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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Fri 06 Jan, 2017 11:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is a fantastic thread, which I apologize for resurrecting. I have a lot of material I can add to this and it will probably be a useful reference for others even though the OP has what he needs for his persona.

In general, very good stuff posted here but you need more war wagons, guns and artillery for the Czechs. Also more flails. There are many good sources not yet touched on, I don't have time to post them right now, but wanted to leave a marker here as a promise of future things to come.

The Czechs are much more important for the development of Latin European warfare, and warfare in general, than is typically acknowledge in the West, though I think that is changing.



Battle of Domazlice 1431

Hussites smash 100,000 + baby-killing Crusaders. Armor looks similar though note the mounted crossbowman, this was typical of the Czechs in this era, allegedly a trend stated by Jan Ziska himself in the 1420's

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Mark Moore




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PostPosted: Fri 06 Jan, 2017 12:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm liking this. Big Grin Very similar to a kit I'm putting together! I will be eager to see the whole thing come about. Happy ....McM
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Peter Spätling




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PostPosted: Fri 06 Jan, 2017 1:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

@Jean Henri Chandler the picture you posted doesn't really fit in the 1420s, can you give me more informations? Thx Happy
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Mark Lewis




PostPosted: Fri 06 Jan, 2017 4:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Spätling wrote:
@Jean Henri Chandler the picture you posted doesn't really fit in the 1420s, can you give me more informations? Thx Happy

It's from the Jena Codex, like one of the other images up-thread. Circa 1500.

http://www.ptejteseknihovny.cz/dotazy/jensky-kodex-codex-of-jena
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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Sat 07 Jan, 2017 6:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Spätling wrote:
@Jean Henri Chandler the picture you posted doesn't really fit in the 1420s, can you give me more informations? Thx Happy


Yeah in reading the thread, you have two images in this thread already depicting a battle from the Landshut War of Succession (1504 / 05) and another image from the 16tth Century, I thought based on that you were interested in late medieval imagery of Hussite soldiers, not just specifically for the 1420's. There is a considerable amount of material related to the Landshut war of succession which is relevant to Hussites though not for that early.

The image I posted is from the Jena codex which is probably from 1492, though it depicts a battle from 1431, from near the end of the first series of Hussite wars. Jena codex is however a Czech made document, I believe, and that image is clearly from the Hussite point of view, I think you could call it pro-Hussite propaganda in fact.

I have a lot of other late medieval images relevant for the Hussites but most are from 1450-1480 or thereabouts, or from 1380-1400. I sadly do not have a lot of material from the 1420's nor am I aware of much by our about the Czechs from that specific era, other than the kind of things already posted. I might have one or two others.

Here is another image from the Bohemian MS of "Travels of John Mandeville" from around the 1420's which you may have missed, depicting some knights jousting in tournament armor.



These three are from the anonymous "Master of the Třeboň altarpiece" which I think is dated to the 1380's







I can post more later, I have a few other sources from the late 14th Century if you prefer those to the later 15th Century ones.

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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Sat 07 Jan, 2017 6:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is from the bible of Wenceslaus IV, 1390's





I don't know how relevant you consider these to your project since these are from the 1390's but there are a dozen or so images from that bible which depict knights, warriors and urban militia, 3 or 4 of them show sieges. I can post more if you like or you can google them.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_of_the_Rajhrad_Altarpiece

This is from the "Master of the Rajhrad Altarpiece, one of the few I know of from your specific time frame. This particular image is from 1430-1440



Of particular note in this image is the realistic looking face on that shield. This is very common with the Czech medieval context. Modern academics call this type of image apotropaic’ magic, like a gargoyle. I'm not certain that is the best way to describe it but it certainly would be unsettling in a fight. The Czechs of course are well known for elaborate paintings on their pavises including depictions of naked women which would purportedly rattle Catholics and Muslims they were often fighting against. As you probably know Hussite mercenaries were at the forefront of fights against both the Mongols (Golden Horde and Krim Tartars) and the Ottomans from around the 1430's onward.

I have lots of images of Hussite pavises including one of the 'nekked lady' ones but I think those are widely available.

