Fior di Battaglia
Fiore de’ Liberi was born around 1350 and died after 1409. He was a professional Master at Arms, the maker of warriors who embodied the state of the art of martial teaching in his time, and from whose instruction sprang a number of condottieri and professional soldiers of whom we have ample historical record.
Written in the first decade of the 1400s, Fiore de’ Liberi’s Fior di Battaglia (“Flower of Battle”) is the oldest surviving Italian martial arts treatise. It is also the third-oldest extant in Europe, after the Royal Armouries M.S. I.33 (mid-1300’s) and Dresden M.S. 3227a, tentatively dated to c.1389.
There are four known copies of Fiore’s work, all slightly different but mutually-corroborating in both text and illustrations. The present translation is of the version that many consider the most complete, i.e. M.S. Ludwig XV 13 housed at the J. Paul Getty Museum in California.
The Fior di Battaglia includes detailed instruction on wrestling, dagger, longsword, axe, armored combat, lance, mounted combat and more. Its importance is not only as the first extant Italian martial arts treatise; but also as one of the most thorough and detailed books ever written on the deadly art of arms.
As the first integral English translation of Fiore’s Getty manuscript, this book will be of great interest to students of the Medieval and Renaissance periods as well as to individuals passionate about historical Western martial arts.
This greatly expanded, corrected and footnoted second edition includes a detailed biography of Fiore, an essay on dueling in Fiore’s time, the accounts of two famous duels fought by his students, the translation of the Latin autobiography in the Pisani-Dossi manuscript, plus a thorough bilingual glossary of Fiore’s technical terms.
Note that this is a text-only work, and the illustrations of the Getty Manuscript have not been been reprinted.
Preface to the second edition
A journey into Fiore scholarship
Fiore the man
The duel of honor in Fiore's time: a knightly class privelege
A synopsis of two celebrated duels fought by Fiore's students
Fiore's pedagogical flowchart and other considerations
Latin introduction to the Pisani-Dossi manuscript
The text of the Fior di Battaglia