Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Can anyone tell me about 16th Portuguese arms and armour? Reply to topic
This is a standard topic Go to page 1, 2  Next 
Author Message
Nathan Johnson




Location: Australia
Joined: 05 Apr 2008

Posts: 41

PostPosted: Sun 04 Mar, 2012 2:48 am    Post subject: Can anyone tell me about 16th Portuguese arms and armour?         Reply with quote

My brother recently joined the group i'm in and I'm not sure but I get he felling he might like to bring his fiance
along at some point, problem is she's Indonesian.

He doesn't really mind what persona or gear I give him and the group's time period is 1st quarter of the 16thC so
I was thinking the only way I could work this was if any one asked he could be Portuguese

Anyway I Know next to nothing about Portuguese arms and armour and my searches keep finding food Confused

basically what I need to know is:
Is it similar to Spanish?( ie:could you get away with using Spanish gear as stand in)
or is it a whole other style?
Could he use a Montante?( he really likes two handed swords)
Did Portuguese who traveled to Southeast Asia change or use some equipment more than was usual
( like the conquistadors in the Americas) or did it remain the same.

this whole thing might never be necessary but would be good to be prepared, and fun to do something different.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
William Carew




Location: Australia
Joined: 23 Aug 2003
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 154

PostPosted: Mon 05 Mar, 2012 2:06 am    Post subject: Re: Can anyone tell me about 16th Portuguese arms and armou         Reply with quote

Nathan Johnson wrote:

Is it similar to Spanish?( ie:could you get away with using Spanish gear as stand in)


Possibly. Spain and Portugal have always had a lot of cross cultural interaction and influence and their material cultures were similar. Also, remember the union between the Portuguese and Spanish thrones between 1580 (i.e. late 16thC) and 1640.

Quote:
Could he use a Montante?( he really likes two handed swords)


Absolutely. The montante was a characteristically Iberian weapon, originating in the 15th or 16th centuries and still in use in the 17th and it was shared between the Spanish (where is is also called a mandoble) and the Portuguese.

Quote:
Did Portuguese who traveled to Southeast Asia change or use some equipment more than was usual
( like the conquistadors in the Americas) or did it remain the same.


This I'm not sure about. One thing to consider: if the Jogo do Pau guys are to be believed, the staff was a characteristically Portuguese weapon and sidearm, even for noblemen, from the 16th century onward. As such, even if a montante might not have been common in Southeast Asia, you could probably get away with carrying a staff (and perhaps a rapier or sidesword).

Bill Carew
Jogo do Pau Brisbane
COLLEGIUM IN ARMIS
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
José-Manuel Benito




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

Posts: 64

PostPosted: Mon 05 Mar, 2012 6:15 am    Post subject: Re: Can anyone tell me about 16th Portuguese arms and armou         Reply with quote

Nathan Johnson wrote:
Could he use a Montante?( he really likes two handed swords)


Viterbo, Francisco Marques Sousa [Viterbo]. A esgrima em Portugal. Subsidios para a sua historia. [Memorial Da Prattica do Montante Que inclue dezaseis regras simplez, e dezaseis Compostas : Dado em Alcantara Ao Serenissimo Principe Dom Thodozio q. Ds. g.de Pello Diogo Gomes de Figueyredo, em 10 de mayo de 1651. Tratado das liçoens da espada preta, e destreza, que hão de usar os jogadores della por Thomaz Luiz]. Lisboa : Manoel Gomes, [1899]

Tratado das liçoens da espada preta, de Thomas Luis - Edición crítica por: Manuel Valle Ortiz, Tomás González Ahola, Ton Puey, Jaime Girona.

Regards

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
Matthew P. Adams




Location: Cape Cod, MA
Joined: 08 Dec 2008
Likes: 8 pages

Posts: 456

PostPosted: Mon 05 Mar, 2012 9:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

HA!

I actually clicked on this link after seeing the title and hoping for a Montante discussion!

"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
View user's profile Send private message
Vincent C




Location: Northern VA
Joined: 24 Aug 2009

Posts: 83

PostPosted: Mon 05 Mar, 2012 10:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Portuguese were in Malaysia during the early 1500's. The controlled Makassar and Timor in indonesia, and also had control of the Maluku islands. All before 1520.

