I am by no means the first to translate this work, nor could I have done so without the previous efforts of many others.
The digital images came courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program which are licenced under a Creative Commons licence. My work was made vastly more simple by using the transcription available from the wiktenauer site.
The process I used involved translating a single block of text at a time, and then comparing what I had written to two previously existing translations. As a constant, I used Colin Hatchers translation, also found on wiktenauer.
For a second comparison, I used multiple translations of smaller sections by the following authors. Grappling and Dagger – The Exiles. All Sword sections and Mixed weapons– Matt Easton and Eleonora Durban. Armour, Pollaxe, Spear and Horseback – Michael Chidester, Eleonora Durban, Matt Easton Colin Hatcher and Tracy Mellow.
In any translation, there is a constant effort to maintain a balance between the literal words and the intention behind them. Not every word has a direct English equivalent. Coupled with grammatical differences, an absolutely direct literal translation of every word would be a ponderous and largely meaningless read. Finding a balance point between these two tensions was a very enriching process, and it was interesting to see how others had balanced their words. Going on the basis that Fiore was writing a very practical manual, I have a tendancy to lean more toward intention where a choice must be made.
Of course, to understand the pragmatics of what the intention is, I had to be able to perform the techniques to at least a reasonable degree of competance. Although my previous martial arts experience gave me a firm grasp of the body mechanics involved, I extensively utilised the many books and videos by Guy Windsor, and to a lesser extent the information available through Schola Gladiatoria, the International Armizare Society as well as many other smaller sources of information to provide specific context.