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Rodolfo Martínez




Location: Argentina
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PostPosted: Tue 16 Jan, 2007 9:49 am    Post subject: Malta Knights         Reply with quote

Hello Gentlemen,
I was searching in the net for Malta Knights´ full armour and weaponry pictures and i only found a few ones. So, if anyone knows a site in wich i could find any picture of them i´ll be very gratefull.

Thanks to all.

¨Sólo me desenvainarás por honor y nunca me envainarás sin gloria¨
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Richard Fay




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PostPosted: Tue 16 Jan, 2007 10:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello all!

Rodolfo,

Have you tried searching for Knight's Hospitaller? Are you interested in the armour from Rhodes? The Knights of Malta were the Knights Hospitaller, and they were once famously headquartered at Rhodes. There are several well-known armour from Rhodes.

I hope this helped!

Stay safe!

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Rodolfo Martínez




Location: Argentina
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PostPosted: Tue 16 Jan, 2007 11:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks a lot Mr. Fay.
Recently I heard that Hospitaller Knights of Malta used two handed swords for foot combat (Please correct me if i´m wrong). Did Teutonic knights used to fight with two handers too?
Thanks

¨Sólo me desenvainarás por honor y nunca me envainarás sin gloria¨
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Jan, 2007 6:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It depends on which century. If it's the 16th century, their probable association with Landsknecht reinforcements/mercenaries might have caused them to adopt the zweihander. I don't think all of them would have done so, though, since neither did the Knights of Malta. Primary accounts of the sieges of both Malta and Rhodes have them fighting with a variety weapon including swords, maces, and axes in the defense of the fortifications.
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Rodolfo Martínez




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Jan, 2007 7:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So, maybe Two handed swords were more like an ¨officer¨ weapon, weren´t them?
If Hospitallers still used longswords during XVI century, Were two handed swords less common or popular than longswords between those knights becouse they were expensive, or for a matter of versatility?

¨Sólo me desenvainarás por honor y nunca me envainarás sin gloria¨
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Richard Fay




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Jan, 2007 8:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello all!

Rodolfo,

I thought you might like to read what I found about the arms and armour of the Knights of Malta, circa 1565, as listed in The Monks of War by Desmond Seward. I'm not sure how completely accurate this information is, but it's interesting. It might help with the discussion of the arms and armour of the Knights of Malta, if nothing else. (The emphasis is mine.)

Desmond Seward wrote:

Militia and mercenaries fought as pikemen or arquebusiers, though all carried swords. The mercenaries, as professionals, were armoured with high-crested morion helmets, "breast-and-back" and tassets (articulated thigh plates). Militia had only helmets and leather jerkins. Their knight officers carried sword and dagger, the former a broadsword or rapier, though some brethren preferred the great German two-hander. A few may have had the hand buckler, a small shield with a spike. On the walls many wielded hooked halberds or boarding pikes. "Harness" was still an advantage in hand-to-hand combat; most brethren must have worn armatura de piede, half-armour for fighting on foot, while some wore a thickened "bullet-proof" breastplate, others the brigantine of metal-studded cloth. Over all was the scarlet sopravest, the battle habit, something like a herald's tabard, its great white cross squre-ended instead of eight-pointed. The Grand Master's sopravest was cloth-of-gold.


This is what's said about the Rhodes armour in Knight Hospitaller (2) 1306-1565 by David Nicolle:
David Nicolle wrote:

The armour, some of it far from new, which the Hospitallers abandoned at Rhodes in 1522, mostly consists of what would today be called munitions equipment. Very few of these items are of particularly high quality and they tend to destroy some romantic images of the medieval knight. Nor does it have the uniformity characteristic of medieval illustrations of armoured men. Instead the collection consists of a mixture of shapes, sizes and styles, some decorated but mostly plain, and almost none of it very shiny or new when being used.

...the Rhodes armour is particularly important because it is ordinary military kit rather than the splendid examples of the armourer's art that are found in many great museums. It seems to have been the remains of a large arsenal largely ignored by the Turks because these objects were not the sort of things used by Ottoman soldiers. The remains included no weapons, however, because these we re-used. The largest number of the pieces of armour were made in northern Italy, while others came from Germany, Flanders, France, England, and Iberia. However, identification is largely based on style, since only a few objects had identifiable armourers' marks.


The same work by Nicolle shows a photo of the Master of the Order of St. John and two knights from a wall painting by Giuilio Romano in the Raphael Rooms of the Vatican, painted after 1523. The knights wear loose-fitting clothes over their armour.

I hope this helped!

Stay safe!