If he wants to carry a montante, a good kit would probably include:
-A breasplate with shoulder and extended leg protection, possibly reaching and covering the knees.
-An open-faced burgonet helm or cheek-plated morionesk helm, both WITHOUT a high crest (assuming he wants to be able to fight multiple opponents effectively using Godhino's rules of the montante).
-Either long gauntlets (almost to the elbow) or full arm protection.

A crossbow (rarely, usually only in advantuer duties). I don't think montante wielders typically carried harquebuse. The richer ones during later periods carried pistols. I don't know about that in the early 1500's though

If he has a montante, chances are he doesn't have rapier. Not for any class or monetary reasons, simply because in battle he would most likely be staring down multiple opponents, so an arming sword would allow him to better defend against multiple aggressors, and allow for more money to spend on his montante.

The Iberian system does have plays for fighting with two swords to defend vs. multiple opponents, but I have yet to hear or read of people actually carrying two into battle, chances are they would grab the second sword from the battlefield. a buckler or parrying dagger would be more common as a secondary.

If he's in Indonesia with a montante, chances are he's either a guard, advantuer, or heavy infantry(front, standard guardsman, or flanks).

Honor, compassion, knowledge.
View user's profile Send private message
William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,432

PostPosted: Mon 05 Mar, 2012 11:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

and id like to add another question while were on the topic of 16th century gear.
what was the armour style worn by partuguese and spanish, particularly the heavy lanncer cavalry not unlike the gendarmes.
and did that armour have a particular style? (like greenwich, gothic, maximillian, and milanese armour styles)
but what other styles were used once gothic and milanese fell out of use?
was the spanish cavalry armour the same as the armour a french gendarme might have?
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Gottfried P. Doerler




Location: Tyrol, Austria
Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Likes: 4 pages

Posts: 228

PostPosted: Tue 06 Mar, 2012 10:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

hm, never heard of the montante Worried

is this just the iberian expression for "twohanded sword" or is it a different style, if yes, what are the charakteristics, what does it differentiate from german "zweihänder" or italian "spadone a due mani" ?
and does maybe someone have a photo illustrating the point?

lg
View user's profile Send private message
Kurt Scholz





Joined: 09 Dec 2008

Posts: 390

PostPosted: Tue 06 Mar, 2012 10:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think these Portuguese had small crews on their ships with professional marines.
Since the siege of Lisbon Portugal and England have good connections, including English longbowmen in Portuguese armies. Neither should you underestimate the crossbow that played much longer a more important role in naval than in land warfare as are liable infantry weapon. The African crossbow is a direct offspring of maritime, likely Portuguese, influence http://www.diaspora.uiuc.edu/A-AAnewsletter/newsletter16.html .
David Nicolle writes in his Medieval Sourcebooks about cotton armour in especially Latin American and African context. Add to this that the Portuguese first took part in the West African gold trade and later on added East African slave soldiers, so they were very likely influenced by African warfare, especially bodyarmour if I understand that correctly.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Macau
is a good point to start your search.
Richard J. Garrett, The Defences of Macau: Forts, Ships and Weapons Over 450 Years. Hong Kong University Press, 2010.
Will contribute you much information and further links
View user's profile Send private message
Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

Posts: 580

PostPosted: Tue 06 Mar, 2012 2:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gottfried, the montante has been getting a little bit of publicity lately around there. you are right it is a sword that's terminology fits a description of "two hander" however i've been looking into a few and finding design difference.

a montante is like a slender two hander with short parrierhaken and limited ricasso between those and the guillions unlike it's german cousin. heres a few pics below of what a montante looks like

it's kind of vague as to how these swords were used. weather they were actual war swords or something more personal such as a dueling weapon. i've been going after information on them for a while but my job has switched over to night shift so there's actually very little i'm getting done right now with them.



 Attachment: 72.74 KB
2_handers_cam_113.jpg


 Attachment: 25.43 KB
284.jpg

View user's profile Send private message
Vincent C




Location: Northern VA
Joined: 24 Aug 2009

Posts: 83

PostPosted: Tue 06 Mar, 2012 8:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is going to get reeeeeeally long, and I'm sorry. The montante is something I've been focusing on recently, and I like talking about it.

Quote:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think these Portuguese had small crews on their ships with professional marines.


