Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Spanish Conquistador Falchion Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Jerry Berg





Joined: 19 Oct 2010

Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sun 24 Oct, 2010 5:17 pm    Post subject: Spanish Conquistador Falchion         Reply with quote

Hi guys,
I've been poking around the internet for information about a Spanish Conquistador's Two-Handed sword, as quoted in this account describing the native weapons: "They had likewise long Swords, which they used with both Hands, as we do our Scimitars or Falchions, made of Wood, in which they fixed sharp Flints."

I have not found any other bits of information about this, nor a reproduction two-handed falchion that would fit this time. If anyone has any primary accounts of the period, written or drawn, that have two-handed falchions or scimitars, could you please help me out? Thanks.

-Jerry
View user's profile Send private message
Nathan Robinson
myArmoury Admin


myArmoury Admin

PostPosted: Sun 24 Oct, 2010 5:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As you mention, the accounts are of weapons not of the Spaniards but of the natives.

Check out some of these topics:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=13691

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=4928

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=6275

And this:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=7436

.:. Visit my Collection Gallery :: View my Reading List :: View my Wish List :: See Pages I Like :: Find me on Facebook .:.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
J.T. Aliaga




Location: SATX
Joined: 19 Aug 2007
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 4 books

Posts: 52

PostPosted: Sun 24 Oct, 2010 6:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
As you mention, the accounts are of weapons not of the Spaniards but of the natives.


Nathan, the passage refers to a comparison of a native weapon versus a Spanish weapon. Specifically, a Spanish weapon
wielded with 2 hands, called a Scimitar or Falchion.

IIRC the Maciejowsk falchion is a 2 hander and vaguely similar in appearance/use to a Machahuitl.
View user's profile Send private message
Jerry Berg





Joined: 19 Oct 2010

Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sun 24 Oct, 2010 6:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you JT; yes, this account is from a Conquistador, not a native. And the fact that it says Falchions AND Scimitars makes me wonder if they were referring to actual scimitars (that they may have gotten from the Granada War) as well as the more European Falchion. But like I said, it's hard to do more research when I can't find any more sources. I keep hoping to see a drawing of a scimitar-wielding Conquistador in one of the codexes, but so far no luck.
-Jerry
View user's profile Send private message
Nathan Robinson
myArmoury Admin


myArmoury Admin

PostPosted: Sun 24 Oct, 2010 6:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I really thought I was clear, but apparently not.

I was stating that the account was FROM a Spaniard REGARDING the natives.

Can you include the whole passage?

(Please note that I included links above for both native South American weaponry and a discussion of the Spanish two-handed weapons as well)

.:. Visit my Collection Gallery :: View my Reading List :: View my Wish List :: See Pages I Like :: Find me on Facebook .:.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Zach Luna




Location: Los Angeles
Joined: 04 Jul 2010
Likes: 11 pages

Posts: 170

PostPosted: Sun 24 Oct, 2010 10:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As far as I understand it, the point of confusion here is that Jerry is not inquiring about the direct object of the passage (the "long swords" of the natives) but rather to the weapons spoken of in a subordinate clause-- "as we do our Scimitars or Falchions."

What are these scimitars or falchions the speaker references as a comparison to the wooden weapons of the natives? I certainly don't have any information about two-handed falchions used by Spanish conquistadors, though the idea is intriguing.

