Girard Thibault – Chapter 1 Circle 4, Measure

Chapter 1 Circle 4

First Instance

Our fencer is standing on the quadrangle AC.  Across from him is his opponent standing on quadrangle ZX. Thibault considers this to be the First Instance or the widest range that they may hit each other in middle time. These are shown in yellow.

A note on scale. The sword, from quillon to point, has a length of 12 units.

The arm, being proportionate to the body and thus the sword, has a length of 8. After subtracting 1 for the fingers, this gives an fully extended reach of 19 units.

The circle itself is 24 units across, which means that reaching your opponent from the First Instance requires lengthening your reach by 5 units or just over half an arm. Since your opponent may hold his body somewhat back, you’ll need to gain a bit more using an increase of the forward foot.

Second Instance

The Second Instance is shown by with the footsteps in orange. You have three options for this. The first is to step forward along the diameter to E. Alternately you may choose to move along the inscribed square to either point labeled G. From this measure you can reach your opponent by extending the arm aided by a slight lean.

The line GX has a distance of 18.97 units, just close enough to scratch.

The line EX is a bit further at 19.69 units.

Third Instance

The final measure is the Third Instance, which is shown in red. This is at the center of the circle and at the tangent points marked N. At this distance, one can strike merely by extending the arm.

The line NX has a distance of 16.97, leaving two units of length left over for causing mortal wounds.

The center line, HX, is even closer with an exact distance of 16 units.

Revised Distances

In ordinary play the body is usually held somewhat to one side, as the line of diameter is dangerous. When we take this into account we get these revised values:

Instance Lateral Distance Diametral Distance Effective Distance from Point
First 26.48 26.48 Length of arm
Second 22.45 22.17 One cubit
Third 19.45 18.48 One-half palm
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2 Responses to Girard Thibault – Chapter 1 Circle 4, Measure

  1. Grauenwolf says:

    Skipping Chapter 1 Circle 5 because it is just a repeat and summary of this circle.

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