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George Hill




Location: Atlanta Ga
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PostPosted: Thu 05 Oct, 2006 11:21 pm    Post subject: What does Fanne mean? (and other strange English words)         Reply with quote

I'm rereading the Poem of the Pell.

I know most of the words are pretty directly just old spellings of words we still use, and those I can read well enough, but I can't for the LIFE of me figure out the translation of a few of these. The ones I can't even begin to understand.. and the ones I sort of get but would love some help on, will be marked. Please help.

Oh, the words in parenthese are from someone else who added them to aid general understanding. As such, my questions will be in Brackets. [ ]

Of fight the disciplyne and exercise,
Was this. To have a pale or pile upright (pell) [ OK, I understand that pale and pile mean pell, but what do they more literally mean, since they are different words. Pell or Pell ought not to make sence even then.]
Of mannys light, thus writeth old and wise, (man's height) [ How do we get Man's height from Manny's light? I get mannys.. sort of, but light=height? Is the other fellow wrong? ]
Therewith a bacheler, or a yong knyght,
Shal first be taught to stonde and lerne to fight
And fanne of double wight tak him his shelde, (practice shield) [FANNE! ARGH!!! HELP!!!! WHAT IS FANNE?]
Of double wight a mace of tre to welde. (wood)

This fanne and mace whiche either doubil wigt [ FANNE AGAIN! WHAT IS FANNE?]
Of shelde, and swayed in conflicte, or bataile,
Shal exercise as well swordmen, as knyghtes,
And noe man, as they sayn, is seyn prevaile,
In field, or in castell, though he assayle, [ assayle, as in 'assail'? To attack vigously, or 'excell' to do well? I think Assail, opinions? ]
That with the pile, nethe first grete exercise, (hath not) [ pile again. And is nethe a typo or is this from the original? ]
Thus writeth werrouris olde and wyse. (warriors)


[ this next part could use a lot of help. ]
Have eche his pile or pale upfixed fast
And as it were uppon his mortal foe:
With mightyness and weapon most be cast [ um.. to cast your weapon... to strike... right? ]
To fight stonge, that he ne skape him fro. [ ne skape him fro, no escape from him?]
On hym with shield, and sword avised so, [ um.... does this mean the master advises the student on how to hold his sword and shield? ]
That thou be cloos, and Preste thy foe to smyte, (ready) [ To press in to attack with the above mentioned adivce and eapons?]
Lest of thyne own dethe thou be to wite.

Empeche his head, his face, have at his gorge (attack, throat) [empechh=Impeach? Meaning in those days?]
Beare at the brest, or sperne him on the side, [ do *what* at the breast, or 'spear' him on the side?]
With myghte knyghtly poost ene as Seynt George (power) [poost ene? is that the power the previous fellow is referencing?] [/b]
Lepe o thy foe; look if he dare abide; [lepe o thy= leap at thy??? If he dare abide... Abide you leaping at him and not running, as in the next line? ]
Will he not flee? wounde him; make wounds wide
Hew of his honde, his legge, his theys, his armys, [ I'm pretty sure honde=hand, and theys=thighs ]
It is the Turk, though he be sleyn, noon harm is.


As this is something of an important poem, I hope the group will be so good as to help me understand it, and perhaps find a few words that I can transpose with the really weird ones for the sake of general understanding.

To abandon your shield is the basest of crimes. - --Tacitus on Germania


Last edited by George Hill on Thu 05 Oct, 2006 11:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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George Hill




Location: Atlanta Ga
Joined: 16 May 2005

Posts: 614

PostPosted: Thu 05 Oct, 2006 11:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's a list of the problem words and phrases, (most of them) and what I think they mean....if I have an idea.

pale or pile.............. This one is Pell, I think, but what are Pile or Pale?
mannys light...............It's suppose to be 'man's height,' but....?
fanne .........................HELP HELP HELP!
assayle,.....................to assail, or maybe excell.
nethe .............. typo from last translation?
weapon most be cast..............to cast your weapon, or to strike.
ne skape him fro..... no escape him from.
stonge.....................Strong
avised...........Advised
cloos,...........close,
Preste ............press
wite.................Write
Empeche ................impeach
Beare ..............no clue. Normally 'to bear, or expose, but not in this context.]
poost ene.................no clue.
Lepe o.................leap at/over/to

To abandon your shield is the basest of crimes. - --Tacitus on Germania
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Geoff Wood




Location: UK
Joined: 31 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 2:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

George Hill wrote:
Here's a list of the problem words and phrases, (most of them) and what I think they mean....if I have an idea.

pale or pile.............. This one is Pell, I think, but what are Pile or Pale?
mannys light...............It's suppose to be 'man's height,' but....?
fanne .........................HELP HELP HELP!
assayle,.....................to assail, or maybe excell.
nethe .............. typo from last translation?
weapon most be cast..............to cast your weapon, or to strike.
ne skape him fro..... no escape him from.
stonge.....................Strong
avised...........Advised
cloos,...........close,
Preste ............press
wite.................Write
Empeche ................impeach
Beare ..............no clue. Normally 'to bear, or expose, but not in this context.]
poost ene.................no clue.
Lepe o.................leap at/over/to


Well, a pale can be a fence, like the one round Dublin, or the vertical bits of wood used to make it (as in paling). Pile in your context would probably mean a post (as in piling). Both could serve as a pell.

