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Fiore de'i Liberi/Mounted Fencing

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PD Complete translation by Michael Chidester
Getty Complete translation by Colin Hatcher

Paris Draft translation by Kendra Brown and Rebecca Garber
Morgan Complete translation by Michael Chidester

Morgan Transcription [edit]
Open for editing

Getty Transcription [edit]
Open for editing

Pisani Dossi Transcription [edit]
by Francesco Novati

Paris Transcription [edit]
by Kendra Brown and Rebecca Garber

Pisani-Dossi MS 29a-a.png
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[1] I carry my lance in the Boar's Tusk:
To deviate yours, I will make mine enter.

I carry my lance in the guard Boar’s Tooth, because I am well-armoured and have a shorter lance than my opponent. My intention is to beat his lance offline as I raise mine diagonally. And this will result in our lances crossing each other at about an arm’s length from the point. My lance however will then run into his body, while his will pass offline far from me. And that is how this is done.

(This text applies to the drawing on the right.)[1]

[Now] I bear [my] spear, but brandishing with the Boar’s Tooth
And by my hand, I would be able to mark you with contrasting colors; I will penetrate your marrow.

I carry my lance in the Stance of the Wild Boar's Tusk because I am well-armored and have a shorter lance than my companion. And so I make my strategy to beat his lance out of the way (so that it is off to one side and not high), and thus will I strike with my lance to his and enter with an arm on my haft, and my lance will run into his person. And his lance will go out of the way far from me, and in such fashion will I do it as is written and depicted here.







Pisani-Dossi MS 29a-c.png
Pisani-Dossi MS 29a-d.png

[2] In the Boar's Tusk I carry my lance;
To beat and to strike are always my method.

This is the counter to the previous play when one rides against another with sharp steel, but one has a shorter lance than the other. When he who has the shorter lance carries it low in the Boar’s Tusk, then he with the longer lance should similarly carry his lance low, as drawn here, so that the short lance cannot beat aside the long lance.



So that you won't have advantage over me with your lance,
This carry of yours I will also make with mine.

[In the Getty, the Master on the right is missing his crown.]



This is the counter to the play of the lance which came before, that here one runs against the other with sharp iron and he has a shorter lance than the other. When he that has a short lance carries his low in the Boar's Tusk, he that has the long lance should similarly carry it low in the way which is depicted here, so that the short cannot beat the long.



Pisani-Dossi MS 29b-a.png
Pisani-Dossi MS 29b-b.png

[3] Because of the short lance that I hold, I come in the Stance of the Queen:
To beat and to strike, I hold myself certain.

This is another way to carry your lance when fighting another lance. This Master has a short lance, so he carries it in Guard of the Lady on the left as you can see, so he can beat aside his opponent’s weapon and strike him.

Behold! I come, holding the lance in the Woman’s [Position] at the chest.
I do not fear touching the earth with pliant knees.
And I would strike a bargain by staining, nevertheless your lance will thrust forward.
[3]

This is another way to carry the lance. This Master has a short lance and carries it in the Stance of the Queen on the Left as you can see, to beat and then to strike his companion.







Pisani-Dossi MS 29b-c.png
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[4] To waste you or your horse, I make this throw:
And I will come to you to attack with my sword.

[In the Getty, the Master on the left is missing his crown.]



If I throw my lance into the chest of your horse, your beat will fail. And as soon as I’ve thrown my lance, I will take up the sword for my defense and with your lance you will not do me offense.



This Master also carries his lance in Guard of the Lady on the left, in order to knock aside the spear his opponent is about to throw at him. Just as he can beat it aside using his lance, so too he could beat it aside using a staff or a short sword.

[In the Pisani Dossi, the Master on the right is missing his crown.]

Again, this Master carries his lance in the Stance of the Queen on the Left to beat the lance that the companion wants to throw. And that beat which he wants to strike with the lance he could also do with a staff or with a sword—except that if he throws his lance into the chest of my horse, my beat will be turned to failure.

[In the Morgan, the Master on the right is missing his crown.]

Pisani-Dossi MS 30a-a.png
MS Ludwig XV 13 42r-b.jpg

[5] Fleeing, I cannot make any other defense
And so I turn myself to the right and will make you offense.

