A "Marozzo/Meyer Connection" Myth or Plausibility

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steve hick
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Re: A "Marozzo/Meyer Connection" Myth or Plausibility

Postby steve hick » Tue Nov 16, 2010 5:28 am

steve hick wrote:Gelli gives that Meyer was a student of Viggiani, without any citation, in his "L'Arte de la Armi in Italia". Gelli has some amazing information therein fencing history, but then, I suspect him sometimes of being loose with facts.

Steve


I need to crack open L'Arte dell'Armi in Italia, but Gelli gives an "Italian" rendering of Meyer's name, almost as if it were derived from some archival material. But, Jacopo doesn't make it easy for us, as he does not attribute what he says in any way. I have, over the years, determined some of his sources (e.g., Novati for large amounts of stuff, for the 14th-15th century stuff). I just love how scrupulous our forebearers were about their conflation of fact and fiction.
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Re: A "Marozzo/Meyer Connection" Myth or Plausibility

Postby Mike Cartier » Thu Nov 18, 2010 6:54 pm

intetersting discussion. i am inclined to accept the notion that Meyer gets his new stuff from Marozzo
Why? well i think 3 reasons compell me
1. The bolgonese practitioners who told me to look for Meyer in the bolognese school because of the similarities before i ever heard of the Marozzo - Meyer connection
2. These Meyer/Marozzo sources must be disproven not simply ignored. It's pretty clear to me they had access to some stuff none of us will ever see. In the end they are a source that must be disproven.
3. everything about Meyer's civilian duelling screams Italian school to me

My first thought when initially reading the 1570 and coming across that passage about learning his art in foreign lands was France, but every shred of evidence points to Northern Italy so far.

Only learning Marozzo will tell the tale for us so we are lucky to have brothered up with our Marozzo counter parts in Italy. Januray 2011 will be an important year for us in terms of validating this supposed connection, I look forward to the instruction.
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Re: A "Marozzo/Meyer Connection" Myth or Plausibility

Postby Steven Reich » Thu Nov 18, 2010 7:15 pm

Mike Cartier wrote:2. These Meyer/Marozzo sources must be disproven not simply ignored. It's pretty clear to me they had access to some stuff none of us will ever see. In the end they are a source that must be disproven.

I agree we can't just ignore them; on the other hand, since they haven't "cited their sources", they must also be looked at with some suspicion. Many of these sources were unaware of other 1500s works which have since been found (e.g. Altoni and the Anonimo Riccardiano--and even Manciolino, to some extent), so they may have just been linking Meyer to Marozzo based on the fact that that was the only Italian source with which they were familiar that was similar.

Mike Cartier wrote:3. everything about Meyer's civilian duelling screams Italian school to me

My first thought when initially reading the 1570 and coming across that passage about learning his art in foreign lands was France, but every shred of evidence points to Northern Italy so far.

But we need to remember that "Italian School" is more than just the Bolognese School. So while I see similarities between Meyer and Marozzo, I also see similarities between Meyer and some of the other 1500s Italian (i.e. non-Bolognese) works.

Mike Cartier wrote:Only learning Marozzo will tell the tale for us so we are lucky to have brothered up with our Marozzo counter parts in Italy. Januray 2011 will be an important year for us in terms of validating this supposed connection, I look forward to the instruction.

While it will make things clearer in some ways, I don't think the link will ever be proven or disproven with any real certainty without some sort of secondary record (i.e. of Meyer's travels) or an explicitly stated link in some yet-to-be-discovered source.

Also, there are almost certainly Italian traditions that have been lost, one of which might have been the missing connection.

Note that I'm not saying that Meyer was not influenced by Marozzo, just that we can't say for sure that he was as there are other possibilities.

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Re: A "Marozzo/Meyer Connection" Myth or Plausibility

Postby Mike Cartier » Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:01 pm

I agree we can't just ignore them; on the other hand, since they haven't "cited their sources", they must also be looked at with some suspicion. Many of these sources were unaware of other 1500s works which have since been found (e.g. Altoni and the Anonimo Riccardiano--and even Manciolino, to some extent), so they may have just been linking Meyer to Marozzo based on the fact that that was the only Italian source with which they were familiar that was similar.


Yes I see your point but going back that far inclines me to treat it as fact until otherwise proven. True there are no sources cited and there is other information given in the same text about Meyer specifically which I think is wrong (that he was a Marxbruder) so that leads me to lean somewhat towards your viewpoint.

As for whether we can prove or disprove it, that will be entirely dependant on what we see I think, the similarities must be much much more than surface appearances, the art would have to somewhat overlay to be proven IMHO. But until then I am content to name the foreign source of Meyer's cut and thrust from the only admitedly flawed source we have. Hopefully we will find some new information in the future that will shed light on the situation and thats really the fun part anyways, the detective work that goes into it.

MEYER C.S.I.
We need to interrogate some Bolognese swordsmen and trick them into giving us some DNA, make a bunch of wild accusations to stir up the water and then have Kevin pull a couple of fingernails as we claim to have damning scientific evidence that implicates them in the crime. Then when someones breaks and confesses , we will probably find evidence to suggest we just badgered the poor guy into a false confession :o
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Alex Kiermayer
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Re: A "Marozzo/Meyer Connection" Myth or Plausibility

Postby Alex Kiermayer » Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:25 pm

Nice discussion, guys. Let me add a few things to the confusion:

Meyer teaches the same concept as Viggiani does with his punta sopra mano. He begins from Wechsel (or porta di ferro larga) strikes upwards with either the short edge, the long edge or the flat, ending in Ochs and then thrusts a "Stoß über die Hand" or literaly translated punta sopramano. I havent found this terminology in German fencing manuals prior to Meyer. So it is not only the method but also the terminology that in some cases lets us think of a relationship to the Bolognese stuff.

