.
Because Heaven did not generate these men, unrefined and without wit or skill, and without any agility, but they were rather generated as unreasonable animals, only able to bear burdens and to do vile and unrefined works. For this reason I rightly tell you that they are in every dimivandi alien to this science, while the opposite is true, in my opinion, for anybody of perspicacious talent and lovely limbs, as are courtesans, scholars, barons, princes, dukes and kings, who should be called to learn this science, following the principle of Institutawhich says: And do not think that in this book can be anything false or enveloped in error, because cutting and taking away dubious things, I only have written those things I saw and experienced personally, beginning to express our intention dimicabdi the aid and grace of the almighty God whose name be blessed forever.
So man needs, among all animals, intelligence and reason, in which flourish Art and science, and in these and other things he surpasses all animals. But every learned and clever man surpasses other men bigger and stronger, as was correctly said: From the said talent and other subtle thoughts is born an Art of winning and conquering anyone wanting to fight and contrast; and it not only happens that one man conquers the other, but it is also possible that one man conquers many others, and it is thus shown not only the way to assault the enemy and to repair and defend from him, glxdiatoria also it is taught how to disarm him.
And with these documents often it happens that a man weak and of small stature submits, brings to the ground and conquers one large, strong and valiant, and the same way the humble conquers the haughty and the unarmed conquers the armed; and many times he who is on foot conquers a horseman. Since it would be very unbecoming gladiatodia such a noble doctrine should perish and fail by carelessness, I Philippo of Vadi from Pisa, having practiced this Art from the years of my youth, having searched and traveled many different countries and lands, castles and cities to learn from many masters perfect in the Art, and having, by the Grace of God, acquired a good part of learning, decided to compose this booklet, in which it will be exposed and shown at least the fighting with four weapons, that are spear, sword, dagger and polaxe.
Remembering to anybody not to undertake with temerity the study of this Art and science, if he is not magnanimous and full of valor; for any man slow-witted, fearful and vile shall be driven out and dimicahdi admitted to such a high noble and courteous enterprise.
For to this ce should be invited only soldiers, man at arms, scholars, barons, lords, dukes, princes and kings of lands, glaidatoria of which are up to rule the republic, and some others to defend orphans and widows: Xrte should this booklet of mine fall into the hands of someone learned in the Art, and should it seem to him that there is any superfluous or lacking thing, he might cut, lessen or augment what he deems necessary, as from now I put myself ddimicandi his correction and censure.
From one side there are defending right strikes colpi diritti going to one side the rightreverses riversi make offence from the other side the left.
It consists of maintaining blade contact while entering. Vadi does not distinguish between different angles of cut; all descending cuts are fendenti. It is said to use the rota with fendente and volante against the ponte thrusts and so it is shown that these are not so dangerous. And when they come at our presence, all blows make them lose their way, losing also the chance to strike. If you have not a weak memory, remember that if the punta does not hit, it loses its burst, and then all other blows are good to defend.
Against one foe the thrust finds good use, and against many no more does its duty. If punta turns into rota do not fear: Keep here your mind for glzdiatoria Do not lose an hour to learn the long times with the serene hand, it puts you over the others and honors you. Break every low stance.
Low stances resist only weak loads, and so the heavier break them easily. A heavy weapon does not pass quickly in the opening, a light one comes and goes as an arrow with the bow. Vadi advises to parry with the fendente downward cutdefinitely not a static block.
The translation is literal. Bascetta suspected it related to the hand position, citing Manciolino; or else, he thinks it can be the crossing point of the swords. Posta di vera finestra – “I am the stance of true window All rights are reserved.
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