This master who is fleeing is not wearing armor and rides a horse built for speed, and as he flees he constantly throws his lance point behind him so as to strike at his opponent. And if were to turn his horse to the right he could quickly enter into the Boar’s Tusk guard with his lance, or he could take the left side Guard of the Lady, to beat aside his opponent’s weapon and finish him in similar fashion to the first and the third plays of the lance.

[In the Pisani Dossi, the Master is missing his crown.]

Correct in opposition, I would make you strong pains.
Whoever <I> runs away cannot defend his own body.

This Master who flees is not armored and is on a running horse, and he is always throwing thrusts with his lance backward to strike his companion. And if he were to turn to the right side he could easily enter into the Boar's Tusk with his lance or into the Stance of the Queen on the Left, and beat and strike as he could do in the first and third plays of the lance [on foot].





Pisani-Dossi MS 30b-a.png
Pisani-Dossi MS 30b-b.png

[6] With my sword, I will beat your lance,
And with either the point or the edge I will strike you.

This method of carrying the sword against the lance is well suited for beating aside your opponent’s lance when you are passing him on his right side. And this guard is effective against all hand held weapons, namely pole axe, staff, sword etc.

The regal Form of the Woman is suitable, and piercing you
With the sword <with the point> and raging against [you], this spirit sends
To the shadows; the divine will of heaven would favor that manner.

This carry of the sword against the lance is very good for beating the lance while riding to the right side of your companion. And this guard is good against all other handheld weapons—that is, against the ax, the staff, the sword, and so forth.

[Morgan text accompanies previous pairing.]





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[7] I make the counter to your guard,
And your horse I will strike without any trouble.

This is the counter to the previous play. This Master attacks with his lance held low in order to strike his opponent’s horse either in the head or the chest, and the opponent will be unable to beat aside such a low attack with his sword.

[In the Getty, the Master on the right is missing his crown. In the Pisani Dossi, both Masters are missing their crowns.]



This is the counter to the play that came before. And this Master with the lance carries it low to strike the horse in the head and in the chest, because his companion cannot reach so low with his sword.





This carry of the sword is very fine, and it is called by a name that was said before: I carry my sword in the left Queen's Stance. And if this one comes to me with the lance in rest (to strike me and not my horse), I will beat his lance and I will strike him with my sword without fail. Note that the sword cannot defend below the neck of a horse.

[Morgan text accompanies subsequent pairing.]

Pisani-Dossi MS 30b-c.png
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[8] So that you do not beat my lance out of the way,
Under my left arm I carry it in rest.

This is another counter of lance versus sword. In this one, the man with the lance couches his lance under his left arm, so that his lance cannot be beaten aside. And in this way he will be able to strike the man with the sword with his lance.



Again this is another counter of lance against sword. He of the lance sets his lance in rest under his left arm so that his lance cannot be beaten aside. And in this fashion he can strike him of the sword with his lance.

[In the Morgan, the Master's opponent is wearing a crown.]





Pisani-Dossi MS 31a-a.png
MS Ludwig XV 13 43r-b.jpg

[9] At mid-lance thus I come, well-enclosed
So that you will delay in beating my lance.
I trust I will strike your horse without fail;
You will see my play carried out hereafter.

[In the Pisani Dossi, the Master on the right is missing his crown.]

Drawing the members close at the same time, I, the harsh one, seize the javelin <I delay the javelin>
In the middle. You will have been hindered in breaking [me] open. Finally,
Your steed <horse>, having been struck a lethal wound, will depart.

[In the Paris, the Master on the right is missing his crown.]









Here the man with the sword awaits the man with the lance, and he is waiting in the Boar’s Tusk guard. As the man with the lance approaches him, the Master with the sword beats aside the lance to the right side, covering and striking with one turn of the sword.

[In the Getty, the Master on the left is missing his crown.]

This one with the sword awaits him with the lance. He waits in the Boar's Tusk as he with the lance comes, and then the Master with the sword beats his lance away toward the right side. And thus can the Master do with the sword—that is, he can cover in one rotation of the sword.

[In the Morgan, the Master on the left is missing his crown.]

MS Ludwig XV 13 43r-c.jpg
MS Ludwig XV 13 43r-d.jpg

[10] So that you cannot cross your sword with my [weapon],
I carry it low to waste your horse.

