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Pedro Paulo Gaião




Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Joined: 14 Mar 2015

Posts: 262

PostPosted: Thu 21 Dec, 2017 5:22 pm    Post subject: Medieval Canon's Nomenclature         Reply with quote

Since I downloaded a famous manuscript about Kaiser Maximilian I's artillery train I became interested in the subject of how cannon-types were differentiated from each other, but I'm having some problems with some cannons called Serpentines, Basilisks, and Culverins.

Basilisks were known for having large barrels being breech-loaded. But can we consider shorter canons like this as basilisks?


A short reasearch on google doesn't clarify either, since the culverins are basically identical to the basilisks:



Other images: https://www.google.com.br/search?rlz=1C1AVNE_enBR678BR678&biw=1440&bih=794&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=V108Wr2pJcmowATE9obgAw&q=Serpentine+canon&oq=Serpentine+canon&gs_l=psy-ab.3...2231.3615.0.3924.5.5.0.0.0.0.193.735.0j5.5.0....0...1c.1.64.psy-ab..0.3.489...0i19k1.0.hdjQQOIsJvg#imgrc=6bRlVcex1yeddM:

My other questions is related to naval use of gunpowder between 14th to early 16th centuries: according to Ian Heath, quoting a series of franco-castillian raids in english coast, the Castillians were the first people to make use of gunpowder to throw rocks and iron balls at their ships. The Portuguese improved iberian and european tecnology to make the best offensive navy in the Great Discoveries, often using naval artillery to support the army fighting on land. However, some relevant updatings made at the School of Sagres were done by adopting other european tecnologies, like the flemmish invention of those rectangular "windows" in the lower levels of the ships (made somewhere by mid-15th century), which allowed the cannons to fire from bellow, thus stabilizing the ship's balance, which otherwise couldn't had to much artillery on the deck for that sake. This and a mention of the use of canonry in an early 16th Venetian-ottoman naval battle makes me wonder how popular was artillery in naval warfare. Do you know anything of these?

“Burn old wood, read old books, drink old wines, have old friends.”
Alfonso X, King of Castile (1221-84)
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Iagoba Ferreira





Joined: 15 Sep 2008

Posts: 153

PostPosted: Thu 21 Dec, 2017 10:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The terminology in period Spanish is rich and very confusing.

For ship artillery, check naval requirements, there are several from the XVth-XVIth centuries, I'll try to share them.
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Lafayette C Curtis




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

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Sat 03 Mar, 2018 10:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Try buying a copy of John Guilmartin's "Gunpowder and Galleys." He's rather weak on land warfare but his work on Renaissance naval warfare pretty much sets the standard in the field.
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