This is from another anonymous Czech altarpiece 'Kadaň Altarpiece from the 1470's I believe



This is from the St. George Altarpiece in Prague but I think it's 1470's


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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Sat 07 Jan, 2017 10:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

These two are from the Grudziadz Polyptych, also believed to be by the Master of the Třeboň altarpiece. These are also 1390's





And just for fun, (well, they do have a sword)


May Magdelin, St Margaret, and Saint Catherine. St. Margaret appears to have a pet dragon.

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Mark Lewis




PostPosted: Sat 07 Jan, 2017 11:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Henri Chandler wrote:
This is from another anonymous Czech altarpiece 'Kadaň Altarpiece from the 1470's I believe

Lots of interesting details to find in altarpieces... the sword hilt here fits right in with some of the Castillon swords, or A466 in the Wallace collection.
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Peter Spätling




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PostPosted: Sat 07 Jan, 2017 12:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

ah that lovely tournament scene <3

Here 's a shield from Konstanz, after 1464



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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Sat 07 Jan, 2017 7:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Spätling wrote:
ah that lovely tournament scene <3

Here 's a shield from Konstanz, after 1464


Ah, that is marvelous. Another magic face. Thanks for posting I've been collecting those.

Do you know anything about the image, the man with the baton is a prince?

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Peter Spätling




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PostPosted: Sun 08 Jan, 2017 1:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The pictures are from the Richentalchronik, the book is about the council of Constance (you know, where we burned Jan Hus.... Wink )
The one I posted first, with the shield, shows a St. George cross at it was worn by imperial troops during the siege of Neuss in 1474-1475, that is the only reason I have the picture. If you can read German here is the full text.
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Mark Lewis




PostPosted: Sun 08 Jan, 2017 5:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Henri Chandler wrote:
Ah, that is marvelous. Another magic face. Thanks for posting I've been collecting those.


There's an article about these that you may find interesting, and includes some more examples.... unless you've read it already?

shield_from_the_fresco_of_St._Martins_church_in_Wich%C3%B3w" target="_blank" class="postlink">https://www.academia.edu/9564042/In_the_world_of_medieval_symbols._Depiction_of_a_shield_from_the_fresco_of_St._Martins_church_in_Wich%C3%B3w
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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Sun 08 Jan, 2017 8:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you very much gentlemen, fascinating article. I have seen most though not all of those shield images plus I have a few the author didn't mention. They seemed to have been used a lot by the Czechs, along with many other sometimes humorous or provocative designs like 'bigfoot' or naked women. Some scholars have suggested that the images are a form of ‘apotropaic’ magic, like a gargoyle or the 'evil eye' still painted on Greek and Turkish fishing boats today. I'm not sure what the pattern is exactly but they do seem to show up a lot particularly in Central Europe.

Another angle on all this which hasn't been explored yet is kind of a branch off of that Landshut War of Succession which was the subject of I think two of the battle images in the thread. In the event a group of Hussite mercenaries marched in to Bavaria during an interregnum, and were defeated in battle. One of the commanders on the Bavarian side was a certain knight named Ludwig von Eyb, known in Historical Fencing circles as one of the fechtbuch authors and probably a "fencing master". As a result mainly of his military activity and leadership leading up to the Landshut War of Succession as well as previous conflicts, Von Eyb was given some land and a castle in Bavaria and was thereby elevated in status.

Von Eyb was somewhat unusual among medieval fencing masters in that he was of the nobility rather than being a burgher or an artisan, and his system is not considered directly in the lineage of the famous German master Johannes Liechtenauer, but rather somewhat resembles that of the early 15th Century Italian master Fiore dei Liberi, who was also probably a noble. Anyway, in addition to his work on chivalric tournaments and personal fencing systems, Von Eyb also wrote a war book. This was one of those clearly inspired in part by the very influential early 14th Century Bohemian manuscript Belifortis, but updated with more current technology for the time (late 15th Century) and featuring a bit better artwork (not very good mind you, but a bit better).

It features a lot of war-machines of a type that we once assumed were fanciful, but which seem from the records more and more to have been real, in at least some cases. Particularly the war-wagons of the type the Czechs made so famous during the Hussite wars, but which also seem to have been in fairly wide use in many other parts of Central, Northern and Eastern Europe.