This is the counter to the preceding play of lance versus sword. Here the man with the lance strikes his opponent’s (the man with the sword) horse in the head, because he cannot beat aside the lance with his sword since it is too low.

[In the Pisani Dossi, the Master is missing his crown.]



This is the counter of the play of the lance and the sword that came before: that is, that he with the lance strikes to the head of the horse of his enemy (that is, of him with the sword), because he cannot beat a lance or sword which is so low.

[In the Morgan, the Master's opponent wears a crown.]





Pisani-Dossi MS 31b-a.png
Pisani-Dossi MS 31b-b.png

[11] Such a carry of the sword gives me four plays to make:
I could strike with the point and the edge without fail,
And also throw someone from horseback or take his sword.
Seldom are these things failures to me.

This way of carrying the sword is named “the Long Tail Guard”. When you are riding to your opponent’s right side, this is a very good guard to use against the lance and all other hand held weapons. Keep firmly in your mind that thrusts and strikes from the left side should be beaten aside to your outside line, beating them diagonally upwards, not vertically. And the downward strikes should similarly be beaten aside to the outside, lifting your opponent’s sword a little as you do so. You can make these plays as these drawings show.

Truly there are four ways of carrying a sword;
Verily he moves toward the plays. And by means of the sharp point being forward,
I would hit you. And he will cut the open limbs with cutting,
And again from your seat you will plainly depart
Without a sword. And that method seldom disappoints a man.

This carry of the sword is called the Stance of the Long Tail, and it is very good against lance and sword and against all other handheld weapons, while riding to the right side of the enemy. Bear in mind well that the thrusts and the backhand blows should be beaten out to the side and not upward, and the downward blows should also be beaten to the side (lifting the sword of the enemy slightly); [this guard] can make all the plays corresponding to the figures that are depicted.











Pisani-Dossi MS 31b-c.png
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[12] Of these two guards I make no comparison;
Whoever knows more, his judgment will overcome.
And whoever will know to watch for deception
Will be able to make the four aforesaid plays well.

This version of the Long Tail Guard is a good guard when your opponent attacks you from his sword on his left shoulder, as this opponent is shown doing here. And be advised that this guard will work against all attacks from both the right and the left sides, and against anyone, whether right handed or left handed. Hereafter begin the plays from the Long Tail that always begin with beating aside the opponent’s weapon, as you saw drawn in the first guard of the Long Tail.

[In the Getty, the Master on the left is missing his crown.]





Again this same Stance of the Long Tail is good when one comes against you with the sword on the left-hand side, as this enemy of mine does, and know that this guard counters all blows from the right side and from the left side, and counters anyone, be they right- or left-handed. And hereafter commence the plays of the Long Tail, which always beats in the fashion that was said earlier in the first Guard of the Long Tail.









Pisani-Dossi MS 32a-b.png

[13] This is an equal crossing, without advantage;
Whoever has more art and malice begins the action.



These two Masters are here crossed at the full of the sword. And that which one can do, the other can do also—that is, he can do all the plays of the sword with this crossing. But crossing is of three categories (that is, from the full of the sword to the tip of the sword), and whoever is crossed at the full of the sword can withstand a little, and whoever is crossed at middle of the sword can withstand less, and whoever at the tip of the sword can withstand nothing at all. So the sword, as such, has three matters—that is, a little, less, and nothing.



Pisani-Dossi MS 32a-a.png

[14] This point I gladly have set in your throat
Per the third Master [13] who demonstrates such a guard.

This is the first play that comes from the Long Tail Guard shown above. Here the Master beats aside his opponent’s sword, and then places a thrust into his chest or his face, as you see drawn here.

I pierced through the exposed neck with the point of my sword.
For instance, the third master taught me thoroughly using principles.

This is the first play which belongs to the Guard of the Long Tail which appeared here before: that is, that the Master beats the sword of his enemy and thrusts the point into his chest, or into his face as depicted here.

[In the Paris, the Scholar wears a crown.]





Pisani-Dossi MS 32a-c.png

[15] Per the first Master that is in guard with the sword
I have given this strike to your head.

This is the second play that you can do after beating aside your opponent’s weapon. Here I strike this man over the head, because I see his head is unarmored.

Using a wound, I, the fighting one, terrify the neck with a wound.
Prudent with regard to this sword,[6] the first master teaches me truly.

