Michael Chidester || Wiktenauer || Somerville, MA, USA
The teachings of 14th century condottiere and fencing master Fiore de’i Liberi are preserved in four manuscripts written in the early 1400s and, in modified form, in a fifth from the 1480s. However, the story does not end there, and there are also four German manuscripts spanning three centuries with a coherent set of teachings that extensively overlap Fiore’s own. It is uncertain whether they are based on Fiore’s writings or developed independently from the same tradition, and three of the four are entirely anonymous.
This lecture will briefly review the life and teachings of Fiore Furlano and his apparent successor Philippo di Vadi, and then introduce the less-well-known German treatises of Blume des Kampfs. It will discuss the life of the sole master associated with this group, Ludwig (IV) von Eyb zum Hartenstein, present each of the known manuscripts, and discuss what they have to contribute to our study of the system and method of the Friulian master.