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Fior di Battaglia (MS Ludwig XV 13)

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Il Fior di Battaglia
MS Ludwig ⅩⅤ 13, J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, California
MS Ludwig XV 13 01r.jpg
Title page, fol. 1r
Date ca. 1404 (?)
Place of origin Milan, Italy
Language(s) Middle Italian
Author(s) Fiore de'i Liberi
Scribe(s) Unknown
Illustrator(s) Michelino Molinari da Besozzo (or follower)
Dedicated to Niccolò Ⅲ, Marquis d'Este
Material Parchment, in a pasteboard leather
Size 47 folia (205 mm × 280 mm)
Format Double-sided; four illustrations per side,
with text above each
External data Museum catalog entry
Treatise scans

Fior di Battaglia ("The Flower of Battle", MS Ludwig ⅩⅤ 13) is an Italian fencing manual authored by Fiore de'i Liberi and dedicated to Niccolò Ⅲ, Marquis d'Este. The original currently rests in the holdings of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California. MS Ludwig ⅩⅤ 13 is written on parchment in a tidy humanist script; the illustrations are inked sketches with gold leafing on the crowns and garters. This manuscript is often referred to as the Getty Version.

MS Ludwig ⅩⅤ 13 contains the most content of any of the four known manuscripts of Fior di Battaglia. The text takes the form of descriptive paragraphs set in poor Italian verse, which are nevertheless fairly clear and informative; its preface, format, illustrations, and text are all very similar to the MS M.383. Despite their shared characteristics, however, there are important differences, not the least of which is the vastly different order of the information. This difference in sequence is often attributed to the fact that the preface indicates that it was laid out according to the wishes of Niccolò, whereas the MS M.383 claims to have been laid out according to Fiore's own intellect.


The known provenance of the MS Ludwig ⅩⅤ 13 is:[1]

  • Possibly written in ca. 1404 for the Milanese diplomatic mission to Ferrara.
  • Possibly manuscript 253 in the 1436 catalog of the Estense Library, which had a red leather cover.[2]
  • before 1825 – owned by Luigi Celotti (sold London, Sotheby's, 1825).
  • 1886-1966 – the MS 4202 in the collection of Thomas Phillipps (sold London, Sotheby's, 1966).
  • 1966-1983 – the MS Ludwig ⅩⅤ 13 in the collection of Peter and Irene Ludwig.
  • 1983-present – the MS Ludwig ⅩⅤ 13 in the J. Paul Getty Museum.


1r - 2r Preface by Fiore de'i Liberi
6r - 8r Grappling by Fiore de'i Liberi
8v Baton by Fiore de'i Liberi
9r - 18v, 38rv Dagger by Fiore de'i Liberi
19r - 20r Sword vs. dagger by Fiore de'i Liberi
20r - 21v Sword in one hand by Fiore de'i Liberi
22r - 32r Sword in two hands by Fiore de'i Liberi
32v - 35r Sword in armor by Fiore de'i Liberi
35v - 37v Axe in armor by Fiore de'i Liberi
39r - 40r Spear by Fiore de'i Liberi
41r - 45v, 46v Mounted fencing by Fiore de'i Liberi
46r Spear vs. cavalry by Fiore de'i Liberi
46v - 47r Closing