As Nathan has said, it would be nice to know the whole passage and the explorer being cited in the original post to get a better sense of the situation.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
Joined: 16 Nov 2004
Reading list: 13 books

Posts: 981

PostPosted: Mon 25 Oct, 2010 3:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well... I have seen some photos of Italian storta of the period that could be of longsword or two-handed size, judging by their proportions. And then there are the long Schweizersäbel, of course. I would expect roughly analogous weapon forms existed in the Spanish-speaking regions, as well. Keeping in mind that weapon terminology was not historically the exact science we try to make it today, and that this is an English translation of a Spanish text, which introduces a further layer of semantic ambiguity, it doesn't seem too far-fetched that this would be the type of weapon referred to.
The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
View user's profile Send private message
Stephen Curtin




Location: Cork, Ireland
Joined: 17 Nov 2007
Likes: 110 pages
Reading list: 18 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,157

PostPosted: Mon 25 Oct, 2010 4:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just a thought, but MOST of the native weapons in question (can't remember how to spell it) were intended for one handed use, in conjunction with a shield. But its possible that these weapons were also used for two handed blows when more power was required, so maybe the same is true of their spanish counterparts i.e. single handed swords, used sometimes for two handed blows.
Éirinn go Brách
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Dan Rosen




Location: Providence
Joined: 21 Jan 2010

Posts: 83

PostPosted: Mon 25 Oct, 2010 7:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd love to see the whole original passage before it was translated into English. There might have been an odd translation at some point.

If the passage as the original poster provided was drawn from a secondary or tertiary source, it could have been abbreviated or snipped from its original state.

-Dan Rosen

"One day there will be no more frontier, and men like you will go too."
View user's profile Send private message
Jerry Berg





Joined: 19 Oct 2010

Posts: 10

PostPosted: Mon 25 Oct, 2010 12:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://books.google.com/books?id=7M1o9g8MARgC...mp;f=false

Try that link to google books, otherwise, it is cited in the book Aztec Warfare by Hassig, quoting it from a conquistador named Antonio De Solis y Rivadeneyra. The whole quote is in the google book, so if the link doesn't work, try doing a Google Book search for it. The quote is in chapter one.

I'm trying to find the full account, but so far (after minimal searching) no luck.

-Jerry
View user's profile Send private message
Jerry Berg





Joined: 19 Oct 2010

Posts: 10

PostPosted: Tue 26 Oct, 2010 6:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, this is certainly disappointing. A simple Wikipedia account of the author shows that he wrote the book in1684, more than 100 years after the conquest. His account is not eyewitness, but a history; and so the scimitars and falchions he's talking about are the ones of 1684 Spain, not 1520's Spain... Sad

Guess my search for a Conquistador Falchion continues without a lead.

-Jerry
View user's profile Send private message
Nathan Robinson
myArmoury Admin


myArmoury Admin

PostPosted: Tue 26 Oct, 2010 9:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jerry Berg wrote:
Guess my search for a Conquistador Falchion continues without a lead.


I'd think for that period a falchion or cutlass of some sort is not unlikely... but a two-handed version of such? Not so sure about that.

.:. Visit my Collection Gallery :: View my Reading List :: View my Wish List :: See Pages I Like :: Find me on Facebook .:.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Iagoba Ferreira





Joined: 15 Sep 2008

Posts: 154

PostPosted: Tue 26 Oct, 2010 2:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Of the four quotes I found on Google, three had as source "Aztec Warfare", and the fourth, precisely "Aztec Warfare" itself, just had the name of Antonio de Solis. Supposing that the quote is from "Historia de la conquista, población y progresos de la América Septentrional, conocida por el nombre de Nueva España" that leaves us with two tomes, around 1000 pages to search Eek!

But Google Books is our friend Wink if we search a strange work like "pedernal" (flint in English). So the original text reads:

Quote:
Usaban [...] unas espadas largas que esgrimían a dos manos, al modo que se manejan nuestros montantes


So no scimitar, nor falchion: just a translator who didn't know what was a montante, which was a known weapon in Spain. Pacheco de Narvaéz, (+1640) in his posthumous work “Nueva Ciencia y Filosofía de la destreza de las armas” (1672) explains how to deal with it using a single sword and the "Verdadera Destreza" BTW: I recently made a PDF and uploaded it

Hint: Always go to the original quote, in the original language: "traduttore, traditore" Wink
View user's profile Send private message
Jerry Berg





