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Talk:Fiore de'i Liberi

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Work Author(s) Source License
Illustrations (Getty) J. Paul Getty Museum Digital images courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program
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Illustrations (Morgan) Morgan Library & Museum Princeton Institute of Christian Art
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Illustrations (Novati) Francesco Novati Flos Dvellatorvm in Armis, sine Armis, Eqvester, Pedester
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Illustrations (Paris) Bibliothèque Nationale de France Bibliothèque Nationale de France
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Translation Colin Hatcher Private communication
Translation Michael Chidester Wiktenauer
Translation Kendra Brown and Rebecca Garber Cambridge HEMA Society
Morgan Version Michael Chidester Index:Tratt‍ato della sch‍erma (MS M.383)
Getty Version Michael Chidester Index:Fior di Battaglia (MS Ludwig XV 13)
Pisani Dossi Version Michael Chidester Index:Flos Duellatorum (Pisani Dossi MS)
Paris Version Kendra Brown and Rebecca Garber Index:Florius de Arte Luctandi (MS Latin 11269)
San Daniele del Friuli Version Luigi Zanutto Index:Fior di Battaglia (MS XXIV)
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Translation Notes (Paris)

For a longer discussion of the process of creating this translation, see Kendra Brown et al.'s article Florius de Arte Luctandi: Challenges and Discoveries in a Contemporary Latin Translation of Fiore dei Liberi.

We would like to state from the outset that the translation offered here should not be considered complete or final. Instead we offer it in the spirit of collaboration, with which it was composed, to the wider pool of knowledge in hopes that this will lead to improvements and fruitful discussion. Therefore, this introduction serves both as a brief record of our difficulties with the text, as a springboard to some of our questions, and as an invitation to improve the translation.

There are already two print translations extant. Charlélie Berthaut’s initial transcription and translation into French (to be included in a forthcoming publication)[1] was unfortunately based on poorer quality scans, which prevented him from identifying many of the later edits/erasures to the text, although Emmeline Baudet’s 2013 French thesis, transcription, and translation takes a much more detailed approach, addressing interlineal and marginal notes.[2] The more recent Italian translation by Francesco Lodà in 2014 took advantage of the higher-resolution scans that we also used.[3] The Lodà transcription is of excellent quality and highly recommended. Due to these publications, an English translation seemed overdue.

The text is difficult. We began this process in mid-2013, when one of our Germanists had to stop attending for a semester due to her teaching schedule. Given our Latinists' experience with Medieval and early Modern Latin, including translating the Ms. I.33 and parts of Paulus Hector Mair's treatise, we expected that a manuscript of just 44 folia and a little over 200 verses would be an easy diversion, possibly not even lasting the full semester.

Instead, the first complete draft took close to two years.

The reasons for this are numerous, and largely given in Kendra's article. In addition, while it would have been easy to rely on the Pisani Dossi Ms. to guide the translation process (especially since Michael had previously authored a complete translation of it), we discovered early on that even though the two manuscripts often showed considerable overlap in word choice, arranging the text of Florius to match the Pisani Dossi would be entirely ungrammatical more often than not. Instead, the Latin was first translated in isolation, and only after this step was the Pisani Dossi (and occasionally the Getty and Morgan) consulted to see if it suggested alternative valid readings.

After all that time, this translation is still a work in progress, and we openly invite others to collaborate with us in this endeavor. We freely acknowledge the limits of our expertise, and hope that others will contribute theirs to ultimately yield a high-quality, fluent, English translation, as well as an accurate transcription of the Florius.


  1. Berthaut, Charlélie. “Florius, de Arte Luctandi - MS Latin 11269 - trancription & traduction.” Pôle d’Etude d’Arts Martiaux Historiques Européens, 2013. http://peamhe.wordpress.com/articles/traduction-du-florius-de-arte-luctandi/. Accessed 2015-11-23.
  2. Baudet, Emmeline. Édition du Florius, de arte luctandi, BNF lat. 11269 (Master’s thesis). Paris: Université Paris Sorbonne IV, 2013. http://www.academia.edu/5420225/%C3%89dition_et_analyse_du_Florius_de_Arte_Luctandi_BNF_Lat._11269. Accessed 2015-11-23.
  3. Lodà, Francesco. Florius. De arte luctandi. Traduzione e cura del testo di Francesco Lodà. Rome: Bonanno Editore, 2014.