Yes they did, there's an interesting account of a portuguese ship being attacked by (thai I believe?) pirates, and two brothers with montante held the upper deck while the others armed themselves beneath deck. One of the brothers wasn't feeling so well, and when it looked like he was going to be captured, jumped overboard with his sword and drowned. The other one lived and the other soldiers were able to push the pirates back. I can get a source for this by next sunday, I don't remember it at the moment and can't contact the person who showed it to me.

Quote:
it's kind of vague as to how these swords were used.


Yes and no. Some manuscripts have been fully or somewhat interpreted, some haven't even been translated yet.

There are many, many manuscripts detailing its use, but curranty most of them are still in interpretation. The montante was used by non-formation fighting troops to engage and kill multiple opponents, they were used to defend people and standards, attack rioters, defend buildings, and assault formations. They were also used by dueling weapons.

The montante was wielded arms straight, pommel almost always in line with the body between hips, where power was centered. Static blocks are virtually non-existent, because they tend to lead to a swift and hilarious death when engaging groups and using a polearm sized sword. Beats and displacements figure heavily into it's use, using both body position and the swords leverage to control your opponent's weapon.

The Godhino, Anonymous, and the two Figueyredo manuscripts (there are others, and some non-iberian material, but these are the Iberian ones I have experience with) detail the Iberian methods of surviving prolonged combat with the montante very well, and the practitioners of verdadera destreza emphasize that fighting someone who's armed with the montante to be extremely dangerous. I can safely say, from both being the wielder and in the lines being test-assaulted while testing some of the Iberian rules, that fighting someone with a montante is a pain in the neck. And montante vs. montante is more like "the battle of confusing oversized rapiers" than anything else.

There are details to defend from resting position (point down on the ground, standing at attention), fighting on a rowing ship, alleyways, narrow and wide streets, separating combatants, defending fallen people/goods, escorting people, being attacked from in front and behind, fighting while completely surrounded, keeping a crowed from surrounding you, breaking into shield and pike lines, and general methods of combat. And these are just the ones that have been interpreted, there a bunch more.

Quote:
a montante is like a slender two hander with short parrierhaken and limited ricasso between those and the guillions unlike it's german cousin


Yah, they're similar to large type XIX with extended ricassos, and parrying hooks that leave just enough room for your hand between them and the cross guard. It makes them nasty and quick, while still having the mass and strength to really smack something without significant trauma to the blade.

I love those montante form Cleveland museum of art, and would really like to see them in person. The Philadelphia museum of art doesn't have any montante (that I know of) but they have some examples of Spanish armor (Like the one in the middle: http://www.myArmoury.com/albums/displayimage....amp;pos=0) that would have been used during the 16th century,

If you want some more info, there's some stuff here too. http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=16442 montante discussion shows up in the later parts of the article.

Here are some more montante (there can never be enough), you can really see the ricasso/blade thickness differences on the one. The reason montante look different from each other is that they were too expensive to mass produce, so they tend to be unique to the smith and purchaser.

Quote:
so they were very likely influenced by African warfare, especially bodyarmour if I understand that correctly.


Interesting you should mention this, I've seen examples of heavily padded spanish armor-clothing, usually sleeveless, like a really long shouldered vest. I don't know if they did this themselves, or are indeed learning from African warfare like you said. (I can see trekking anywhere hot and humid in half plate getting old real fast). I believe the time period it was worn is contemporary with the era at hand though.

Hope this massive info-brick helps.



 Attachment: 57.54 KB
There are three montante in this picture. [ Download ]

 Attachment: 43.64 KB
A personal favorite of mine. [ Download ]

Honor, compassion, knowledge.
View user's profile Send private message
Gottfried P. Doerler




Location: Tyrol, Austria
Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Likes: 4 pages

Posts: 228

PostPosted: Thu 08 Mar, 2012 1:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

thats very informative, thanks a lot for your time.

the montante really is a faszinating weapon, and an eye-candy with these long, slender and elegant lines Happy .
View user's profile Send private message
Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

Posts: 580

PostPosted: Sun 11 Mar, 2012 12:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vincent, ah finally someone else how i may be able to pick their brain about the Montante sword once i get back into the swing of things (2 more weeks of night shift), the cleveland swords are fairly near to where i live and hopefully i get go out and get a close look at them this summer.

i got some information on one and after i put together some sketches i was quick to notice that not only are these swords elegant, but they are quick and have a pretty good smack to them. most of the pictures i've been able to track down all seem to have a hexagonal cross section which i believe attributes to a good concentration of mass even with a slender blade.

