Flos Duellatorum (Pisani Dossi MS)
|Pisani Dossi MS, Pisani Dossi Collection
|Date||10 February 1409|
|Place of origin||Milan, Italy|
|Author(s)||Fiore de'i Liberi|
|Illustrated by||Altichiero da Zevio (?)|
|Dedicated to||Niccolò III Marquis d'Este|
|Material||Parchment, in a cardboard folder|
|Format||Double-sided; four illustrations per
side, with text above each
Flos Duellatorum ("The Flower of Battle", Pisani Dossi MS) is an Italian fencing manual authored by Fiore de'i Liberi and dated 10 February 1409. The original was long believed to have been lost during World War II, but it is now known that it remained in the collection of the Pisani Dossi family in Italy. Novati described this manuscript as an unbound collection of leaves, covered with a cardboard folder with a marbled paper cover. It consists of approximately 35 folia and possesses two different prefaces, one in Renaissance Latin and a second in Middle Italian. The body of the text includes four to six illustrations per page, each with only a brief couplet or quatrain to explain it. This manuscript is typically referred to as either the Novati or Pisani Dossi.
The Pisani Dossi MS was published in facsimile by Francesco Novati in 1902, making it the only version of Fiore de'i Liberi's manual whose images are considered public domain. However, it is unclear how accurate this facsimile is, as evidence suggests that Novati may have hired an artist to create a tracing of the original manuscript rather than reproducing it directly. This would have provided ample opportunity for errors to creep into the images, and might also account for the significant divergences from the artistic style of the Getty and the Morgan.
The known provenance of the Pisani Dossi MS is:
- Completed by Fiore de'i Liberi on 10 February, 1409. Though it was dedicated to Niccolò III d'Este, there is no evidence that it ever passed into his library.
- before 1663 – belonged to Schier de' Prevosti da Valbregaglia, passed into the library of the Sacchi da Bucinigo family (purchased before 1902, Carlo Alberto Pisani Dossi).
- before 1902-present – owned by the Pisani Dossi family.
As the foliation of the manuscript is not available, the carta numeration from Novati's facsimile will be used instead.
|2a||Latin Preface by Fiore de'i Liberi|
|2a - 2b||Italian Preface by Fiore de'i Liberi|
|3a - 5b||Grappling by Fiore de'i Liberi|
|5b||Baton by Fiore de'i Liberi|
|6a - 12b||Dagger by Fiore de'i Liberi|
|12b - 13a||Four strikes of the sword by Fiore de'i Liberi|
|13a - 14b||Longsword in one hand by Fiore de'i Liberi|
|15a - 16b||Staff weapons by Fiore de'i Liberi|
|16b||The Seven Swords by Fiore de'i Liberi|
|17a - 24b||Longsword in two hands by Fiore de'i Liberi|
|25a - 26b||Armored fencing by Fiore de'i Liberi|
|27a - 28a, 36a||Pole weapons by Fiore de'i Liberi|
|29a - 33b, 34b||Mounted fencing by Fiore de'i Liberi|
|34a||Spear vs. cavalry by Fiore de'i Liberi|
|35a - 36a||Sword vs. dagger by Fiore de'i Liberi|
These images are sourced from Francesco Novati's 1902 edition of the manuscript. The Pisani Dossi MS itself has recently resurfaced in Italy, but has not yet been made available for study.
- dei Liberi, Fiore; Rubboli, Marco; Cesari, Luca. Flos Duellatorum. Manuale di Arte del Combattimento del XV secolo. Rome: Il Cerchio Iniziative Editoriali, 2002. ISBN 88-8474-023-1
- Novati, Francesco. Flos Duellatorum, Il Fior di Battaglia di Maestro Fiore dei Liberi da Premariacco. Bergamo: 1902.
- Rapisardi, Giovani. Fiore de' Liberi Flos Duellatorum - in armis, sine armis equester et pedesta. Gladitoria Press, 1998.
- Zanutto, D. Luigi. Fiore di Premariacco ed I Ludi e Le Feste Marziali e Civili in Friuli. Udine: D. Del Bianco, 1907.
- Internally dated on folio 1r
- dei Liberi's Pisani-Dosi Located. Sword Forum International. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
- Novati, pp 29-30.
- Lost Kal - Found in Plain Sight!. Sword Forum International. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
- Easton, Matt. "Fiore dei Liberi - Fior di Battaglia - Flos Duellatorum". Schola Gladiatoria. Retrieved 30 October 2010.