"I'm going to do what the warriors of old did! I'm going to recite poetry!"
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Marco Signore





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PostPosted: Thu 18 Jan, 2007 4:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rodolfo Martínez wrote:
Thanks a lot Mr. Fay.
Recently I heard that Hospitaller Knights of Malta used two handed swords for foot combat (Please correct me if i´m wrong). Did Teutonic knights used to fight with two handers too?
Thanks


They used longswords for foot combat, that were used (at that time) with two hands. The two-handed sword was used mainly against pike formation and mainly by Landsknecht forces which, as far as I know, had little or no involvement in the affairs of the Monk Warriors of Malta; however it is beyond doubt that at least one German knight in Malta MAY have used the two-hander as his weapon of choice.
The same applies, as far as I know, for the Teutonic Knights. While the use of a warsword with two hands in known since the XIII century (there are at least two evidences in illuminated manuscripts of that time), this does not mean that the "zweihander" appeared around that time - at least not the one with the ricasso that we commonly associate with the Landsknecht. Sure, "proper" two-handed swords are known at least since 1300, but I think that most knights used a "hand and half" sword (also called "bastard"), which is wielded mainly with two hands.
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Thu 18 Jan, 2007 5:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Didn't the Holy Roman Empire send substantial reinforcements to Rhodes and Malta at the time of the respective sieges? These forces might conceivably have hontained a proportion of Landsknechts beside other mercenaries.
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Colin F.




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PostPosted: Thu 18 Jan, 2007 8:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've got a book called 'The Armoury of the Knights' which I bought in Malta the christmas before last, in which I remember it mentioning the use of both two handed and long swords by the knights. Also, in the Armoury in Valetta, there are two longswords there which were said to have been in the possession of the knights since they're making.

If you want to see some pictures of the Armoury and various weapons there, I put this thread with a few pics on swordforum.

http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread.php?t...ight=Malta

hope that is interesting if nothing else Happy

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Richard Fay




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PostPosted: Thu 18 Jan, 2007 9:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Marco Signore wrote:

While the use of a warsword with two hands in known since the XIII century (there are at least two evidences in illuminated manuscripts of that time), this does not mean that the "zweihander" appeared around that time - at least not the one with the ricasso that we commonly associate with the Landsknecht. Sure, "proper" two-handed swords are known at least since 1300, but I think that most knights used a "hand and half" sword (also called "bastard"), which is wielded mainly with two hands.


Marco,

You are quite right that the distinctive two-handed sword, the "zweihander" with lugs and ricasso, didn't appear until later, but is appears that two-handed swords of a simpler type were indeed used in medieval Europe. These two-handed swords were seen as a distinct type, although they were basically oversized examples of the standard sword types of the time.

Please check out this thread in regard to early two-handed swords:

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

Stay safe!

"I'm going to do what the warriors of old did! I'm going to recite poetry!"
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William Knight




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PostPosted: Thu 18 Jan, 2007 10:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Does anyone have info on a book about the Rhodes Armoury?
-Will


Last edited by William Knight on Thu 18 Jan, 2007 10:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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Marco Signore





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PostPosted: Thu 18 Jan, 2007 10:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Richard Fay wrote:
Marco Signore wrote:

Sure, "proper" two-handed swords are known at least since 1300, but I think that most knights used a "hand and half" sword (also called "bastard"), which is wielded mainly with two hands.


Marco,

You are quite right that the distinctive two-handed sword, the "zweihander" with lugs and ricasso, didn't appear until later, but is appears that two-handed swords of a simpler type were indeed used in medieval Europe. These two-handed swords were seen as a distinct type, although they were basically oversized examples of the standard sword types of the time.

Please check out this thread in regard to early two-handed swords:

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

Stay safe!


Right, and this is what I wrote in the text quoted... it is interesting how this form of weapon was developed relatively early; could this be to tackle with "infantry" such as the infamous godendag?
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Richard Fay




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PostPosted: Thu 18 Jan, 2007 12:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William Knight wrote:
Does anyone have info on a book about the Rhodes Armoury?
-Will


William,

There was at least one book devoted to the armour from the Rhodes Armoury, this work:

The Medieval Armour From Rhodes by Walter J. Karcheski Jr., Thom Richardson, Walter Karcheski, Paula Turner.

There appears to be one copy available on Amazon.com, but it's not cheap. Furthermore, it is out of stock at Boydell & Brewer's (the publishers) website.

Below is an image from the publisher's web site showing one of the Rhodes Armours (this photo also appears in the Osprey book Knight Hospitaller (2) 1306-1565 by David Nicolle).

Hope this helped!

Stay safe!



 Attachment: 10.86 KB
rarms4.jpg
Rhodes armour.

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Last edited by Richard Fay on Thu 18 Jan, 2007 12:22 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Thu 18 Jan, 2007 12:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Richard Fay wrote:
There was at least one book devoted to the armour from the Rhodes Armoury, this work:

The Medieval Armour From Rhodes by Walter J. Karcheski Jr., Thom Richardson, Walter Karcheski, Paula Turner.