"There are many, many manuscripts detailing its use, but currant most of them are still in interpretation. The montante was used by non-formation fighting troops to engage and kill multiple opponents, they were used to defend people and standards, attack rioters, defend buildings, and assault formations. They were also used by dueling weapons."

I was coming to this conclusion Vincent - some of these swords are highly decorated (yet also battle damaged) which seems to tell that they've had a higher role. not just a standard issue warring weapon, its much more an individual weapon that saw some kind of action. i was forwarded a few videos from another forum member showing the interpretations on it's use and it truly looks like a versatile weapon.

i wish the market had something that i could get my hands on to better understand the weapon, but everything i look at still needs to be heavily modified to fit the dimensions i have gathered up.
View user's profile Send private message
Eric S




Location: new orleans
Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Sun 11 Mar, 2012 3:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Portuguese of that period used matchlock firearms, it was the Portuguese that brought the matchlock to Japan in 1543.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,432

PostPosted: Sun 11 Mar, 2012 11:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

what do we know about portuguese aventurros
in the game medieval 2 total war, they appear as high end pikemen, as being a bunch of brash young nobles i.e adventurers

what records do we have regarding them
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Vincent C




Location: Northern VA
Joined: 24 Aug 2009

Posts: 83

PostPosted: Mon 12 Mar, 2012 1:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In the portuguese military, advanturers were forward-deployed non-formation fighting troops. The montante is used by these troops more than most others, simply because they were typically outnumbered, they had room to use them effectively, and you can only fire a crossbow or gun so many times before they figure out where you are and attack. Advanturers overseas were more likely to have less armor than their continental counterparts, I forget why.

If not a montante, similar but less expensive weapons would be the flail (fully extended, it was only slightly smaller than the montante, at least the ones covered in verdadera destreza) or a halberd. I would personally prefer the montante because I can use it more effectively up close than a halberd (I found it difficult to fight once they get inside the axe head), that said halberds terrify me. I have little idea how the flail was actually used, though such manuscripts exist.

Those long quillons are seriously useful in grappling, assuming it ever comes to that, and it shouldn't when using the montante, but it does happen. The extended ricasso comes in handy too.

I personally would think using a pike for non-formation tactics would be a very bad idea.

As time progressed there was a trend, in Spain a lot more than Portugal, where the base of the montante was less wide. Consequently you have some later period montante that look more like rapiers, these were used exclusively for dueling. So when looking at historical examples keep this in mind. Typical battle montante were usually around 1.5" wide at the base.

Honor, compassion, knowledge.
View user's profile Send private message
William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,432

PostPosted: Thu 15 Mar, 2012 12:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vincent C wrote:
In the portuguese military, advanturers were forward-deployed non-formation fighting troops. The montante is used by these troops more than most others, simply because they were typically outnumbered, they had room to use them effectively, and you can only fire a crossbow or gun so many times before they figure out where you are and attack. Advanturers overseas were more likely to have less armor than their continental counterparts, I forget why.

If not a montante, similar but less expensive weapons would be the flail (fully extended, it was only slightly smaller than the montante, at least the ones covered in verdadera destreza) or a halberd. I would personally prefer the montante because I can use it more effectively up close than a halberd (I found it difficult to fight once they get inside the axe head), that said halberds terrify me. I have little idea how the flail was actually used, though such manuscripts exist.

Those long quillons are seriously useful in grappling, assuming it ever comes to that, and it shouldn't when using the montante, but it does happen. The extended ricasso comes in handy too.

I personally would think using a pike for non-formation tactics would be a very bad idea.

As time progressed there was a trend, in Spain a lot more than Portugal, where the base of the montante was less wide. Consequently you have some later period montante that look more like rapiers, these were used exclusively for dueling. So when looking at historical examples keep this in mind. Typical battle montante were usually around 1.5" wide at the base.


thats the thing, they wernt presented as loose formation troops, but instead they were presented as being a unit of dense pike troops.

but thats interesting that they were of a completely differnt usage than what the game presents.. then again it is a game
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

Posts: 580

PostPosted: Sun 18 Mar, 2012 11:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i get hooked on that game almost every winter since i got it. but i wouldn't put too much faith in much historical accuracy in it.

