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Fiore de'i Liberi/Mounted Fencing

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Morgan Transcription [edit]
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Getty Transcription [edit]
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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 Stance of the Wild Boar's Tusk (Posta di Dente di Zenghiar) 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 I will 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.







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



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 that 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 that is depicted here, so that the short cannot beat the long.



[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 the lance. This Master has a short lance and carries it in the Stance of the Queen on the Left (Posta de Dona la Sinistra) as you can see, to beat and then to strike his companion.







[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.



[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.]

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

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



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].





MS Ludwig XV 13 42r-d.jpg

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



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.





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

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 axe, the staff, the sword, and so forth.

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



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.



[8] So that you do not beat my lance out of the way,
Under my left arm I carry it in rest.



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.]





MS Ludwig XV 13 43r-b.jpg

[9] At half-staff I come, approaching fast,
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.]





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





[5r-a] [No text]





[43r-a] [No text]

[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.]

[31a-b] [No text]

[2v-d] [No text]

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.

[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 that is so low.

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





[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 carry of the sword is called the Stance of the Long Tail (Posta di Coda Longa), 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 well in mind 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.











[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.

[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.









[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 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 sword to the tip of the sword), and whoever is crossed at the full sword can withstand a little, and whoever is crossed at mid-sword can withstand less, and whoever at the tip of the sword can withstand nothing. So the sword, as such, has three things: that is, a little, less, and nothing.

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



[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 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.]





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





[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.





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.









[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 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.]





[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 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.









[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 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.]





[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, 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 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.









[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.

[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.





[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 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 Paris, the Master is missing his crown.]





[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 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.





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

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



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.]





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



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.





[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.

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







This is a play of throwing one to the ground, horse and all, that is that 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 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.

[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 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.









[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 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 Ribald fled from me toward a fortress; he coursed so much that I overtook him near the fortress, always coursing at full rein. And from my sword I struck him under the armpit, there where a man can only poorly armor himself. And then for fear of his friends I want to turn back.

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 well believe his words.





Here ends the book that was made by the Scholar Fiore, and all that he knows in this art (that is, the fullness of armizare) he has placed here in this book. And Fior di Bataglia he has called this flower by name. He for whom he has made it shall always be praised, because you will not find his equal in Nobility and virtue. Fiore Furlano, a wretched old man, commends himself to you.





  1. Nunc/mihi in some order?
  2. The second line has been over-written to darken worn-away letters. If there were annotations, they have not survived.
  3. Up to this point, the text is partially effaced.
  4. Added later: "ego".
  5. Added later: "de la pointe".
  6. Added later: "remoror [!] jaculum".
  7. Added later: "eqqus". Probably meant to be “equus”, but the two q’s are fairly clear.
  8. Corrected from "a" to "e".
  9. 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.
  10. There is an erasure above “cervice”, but we were not able to discern any letters.
  11. "ue" is mostly effaced.
  12. This paragraph is written with a wedge-shaped gap in the text. This might be a coincidence, or it might indicate that the manuscript being copied had the text flowing around the sword of the player (as is done on the next page), and the scribe assumed that would be the case here as well.
  13. This paragraph is partially effaced and hard to read.
  14. Added later: "te juc g???et".
  15. Added later: "de la poignee".
  16. Added later: “??eeu vit”. 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.
  17. 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
  18. Added later: "pro tui".
  19. Added later: "scilicet".
  20. or 'Si pargere', but Rebecca says there is a scribal practice for separating the first letter of a line in this manner.
  21. Corrected from "i"; probably intended to be a "u", but looks like an "a".
  22. Added later: "eqquus".
  23. Added later: "te madé de\per bride".
  24. Overwritten and difficult to decipher.
  25. Written over a previously-effaced word that can't be deciphered.