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Difference between revisions of "Fiore de'i Liberi"

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| <p>And we will commence first on horse with lance and with sword and with wrestling. And afterward with lance on foot, and then with sword in armor, and with sword in two hands in wide and narrow plays. Then the play of the axe, and then certain special matches, and then sword in one hand, and finally wrestling on foot and the play of the dagger.</p>
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| class="noline" | <p>And we will commence first on horse with lance and with sword and with wrestling. And afterward with lance on foot, and then with sword in armor, and with sword in two hands in wide and narrow plays. Then the play of the axe, and then certain special matches, and then sword in one hand, and finally wrestling on foot and the play of the dagger.</p>
  
 
<p>And in this way you can see all the art of fencing in this book, that cannot ever fail you, so well-worded are the explanations about the depicted figures.</p>
 
<p>And in this way you can see all the art of fencing in this book, that cannot ever fail you, so well-worded are the explanations about the depicted figures.</p>
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| <p><em>If you want to learn the deeds of arms, my friend,<br/>See that you bear all that that this poem teaches.<br/>Be audacious in violence and young at heart.<br/>Have no fear in your mind, only then can you perform.<br/>Take the woman as an example: fearful,<br/>Taken by panic, never will she face the naked sword.<br/>Thus, a frightened man, like a woman, cannot prevail.<br/>If your heart lacks audacity, everything else is wanting;<br/>Audacity and virtue: of such consists the art.</em></p>
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| class="noline" | <p><em>If you want to learn the deeds of arms, my friend,<br/>See that you bear all that that this poem teaches.<br/>Be audacious in violence and young at heart.<br/>Have no fear in your mind, only then can you perform.<br/>Take the woman as an example: fearful,<br/>Taken by panic, never will she face the naked sword.<br/>Thus, a frightened man, like a woman, cannot prevail.<br/>If your heart lacks audacity, everything else is wanting;<br/>Audacity and virtue: of such consists the art.</em></p>
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| <p style="font-style:italic;">Whoever wants to see fencing as one beautiful song<br/>Should study this book that the scholar Fiore has made:<br/>Which book is called the Flower of Battle.<br/>It will recite about every type of fencing—<br/>That is, of lance, ax, sword, and dagger—and of grappling,<br/>On horse, on foot, in armor and without, as it should be done;<br/>And you will see holds, covers, binds, and breaks,<br/>And the plays and measures for combat in the barriers.<br/>And having examined the book, you can easily believe<br/>The importance of the things that you will see in it.<br/>For fifty years I have studied in these arts:<br/>Who learns more in less time will have a good deal.</p>
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| class="noline" | <p style="font-style:italic;">Whoever wants to see fencing as one beautiful song<br/>Should study this book that the scholar Fiore has made:<br/>Which book is called the Flower of Battle.<br/>It will recite about every type of fencing—<br/>That is, of lance, ax, sword, and dagger—and of grappling,<br/>On horse, on foot, in armor and without, as it should be done;<br/>And you will see holds, covers, binds, and breaks,<br/>And the plays and measures for combat in the barriers.<br/>And having examined the book, you can easily believe<br/>The importance of the things that you will see in it.<br/>For fifty years I have studied in these arts:<br/>Who learns more in less time will have a good deal.</p>
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| <p>'''Stance of the Queens on the right<br/>Stance of the Queens on the left'''</p>
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| class="noline" | <p>'''Stance of the Queens on the right<br/>Stance of the Queens on the left'''</p>
  
 
<p>'''Stance of the Windows on the right<br/>Stance of the Windows on the left'''</p>
 
<p>'''Stance of the Windows on the right<br/>Stance of the Windows on the left'''</p>
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<p>'''Full iron gate'''<br/>'''Half Iron Gate'''<br/>'''Boar's Tusk'''</p>
 