Joined: 19 Oct 2010

Posts: 10

PostPosted: Mon 01 Nov, 2010 7:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks a bunch, Iagoba. The Montante was, in fact, a two-handed Iberian spear-breaker that gained popularity in the 16th and 17th century. It resembles nothing like a scimitar or falchion, but it's still pretty sweet.
-Jerry
View user's profile Send private message
Patrick De Block




Location: Belgium
Joined: 10 Aug 2008

Posts: 84

PostPosted: Mon 01 Nov, 2010 11:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Iagoba Ferreira, you wrote that you' uploaded a file on how to deal with the montante from Pacheco de Narvaéz. I've tried to download it but my browser says the file is damaged. Could you please have a look, I'm very interested. Thank you.
View user's profile Send private message
Stefan Toivonen




Location: Åbo, Finland
Joined: 25 Aug 2003

Posts: 47

PostPosted: Tue 02 Nov, 2010 12:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick De Block wrote:
Iagoba Ferreira, you wrote that you' uploaded a file on how to deal with the montante from Pacheco de Narvaéz. I've tried to download it but my browser says the file is damaged. Could you please have a look, I'm very interested. Thank you.


I just downloded it and it worked fine for me. But it's quite a large file, 82.7MB, so check your file size as it might have gotten cut off in the middle of the transfer.
View user's profile Send private message
Iagoba Ferreira





Joined: 15 Sep 2008

Posts: 154

PostPosted: Wed 03 Nov, 2010 1:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just right click the link and "save as..." it will take a time depending your band width, and its better this way than opening in a new window (as default links does).
View user's profile Send private message
Jerry Berg





Joined: 19 Oct 2010

Posts: 10

PostPosted: Thu 23 Feb, 2012 7:34 pm    Post subject: One-handed scimitar         Reply with quote

If anyone is curious, here is a picture that shows a one-handed scimitar. It is used in the book "A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies" by Bartolome De Las Casas in 1542. Now the book is from 1542, but I can guarantee that the drawings weren't made later for a later print of the book. Still, a scimitar...
http://evresourcesite.wikispaces.com/file/vie...desoto.jpg

-Jerry
View user's profile Send private message
José-Manuel Benito




Location: Medina del Campo, Spain
Joined: 25 Nov 2008
Likes: 2 pages
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 64

PostPosted: Fri 24 Feb, 2012 4:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You are talking about a native weapon that is so-called «Macuahuitl». The Macuahuitl was discussed in this toread (as said Nathan Robinson):
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=4928

"El macuáhuitl. Un arma del Posclásico Tardío en Mesoamérica", by Marco Cervera Obregón, in the journal Arqueología Mexicana, Special Issue: La guerra en Mesoamérica, Volume XIV, No. 84 (2007), Editorial Raíces, S. A. de C.V.


An epic picture from the film Apocalypto ©



Ecce, iam meum patrem video
Ecce, iam meam matrem video
Ecce, iam meas sorores ac meos fratres video
Ecce, iam meam gentem totam ab initio video
Ecce illi me iam vocant
Et illi me rogant meum locum inter se accipere
Apud Averni portas sunt
Ubi viri fortes æterne vivant
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address MSN Messenger
Jerry Berg





Joined: 19 Oct 2010

Posts: 10

PostPosted: Mon 02 Apr, 2012 9:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

No no, I'm talking about a Spanish falchion used by the Conquistadors, not any native weapon. It's a metal sword with a think and slightly curved blade.
The original reason for asking the question in the first place was because someone had a Deadliest Warrior fan-made matchup and they gave the conquistador a falchion. I wasn't sure they had them.
Since them, I've found a mention of the Falchion in the Conquistador handbook The Indian Militia and Description of the Indies by Bernardo de Vargas Machuca, and in the link posted above (though it turns out the print was made by the Dutch later on)

-Jerry
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Spanish Conquistador Falchion
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum