Contents of Florius - Paris Fiore.

Fiore dei Liberi and his treatises Fior di Battaglia/Flos Duellatorum c.1410.
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Contents of Florius - Paris Fiore.

Postby admin » 26 Sep 2008 13:19

I thought I'd start a separate thread for clarity.
What are other people's thoughts about the dating?
Given the type of great bascinet and proto-armet shown, I think this dates to about 1410-1420.
I agree there are elements of armour there which look earlier, but those types of bascinet simply weren't around before about 1410. Certainly not before 1400.

On a different point - note that Posta di Fenestra has the sword behind the head rather than in front. A mistake I guess - what do you think? If it's a mistake then it's a pretty basic one - suggesting perhaps the soruce was not produced close to Fiore's eyes.
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Postby Fab » 26 Sep 2008 13:24

There are differences in blade placement, true - or maybe it's just clearer as in this one they're not metal coated.

Time-wise, it looks like a mess :) for the reasons we stated in he other thread.

I'm thinking of a digest copy made after F's death, but based on an earlier ms - maybe even earlier than M.

Florius tries to copy elements of the clothing style of the late XIVth, while adding very XVth stuff. Chemical/scientific analysis might provide a better dating, but I dont have the money (nor the clearance) for that.
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Postby admin » 26 Sep 2008 13:34

Interesting stuff. I don't see there being any more 14thC style elements than Getty or Morgan personally - why do you think it might be based on an earlier one?
Looking at the clothes and armour, I'd be happy dating Morgan, Getty and BNF to 1410. Remember in 1410 clothes still looked very similar to 1390. It was in the 1420's-30's that style changed a lot (in armour and clothes).
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Postby admin » 26 Sep 2008 13:36

One interesting note I forgot to post earlier - Vadi CLEARLY based his images on something like the BNF version. Yet Vadi has a prologue that contains text similar to PD's prologue. Which makes me think that either he saw this version and it used to have a prologue, or there was another version, with images like this one and a prologue like PD.
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Postby Fab » 26 Sep 2008 13:57

In any case, this one is by a very different hand/workshop than the G/M or even the PD (for what we can judge from Novati). That's stating the obvious I know.

But t should be interesting to put some Art historians on the task of finding where it could have been made.


As for the late XIVth stuff (or very early XVth) in my view : all these flying bits of cloth, the cut of the clothes, other clues. But I can be completely wrong :)
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Postby admin » 26 Sep 2008 14:01

Well for the flying bits see Gladiatoria, and that's about 1440-1450! I agree generally that flying bits are more of a late-14thC thing, but they certainly don't completely disappear in the 15thC (and 1410 is early 15thC anyway).
The cut of the clothes and edge decoration I would say is pretty much the same as Getty/Morgan, allowing for a different artistic style.
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Postby Stevie T » 26 Sep 2008 14:07

Can't say much as I'm off out for my little girls primary school coffee afternoon. woo ho.

It the style of the floaty bits, and one or two of the hats that really make me think later into the C15th.

As I've said it looks like someone has taken the old manuals and tried to "sex them up a bit". Hence the old style clothes but later painting style, the ground etc.

This may also explain why there are errors in balde positions, especially if it's done by an artist who doesn't fight.
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Postby Brewerkel » 26 Sep 2008 14:57

From the announcement thread:

Fab wrote:
Stevie T wrote:Which of course makes the whole thing even more interesting as it would show Fiore's work at a later date and therefore a cintued usaged/popularity of the system.


This was already known, just by seeing Vadi and Von Eyb - and according to Matt G, Von Eyb is even closer to that one than to PD.

Matt : see the lance rest on the breastplate on folio 21v (first dagger master first play) ?


What about the lance rest? I can't make out any detail beyond the fact that there is one, or at least a mount for one.
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Postby Ariella Elema » 27 Sep 2008 19:22

I think it's also significant that the colophon describes Fiore as "once/formerly the most skilled" (quondam peritissimus). As Ken said over at Sword Forum, it's dangerous to hang an interpretation off a single adverb, but it seems to me from reading the other three texts that the Fiore of ca. 1410 was not the kind of author who described himself as a has-been.
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Postby admin » 28 Sep 2008 13:32

Yeah, if someone told me on good authority that Florius dates from say 1425, then I would have no problem believing that. If someone told me it dated to earlier than 1410, I would have a lot of problems believing it.
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Postby Brian Hunt » 28 Sep 2008 18:15

The problem with that little word Quondam is which other word in the sentance is it influencing. It could also be being used as Hereafter, once, or some day; all perfectly good translations. It may also be influencing the word librus or book since it comes directly after that noun rather than Florius. Hard to say for sure. The whole phrase could easily read like this rough translation of mine. I need more time to decide how accurate it is though.

"This book was formerly published by the expert author Florius, therefore unite in great praise and honor for the hero from the perfect nation of Fuili."

Or it's intentions could even be more along the lines of "The expert Florius authored and published the following book, . . . ."

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Postby Michael Chidester » 28 Sep 2008 23:22

More interesting than the blade position in posta di fenestra, which I agree was most certainly an error on the part of the artist, is the blade position in posta sagittaria. The blade is cradled in the scholar's left elbow rather than gripped in his hand. I can't imagine what advantage that would offer, and it's definitely worth playing around with a bit.
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Postby Ariella Elema » 29 Sep 2008 23:32

It could also be being used as Hereafter, once, or some day; all perfectly good translations.