<p>'''Full iron gate'''<br/>'''Half Iron Gate'''<br/>'''Boar's Tusk'''</p>
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! <p>{{rating|B|Completed Translation (from the Getty and PD)}}<br/>by [[translator::Colin Hatcher]]</p>
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! <p>{{rating|B|Completed Translation (from the Getty and PD)}}<br/>by [[translator::Colin Hatcher]]</p>
! <p>{{rating|C|Draft Translation (from the Paris)}}<br/>by [[translator::Kendra Brown]] and [[translator::Rebecca Garber]]</p>
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! <p>{{rating|C|Draft Translation (from the Paris)}}<br/>by [[translator::Kendra Brown]] and [[translator::Rebecca Garber]]</p>
! <p>[[Fior di Battaglia (MS M.383)|Morgan Transcription]]{{edit index|Fior di Battaglia (MS M.383)}}<br/>Open for editing</p>
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! <p>[[Fior di Battaglia (MS M.383)|Morgan Transcription]]{{edit index|Fior di Battaglia (MS M.383)}}<br/>Open for editing</p>
! <p>[[Fior di Battaglia (MS Ludwig XV 13)|Getty Transcription]]{{edit index|Fior di Battaglia (MS Ludwig XV 13)}}<br/>Open for editing</p>
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! <p>[[Fior di Battaglia (MS Ludwig XV 13)|Getty Transcription]]{{edit index|Fior di Battaglia (MS Ludwig XV 13)}}<br/>Open for editing</p>
! <p>[[Flos Duellatorum (Pisani Dossi MS)|Pisani Dossi Transcription]]{{edit index|Flos Duellatorum (Pisani Dossi MS)}}<br/>by [[Francesco Novati]]</p>
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! <p>[[Flos Duellatorum (Pisani Dossi MS)|Pisani Dossi Transcription]]{{edit index|Flos Duellatorum (Pisani Dossi MS)}}<br/>by [[Francesco Novati]]</p>
! <p>[[Florius de Arte Luctandi (MS Latin 11269)|Paris Transcription]]{{edit index|Florius de Arte Luctandi (MS Latin 11269)}}<br/>by [[Kendra Brown]] and [[Rebecca Garber]]</p>
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! <p>[[Florius de Arte Luctandi (MS Latin 11269)|Paris Transcription]]{{edit index|Florius de Arte Luctandi (MS Latin 11269)}}<br/>by [[Kendra Brown]] and [[Rebecca Garber]]</p>
  
 
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| <p>[21] ''With your hands in my face you can cause me trouble,<br/>But with this counter to your eyes, I will cause you even more trouble.''</p>
+
| class="noline" | <p>[21] ''With your hands in my face you can cause me trouble,<br/>But with this counter to your eyes, I will cause you even more trouble.''</p>
  
 
<p>This is the counter to the fourteenth play [20], and to any other play where my opponent has his hands in my face while grappling with me. If his face is unprotected, I push my thumbs into his eyes. If his face is protected, I push up under his elbow and quickly move to a ''presa'' or a ''ligadura''.</p>
 
<p>This is the counter to the fourteenth play [20], and to any other play where my opponent has his hands in my face while grappling with me. If his face is unprotected, I push my thumbs into his eyes. If his face is protected, I push up under his elbow and quickly move to a ''presa'' or a ''ligadura''.</p>
  
 
<p>''[In the Pisani Dossi, the Master is missing his crown.]''</p>
 
<p>''[In the Pisani Dossi, the Master is missing his crown.]''</p>
| <p>''Here, by this twin play, you press the face with the hand.<br/>But the counter, thenceforth, will injure the eye more greatly.''</p>
+
| class="noline" | <p>''Here, by this twin play, you press the face with the hand.<br/>But the counter, thenceforth, will injure the eye more greatly.''</p>
  
 
<p>''[In the Paris, the Master is missing his crown.]''</p>
 
<p>''[In the Paris, the Master is missing his crown.]''</p>
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<br/><br/>
 
<br/><br/>
 
{{section|Page:MS Ludwig XV 13 08r.jpg|8r-d}}
 
{{section|Page:MS Ludwig XV 13 08r.jpg|8r-d}}
| {{section|Page:Pisani-Dossi MS 05b.jpg|5b-d}}
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| <p>[4] I have taken this remedy from the Eighth Remedy Master of the Dagger, and I can defend myself armed only with this short staff. And having made this cover I rise to my feet, and I can then make all of the plays of my Master. And I could defend myself in this way equally well with a hood or a piece of rope. And the counter to this move is the same counter shown by my Master.</p>
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| class="noline" | <p>[4] I have taken this remedy from the Eighth Remedy Master of the Dagger, and I can defend myself armed only with this short staff. And having made this cover I rise to my feet, and I can then make all of the plays of my Master. And I could defend myself in this way equally well with a hood or a piece of rope. And the counter to this move is the same counter shown by my Master.</p>
  