Edit. And a Fanne can be a wicker shield, which seems to fit the context .
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Merv Cannon




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PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 5:22 am    Post subject: Fanne         Reply with quote

According to my research, a " Fanne "is a practise Shield made of Wicker !

Ref:....... http://www.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/TEAMS/ekttnts.htm

Cheers !

Merv ....... KOLR
http://www.lionrampant.com.au/

"Then let slip the dogs of war ! "......Woof !
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Jonathan Blair




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PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 6:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm no expert in Middle English but I think it comes out kind of like this:

"Of fighting, the discipline and exercise was this: to have a upright pale or pile of a man's height, (thus writes the old and wise). There a bachelor or a young knight shall first be taught to stand and learn to fight. And he takes his shield of double weight wicker, and a wooden mace of double weight to wield.

"The wicker shield and mace which are either double weight of shield, and swayed in conflict or battle, shall exercise both swordmen and knights, and no man, as they say, is seen to prevail in the field or in the castle, unless he first, through great exercise, assail against the pile, thus writes warriors both old and wise.

"Have each man his pile or pale fixed fast and as it were upon his mortal foe: with mightiness and weapon must be swung to fight strong(?), that the foe does not escape from him. On him with shield, and sword advised so, that you all be close, and press your foe to smite him, unless of your own death you all would know.

"Impact his head, his face, have at his throat, bear down on the breast, or thrust him in the side. With mighty knightly power even as Saint George, leap at your foe; look if he dare abide will he not flee? Wound him; make wounds that are wide. Hew off his hands, his legs, his thighs, his arms, it is the Turk, though he be slain, no one is harmed."

Basically, the exercise of fighting discipline for gentlemen and young knights was to practice using a wicker shield and wooden waster against a pell made from a fence post or piling. The old and wise warriors (ie the ones that lived) suggest this if you want to prevail on the battlefield or in a siege. Each man was to have their pell mounted securely and attack it as if it was his worst enemy. You attack by bashing with your shield and "sword" up close and pressing up against it (or would you rather he kill you?) Smash his head and face, stab at the throat, bear down upon his chest or thrust at his kidneys. Leap at your foe like you were Saint George against the dragon and he might flee. Wound him with wide wounds, cut off his hands, arms, and legs. Imagine he's a Saracen, but don't worry, should you "slay" him, no one really gets hurt.

pale/pile - already commented on
mannys light - "a man's height" sounds right
fanne - already commented on
assayle - assail
nethe - looks like it should be "ne the" or "any the"
weapon most be cast - weapon must be cast (swung)
ne skape him fro - "does not escape from him" sounds right
stong - strong? not sure on this
avised - advised
cloos - close
Preste - pressed
wite - "to wit" or "know" as in "to experience"
Empeche - impact
Beare - "bear" as in "bear down"
poost ene - power even (e'en)
Lepe o - leap at

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." - The Lord Jesus Christ, from The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, chapter x, verse 34, Authorized Version of 1611
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Bruno Giordan





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PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 6:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pile = before the great vowel shift english vowels were pronounced correctly as continentals still do, so pile if pronounced as it was before the Xv - XVI century would be pihleh, something that sounds possibly as pell is pronounced today (am I wrong on the modern pronunciation of pell?).

Assayle cannot surely be excel since the original latin word is excellere (to excel), while we have assaltare in italian and something similar in french assailir (father of assayle), assaut , re-latinized in assault, as assalto in italian, all words deriving from a single latin one and well different from excellere (must be assaltare in latin as well but I have no vocabulary here).
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Bruno Giordan





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PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 6:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pale: french pal and italian palo (pole), my french vocabulary says pal du supplice and pal de lec¨, shield's pole.

latin PALUM, fro which all your p*l* forms come, under various schemes
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Kel Rekuta




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PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 8:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good job Jonathon!

I think you've captured the essense of it as I understand it.

Also thanks to Merv for the link to the TOURNAMENT OF TOTTENHAM document. I've heard of it but never read it. Cool stuff!

Cheers!

Big Grin
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George Hill




Location: Atlanta Ga
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PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 11:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you all much. So Fanne means wicker shield. That's been bugging me for ages. I'm going to read though a few more careful times. Might have another set of questions later, but knowing what a Fanne is, really helps.
To abandon your shield is the basest of crimes. - --Tacitus on Germania
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Hugo Voisine





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PostPosted: Sun 08 Oct, 2006 3:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Pale: french pal and italian palo (pole), my french vocabulary says pal du supplice and pal de lec¨, shield's pole.

latin PALUM, fro which all your p*l* forms come, under various schemes


Just a small precision : I think the correct french translation is "supplice du pal" and not "pal du supplice". "Pal du supplice" would imply that a particular pole was used as a torture device, while "supplice du pal" would describe the act of impaling someone in general.
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