Fiore dei Liberi: Flos Duellatorum, 1410 (Pisani-Dossi, F. Novati, Bergamo, 1902)
 4 spada longa - longsword
 4.1 poste (guards)
 4.1.6 posta frontalle o corona click to hear the Italian text, instabile1 (frontal guard of the crown)

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Posta frontalle e son chiamata corona
De tagli e de punte a nesun non perdona
This is called the frontal guard of the crown
To no one do we apologize for the cut and the thrust

Synopsis: The head, in particular, the forehead was often referred to the "crown" similar to its use in the following phrase "The old lady crowned the wicked guy with her umbrella." The posta frontalle is an effective defensive posture to defend against strikes to the head or neck area. A successful deployment of this guard can result in a very effective and immediate offensive maneuvre including a very quick reposte in the form of a strike or thrust, hence, Fiore's stating that there is no need to "apologize" for the cut or the thrust.

Practical Application: The deployment of this guard is highly effective against any strike or thrust thrown by the zugadore provided the deployment is subtle and conservative. The structure of the posture is such that the sword is approximately 45o or more from the horizontal, and the hilt is either to the right or to the left of the line of attack, such that the sword is not only pointing upwards, but is angled slightly towards the left or right depending upon the engagement. The middle of the sword should be essentially on the line of attack. Delivering this guard with wild movements to the right or left will in fact, create an opening which the zugadore can exploit resulting in incurring injury or worse. In particular with receiving thrusts, the range of movement of the hilt in centimetres can be counted on one hand. The movements, ever so slight is enough to redirect the inbound thrust in combination with a slight traverse step off-line while keeping in contact with the inbound thrust will provide an opportunity to immediately return with the wielder's own thrust to the zugadore. Although Fiore doesn't delve into these concepts in detail in this plate, it is implied given the far more details offered in the Getty's version of the treatise.

example applications/similarities
Reference Page
Fiore de' Liberi 1410 Posta breve (Short Guard)
Hans Talhoffer 1467 (tafel 3) Guard of the Wrath - Middle Guard

  1. instabile in which to delivery a successful blow (thrust or cut), one must take a full step (a passing step). This info was derived from the Getty's version of Liberi's treatise.

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Released: December 2, 1999 / Last modified: February 9, 2009