 
<p>''[Based on the description, the placement of this image is probably an error and it more likely belongs to the previous play.]''</p>
 
<p>''[Based on the description, the placement of this image is probably an error and it more likely belongs to the previous play.]''</p>
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| <p>[16] <section begin="dagger 16"/>''You ask how I force others to the ground under my feet with such prowess,<br/>I tell you that because I grapple each man and throw him down;<br/>The victory palm is appropriately held in my right hand.''</p>
+
| class="noline" | <p>[16] <section begin="dagger 16"/>''You ask how I force others to the ground under my feet with such prowess,<br/>I tell you that because I grapple each man and throw him down;<br/>The victory palm is appropriately held in my right hand.''</p>
  
 
<p>You ask how it is that I have this man held under my feet. Thousands have suffered this fate because of my art of Abrazare. And I carry the victory palm in my right hand, because no one can stand up to my grappling skills.</p><section end="dagger 16"/>
 
<p>You ask how it is that I have this man held under my feet. Thousands have suffered this fate because of my art of Abrazare. And I carry the victory palm in my right hand, because no one can stand up to my grappling skills.</p><section end="dagger 16"/>
| <p>''You ask why I, boasting, ruined so great [a person] with [my] feet:<br/>Because by wrestling men of courage, I assert to lay them all low;<br/>Certainly the palm is extended to stand on our right.''</p>
+
| class="noline" | <p>''You ask why I, boasting, ruined so great [a person] with [my] feet:<br/>Because by wrestling men of courage, I assert to lay them all low;<br/>Certainly the palm is extended to stand on our right.''</p>
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<br/><br/><br/>
 
<br/><br/><br/>
 
{{section|Page:MS Ludwig XV 13 10r.jpg|10r-d}}
 
{{section|Page:MS Ludwig XV 13 10r.jpg|10r-d}}
| {{section|Page:Pisani-Dossi MS 06a.jpg|6a-d}}
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| {{section|Page:MS Latin 11269 21r.jpg|21r-d}}
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| <p>[40] <section begin="dagger 40"/><em>I do not want to fall to the ground with the previous play,<br/>So with this grip I will take away all of your strength.</em></p>
+
| class="noline" | <p>[40] <section begin="dagger 40"/><em>I do not want to fall to the ground with the previous play,<br/>So with this grip I will take away all of your strength.</em></p>
  
 
<p>What you plan to do cannot always be done. I am the counter of the scholar who came before, and this counter will make him look very foolish, because in this way I will make him let go my leg. And I will drive the dagger into his face to demonstrate that he is indeed a great fool.</p><section end="dagger 40"/>
 
<p>What you plan to do cannot always be done. I am the counter of the scholar who came before, and this counter will make him look very foolish, because in this way I will make him let go my leg. And I will drive the dagger into his face to demonstrate that he is indeed a great fool.</p><section end="dagger 40"/>
  
 
''[In the Pisani Dossi, the Master is missing his crown.]''
 
''[In the Pisani Dossi, the Master is missing his crown.]''
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<br/><br/>
 
<br/><br/>
 
{{section|Page:MS Ludwig XV 13 13r.jpg|13r-a}}
 
{{section|Page:MS Ludwig XV 13 13r.jpg|13r-a}}
| {{section|Page:Pisani-Dossi MS 07b.jpg|7b-b}}
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| <p>''By this counter your covering is refuted; and behold:<br/>Neither the play of the reversed palm, nor the prior [plays]<br/>Accomplish. Then you, miserable one, will die lying on your back.''</p>
+
| class="noline" | <p>''By this counter your covering is refuted; and behold:<br/>Neither the play of the reversed palm, nor the prior [plays]<br/>Accomplish. Then you, miserable one, will die lying on your back.''</p>
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| [[File:Pisani-Dossi MS 09a-e.png|400px|center]]
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| <p>[55] <section begin="dagger 55"/><em>This is how to do the counter to the Master's cover to the reverse strike,<ref>Or "Master's reverse cover"</ref><br/>And with this bind I will make you drop to the ground on your knees.</em></p>
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| class="noline" | <p>[55] <section begin="dagger 55"/><em>This is how to do the counter to the Master's cover to the reverse strike,<ref>Or "Master's reverse cover"</ref><br/>And with this bind I will make you drop to the ground on your knees.</em></p>
  
