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The Complete Martial Works of Fiore dei Liberi Flowers of Battle Vol 1
Historical Overview and the Getty Manuscript

By Tom Leoni and Gregory D. Mele

The Complete Martial Works of Fiore dei Liberi Flowers of Battle Vol 1
Hardback, 356 pages £100.00
Published: 2018
ISBN: 9781937439187
Format: 280mm x 216mm
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Subjects: Freelance Academy Press, History, Medieval Studies, Military History

The ‘Getty Manuscript’ (Il Fior di Battaglia/The Flower of Battle) by the greatest fencing-master of the late 1300s, Fiore Furlan dei Liberi, instructs the reader in the intricacies of combat. Lively illustrations of charging horses and armoured knights accompany the text; through words and pictures, the manuscript teaches a variety of fighting techniques including single combat on foot with sword, dagger and axe, and mounted combat in all its variations.

Fiore’s magnum opus, The Flower of Battle, composed in 1409, is one of the oldest, most extensive and most clearly elucidated martial arts treatises from the medieval period. It is a record of a complete medieval martial tradition, and provides unique insights into the life and milieu of the professional fighting man at the birth of the Italian Renaissance.

Fiore preserved his teachings in a series of illustrated manuscripts, four of which have survived to the present day. The first volume in this new four-part series (see SERIES NOTE) presents a complete translation, transcription and reproduction of the largest and most complete of those four manuscripts. It includes chapters on the life of Fiore dei Liberi, his students and patrons, arms and armour in the Getty Manuscript, duelling and chivalric culture in Italy at the close of the 14th century, a detailed analysis of the manuscripts' use of pedagogy, number and metaphor and The Flower of Battle's relationship to other medieval combat manuscripts.

190 illustrations, 90 in colour.


This is the first volume in a new four-volume series from Freelance Academy Press.  Flowers of Battle is a series of lavishly illustrated hardbacks, combining full-colour facsimiles of the original manuscripts with professional, annotated translations and extensive, peer-reviewed essays.

Vol. I: Historical Context and the Getty Manuscript

Vol. II: Florius de Luctandi

Vol. III: Flos Duellatorum

Vol. IV: A tradition with Deep Roots--The Morgan Ms, Later Transmissions and General Concordance

To follow

Tom Leoni is a member of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, Catholic University of America. He teaches historical Italian fencing in his Alexandria, Virginia, US-based school as well as working as an academic translator, and has published widely on historical Italian swordsmanship.

Gregory D. Melehas been involved in the reconstruction of medieval European martial arts since the early 1990s and is best known for co-founding the Chicago Swordplay Guild for the study of historical European swordsmanship and adjunct arts. Previous publications include contributions to SPADA: An Anthology of Swordsmanship and he is a regular contributor to Western Martial Arts Illustrated.

Publication Details:

 Hardback , 356 pages
 280mm x 216mm

BIC Code:
  HIS027000, HIS037010, SPO019000, SPO027000
 Freelance Academy Press


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