Fiore's name

Fiore dei Liberi and his treatises Fior di Battaglia/Flos Duellatorum c.1410.
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Fiore's name

Postby Michael Chidester » 15 Oct 2008 19:40

So I was reading the prologue to the Getty today, and a question recurred to me that I've often wondered before. Why do we call him Fiore dei Liberi? Looking through all three versions, I get Florium de Liberis (PD), Fiore delli Liberi (Getty), and Fior de li Liberi (PM).

Would not Fiore delli Liberi be more accurate than Fiore dei Liberi?
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Postby admin » 15 Oct 2008 21:08

Hehe, that's a good point - though Getty and Morgan are the other way round to above.

Fiore is still a man's name in use in modern Italy, so I think that is fair.

As for the 'dei' or 'de' or whatever, well it doesn't really matter - it means the same thing. But 'dei' has been used in Italy for a long time - there are two streets named 'Fiore dei Liberi' and a wine.
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Postby Carletto » 15 Oct 2008 21:28

Hi Michael, Fiore "de li" - "de' "-"dei" Liberi, are quite the same thing and, likely, he himself used the various versions at various times, since they all mean Fiore of the Liberi.
"Florium de Liberis" is another matter entirely, that is not Italian, but not really Latin, it is more like what we could call "Latinorum" (bad medieval latin), in that de Liberis, means about the Free ones, as De Natura Boni means about the nature of good.
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Postby Michael Chidester » 15 Oct 2008 23:13

:oops: Should have done more than a cursory inspection of the PD before I posted this. In the Italian prologue, it's Fior dei Liberi. The streets in Italy were named after Novati published his facsimile if I recall correctly (don't know about the wine), so that would explain their names. The PD was also the first version to appear in translation on the internets, so that's probably how the name propagated in our community.

So now I'm only left wondering why the writer of this article continually refers to him as "Fiore della Liberi".
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Postby admin » 15 Oct 2008 23:18

I guess he just felt like it :).
della, de, dei, de'... it doesn't really make any difference whatsoever.
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Postby admin » 15 Oct 2008 23:21

p.s. I need to read this article more carefully, but having read it quickly before it seemed that some elements were a bit out of date. For example, Fiore clearly considered himself Italian in his prologues, and the whole Austrian issue just comes from the fact that Cividale used to be called Civitate d'Ostria (or 'the Austrian Town') sometimes.
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Postby Michael Chidester » 16 Oct 2008 01:02

The author only mentions the Austrian theory so that he can thoroughly discredit it. The theory that Fiore comes from a transplanted German noble family, on the other hand, is fascinating.
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Postby admin » 16 Oct 2008 10:06

We're still left with the problem that Novati and Zanutto searched the records thouroughly and found no mention of a noble family called 'dei Liberi'. :?
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Postby admin » 16 Oct 2008 11:38

admin wrote:p.s. I need to read this article more carefully, but having read it quickly before it seemed that some elements were a bit out of date. For example, Fiore clearly considered himself Italian in his prologues, and the whole Austrian issue just comes from the fact that Cividale used to be called Civitate d'Ostria (or 'the Austrian Town') sometimes.


Carlo need to correct me here - it's interesting!
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Postby Michael Chidester » 16 Oct 2008 15:20

admin wrote:We're still left with the problem that Novati and Zanutto searched the records thouroughly and found no mention of a noble family called 'dei Liberi'. :?

Yes, and that fact has lead to speculation over the years that perhaps "Fiore dei Liberi" was a pseudonym. But Mr. Howe points out something that I was not aware of previously, that the Liberi were a social class of knights in Germany in the middle ages--almost completely gone by 1400, of course, but still around in the 1300s when Fiore was born. "Delli Liberi" may simply indicate that Fiore's family was a member of this class, which is supported somewhat by the significant German presence in northern Italy and especially Fiore's region throughout this time period.