 
<p>This is the counter to the Third Daga Remedy Master, who covers the reverse attack.<ref>Or "with the reverse cover"</ref> I have made this bind against him. Whether he is armoured or unarmoured, this bind is strong and secure. And if I trap a man who is unarmoured in this way, I will ruin his hand and dislocate it. And the pain will be so great I will make him kneel at my feet. And should I wish to strike him, this I can also do.</p>
 
<p>This is the counter to the Third Daga Remedy Master, who covers the reverse attack.<ref>Or "with the reverse cover"</ref> I have made this bind against him. Whether he is armoured or unarmoured, this bind is strong and secure. And if I trap a man who is unarmoured in this way, I will ruin his hand and dislocate it. And the pain will be so great I will make him kneel at my feet. And should I wish to strike him, this I can also do.</p>
  
 
<p>''[In the Getty, the Master's left foot is forward.]''</p><section end="dagger 55"/>
 
<p>''[In the Getty, the Master's left foot is forward.]''</p><section end="dagger 55"/>
| <p>''I, the efficient counter of the master, during this wrestling<br/>Finish whomever by means of the reverse palm of the hand;<br/>And you will sink down on bended knee by means of this taking.''</p>
+
| class="noline" | <p>''I, the efficient counter of the master, during this wrestling<br/>Finish whomever by means of the reverse palm of the hand;<br/>And you will sink down on bended knee by means of this taking.''</p>
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<br/><br/><br/>
 
<br/><br/><br/>
 
{{section|Page:MS Ludwig XV 13 14r.jpg|14r-d}}
 
{{section|Page:MS Ludwig XV 13 14r.jpg|14r-d}}
| {{section|Page:Pisani-Dossi MS 09a.jpg|9a-e}}
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| class="noline" | {{section|Page:Pisani-Dossi MS 09a.jpg|9a-e}}
| {{section|Page:MS Latin 11269 31v.jpg|31v-c}}
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| [[File:MS Ludwig XV 13 38r-c.jpg|400px|center]]
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| [[File:Pisani-Dossi MS 10a-c.png|400px|center]]
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| <p>[65] ''Against the Master who covers with both hands<br/>I make this counter as my defense.<br/>&nbsp;''</p>
+
| class="noline" | <p>[65] ''Against the Master who covers with both hands<br/>I make this counter as my defense.<br/>&nbsp;''</p>
  
 
<p>I am the Counter-remedy against the Fourth [Dagger] Remedy Master. And I counter all his plays that came before me. And with one quick wrench like this I will ruin this student’s hand and his master’s too. And if they are well armored the ruin of their hands will be all the more certain.</p>
 
<p>I am the Counter-remedy against the Fourth [Dagger] Remedy Master. And I counter all his plays that came before me. And with one quick wrench like this I will ruin this student’s hand and his master’s too. And if they are well armored the ruin of their hands will be all the more certain.</p>
| <p>''By this means I will now seek the opponent, using both palms<ref>Literally “the two palms”.</ref><br/>In order to defend myself, just as the master does<br/>Who seizes the companion with both hands during wrestling.''</p>
+
| class="noline" | <p>''By this means I will now seek the opponent, using both palms<ref>Literally “the two palms”.</ref><br/>In order to defend myself, just as the master does<br/>Who seizes the companion with both hands during wrestling.''</p>
  
 
<p>''[The Paris resembles the Getty image.]''</p>
 
<p>''[The Paris resembles the Getty image.]''</p>
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Revision as of 22:59, 3 June 2020

