Fiore, was he a mercenary?

Fiore dei Liberi and his treatises Fior di Battaglia/Flos Duellatorum c.1410.
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Re: Fiore, was he a mercenary?

Postby Sean M » 28 Jul 2012 16:52

Ariella Elema wrote:
TyHar7 wrote:Do you think it would be common or acceptable practice to move and train between fencing schools? As you said it would be pretty competitive between fencing teachers and schools certainly their would be rivalries?


At the time, it was pretty common for scholars of other sorts to wander long distances from one master or university to another and compete in debating contests. I wouldn't be surprised if students of armizare had a similar system, but even less formal.

I think Fiore's treatises make it clear that he was primarily concerned with individual deeds of arms rather than soldiering, even though several of his students had significant military experience. The teachings consistently assume that the fight is a single combat. Having now seen some Arabic martial arts treatises from the same period, I'm coming to realize how odd the European material is in that regard.

On the subject of Fiore's birth, it looks as though the dei Liberi were the Friulian equivalent of country gentry. Fiore says he was "born of a noble line of free men" (de nobili prosapia liberorum natus). They were probably big men in the village of Premariacco, but I once ran across a book of contemporary charters from Cividale and noted that neither Fiore nor Benedetto were mentioned on the witness lists. The concept of nobility was very fluid in northern Italy at the time. One was noble if one could get others to acknowledge one's claim to nobility.

Do you have the citation Arlella? That sounds like a good reference to use when I get around to turning my Fiore talk into an article. The idea that the dei Liberi were at the fuzzy edge between "rich peasants" and "poor gentlemen" would make sense, although I don't know how thoroughly the records from around Cividale have been checked and how extensive they are.
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