About the Elephant and Tower Badge
The elephant, carrying a tower, represents fortitudo, or fortitude (strength).
“I am the elephant and I have a castle for a burden / And never do I kneel down nor do I lose my true place.”
|Fiore dei Liberi (ca. 1350’s – 1420’s) was a medieval master of arms and the earliest master of the Italian school of swordsmanship from whom we have an extant manual. Most of what is known of the man comes from the prologues to his book Flos Duellatorum. The book, of which three distinct versions remain, contains a complete martial arts system describing how to fight unarmed and with various weapons, unarmoured and armoured, both on foot and mounted on horseback.
These badges have been lovingly reproduced in pewter based on the images in the manuscript. They have been cast in stone moulds and have a medieval pin back.
At left, the “sette spade” diagram from the Pisani facsimile (fol. 17A). (ca. 1350s – 1420s) The four animals symbolize Prudence (lynx), Celerity (tiger), Audacity (lion), and Fortitude (elephant).