Fiore Furlano de’i Liberi

This man appears sporadically throughout both the Getty and Pisani Dossi MSS, and may be a representation of Fiore himself.
Born 1340s
Cividale del Friuli, Friuli
Died after 1420
France (?)
Relative(s) Benedetto de’i Liberi
Occupation
Nationality Friulian
Patron
  • Gian Galeazzo Visconti (?)
  • Niccolò III d’Este (?)
Influences
Influenced Philippo di Vadi
Genres
Language
Notable work(s) The Flower of Battle
Manuscript(s)
Concordance by Michael Chidester
Translations

Fiore Furlano de’i Liberi de Cividale d’Austria (Fiore delli Liberi, Fiore Furlano, Fiore de Cividale d’Austria; ca. 1340s - 1420s[1]) was a late 14th century knight, diplomat, and fencing master. He was born in Cividale del Friuli, a town in the Patriarchal State of Aquileia (in the Friuli region of modern-day Italy), the son of Benedetto and scion of a Liberi house of Premariacco.[2][3][4] The term Liberi, while potentially merely a surname, more probably indicates that his family had Imperial immediacy (Reichsunmittelbarkeit), either as part of the nobili liberi (Edelfrei, "free nobles"), the Germanic unindentured knightly class which formed the lower tier of nobility in the Middle Ages, or possibly of the rising class of Imperial Free Knights.[5][6][7] It has been suggested by various historians that Fiore and Benedetto were descended from Cristallo dei Liberi of Premariacco, who was granted immediacy in 1110 by Holy Roman Emperor Heinrich V,[8][9][10] but this has yet to be proven.[11]

Fiore wrote that he had a natural inclination to the martial arts and began training at a young age, ultimately studying with “countless” masters from both Italic and Germanic lands.[2][3][4] He had ample opportunity to interact with both, being born in the Holy Roman Empire and later traveling widely in the northern Italian states. Unfortunately, not all of these encounters were friendly: Fiore wrote of meeting many “false” or unworthy masters in his travels, most of whom lacked even the limited skill he'd expect in a good student.[4] He further mentions that on five separate occasions he was forced to fight duels for his honor against certain of these masters who he described as envious because he refused to teach them his art; the duels were all fought with sharp swords, unarmored except for gambesons and chamois gloves, and he won each without injury.[2][3][12]

Writing very little on his own career as a commander and master at arms, Fiore laid out his credentials for his readers in other ways. He stated that foremost among the masters who trained him was one Johane dicto Suueno, who he notes was a disciple of Nicholai de Toblem;[4] unfortunately, both names are given in Latin so there is little we can conclude about them other than that they were probably among the Italians and Germans he alludes to, and that one or both were well known in Fiore's time. He further offered an extensive list of the famous condottieri that he trained, including Piero Paolo del Verde (Peter von Grünen),[13] Niccolo Unricilino (Nikolo von Urslingen),[14] Galeazzo Cattaneo dei Grumelli (Galeazzo Gonzaga da Mantova),[15] Lancillotto Beccaria di Pavia,[16] Giovannino da Baggio di Milano,[17] and Azzone di Castelbarco,[18] and also highlights some of their martial exploits.[2][3]

The only known historical mentions of Fiore appear in connection with the Aquileian War of Succession, which erupted in 1381 as a coalition of secular nobles from Udine and surrounding cities sought to remove the newly appointed Patriarch (prince-bishop of Aquileia), Philippe II d'Alençon. Fiore seems to have supported the secular nobility against the Cardinal; he traveled to Udine in 1383 and was granted residency in the city on 3 August.[19] On 30 September, the high council tasked him with inspection and maintenance of city's weapons, including the artillery pieces defending Udine (large crossbows and catapults).[6][20][21] In February of 1384, he was assigned the task of recruiting a mercenary company to augment Udine's forces and leading them back to the city.[22] This task seems to have been accomplished in three months or less, as on 23 May he appeared before the high council again and was sworn in as a sort of magistrate charged with keeping the peace in one of the city's districts. After May 1384, the historical record is silent on Fiore's activities; the war continued until a new Patriarch was appointed in 1389 and a peace settlement was reached, but it's unclear if Fiore remained involved for the duration. Given that he appears in council records four times in 1383-4, it would be quite odd for him to be completely unmentioned over the subsequent five years if he remained,[6][23] and since his absence from records coincides with a proclamation in July of that year demanding that Udine cease hostilities or face harsh repercussions, it seems more likely that he moved on.

