Fiore dei Liberi: Flos Duellatorum, 1410 (Pisani-Dossi, F. Novati, Bergamo, 1902)
 6  azza in arme - armoured poleaxe
 6.0 quattro poste (four guards)
 6.0.3 posta de donna (guard of the woman)

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Posta de dona son de lieltà pura
Grandi colpi io faço altra mesura.

The guard of the woman is of pure loyalty
I can make large strikes beyond measure.

Synopsis: click on image to view larger of the sameThe first line of the couplet proved challenging in that the meaning of lieltà is not clear, and therefore, leveraged the translation from the Knights of the Wild Rose. However, the first line of the couplet value is the name of the guard. The second line of the couplet does clearly state that large strikes can be delivered from this posta, which is consistent with the same guard in unarmoured longsword. Following the characteristical placement of the guard opposite to the low guard illustrated, also is consistent with Fiore's earlier presentations of the guard in unarmoured longsword.

Practical Application: The posta de donna in harness and wielding the poleaxe shares all of the attributes of the guard as described in the unarmoured longsword section, which was also illustrated counter to a low guard, specifically, tuta porta de fero or full iron gate. In the case of the armoured poleaxe, the guard is depicted counter to the dent de zenchiar or tooth of the boar. There is no "iron gate" guard in armoured poleaxe, although the distinction between it and the boar's tooth may be small when in harness. The implication here, by referring this guard to the boar, is that it's main purpose is to thrust at the zugadore.

As in unarmoured longsword, a low strike or thrust can be parried from the guard of the woman, which can be executed with a volta stabile meaning, that time of the hand will be sufficient to handle an inbound strike or thrust. Once the parry has been executed, the zugadore having fully extended oneself, the master can now take a passing step to deliver a strike or thrust in return. The challenge of course is the perception of the strike and delivering the parry within time, given the visors do tend to reduce one's clarity of vision, however, armour does tend to provide a buffer should the parry not be executed as intended, allowing the master to continue to fight using alternative methods to best the zugadore.

Grip: An explicit description of the guard and grip of the posta de donna follows: The right hand, thumb forward, palm towards hip, grips the shaft approximately 1/3 the length from the queue and held around the hip area. The left hand, thumb forward, palm up, grips the shaft approximately 1/3 the distance from the tip of the dag and is elevated. The left leg is forward, toes pointing away from the zugadore whereas, the right leg is behind with heel slightly off the ground.

example applications/similarities
Reference Page
Fiore dei Liberi, Flos Duellatorum 1410 posta de donna (guard of the woman) (unarmoured longsword)


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Released: October 21, 1999 / Last modified: March 10, 2010