This is the second play which can give a beat. I strike this man over the head, for I see well that he is not armored on his head.

[In the Paris, the Scholar wears a crown.]





Pisani-Dossi MS 32a-d.png

[16] By crossing ahead of your sword I have deviated it
And with mine I have given a great blow:
And also I could have given it to you with my point;
And none of the weapons that you have could stop me.

This is the another play, the third, where, after beating aside your opponent’s sword, you grab it with your left hand and strike him in the head. You could also strike him with a thrust.





Here is another play, which is the third that beats the sword of his enemy; he grasps with his left hand and strikes the [enemy's] head, and he could also strike thusly with the point.









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[17] You will lose your sword because of this catch
Or you will go to the ground without any defense.

This is the fourth play, in which the student strikes his opponent in the head and then takes his sword in the manner shown here.

You, shamefaced, on account of this will either perhaps abandon your sword,
Or you will lie down, prostrate on the ground; there is no preventing [this].
[8]

This is the fourth play that the scholar wants to make—that is, take the sword in this way that you can see depicted here.

[In the Paris, the Scholar wears a crown.]





Pisani-Dossi MS 32b-b.png

[18] So that my sword would not be taken from me
Against you I have made this turn:
Such that that which you were wanting to do to me
Through this counter I will do to you.

This is the sixth [fifth] play, where you take away your opponent’s sword. You use the hilt of your sword to lift his hilt upwards, which will make his sword fall from his hands.

[This Master is missing his crown.]





This is the fifth play, in which he wants to take the sword of his companion with the hilt of his sword; the other hilt he will have above, and the sword will fall from [his companion's] hand for certain.









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[19] From horse to ground it will behoove you to go;
Maybe I will then know what I should do with you.

This is the fifth [sixth] play that flows from the cover where you beat aside his sword. Here I throw my arm around his neck and turn quickly, and with the base of my sword I drive him to the ground.

My counter is the second play that follows me, but this counter will not work if your opponent is armored.[9]

He disengages lest I trample the beating heart on the ground.
Anything that I would like concerning you I will be able to try afterward.

This is the sixth play that makes a cover with the beating of the sword. I throw my arm to his neck and quickly turn, and I will throw you to the ground, sword and all, without a doubt.

My counter is here after and is the seventh play. Well that he has not achieved being armored.

[In the Paris, the Scholar wears a crown.]





Pisani-Dossi MS 32b-d.png

[20] If it would behoove me to go to the ground, [sword] and all,
I could do no defense other than this strike.

This is the seventh play, which is the counter to the fifth [sixth] play above. It employs a strike to your opponent’s leg. But if your opponent is armored, you can’t trust this counter to work.



This is the seventh play which is the counter—that is, the strike that he makes to the leg of the other one. If your companion were armored, you could not rely on this.

[In the Morgan, the Master is missing his crown.]





MS Ludwig XV 13 44v-d.jpg

[21] I want to make my defense against the point and the edge,
Such that the sword will not be taken from me nor caught,
And neither will I be thrown to the ground from my horse:
I will strike your face with my pommel without fail.

This is the eighth play, which is the counter to all of the preceding plays, but especially the plays of the mounted sword when the masters are in the Long Tail guard. When the Masters or their students are in this guard, and when I strike or thrust at them, and when they quickly beat my attack aside, then I quickly turn my sword and strike them in the face with my pommel. Then I move quickly from my position[11] and strike them in the back of the head with a horizontal backhand strike.

I now protect myself from the cutting, and also the strong point.
And I strike the face with the hilt <of the grip> lest this sword be seized
From me. I shall not yet be thrown to the farthest ground.

This is the eighth play and it is the counter to all the plays that came before, and especially of the plays of the sword on horseback and of the Masters that are in the Guard of the Long Tail. And when the Masters or Scholars stand in the aforesaid guard and I strike with a thrust or another blow, and they quickly beat my sword, I immediately give a turn to my sword and with my pommel I strike them in the face. And I can pass with my cover quickly and strike them behind the head with a backhand middle cut.









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[22] So that you could not hit me in the face with your pommel,
I have taken your blow with the hilt of my sword.