Based on his autobiographical account, Fiore traveled a good deal in northern Italy, teaching fencing and training men for duels. He seems to have been in Perugia in 1381 in this capacity, when his student Peter von Grünen likely fought a duel with Peter Kornwald.[24] In 1395, he can be placed in Padua training the mercenary captain Galeazzo Gonzaga of Mantua for a duel with the French marshal Jean II le Maingre (who went by the war name “Boucicaut”). Galeazzo made the challenge when Boucicaut called into question the valor of Italians at the royal court of France, and the duel was ultimately set for Padua on 15 August. Both Francesco Novello da Carrara, Lord of Padua, and Francesco Gonzaga, Lord of Mantua, were in attendance. The duel was to begin with spears on horseback, but Boucicaut became impatient and dismounted, attacking Galeazzo before he could mount his own horse. Galeazzo landed a solid blow on the Frenchman’s helmet, but was subsequently disarmed. At this point, Boucicaut called for his poleaxe but the lords intervened to end the duel.[25][21][15]

Fiore surfaces again in Pavia in 1399, this time training Giovannino da Baggio for a duel with a German squire named Sirano. It was fought on 24 June and attended by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Duke of Milan, as well as the Duchess and other nobles. The duel was to consist of three bouts of mounted lance followed by three bouts each of dismounted poleaxe, estoc, and dagger. They ultimately rode two additional passes and on the fifth, Baggio impaled Sirano’s horse through the chest, slaying the horse but losing his lance in the process. They fought the other nine bouts as scheduled, and due to the strength of their armor (and the fact that all of the weapons were blunted), both combatants reportedly emerged from these exchanges unharmed.[17][26]

Fiore was likely involved in at least one other duel that year, that of his final student Azzone di Castelbarco and Giovanni degli Ordelaffi, as the latter is known to have died in 1399.[27] After Castelbarco’s duel, Fiore’s activities are unclear. Based on the allegiances of the nobles that he trained in the 1390s, he seems to have been associated with the ducal court of Milan in the latter part of his career.[21] Some time in the first years of the 1400s, Fiore composed a fencing treatise in Italian and Latin called "The Flower of Battle" (rendered variously as Fior di Battaglia, Florius de Arte Luctandi, and Flos Duellatorum). The briefest version of the text is dated to 1409 and indicates that it was a labor of six months and great personal effort;[4] as evidence suggests that at least two longer versions were composed some time before this,[28] we may assume that he devoted a considerable amount of time to writing during this decade.

Beyond this, nothing certain is known of Fiore's activities in the 15th century. Francesco Novati and D. Luigi Zanutto both assume that some time before 1409 he accepted an appointment as court fencing master to Niccolò III d’Este, Marquis of Ferrara, Modena, and Parma; presumably he would have made this change when Milan fell into disarray in 1402, though Zanutto went so far as to speculate that he trained Niccolò for his 1399 passage at arms.[29] However, while the records of the d’Este library indicate the presence of two versions of "the Flower of Battle", it seems more likely that the manuscripts were written as a diplomatic gift to Ferrara from Milan when they made peace in 1404.[26][21] C. A. Blengini di Torricella stated that late in life he made his way to Paris, France, where he could be placed teaching fencing in 1418 and creating a copy of a fencing manual located there in 1420. Though he attributes these facts to Novati, no publication verifying them has yet been located and this anecdote may be entirely spurious.[30]

The time and place of Fiore's death remain unknown.

Despite the extent and complexity of his writings, Fiore de’i Liberi does not seem to have been a very significant master in the evolution of fencing in Central Europe. That field was instead dominated by the traditions of two masters of the subsequent generation: Johannes Liechtenauer in the Holy Roman Empire and Filippo di Bartolomeo Dardi in the Italian states. Even so, there are a number of later treatises which bear strong resemblance to his work, including the writings of Philippo di Vadi and Ludwig VI von Eyb. This may be due to the direct influence of Fiore or his writings, or it may instead indicate that the older tradition of Johane and Nicholai survived and spread outside of Fiore's direct line.

