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Gregory J. Liebau




Location: Dinuba, CA
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PostPosted: Sun 25 Oct, 2015 12:32 pm    Post subject: Late 16th Cen. Infantry Swords         Reply with quote

Hello folks,

I'm looking for information about the types of swords carried by infantry during the later decades of the 16th century. I'm specifically interested in details about swords used in South and Central Europe (Italy, the Balkans, and within the Austrian Empire), but I figure that as a whole the topic can be suitable for including all of Europe.

If you have any artistic depictions, literary evidence or surviving weapons to share, it would all be appreciated! Thanks in advance.

- Gregory
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Shahril Dzulkifli




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PostPosted: Mon 26 Oct, 2015 5:24 am    Post subject: Late 16th Cen. Infantry Swords         Reply with quote

I am not sure where to find information on late 16th century infantry swords.
But I bet there's someone here who can do that, Gregory.

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David Cooper




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PostPosted: Mon 26 Oct, 2015 6:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The schiavona would be a candidate, as would the Italian falchion, many and varied hangers, complex hilted broad swords and rapiers. The list is pretty extensive.
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Gregory J. Liebau




Location: Dinuba, CA
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PostPosted: Mon 26 Oct, 2015 6:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David,

Of the schiavona and storta I am already aware, as well as the dussage, all of which apply most immediately to my interests in Eastern and Southern European blades. However, for the sake of historical inquiry, I'm looking for particular examples of these styles of sword that exhibit features that denote their viability for use by infantry, as well as of literary and pictorial evidence that establishes their use by infantry with conviction. It's easy to suggest that a lot of styles of weapons were suitable for infantry use - but that does not mean that they necessarily were, or how commonplace their use was in practice.

So, any more particular evidence would be great! I'm aware that the Zeughaus armoury in Graz is stocked full of short dussages that were likely used by infantrymen in the Austro-Hungarian armies of the 16th & 17th centuries, and I know that the schiavona in its early form (prior to the use of advanced basket-hilts) was popular among the Croatian Oskuks, who fought mainly as guerilla infantry and boatmen. Other than that, I lack the specifics that I am looking for to further the discussion... Cheers!

-Gregory
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 26 Oct, 2015 11:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gregory,

I wish I had some research to share with you, but I don't. I'm reminded of hilt styles like the one shown here from the Pallazzo Ducale, Venice, Italy. You can find other examples of similar styles in the fantastic flickr photo albums by Carl Koppeschaar.

The image below is one of his photos and shows a hilt style that might serve as a progenitor to the schiavona. They were created, and stored, in great numbers and are of a style consistent with infantry types of weapons. Again, I realize this is not evidence nor research but I mention it to perhaps pique your interest and give you an additional starting point.



 Attachment: 1004.4 KB
Swords-from-Pallazzo-Ducale-Venice-Italy.png


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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Mon 26 Oct, 2015 11:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Those are interesting swords, Nathan. On one side there is a finger ring, and sort of a half finger ring/barb on the other. I wonder about its purpose - to bind or snag the other sword?

Were katzbalgers still being used in the late 16th century?

This is presented as a later 16th century sword - http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=315...katzbalger

An Austrian estoc from 1580 - http://antiqueweaponstore.com/Rare%20Styrian%...201580.htm
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 26 Oct, 2015 12:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you haven't already done it, make a pot of coffee, put on a diaper and settle in to Karl Koppeschaar's albums. Just pick the museum to match your geographic interest and have at it: https://www.flickr.com/photos/98015679@N04/albums

For sure, there are good Italian examples in there.

The Graz Landeszeughaus is a south Austrian armoury frozen at pretty much your period of interest. There are probably thousands of plain infantry swords there, so browse online to see what turns up.

Derrick shows a couple of different infantry sword types in his "Image of Ireland" work of 1580.

A type with a globular pommel, straight cross and simple side ring is just visible on the hips of the musketeers at left in this image: http://www.docs.is.ed.ac.uk/docs/lib-archive/...60_jpg.htm

The same type is shown on cavalry here: http://www.docs.is.ed.ac.uk/docs/lib-archive/...59_jpg.htm

Simple arming swords here: http://www.docs.is.ed.ac.uk/docs/lib-archive/...57_jpg.htm

-Sean

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 26 Oct, 2015 12:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
Were katzbalgers still being used in the late 16th century?


Yes, absolutely.

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Doug Lester




Location: Decatur, IL
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PostPosted: Mon 26 Oct, 2015 12:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You can try Ewart Oakeshott's European Weapons and Armour. It has a chapter on 17th Century swords. Several types mentioned are the Walloon hilt, Sinclair hilts and basket hilted swords such as the mortuary sword, claymore, and schiavona hilts.

I would not consider a rapier a military weapon. Not that they may not have been carried on occasions, just not by anyone who foresaw having to use one.

Doug
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Gregory J. Liebau




Location: Dinuba, CA
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PostPosted: Tue 27 Oct, 2015 11:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for chiming in, fellows! The photo galleries that Carl Koppeschaar has posted are almost extraordinary - I just wish there were more shots of the information cards at some of the places! Really a lot to mull over, now that I've got so much more material to consider, especially from Venice. Cheers!

-Gregory
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Wed 28 Oct, 2015 2:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gregory J. Liebau wrote:
Thanks for chiming in, fellows! The photo galleries that Carl Koppeschaar has posted are almost extraordinary - I just wish there were more shots of the information cards at some of the places! Really a lot to mull over, now that I've got so much more material to consider, especially from Venice. Cheers!

-Gregory


Frankly, I've felt guilty I couldn't provide more context. Hopefuly there's enough value in a starting point to justify the interruption. I get the impression there's a long line of information to chase.

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