I am the ninth play, which is the counter to the counter that preceded me. When he turns his sword, I quickly place my hilt as you see drawn here, so that he cannot strike me in the face with his pommel. And if I raise my sword up, and turn it to the left, you[12] could well have your sword taken away. And if I am unable to do that, I could instead strike you with a backhand strike to the face, or with a quick turn of my sword strike you in the head with my pommel. Here ends the plays of sword against sword on horseback. If you know more of this, please share it.

Here ends the plays of sword against sword on horseback. If you know more of this, please share it.

[This Master is missing his crown.]



The ninth I am, who makes the counter to that which came before me, so that when he gives a turn to his sword I quickly thrust my hilt (as you see depicted) so that he cannot strike me in the face with his pommel. And if I raise my sword high and give a turn to the left, it could very well be that his sword will be taken from him. And if that fails me and I cannot do it, so quickly will I make the turn that I will give to his face with the false edge of my sword (or I will strike him in the head with my pommel).

This finishes the mounted play of sword against sword, and whoever keeps it in mind will give a good deal.





MS Latin 11269 05r-b.png
MS Ludwig XV 13 45r-b.jpg

[23] In such a way have I grabbed you, running up behind,
That I will throw you from the horse—this I believe.

This is a grappling play, that is a play of the arms,[13] and this is how you do it: if your opponent is fleeing from you, you come up behind him to his left side. Now with your right hand grab the cheek piece of his bascinet, or if he is unarmored, grab him by the hair or by the right arm from behind his shoulder. In this way you will make him fall backwards to the ground.

[In the Getty and Pisani Dossi, the Master is missing his crown.]

I hold you captured by the helmet, whereby you turn your back backward.
Afterward, I will send you with flying chest into the ground.

This is a play of grappling, and inasmuch as it is a play of grappling it is a play of the arms, and it is done in this way: when one flees from you and you come up behind him from the left side, grab him on the cheek of his helmet with your right hand (or, if he is unhelmed, grab him by the hair or the right arm from behind his shoulder), and in this way you will make him fall backward such that you will make him go to the ground.

[In the Morgan, the Master is missing his crown.]





Pisani-Dossi MS 33a-d.png

[24] You wanted to throw me from my horse
But with this counter you will go to the ground instead.

This is the counter to the previous play, and that play will not work when this counter is quickly applied as follows: when he grabs you from behind you quickly switch hands on the reins, and with your left hand you lock him up as shown here.

It is useful that you merely beat the ground
With the trampled corpse. The counter actions accomplish this. Spiteful,
You nevertheless wish to attempt that same thing on myself.

This is the counter to the play that came before; this counter goes in this way with the catch that was made: that is, that quickly when he grabs him from behind, [the Master] should immediately exchange the hand on the reins, and with his left arm he should grab him in this fashion.





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[25] I want to lift your leg with the stirrup,
And because of this, to the ground you will go.

This student is about to throw his opponent off his horse, by grabbing the stirrup and pulling it upwards. If his opponent does not fall to the ground, he’ll be helpless in the air, and unless his opponent is tied to his horse, this play will not fail him. If he does not have his foot in the stirrup, the student can grab him by the ankle and raise him up into the air in the same way, as I described above.

[In the Getty, the Master is missing his crown.]

Lifting the leg simultaneously by the stirrup, this, my Powerful right [hand], turns you to the furthest. Nor will your leg be made better.

This Scholar wants to throw this one from his horse—that is, he grabs him by the stirrup and lifts him up. If he doesn't go to the ground, he would clearly be floating in the air! Assuming he isn't lashed to his horse, this play cannot fail. If he does not have his foot in a stirrup, grab him by the ankle and it will be even easier to lift him up than I said before so do as was written here earlier.

[In the Morgan, the Master is missing his crown.]





Pisani-Dossi MS 33b-b.png

[26] You wanted to throw me well from my horse;
With this counter, to the ground you will go.

Here is the counter to the previous play: when your opponent grabs your stirrup or your foot, throw your arm quickly around his neck, and in this way you will be able to unhorse him. Follow this advice and he’ll end up on the ground for sure.

Look how strongly I hold your neck by the shoulder, <in front of you>
Which in this way you evade the attempt: you vainly try
To fling the unarmed [man] to the ground.[16] But the counters conquer you.

This here is the counter of the play that appeared before it, so if one grabs you by the stirrup or by the foot, throw your arm to his neck. You should do this quickly, for in this fashion you could dismount him from his horse; if you do this, he will hit the ground without fail.