Digital images courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program

Folio 1r
MS Ludwig XV 13 01r.jpg
Folio 1v
Getty Ms. Ludwig XV 13 01v - Fiore dei Liberi - Decorated Text Page - Google Art Project.jpg
Folio 2r
Getty Ms. Ludwig XV 13 02r - Fiore dei Liberi - Decorated Text Page - Google Art Project.jpg
Folio 2v
Folio 3r
Folio 3v
Folio 4r
Folio 4v
Folio 5r
Folio 5v
Folio 6r
MS Ludwig XV 13 06r.jpg
Folio 6v
MS Ludwig XV 13 06v.jpg
Folio 7r
MS Ludwig XV 13 07r.jpg
Folio 7v
MS Ludwig XV 13 07v.jpg
Folio 8r
MS Ludwig XV 13 08r.jpg
Folio 8v
MS Ludwig XV 13 08v.jpg
Folio 9r
MS Ludwig XV 13 09r.jpg
Folio 9v
MS Ludwig XV 13 09v.jpg
Folio 10r
MS Ludwig XV 13 10r.jpg
Folio 10v
MS Ludwig XV 13 10v.jpg
Folio 11r
MS Ludwig XV 13 11r.jpg
Folio 11v
MS Ludwig XV 13 11v.jpg
Folio 12r
MS Ludwig XV 13 12r.jpg
Folio 12v
MS Ludwig XV 13 12v.jpg
Folio 13r
MS Ludwig XV 13 13r.jpg
Folio 13v
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Folio 14r
MS Ludwig XV 13 14r.jpg
Folio 14v
MS Ludwig XV 13 14v.jpg
Folio 15r
MS Ludwig XV 13 15r.jpg
Folio 15v
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Folio 16r
MS Ludwig XV 13 16r.jpg
Folio 16v
MS Ludwig XV 13 16v.jpg
Folio 17r
MS Ludwig XV 13 17r.jpg
Folio 17v
MS Ludwig XV 13 17v.jpg
Folio 18r
MS Ludwig XV 13 18r.jpg
Folio 18v
MS Ludwig XV 13 18v.jpg
Folio 19r
MS Ludwig XV 13 19r.jpg
Folio 19v
MS Ludwig XV 13 19v.jpg
Folio 20r
MS Ludwig XV 13 20r.jpg
Folio 20v
MS Ludwig XV 13 20v.jpg
Folio 21r
MS Ludwig XV 13 21r.jpg
Folio 21v
MS Ludwig XV 13 21v.jpg
Folio 22r
MS Ludwig XV 13 22r.jpg
Folio 22v
MS Ludwig XV 13 22v.jpg
Folio 23r
MS Ludwig XV 13 23r.jpg
Folio 23v
MS Ludwig XV 13 23v.jpg
Folio 24r
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Folio 24v
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Folio 25r
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Folio 25v
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Folio 26r
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Folio 26v
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Folio 27r
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Folio 27v
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Folio 28r
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Folio 28v
MS Ludwig XV 13 28v.jpg
Folio 29r
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Folio 29v
MS Ludwig XV 13 29v.jpg
Folio 30r
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Folio 30v
MS Ludwig XV 13 30v.jpg
Folio 31r
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Folio 31v
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Folio 32r
MS Ludwig XV 13 32r.jpg
Folio 32v
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Folio 33r
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Folio 33v
MS Ludwig XV 13 33v.jpg
Folio 34r
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Folio 34v
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Folio 35r
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Folio 35v
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Folio 36r
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Folio 36v
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Folio 37r
MS Ludwig XV 13 37r.jpg
Folio 37v
MS Ludwig XV 13 37v.jpg
Folio 38r
MS Ludwig XV 13 38r.jpg
Folio 38v
MS Ludwig XV 13 38v.jpg
Folio 39r
MS Ludwig XV 13 39r.jpg
Folio 39v
MS Ludwig XV 13 39v.jpg
Folio 40r
MS Ludwig XV 13 40r.jpg
Folio 40v
Folio 41r
MS Ludwig XV 13 41r.jpg
Folio 41v
MS Ludwig XV 13 41v.jpg
Folio 42r
MS Ludwig XV 13 42r.jpg
Folio 42v
MS Ludwig XV 13 42v.jpg
Folio 43r
MS Ludwig XV 13 43r.jpg
Folio 43v
MS Ludwig XV 13 43v.jpg
Folio 44r
MS Ludwig XV 13 44r.jpg
Folio 44v
MS Ludwig XV 13 44v.jpg
Folio 45r
MS Ludwig XV 13 45r.jpg
Folio 45v
MS Ludwig XV 13 45v.jpg
Folio 46r
MS Ludwig XV 13 46r.jpg
Folio 46v
MS Ludwig XV 13 46v.jpg
Folio 47r
MS Ludwig XV 13 47r.jpg
Folio 47v
MS Ludwig XV 13 47v.jpg

Additional Resources

  • Hatcher, Colin. The Flower of Battle: MS Ludwig ⅩⅤ 13. Ed. Tracy Mellow. Tyrant Industries, 2017. ISBN 978-0-9847716-8-4
  • Leoni, Tom. Fiore de’ Liberi’s Fior di Battaglia. 1st ed. Self-published, 2009. 2nd ed. Wheaton, IL: Freelance Academy Press, 2012.
  • Leoni, Tom and Mele, Greg. Flowers of Battle, Volume 1: Historical Overview and the Getty Manuscript. Wheaton, IL: Freelance Academy Press, 2017. ISBN 978-1-937439-18-7
  • Malipiero, Massimo (in Italian). Il Fior di battaglia di Fiore dei Liberi da Cividale: Il Codice Ludwing ⅩⅤ 13 del J. Paul Getty Museum. Udine: Ribis, 2006. ISBN 978-887-44503-5-0
  • Mondschein, Ken. The Knightly Art of Battle. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum. ISBN 978-160-60607-6-6
  • Палій, Людмила Іванівна (in Ukrainian). "Витоки художнього стилю ілюстрацій «Квітки Битви» майстра Фіоре Фріулано деі Лібері". Науковий вісник Ужгородського університету 2(43): 84-102, 2020. doi:10.24144/2523-4498.2(43).2020.217366
  • Rubboli, Marco; Cesari, Luca (in Italian). Flos Duellatorum. Manuale di Arte del Combattimento del ⅩⅤ secolo. Rome: Il Cerchio Iniziative Editoriali, 2002. ISBN 88-8474-023-1
  • Windsor, Guy. From Medieval Manuscript to Modern Practice: The Longsword Techniques of Fiore dei Liberi. Spada Press, 2020. ISBN 978-9527157558


  1. Based in part on Easton, Matt. "Fiore dei Liberi - Fior di Battaglia - Flos Duellatorum". Schola Gladiatoria. Retrieved 30 October 2010.
  2. 253. Libro uno da insignare de scremia afigurado et cum lettereper vulgare in membrana compilado per M° Fiore Furlano, coperto de chore roso. ("One book on teaching fencing, illustrated and in the vernacular, compiled by Master Fiore Furlano, covered in red leather.")

Copyright and License Summary

For further information, including transcription and translation notes, see the discussion page.

Work Author(s) Source License
Images J. Paul Getty Museum Digital images courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program
Getty open content program.png
Transcription Michael Chidester Index:Fior di Battaglia (MS Ludwig XV 13)