Fiore’s longsword guards

By: Robin Catling.

Fiore longsword gaurdsFrom our Historical Swordplay class, our starting point is the twelve guard positions taken from Fiore’s treatise.

The four high, four middle and four low guards are:

High

1) Posta di Donna (guard of the lady)
2) Posti di Donna la soprana (High guard of the lady)
3) Posta di fenestra (Window Guard)
4) Posta di Donna la sinestra (Guard of the Lady on the left)

Middle

5) Posta Breve (Short Guard)
6) Posta Longa (Long Guard)
7) Posta Frontale (Front Guard)
8) Posta di Bicorne (Two-horned Guard)

Low

9) Posta di Dente di cinghiale (Boar’s Tooth Guard)
10) Mezzo Porta di Ferro (Middle Iron Gate)
11) Tutta Porta di Ferro (Whole Iron Gate)
12) Posta di Coda Longa d’esteso (extended Long Tail Guard)

Florio’s Italian to English dictionary of 1611 translates:

Pulsare – to smite
Pulsativa therefore translates as something like ‘great smiting’.

Instabile – ‘fickle, wavering, unstable’
Stabile – ‘stable, firm, permanent, steadfast, fixed, immovable, durable’.