traditions : l`arte dell`armizare : Italian Art of Arms

l´arte dell´armizare - The Italian Art of Arms


The training programs employed at AEMMA are the result of of years of extensive research & development, reconstruction and practice based upon surviving manuscripts and illustrations found in a variety of historical treatises and other period sources, with emphasis on the early period fencing [ 1 ] of the XIV and XV centuries. The principle source and foundation for the training for the Italian traditional art is Fiori dei Liberi's "Flos Duellatorum" [ 2 ] completed in 1410. The reason that Fiore dei Liberi's treatise was selected as the principal source is that it is viewed as being the most complete description of a martial arts system recorded in the period. The treatise covers all manners of the fighting art which includes abrazare (grappling), daga (dagger), spada (arming sword), spada longa (longsword), lanza e azza (pole-weapons: spear & poleaxe), arme (armoured combat) and lanza e di spada a cavallo (mounted combat with spear and sword), all of which are reflected in the AEMMA training program.

l´arte dell´armizare

Based on current research on Fiore dei Liberi, he does not formally define the fighting system described, and simply refers to it as l'arte dell'armizare loosely translated as "the art of arms". In keeping with the tradition, AEMMA formally names the fighting system simply as armizare. Flos Duellatorum or "Flower of Battle" is found in three flavours of the original treatise written or at least dictated by Fiore dei Liberi in 1410. These are known as the Novati/Pisani-Dossi (available for study in the online library), the J.Paul Getty Museum or Getty's copy (MS Ludwig XV13) and The Pierpont Morgan Library or Morgan's copy. AEMMA has in its possession, digital copies of all three versions, including a copy of an original 1902 Pisani-Dossi publication. For more details on Fiore dei Liberi and the trestise, click Flos Duellatorum.

The citations for the four known versions of Liberi's treatise are:

  1. Fior di Battaglia: MS M.383 - The Pierpoint Morgan Library (codice "MORGAN")
  2. Fior di Battaglia: MS Ludwig XV 13 - J. Paul Getty Museum (codice "GETTY")
  3. Flos Duellatorum (Pisani-Dossi MS): F. Novati, Flos duellatorum: Il Fior di battaglia di maestro Fiore dei Liberi da Premariacco (Bergamo, 1902)
  4. Florius de arte luctandi: MSS LATIN 11269, Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF)


  1. Early Period Fencing (XIV and XV Centuries) a periodization for the classification of the eras of the history of fencing based on the various periods in the development of the historical European fighting arts. See the International Masters at Arms Federation (IMAF) website for more info.
  2. Fiore dei Liberi, a swordsmaster born in Cividale del Friuli, a small town on the river Natisone in north-east Italy sometime between 1340 - 1350 wrote his treatise entitled "Flos Duellatorum" or "Flower of Battle" in 1410.

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Academy of European Medieval Martial Arts (AEMMA)