Here is a pretty good writeup on Von Eyb

http://wiktenauer.com/wiki/Ludwig_VI_von_Eyb

Here is his kriegsbuch or war manual

http://wiktenauer.com/wiki/Eyb_Kriegsbuch_(MS_B.26)

And if you look at some of the plates, I think it grants significant insights into the realities of warfare in the late 15th Century / early 16th in that part of Central Europe. It also gives us a more realistic idea of what some of those more exotic Czech war machines may have looked like, of the type for example which Jan Dlugosz described. Since we know for a fact von Eyb was familiar with Bohemian tactics and troops, his work is worth a second look.

Folios 62v - 66v depict fairly complex wagenberg formations for both static and 'on the march' though the detail is lacking. These match to a large extent similar (but better drawn) depictions of the same types of formations from the late medieval Rhennish von Wolfegg housebook, which I'll post later.

Some of these others depict crazy war machines which I suspect, probably actually existed and saw action on the battlefields. These range from the relatively straitforward Czech war wagons, to wheeled siege mantlets, to much more exotic medieval tanks or apc type machines which almost defy explanation, but which match some of the literary evidence I've been running across, going all the way back to the era of the original Hussite Wars and maybe before. Anyway, they are interesting to look at if nothing else. I couldn't direct link the images but I'll upload a few examples - you can browse them on the University site via the wiktenauer though (click the link above).

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Mark Lewis




PostPosted: Sun 08 Jan, 2017 11:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Henri Chandler wrote:
Von Eyb also wrote a war book...

...much more exotic medieval tanks or apc type machines which almost defy explanation, but which match some of the literary evidence I've been running across, going all the way back to the era of the original Hussite Wars and maybe before.

Thanks for this explanation, I was familiar with this book as a copy of the Bellifortis, but didn't know any more of it's interesting back story. I'd be very curious to know what kinds of possible references you have found to exotic war machines...

Peter Spätling wrote:
The pictures are from the Richentalchronik...The one I posted first, with the shield, shows a St. George cross at it was worn by imperial troops during the siege of Neuss in 1474-1475

I really like looking at this chronicle because there are so many different editions and copies where you can compare details between different versions of the same scenes (much like the many copies of the Bellifortis for that matter.) Here is a printed version of the same scene:



Baton-man shows up pretty regularly in various scenes, as does giant-key-man. I think in this case, the cross of St. George is specifically meant to be the coat of arms of the city of Constance... they appear in many scenes in the chronicle: on shields, badges, above doorways, etc.

I think one of the editions with the best eye for detail is a copy in Vienna... here's the scene of der Huss being led to his execution. Two of the soldiers are illustrated as having grotesque goiters - a condition that was endemic in some parts of Switzerland and the Alpine region (hypothyroidism, caused by low iodine in the soil). This same detail appears in some of the illustrated Swiss chronicles, particularly when men from the canton of Valais are shown. Sufferers were still called "cretins of the Alps" until the 19th century.



Anyway, I think it really contributes to a sense that the artist was trying to faithfully depict peoples' appearance... from his time period of course, not the time of the actual council.
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Mark Moore




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PostPosted: Sun 08 Jan, 2017 11:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In some of the scenes depicted, soldiers are wearing a particular style of helm. I'm referring to the ones with down-sloping brims with curved 'eyebrow' openings and a nasal in between. They appear to be made of one piece of raised steel. Does anyone currently make this style of helm? I would love to have one similar. Big Grin ......McM
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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Sun 08 Jan, 2017 7:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Lewis wrote:

Thanks for this explanation, I was familiar with this book as a copy of the Bellifortis, but didn't know any more of it's interesting back story. I'd be very curious to know what kinds of possible references you have found to exotic war machines... ?


Jan Dlugosz describes several scenarios, particularly during what you might call the "2nd Hussite Wars" when Mathias Corvinus invaded Bohemia in the 1470's or thereabouts, and faced out with his former protector George of Podebrady. Dlugosz, though himself a priest and eventually a bishop, is critical of Podebrady for being a heretic (though it's unclear to what extent he actually was) but had a hard time hiding his admiration for the man's diplomatic and military skill and general decency. Anyway he often describes the Czech forces as using 'war wagons with scythes' and 'war engines with cannon and blades' and that kind of thing. At one point he described a standoff between Podebrady and Corvinus, in which the Hungarian light cavalry were positioned up on the slopes of hills in this valley, where the Czech war-wagons couldn't reach them, but they themselves could not engage the war-wagons due to their 'scythes' etc., (a feature you see on most of these war machines in Bellifortis and Von Eyb and in Talhoffer and many other visual sources). In the end Podebrady challenged Hunyadi to a personal duel in front of their armies, even though Podebrady was by that time old and fat, but Hunyadi declined and eventually retreated. I have this passage transcribed somewhere I'll see if I can find it.