Also the presentation of his material via plays from every guard is similar to the Bolognese material. Does anybody know if this does appear elsewhere in Italy? Certainly it is not typical for the German stuff.

On the other hand Meyer mentiones in the Rostock manuscript that he has drawn his Rappier from different nations, two of them being the Italian and the Neapolitan. He doesn`t mention Bologna directly.

Also in the Rostock manuscript there is a section dealing with one handed swords that uses the terms Dusack, Messer and Rappier interchangably. The material therein is classical Messer stuff, but not the direct Leckuechner tradition, it seems to be an offshoot or a different tradition with similar names.


Servus,
Alex

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Re: A "Marozzo/Meyer Connection" Myth or Plausibility

Postby Steven Reich » Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:57 pm

Alex Kiermayer wrote:Meyer teaches the same concept as Viggiani does with his punta sopra mano. He begins from Wechsel (or porta di ferro larga) strikes upwards with either the short edge, the long edge or the flat, ending in Ochs and then thrusts a "Stoß über die Hand" or literaly translated punta sopramano. I havent found this terminology in German fencing manuals prior to Meyer. So it is not only the method but also the terminology that in some cases lets us think of a relationship to the Bolognese stuff.

This is similar to the Bolognese and a neat observation. I only work for the Forgeng translation (I really need to learn to read German better), so I miss these types of things.

Alex Kiermayer wrote:Also the presentation of his material via plays from every guard is similar to the Bolognese material. Does anybody know if this does appear elsewhere in Italy? Certainly it is not typical for the German stuff.

Good catch, although this is more characteristic of Manciolino and Dall'Agocchie than Marozzo (who instead tends to give his material in terms of links of set-plays collected in assalti or abbattimenti--except for one little section at the end of the Spadone section).

Alex Kiermayer wrote:On the other hand Meyer mentiones in the Rostock manuscript that he has drawn his Rappier from different nations, two of them being the Italian and the Neapolitan. He doesn`t mention Bologna directly.

Also in the Rostock manuscript there is a section dealing with one handed swords that uses the terms Dusack, Messer and Rappier interchangably. The material therein is classical Messer stuff, but not the direct Leckuechner tradition, it seems to be an offshoot or a different tradition with similar names.

Good additions to the conversation--I haven't tried to read the manuscript (and it probably would not have done much good), so I didn't know this. I really hope that we'll find more information, because there are a lot of gaps in our knowledge about 1500s Northern Italian schools as they relate to each other and other schools.

What I find to be interesting is the question of how many "Bolognese" masters were teaching at any one time (i.e. not necessarily all of the masters in Bologna, but the number of masters who taught the same system as Manciolino and Marozzo). Also, how do the various Italian systems relate? We have some terminology which is shared with pretty much every Italian tradition (e.g. Mandritto, Riverso, Stramazzone), some that are present in more than one but don't necessarily mean exactly the same thing (Porta di Ferro, Coda Lunga, Guardia di Falcone, Montante), and some that appear in only one tradition (Assalto di Leone). Finally, how do Meyer and maybe Sanct-Didier fit into all of this?

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Keith P. Myers
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Re: A "Marozzo/Meyer Connection" Myth or Plausibility

Postby Keith P. Myers » Wed Nov 24, 2010 10:30 am

Lee S wrote:
After much discussion and debate among our instructor group, we are currently of the opinion that Meyer already taught the various forms of footwork in the preceding chapters of his book, namely longsword, and dusack.

In his section on the rapier when discussing cutting techniques, he often refers the reader back to the previous chapters on longsword and dusack. (much like he refers to the reader back to the longsword chapter when teaching the dusack)

In both of the first two chapters, Meyer covers various stepping motions, especially the passing step. I believe that he assumes that because the reader has already understood the first two chapters, it would be redundant to cover the same basic material in the third chapter.

s,


Hi Lee!

Sorry for the delayed reply. I've been out of town. You make good points, and I did take that into account when originally forming my conclusions! However, even though the passing steps had been covered in the Longsword chapter, Meyer still felt the need to use them and describe them when going over the plays with the Dussack. The Dussack is heavy in passing steps. Meyer didn't skip them just because they had already been used in the preceding Longsword chapter. Not so in the Rappier chapter. One would think that if Meyer intended us to use the passing steps just as much as in the Longsword and Dussack chapters, then they would have shown up in the descriptions of the plays with the Rappier. To me, the omission of even a mention of passing steps implies more than just an assumption on Meyer's part that his readers will understand that they are to completely integrate them based on the Longsword and Dussack material.

I still think there is a Meyer/Italian link. It can't be Marrozo, because the timeline is not right. Someone later in the Bolognese Tradition is still a good possibility. But the fact that Meyer doesn't include the Buckler with his Rappier, and that there are no passing steps, to me suggests that this would be late in the Bolognese Tradition and opens the possibility for the influence coming from another Italian source.....though a source somewhat similar to Bolognese.
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