Welcome, Ruzmafzar


Welcome to my site. I've put together some resources for you here, but feel free to browse around!

The best place on the internet to find out about who Fiore was and what's in his books would be Fiore's page on the Wiktenauer website, here: https://wiktenauer.com/wiki/Fiore_de%27i_Liberi

As a historical swordsmanship instructor my day job involves finding old books on sword fighting, reading them (which often includes translating them), and figuring out the techniques and tactics of the system the author is describing. You can see this process in my book From Medieval Manuscript to Modern Practice: the Longsword Techniques of Fiore dei Liberi. Fiore’s treatise on the Art of Arms, Il Fior di Battaglia, The Flower of Battle, was written around 1400, and so I start by transcribing the 14th century Italian handwriting into readable text.

Let’s take an example: the handwriting above the figures on the left in this picture reads:

Questo zogo si chiama punta falsa o punta curta, e si diro come la fazzo. Io mostro d’venire cum granda forza per ferir lo zugadore cum colpo mezano in la testa. E subito ch’ello fa la coverta, io fiero la sua spada lizeramente. E subito volto la spada mia de l’altra parte piglando la mia spada cum la mane mia mancha quasi al mezo. E la punta gli metto subita in la gola o in lo petto. E de miglore questo zogo in arme che senza.

That’s great, except that most of my students can’t read Italian. So my translation follows:

This play is called the false thrust or the short thrust, and I’ll tell you how I do it. I show that I am coming with great force to strike the player with a middle blow in the head. And immediately that he makes the cover I strike his sword lightly. And immediately turn my sword to the other side, grabbing my sword with my left hand about at the middle. And I place the thrust immediately in the throat or in the chest. And this play is better in armour than without.

But even then, how do you actually do it? Here’s the video clip linked to in the book:

From Medieval Manuscript to Modern Practice will give you a thorough view of my interpretation of Fiore's longsword plays, but it's not intended as a training manual. For that, please see my Mastering the Art of Arms series:

Or if you prefer to learn through video courses, I have several on Fiore's Art of Arms here: swordschool.teachable.com

And you may also find my facsimile of the Getty manuscript useful and interesting:

In the interview we mention the poison pollax dust recipe. I wrote two posts about it. In the first one, I was wrong about the exact flower, and corrected it in the second one. The story of how that happened is well worth a read.

Blinded by Botany: medieval malice!

Being wrong can lead to wonderful things