The importance of introductions

I'm just reading translations of Marozzo at the moment and it's just highlighted, again, one of my least favorite bug bears: the translation skipping the introduction.

Sure, the introduction is often a role call of the authors noble patrons, the linage of swordmanship back to the Romans and comments on the parentage of other so called sword masters who slander the author. However the introduction is also often the source of summaries of the system that provide key information towards understand the rest of the text. Often they comprise the authors "how I learned sword fighting, from whom and how my opinions changed" and my "summary of my philosophy of sword fighting" paragraphs.

When you look at the length of some summaries you realise that they cannot all be filler and there is undoubtedly some killer in there.

Anyhow, whinge over. If some budding translator want to go out and translate all the missing introductions to treatises on Wiktenauer they'd be doing everyone a kindness.


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