They're all perfectly good translations in classical Latin, although hereafter and some day were less common usages of the word. In medieval Latin I'm not sure you could use quondam to describe the present or the future at all. (I just checked about six medieval Latin dictionaries in the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies library.) Interestingly, Du Cange and Migne gloss the word as non ita pridem: not that long ago.

In medieval Latin, quondam can also be an adjective, meaning "the late," as in the deceased. See for example the Latin prologue of the PD where it's used that way to describe Benedetto dei Liberi.

Also, I think librus in the colophon means "dei Liberi." It's unlikely to mean book because it cannot be the object of the sentence.
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Postby Michael Chidester » 30 Sep 2008 04:34

Okay, I just finished my preliminary analysis (took this long because life is pretty hellish right now).

The manual contains previously-unique plays drawn from all three other copies, as well as most of the standard stuff. It does not contain the elegant internal order of the other three, but more resembles the randomness of Vadi in that respect. The art and clothing has already been commented on at length by people who know more about such things than I.

The change to posta sagittaria I've already mentioned. In addition to that, there are two unique longsword plays and one interesting dagger variation.

One of the longsword plays resembles a continuation of rompere de punte, but is clearly distinct (and appears in the wrong place in sequence besides). Note the hand the opponent has on the scholar's pommel. I suspect this is a counter to such a pommel grab, in which the scholar transitions to half-sword in order to lever his sword into a thrust to his opponent's face/torso. It's missing the crown of a Master Contrario, but there are many missing crowns and missing garters in this MS so that doesn't mean much.

See the top pairing:
http://ark.bnf.fr/ConsulterElementNum?O ... =1&Param=B

The other longsword play is similar to the second play of armored longsword, but that play already appears earlier in the MS with the other armored plays. It also looks a lot like something I'd expect to see in Vadi, closing with the half-sword to overpower your opponent's guard.

See the bottom pairing:
http://ark.bnf.fr/ConsulterElementNum?O ... =1&Param=B

The third isn't a unique play, but an interesting variant. Instead of pushing the right elbow of the Second Master of Dagger, in this MS the Master Contrario raises his left hand to block the cover from the other side. This is essentially the same as the First Master of Dagger's 4th Master Contrario.

See the top pairing:
http://ark.bnf.fr/ConsulterElementNum?O ... =1&Param=B
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Postby Stevie T » 01 Oct 2008 20:47

1440-1460
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Postby Brian Stokes » 15 Oct 2008 06:49

In more than one forum I read that a mistake has been made in the drawings of more than one of Fiore's manscripts. I would like to suggest that perhaps that there is no mistake and rather he might be changing the positioning of the weapons in the posta in this manuscript as his system developed. The only way to find out is to train extensively with the new sword and spear positions to see if they work or not. Not being the precisely same does not make it wrong.

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Postby admin » 15 Oct 2008 10:39

In principle I agree, but not in this case. Making the Fenestra with the weapon behind the head is useless, as it makes it the same as Posta di Donna... and therefore not a different guard.
I get the impression that this was indeed created by someone who wasn't very familiar with Fiore's system, but wanted to create their take on a Fiore treatise, much like Vadi.
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Postby Michael Chidester » 15 Oct 2008 15:13

Brian Stokes wrote:In more than one forum I read that a mistake has been made in the drawings of more than one of Fiore's manscripts. I would like to suggest that perhaps that there is no mistake and rather he might be changing the positioning of the weapons in the posta in this manuscript as his system developed. The only way to find out is to train extensively with the new sword and spear positions to see if they work or not. Not being the precisely same does not make it wrong.

That's generally true, Brian. I can point out dozens of Fiore's plays that are drawn differently among the various manuscripts. In such cases, the only way to determine which is "correct" is to attempt the technique at full speed and power using each version, and then decide which one functioned best. That's Manual Interpretation 101.

However, in the Florius manuscript we have a somewhat different situation. We have a new manuscript that purports to fit into an existing system that we've mapped out quite well, but which disagrees with a few fundamental points of it (not of our interpretation, mind you, but with the other manuscripts that form its foundation).

Posta di Fenestra with the sword behind the head can be assumed to be an error because he's already been quite clear about what Posta di Donna means and what Posta di Fenestra means.

Now then, your concept that perhaps he refined his system after writing his other three manuals has occurred to me as well. The new Posta Saggitaria, for example, is a wonderful guard (in armor). It functions like the MS I.33 guard "fiddle bow", only it works better because your hand is empty. Receiving a blow on your sword and catching it against your armored forearm places you in the perfect position for any manner of wrestling at the sword or sword-taking that you might wish to do.

However, ultimately that explanation is inadequate because at this point in his life Fiore had already spent 50+ years developing his system. For him to make such a significant departure at this point--and after he had effectively retired from active combat--seems extremely unlikely.
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Postby admin » 15 Oct 2008 15:47

I don't see a conflict between someone knowing about fighting and not knowing about Fiore's system. Just because the mind behind Florius didn't understand Fiore's system, doesn't mean they didn't know about fighting.
Hence the Sagittaria perhaps.
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Postby Brian Stokes » 17 Oct 2008 04:44

I need to read the manuscript before making any assumptions about errors. Does anyone have a transcription yet?

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