I highly recommend this book.

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Richard Fay




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PostPosted: Thu 18 Jan, 2007 4:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rodolfo Martínez wrote:
So, maybe Two handed swords were more like an ¨officer¨ weapon, weren´t them?
If Hospitallers still used longswords during XVI century, Were two handed swords less common or popular than longswords between those knights becouse they were expensive, or for a matter of versatility?


Rodolfo,

I took another look through the book The Monks of War by Desmond Seward and found an incident that you might appreciate. I'll just quote it as an excerpt. It mentions the use of a two-handed sword during the battle for St. Elmo during the Seige of Malta of 1565:

Desmond Seward wrote:

Just before light the soldiers of Christ took up their positions; there were only sixty left. The senior officers, Eguarras, "Colonel Mas", and a Captain Miranda were too badly wounded to stand, so they sat, Eguaras weak from loss of blood and Miranda horribly scorched by wildfire, in chairs at the main breach, Mas, whose leg was smashed by bullet wounds, sitting on a log. At six a.m. the entire Turkish army attacked; even galleys sailed in to bombard the stinking mound of rubble and rotting corpses, regardless of fire from St. Angelo. Yet for four hours the defenders answered them with guns and grenades, until at last they stormed in. Juan de Eguaras, hurled from his chair, jumped up with a boarding pike before a scimitar took his head off, while Mas, sitting on his log, slew several Turks with his great two-handed sword. An Italian lit a beacon to tell his Master it was over. Only nine brethren - probably mortally wounded - were taken alive, though a handful of Maltese swam to safety. It had cost an army, acknowledged as the best of its time, nearly five weeks, 18,000 rounds of cannon-shot and 8,000 men to gain this little fort.

"Allah," said Mustafa, looking across at St. Angelo, "if this small son cost so much, what do we pay for his father?"


I hope you found this interesting!

Stay safe!

"I'm going to do what the warriors of old did! I'm going to recite poetry!"
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Rodolfo Martínez




Location: Argentina
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PostPosted: Thu 18 Jan, 2007 7:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Truly brave guys those. Turks were brave too but their arrogancy plus the knight´s fanatism and determination condemned them to lose Malta against a few knights. Maybe one of the greatest victories in history.
A few minutes ago i found some intresting two hnaded maltese swords.



 Attachment: 22.81 KB
Malta mandobles.jpg
I think these guys are two handers.

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Richard Fay




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PostPosted: Fri 19 Jan, 2007 7:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello all!

Rodolfo,

Thanks for the photo. They could be the sort of "longsword" used by the Knights of Malta. Do you have any information regarding their dimensions? They might be more along the lines of "bastard" swords. Of course, the real distinction can be blurred, and bastard swords can certainly be used in two hands.

One thing to keep in mind about the "Knights Hospitaller" (Knights of St. John) is that throughout their history they had a system of recycling and reusing weapons and armour. When a knight died his arms were taken back by the Order and redistributed. A usable sword or harness may have been used for several years. It is distinctly possible that some members of the Order would have used older equipment, as long as it still functioned. Just something to remember when discussing the arms of the Order.

Stay safe!

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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Fri 19 Jan, 2007 9:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd also be interested in knowing the dimensions or seeing a photograph with better details on the blade. They look like typical longswords to me--except that their blunted tips make think of practice longswords like the A&A Spada da Zogho.
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Rodolfo Martínez




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PostPosted: Fri 19 Jan, 2007 9:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, they might be longswords, i confused them with two handers, but, regarding their age they still are beautiful examples, aren´t them?

Here i´ve found some three quarter, half and full armour pics if someone is interested in them.
I´ll soonly finish to order my pictures collection, so i think next week i´ll be able to upload all of them.



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Malta armour rara.jpg


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Malta turco equipo.jpg
Some Turk equipment.

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Malta three quarte armour.jpg


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Malta knights armours.jpg


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Richard Fay




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PostPosted: Fri 19 Jan, 2007 9:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello all!

Rodolfo,

The swords are nice. I'm not too worried about what to call them; I think they could be used in two hands regardless of their actual classification.

Thanks for the additional photos! In fact, I found a site that shows the Knights of Malta in armour (helmets anyway) very similar to the ones in the last photo in your posting. Here's a link to the site:

http://www.knightsiege.com/history.htm

I don't want to post the image because it's a fairly good-size image, and I don't want any details lost. Just go to the page I linked to and click on the last image on the left (the bottom image). I don't know if the image is actually contemporary with the siege of Malta, but it's interesting that the armour is similar to what you posted.

Stay safe!

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