These things also appear frequently in the various Swiss urban chronicles, which was a surprise to me. Both the typical war wagons and more exotic things like wheeled war-mantlets and cannon armed war-boats and war-rafts. My friend Jurg Gassman translated some sections about the Zurich war for me which included several war-rafts, or what you might call floating siege mantlets. One of which, der Bär, (the bear) is depicted in (I think) the Bern Chronicle, but as shown in the chronicle it was smaller than the real thing, which IIRC (I am not looking this up to check because it's late but I have it somewhere too) the crew was150 men and it carried something like a dozen culverins. I attached the image from Diebold Shilling.

This is a more crude drawing of the same vessel



You also see a lot of crazy siege-mantlets like this



My friend Jurg also found a reference to one of these things in which it had strayed too close to a castle they were besieging, resulting in the defenders being able to tip it over with poles and then kill several of the crew with guns, and the captain of the mantlet was later executed for incompetence!

Quote:

Baton-man shows up pretty regularly in various scenes, as does giant-key-man. I think in this case, the cross of St. George is specifically meant to be the coat of arms of the city of Constance... they appear in many scenes in the chronicle: on shields, badges, above doorways, etc.


Ah, interesting, he ,might have been a burgomeister then possibly? was Konstanz a Free City or a mediate city I can't remember?

Quote:

I think one of the editions with the best eye for detail is a copy in Vienna... here's the scene of der Huss being led to his execution. Two of the soldiers are illustrated as having grotesque goiters - a condition that was endemic in some parts of Switzerland and the Alpine region (hypothyroidism, caused by low iodine in the soil). This same detail appears in some of the illustrated Swiss chronicles, particularly when men from the canton of Valais are shown. Sufferers were still called "cretins of the Alps" until the 19th century.



Wow, this is brilliant, and very interesting detail. What is the date of this edition? I've never seen this image of Hus being led to slaughter before.

Quote:

Anyway, I think it really contributes to a sense that the artist was trying to faithfully depict peoples' appearance... from his time period of course, not the time of the actual council.


Of course, following the usual medieval pattern in that.

Thanks for posting!

Jean



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Mark Lewis




PostPosted: Mon 09 Jan, 2017 7:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Moore wrote:
In some of the scenes depicted, soldiers are wearing a particular style of helm. I'm referring to the ones with down-sloping brims with curved 'eyebrow' openings and a nasal in between.

I like the look of these as well, I think I have seem some recreations around... can't recall where. They seem to show up in a lot of Eastern European or Italian art, if that may help you search for more information... One of the examples Jean has posted also seems to show a pretty clear illustration of a scale aventail. Then in the foreground, do we have a sword with a hilt like a ballock dagger? Very interesting altarpiece!

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9e/Grudzi%C4%85dz_Polyptych_07.jpg

Jean Henri Chandler wrote:
Jan Dlugosz describes several scenarios...

These are great references you have collected! Definitely some very tantalizing clues that there was more variety in types of siege engines than we might generally assume. I'd be very curious to see the passage from Dlugosz if you can track it down... Do you know if there are any easily accessible translations of his work? I have seen those illustrations of the Bär before, thanks for reminding me of this great example.

Jean Henri Chandler wrote:
he ,might have been a burgomeister then possibly? was Konstanz a Free City or a mediate city I can't remember?

I was thinking more or less the same - a mayor, a provost, a captain... some kinds of town officials. Konstanz was an Imperial City.

Jean Henri Chandler wrote:
What is the date of this edition? I've never seen this image of Hus being led to slaughter before.

It is from the 1470s as far as I know... The German Wikipedia page has a nice summary of the different editions, with links to currently available digitized copies. All are worth looking at but the Vienna edition really stands out, for me at least. Here is another illustration with interesting details.

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulrich_von_Richental



A very similar looking swordsman shows up in a Crucifixion scene by an unidentified German artist:


https://www.nortonsimon.org/art/detail/F.1965.1.036.P
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