Forteza HSG focuses on L’arte dell’Armizare, the art of arms, as recorded by Fiore deiLiberi

Fiore dei Liberi

Most of what we know about Fiore dei Liberi comes from the prologs to his works. Based on the amount of time he says he spent studying the art and the date included in the Pisani-Dossi manuscript, he was likely born sometime around the middle of the fourteenth century. From Italian civic records we know he served as a soldier during the 1380s. He became a fencing master and fought duels with other fencing masters because he wouldn’t teach them his secrets. In the early fifteenth century, he composed an illustrated book that he dedicated to Nicolo II, Marquis D’Este, possibly organizing the work according to that patron’s ideas.

There are four of works on Armizare attributed to Fiore known to be extant. All deal with multiple weapons and all use an iconographic system to codify the techniques and counters. Two are formatted like many later manuscripts, starting from mounted combat and proceeding through longer ranged weapons to shorter. The other two start with wrestling and work up to mounted combat.

One of these latter two, il Fior di Battaglia, which resides with the J. Paul Getty Museum, is the most complete and strictly organized of his works. This one is our primary reference for reconstructions.

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