leaving the present politics behind, let us turn again to the period prints from XVII century.
This print shows Croato-Hungarian aristocrat, poet and military leader Sir Miklós Zrínyi/Nikolaus Zrinski
again we have typical hussar equipment, a shishak helmet adorned with feathers in a jewelled feather holder and half-armour with coat-of-mail protecting the hips. Instead of the wild cat pelt our hero covers his armoured torso and arms with mente lined with fur and with a huge fur collar. Typically Hungarian nobility would use a kaftan called dolman under the armour or under the over-garment (like delia, szuba or mente).
Note the curved sabre with a thumb ring to put one's thumb finger there, holstered pistol (presumably 2) and a sword under the thigh
Horse, a true Baroque animal, is spirited and a bit fearsome, bitted with a long-shanked curb-bit and lead with a single set of reins (while it was popular in our part of Europe aka Eastern Europe to use two sets of reins, or at least a lead rein in addition to curb-bit reins), his chest displaying a very nice metal halzbant adoring the leathers of his breastplate; I wonder if the engraver omitted the the adornment (horse tug or just a metal half-moon ) under the throatlatch, typical of the bridles of the Eastern European military? Horse is covered with a Turkish or Persian style rug-shabraque (could have been of the msot expensive materials, with gold, silver and silk thread), a fashion typical to the Eastern European military.
Again, we are given a sketch of a winged hussar with a shishak helmet, wild pelt on his shoulders, but it is unclear if he holds the lance or his companion rider who is also wielding a sabre.
Nice drawing of a Turkish bow in a bowcase, arrows in a quiver, and in the background a Turkish horseman executing so called 'Parthian shot'
Named Zrínyi Miklós, a költő hadvezér és politikus Sir Nicolas, this true knight faithful to the cannons of chivalr , also wrote poetry - Britannica says:
His poetical works first appeared at Vienna in 1651, under the title of The Siren of the Adriatic (Hung.); but his principal work, Obsidio Szigetiana, the epopeia of the glorious self-sacrifice of his heroic ancestor of the same name, only appeared in fragments in Magyar literature till Arany took it in hand. It was evidently written under the influence of both Virgil and Tasso, though the author had no time to polish and correct its rough and occasionally somewhat wooden versification. But the fundamental idea — the duty of Hungarian valour to shake off the Turkish yoke, with the help of God — is sublime, and the whole work is intense with martial and religious enthusiasm. It is no unworthy companion of the other epics of the Renaissance period, and had many imitators. Arany first, in 1848, began to recast the Zrinyiad, as he called it, on modern lines, and the work was completed by Antal Vékóny in 1892.
Portraits of Sir Nicolas, showing the national costume of the Hungarian and Croatian nobility of the period, very similar to the Polish one. In the first portrait he is wearing a 'dolman' with a 'mente'? lined with fur.
Until this day, legend maintains that he was killed at the order of the Habsburg Court. No conclusive evidence has ever been found to support this claim; however, it remains true that the Habsburgs lost their mightiest adversary with his death (from Wikipedia).
Zvonimir Grbasic, Croatian artist and military historian (in English speaking workd known for two books on cavalry - here and here) drew a very fine reconstruction of ban Nicolas Zrinski on horseback some years ago.
I received artist's permission to use his reconstruction on my blog, so it is my pleasure to display it here, in its beauty :
Thank you Zvonimir!
some military aspects & assessment of the warfare on the Hapsburg-Turkish border on this page
Miles Cameron's 'Red Knight', just received a new and fantastic webpage 'facelift,' as the second volume in the series is about to be released, so do visit it to see yourself and definitely read the first volume when you can - medieval and magical world - with dragons, chivalry, demons, knights and strong damsels - Traitor son Cycle