if you want to find out some ideas of what a Advanturer was like, check out this video i found (if the link works correctly)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ol_ozXTH8_U&feature=related

there was another that i had found on youtube of one man armed with montante that was fending off 3 attackers each from different positions.

i was able to track down a document since vincent's post earlier, after reading it. and watching a few videos about it. anyone with a montante - means serious business.
View user's profile Send private message
Steve Hick




Location: United States
Joined: 28 May 2009

Posts: 46

PostPosted: Tue 20 Mar, 2012 12:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Can anyone tell me about 16th Portuguese arms and armou         Reply with quote

William Carew wrote:
Nathan Johnson wrote:

Is it similar to Spanish?( ie:could you get away with using Spanish gear as stand in)


Possibly. Spain and Portugal have always had a lot of cross cultural interaction and influence and their material cultures were similar. Also, remember the union between the Portuguese and Spanish thrones between 1580 (i.e. late 16thC) and 1640.

Quote:
Could he use a Montante?( he really likes two handed swords)


Absolutely. The montante was a characteristically Iberian weapon, originating in the 15th or 16th centuries and still in use in the 17th and it was shared between the Spanish (where is is also called a mandoble) and the Portuguese.

Quote:
Did Portuguese who traveled to Southeast Asia change or use some equipment more than was usual
( like the conquistadors in the Americas) or did it remain the same.


This I'm not sure about. One thing to consider: if the Jogo do Pau guys are to be believed, the staff was a characteristically Portuguese weapon and sidearm, even for noblemen, from the 16th century onward. As such, even if a montante might not have been common in Southeast Asia, you could probably get away with carrying a staff (and perhaps a rapier or sidesword).


OO, my favorite weapon.....

We have records much like the one Vincent recalls ((that one is from Siam, I believe, you saw it from Matt) from Calcut and from Brazil of montante users fighting stupid amounts of folks.

Nothing from Japan or China yet. Or Africa either for the Portuguese. The Spanish (and maybe the Portuguese) used a variation of jineta armor and equipment combined with new world cotton armor in the American southwest, no reason to not use that elsewhere. Experience showed mail was not good against stone projectiles and the cotton armor was lighter and cooler. While not Montante, they would be armed with arquebus, sword, adarga and this composite armor.

On the JdP, the source is Rue Simoes dissertation. Which I have not read. However, the use of the staff from the 17th century (or is it the 1700s) seems to me to be related to the local peasant gentry and not the nobles. If someone can get Simoes dissertation, let me know....

Steve

Steve

Steve Hick
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Wed 21 Mar, 2012 1:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Can anyone tell me about 16th Portuguese arms and armou         Reply with quote

Nathan Johnson wrote:
My brother recently joined the group i'm in and I'm not sure but I get he felling he might like to bring his fiance
along at some point, problem is she's Indonesian.


I'm tempted to ask: what does she look like? Indonesia includes a Goddamned huge array of ethnicities, some of which look quite Chinese (or are Chinese) while some others may pass for (surprise, surprise) Native Americans. So, depending on what your sister-in-law looks like, he doesn't have to be a Portuguese-who-brought-a-wife-back-from-these-parts or something like that.
View user's profile Send private message
Benjamin H. Abbott




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 28 Feb 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,188

PostPosted: Sun 26 Aug, 2012 3:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vincent C wrote:
I personally would think using a pike for non-formation tactics would be a very bad idea.


Period manuals suggest otherwise. Meyer, Mair, Silver, di Grassi, and others cover single combat with the pike. Silver gave the full 18ft pike odds over all weapons shorter than his perfect length of 8-9ft. Manciolino recommend long weapons over the short ones, recommend the spear (lancia, basically a pike though not necessarily 16-18ft in length) over shorter staff weapons. Now, pikes indeed have trouble against multiple foes out of formation - Silver made this clear - but they're still plenty in deadly in loose skirmishing. Pierre Terrail, the famous Chevalier de Bayard, defended a bridge-head armed only with a pike, killing at least three of his adversaries in the process.

Read my historically inspired fantasy fiction in here. I walk along a winding path set by Ludovico Ariosto, William Morris, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Ursula Le Guin.

Out of doubt, out of dark to the day's rising
I came singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
To hope's end I rode and to heart's breaking:
Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red nightfall!
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Can anyone tell me about 16th Portuguese arms and armour?
Page 1 of 2 Reply to topic
Go to page 1, 2  Next 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