Pisani-Dossi MS 33b-c.png

[27] I want to throw you and your horse to the ground;
The breast of mine will go to the haunches of yours:
I will not release the bit of your horse,
And in the end you will not avoid the ground;
And when one is well-armored this is a fine hold,
Because against armor you cannot make an offense.

This is a method of throwing your opponent to the ground by throwing his horse. It’s done like this:[18] when you and your mounted opponent close, ride to his right side. Then throw your right arm over the neck of his horse, and grab the bridle close to where the bit enters its mouth, and forcefully wrench it upwards and over. At the same time make sure your horse’s shoulders[19] drive into his horse’s haunches[20] In this way you will bring down both him and his horse at the same time.

[In the Getty, the Master is missing his crown.]

I will throw you and your horse, prevented by none,
By whose raging haunches the chest of mine will stay.
I will not relinquish the resounding bridle of your quadruped
While you would strike the muddy ground precipitously with the crown of the head.
That best deception certainly prevails when [one is] wearing armor; afterward
He himself begins to fear being unable to injure anyone in armor.

This is a play of throwing one to the ground, horse and all: that is, the Master rides to the right side of his enemy and throws his right arm over the neck of his [enemy's] horse. And he grabs the bridle of his [enemy's] horse behind the bit, rotates the head of the horse up, and he should spur his horse with his foot striking the rump or flanks. And in this way he will fall, horse and all…













MS Ludwig XV 13 45v-c.jpg

[28] This is the counter to the play before, where you throw your opponent to the ground together with his horse. This is an easy counter: when the student throws his arm over the neck of your horse to grab the bridle, you should quickly throw your arm around the student’s neck, and you will effectively make him let go. Just do as the drawing shows.

…This is the counter of the play that came before in which he wants to throw his companion to the ground along with his horse. This is an easy thing to remember, that when the Scholar throws his arm over the neck of his horse to grab the bridle, the player should quickly throw an arm to the neck of the Scholar, and thus he is forced to release it. Following that which you see depicted here, so should you do.

Pisani-Dossi MS 33b-d.png

[29] I seek to take the bridle from your hands
And I want to throw it over the head of your horse:
And when the bridle will be thrown over its head,
With my position I will lead you to a different country.

In this play you take the reins of your opponent’s horse out of his hands, as you see drawn here. When you and your mounted opponent close, ride to his right side, and throw your right arm over his horse’s neck and grab the reins near his left hand with your right hand turned down. Now pull the reins over his horse’s head. This play is safer to do in armor than unarmored.

[In the Getty, the Master is missing his crown.]





This is a play of taking the bridle of a horse from the hand of your companion in the way that you see depicted here. The Scholar, when he goes against another on horseback, should ride to the right side and throw his right arm over the neck of the horse, grabbing its bridle near his hand on the left-hand side, and so take the bridle off the horse's head. And this play is more secure in armor than unarmored.









Pisani-Dossi MS 34b-a.png
Pisani-Dossi MS 34b-b.png

[30] This Master has lashed a cord to his saddle
And to the foot of his lance, which is cruel and destructive,
To throw to the neck of his enemy,
In order to drag him to the ground; so do I say.

This Master has bound one end of a strong rope to his horse’s saddle, and the other end to the butt of his lance. First he strikes his opponent, then he will cast the lance to the left side of his opponent, over his opponent’s left shoulder, and in this way he can drag his opponent from his horse.





This Master has lashed a strong cord (that is, one end) to the saddle of his horse, and the other end is lashed to the foot of his lance. First he wants to strike, and then to put the tied part of the lance to the left of his enemy, throwing it over his shoulder, and thereby to be able to pull him off his horse and onto the ground.









MS Ludwig XV 13 46v-c.jpg

[31] This scoundrel was fleeing from me towards a castle. I rode so hard and fast at full rein that I caught up with him closed to his castle. And I struck him with my sword in his armpit, which is a difficult area to protect with armor. Now I withdraw to avoid retaliation from his friends.

MS Ludwig XV 13 47r-a.jpg
MS Ludwig XV 13 47r-b.jpg

Here ends the Flower of the Art of Combat,
In this way one man can stand against another:
Made by Fiore Furlano, son of Sir Benedetto;
Those who knew him can believe his words well.