Treatise

The two manuscript copies of the Flower of Battle that were owned by the d’Este family have been lost since the early 16th century.[31] The four copies currently known to exist were likely contemporary reproductions, and it is unclear if Fiore was directly involved with the creation of any of them. Of these, the MS Ludwig XV 13 (Getty) and the Pisani Dossi MS (Novati) are both dedicated to Niccolò III d'Este and state that they were written at his request and according to his design. The MS M.383 (Morgan), on the other hand, lacks a dedication and claims to have been laid out according to his own intelligence, while the MS Latin 11269 (Paris) lost any dedication it might have had along with its prologue. Each of the extant copies of the Flower of Battle follows a distinct order, though both of these pairs contain strong similarities to each other in order of presentation. In addition, Philippo di Vadi's manuscript from the 1480s, whose second half is essentially a redaction of the Flower of Battle, provides a valuable fifth point of reference when considering Fiore's teachings. (These is also a 17th century copy of the Getty's preface, transcribed by Apostolo Zeno, but it contributes little to our understanding of the text.)

The major sections of the work include: abrazare or grappling; daga, including both unarmed defenses against the dagger and plays of dagger against dagger; spada a un mano, the use of the sword in one hand (also called "the sword without the buckler"); spada a dui mani, the use of the sword in two hands; spada en arme, the use of the sword in armor (primarily techniques from the shortened sword); azza, plays of the poleaxe in armor; lancia, spear and staff plays; and mounted combat (including the spear, the sword, and mounted grappling). Brief bridging sections serve to connect each of these, covering such topics as bastoncello, or plays of a small stick or baton against unarmed and dagger-wielding opponents; plays of sword vs. dagger; plays of staff and dagger and of two clubs and a dagger; and the use of the chiavarina against a man on horseback.

The format of instruction is largely consistent across all copies of the treatise. Each section begins with a group of Masters (or Teachers), figures in golden crowns who each demonstrate a particular guard for use with their weapon. These are followed by a master called "Remedio" (remedy) who demonstrates a defensive technique against some basic attack (usually how to use one of the listed guards to defend), and then by his various Scholars (or Students), figures wearing golden garters on their legs who demonstrate iterations and variations of this remedy. After the scholars there is typically a master called "Contrario" (counter), wearing both crown and garter, who demonstrates how to counter the master's remedy (and those of his scholars), who is likewise sometimes followed by his own scholars in garters. In rare cases, a fourth type of master appears called "Contra-Contrario" (counter-counter), who likewise wears the crown and garter and demonstrates how to defeat the master's counter. Some sections feature multiple master remedies or master counters, while some have only one. While the crowns and garters are used across all extant versions of the treatise, the specific implementation of the system varies; all versions include at least a few apparently errors in assignation of crowns and garters, and there are many cases in which an image in one manuscript will only feature a scholar's garter where the corresponding image in another also includes a master's crown (depending on the instance, this may either be intentional or merely an error in the art). Alone of the four versions, the Morgan seeks to further expand the system by coloring the metallic portions of the master or scholar's weapon silver, while that of the player is left uncolored; this is also imperfectly-executed, but seems to have been intended as a visual indicator of which weapon belongs to which figure.

The concordance below includes Zeno's transcription of the Getty preface for reference, and then drops the (thereafter empty) column in favor of a second image column for the main body of the treatise. Generally only the right-side image column will contain illustrations—the left-side column will only contain additional content when when the text describes an image that spans the width of the page in the manuscripts, or when there are significant discrepancies between the available illustrations (in such cases, they sometimes display two stages of the same technique and will be placed in "chronological" order if possible). The illustrations from the Getty, Morgan, and Paris are taken from high-resolution scans supplied by those institutions, whereas the illustrations of the Pisani Dossi are taken from Novati's 1902 facsimile (scanned by Wiktenauer). There are likewise two translation columns, with the the two manuscripts dedicated to Niccolò on the left and the two undedicated manuscripts on the right; in both columns, the short text of the PD and Paris will come first, followed by the longer paragraphs of the Getty and Morgan.