It's still all speculation, but it works out a little too nicely to be easily dismissed (though it has its own problems).
Last edited by Michael Chidester on 16 Oct 2008 18:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby steve hick » 16 Oct 2008 16:34

Michael Chidester wrote::oops: Should have done more than a cursory inspection of the PD before I posted this. In the Italian prologue, it's Fior dei Liberi. The streets in Italy were named after Novati published his facsimile if I recall correctly (don't know about the wine), so that would explain their names. The PD was also the first version to appear in translation on the internets, so that's probably how the name propagated in our community.

So now I'm only left wondering why the writer of this article continually refers to him as "Fiore della Liberi".

I think the names were changed after one of the earlier authors published their stuff on Fiore in the 19th century, but otherwise....
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Postby Carletto » 16 Oct 2008 19:29

A quick post to make a point about names.
Cividale D'Ostria is named D'Ostria from Civitate Austriae, which means "Town of Ostrich", Ostrich being a Longobard princess. It is not the same as Austria, referred to the place, because there Austria stand for "Oster-Reich" or the Kingdom of East (or so I seem to understand).
So, in the matter of the thread Austria and D'Ostria refer to different things, so Cividale is named after a woman and not the Austrian territory.
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Postby admin » 16 Oct 2008 22:48

Thanks Carlo.:)
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Postby Ariella Elema » 28 Oct 2008 22:43

Given that 'Liberi' simply means 'free people', I wonder if we should be looking for the family among the nobility of Cividale at all. It seems to me that they could have belonged to the Friulian equivalent of the franklins of England. (Think of Chaucer's franklin in the Canterbury Tales, who has a nice estate in the country and has served as an MP, but isn't noble.) Come to think of it, franklin also means 'free man'.
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Postby Michael Chidester » 29 Oct 2008 00:00

Interesting thought. However, the books seem to confirm that he was, in fact, at least a minor noble.

Getty wrote:Fior furlan de Cividale d'austria che fo di messer Benedetto de la nobel casada de li liberi di Premariacco de la diocesi delo Patriarchado de Aquilegia


Pierpont-Morgan wrote:Fiore furlan de Civida d’austria che fo de mis. Benedetto della nobil casada delli liberi da premagiaco della diocesi dello patriarchato de Aquilegia


Pisani-Dossi wrote:florium de liberis de cividato austrie aquilegensis diocesis quondam domini benedicti de nobilti prosapia liberorum natus

fior furlano dei liberi de Ciuidal d'ostria che fo de meser benedecto de la casada dei liberi da premergiago
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Postby leonardo daneluz » 05 Nov 2008 16:11

About the Fior and Fiore variations it´s probably due to the friulan origin. Friulan (and Venetian) tends to drop the final vowel. This happens often in Fiore´s prose. My own lastname (also Friulan and from the same place) should be possibly "Daneluzzi".
Is it also possible that Cividale and some other near places were under the influence of the Habsburg? My family and several others there have served as soldiers under the Austrias since the XV cent until 1860 and were all german speakers. My grandfather used to say that every free family there (i.e. those who had lands) were of austrian or german origin and that the italians were servs. May be the "Liberi" refers to this situation; minor nobles or free citizens.
I have always considered this opinion of my grandfather as a pro friulan/venetian bias against italians.
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Postby Carletto » 28 Nov 2008 23:04

Michael Chidester wrote:Interesting thought. However, the books seem to confirm that he was, in fact, at least a minor noble.

Getty wrote:Fior furlan de Cividale d'austria che fo di messer Benedetto de la nobel casada de li liberi di Premariacco de la diocesi delo Patriarchado de Aquilegia


Pierpont-Morgan wrote:Fiore furlan de Civida d’austria che fo de mis. Benedetto della nobil casada delli liberi da premagiaco della diocesi dello patriarchato de Aquilegia


Pisani-Dossi wrote:florium de liberis de cividato austrie aquilegensis diocesis quondam domini benedicti de nobilti prosapia liberorum natus

fior furlano dei liberi de Ciuidal d'ostria che fo de meser benedecto de la casada dei liberi da premergiago


If he was a knight, he was a *minor nobleman*, knights had the title of dominus, as far as I know, since the 11th century
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