Here ends this book that was written by Fiore the scholar, who has published here everything he knows about this art, that is to say, everything he knows about armed fighting is contained within this book. This same Fiore has named his book “The Flower of the Battle”. Let he for whom this book was made be forever praised, for his nobility and virtue have no equal, Fiore the Friulian, a simple elderly man, entrusts this book to you.

Florius, the most skilled authority, previously[21] brought forth
This book. It is therefore him, an accomplished,
Contributing man of the Friulian people, you are honoring.





  1. Fiore means that the text of 41r-a actually applies to the drawing at 41r-b (i.e. the drawing to the right, who is the rider winning the engagement, hence the “Re” [King]). I assume this was an error by the scribe. I've expanded the line so that it is comprehensible.
  2. The second line has been over-written to darken worn-away letters. If there were annotations, they have not survived.
  3. Depending on the interpretation of the final abbreviation, the last line may be read in different ways; the final verb might be perdet (loses), raedet (pillages), or prodet (thrusts forward). We have chosen the last of these as it is least specific to whether the lance in question is winning or losing the fight, which is unclear from the rest of the verse.
  4. Probably meant to be “equus”, but the two q’s are fairly clear.
  5. This word was obliterated somehow (“et” and “cesura” both show uncorrected damage) but has been written over by a later hand in similarly-colored ink. Further, someone has tried to write something above it, perhaps a French equivalent—the superscript is unreadable, but the second word, above cuspide, appears to end in “te” and could be “pointe”. The superscript above “acute” may have been in the D1 or F hand, but not enough is clear. There may have been a superscript above mucronem that was erased, although the remaining strokes look like they may have suffered the same damage as the rest of the page. None of the superscripts are clear enough to certainly identify the hands.
  6. Supposing cuspide means sword and not point, ense could mean something other than sword, such as “sword technique” or “sword position”.
  7. There is an erasure above “cervice”, but we were not able to discern any letters.
  8. Rebecca notes: small words like et or hoc may be left out in order to shape it into something like meter.
  9. I’ve expanded this sentence so that it makes more sense.
  10. Nota: si intende il secondo gioco a partire da qui, cioé il settimo gioco
  11. Fiore actually writes “Then I pass from my quick cover” but the words make no sense, since he is not in a cover but has just hit his opponent in the face with a pommel strike. I’ve altered it to give it more sense.
  12. Note the switch from “he” to “you”. This is something Fiore does quite a lot.
  13. Abrazare comes from “A brazi”—“with the arms”.
  14. Could this be heeume, misspelling of heaume, old french for helmet? There are certainly letters beginning above the g in galea and reaching to above the e in prensum, but we can’t make out enough to guess further. If the latter word is meant to be “heaume,” this must be hand F.
  15. There is a marginal notation to the right of the verse beginning with +. The marginal note seems likely to be hand F, but the + may be from one of the Latin hands. My best guess: ??a??e tram ? perm
  16. We have rendered per terram as “to the ground” rather than “through the ground”.
  17. or 'Si pargere', but Rebecca says there is a scribal practice for separating the first letter of a line in this manner.
  18. I’ve removed the redundant repetition.
  19. Petto means chest but no part of a horse is named the “chest”, so I changed this to “shoulders” which refers to the area of the horse Fiore is talking about that would ram the opponent’s horse.
  20. The “groppa” means the crupper, which refers to the horse’s hind quarters.
  21. This word was the source of considerable trouble. We initially assumed, as others have, that it denoted that Fiore was deceased when the manuscript was prepared (quondam Florius, “the late Fiore”). However, further research on the word (which seemed merited since it could indicate a significant biographical fact) indicated that such a reading was simply not possible for most examples of the word in Medieval literature, e.g. “ubi quondam Deus” is probably not seeking to describe a deceased God. In fact, “quondam” is generally an adverb rather than a quasi-adjective, and some dictionaries, such as Lewis & Short, specify that it only has the meaning of “the late” if the person it is applied to is deceased. Rather than becoming trapped in a loop of circular reasoning (assuming Fiore is deceased and translating quondam that way, and then concluding that Fiore is deceased due to the translation of quondam), we interpreted the word in its more normal adverbial sense and applied it to “edidit”. For more definitions of quondam, see the entries in Logeion: http://logeion.uchicago.edu/index.html#quondam