Saturday, July 31, 2021

Kul Oba Scythians

Salvete Omnes,

it has been a while since I visited my 'beloved' Scythia on this blog, hence time to somewhat mend this omission.

Kul Oba or the 'hill of ashes' (in the Kipchal Tatar tongue) was a kurgan that contained a large stone tomb with a corbelled roof located in the Kerch Peninsula of the greater Crimean Peninsula (lately of Russian Federation, but between 1954-91 AD part of the Ukrainian SSR and then between 1991-2014 AD it was an integral part of Ukrainian independent state territory).


 It was built sometime in the early IV century BC and perhaps represents pretty much the high art of the rapidly Hellenizating' Scythian aristocracy/nobility.

The following pages and images are taken from Ellis Minns, Scythians and Greeks. chapter Scythic Tombs, Kerch.

and on Academia there is article by Nikolaos F. Fedoseev - the Necropolis of Kul Oba and Juz Oba. Denis Zhuraviev's article on the standing Scythian from Kul-Oba (in Russian). Leonid Babenko's article on the famous torque's construction  from Kul Oba.{Russian with English summary]

 The Scythian theme ..  to be continued - :)


Thursday, July 29, 2021

Mamluk - a manuscript & Baptistere de Saint Louis

Salvete Omnes,

so  today let perform a swift jump-in-time to  medieval Africa, more than 500 years ago... with a link to a Mamluk manuscript - Islamic Turkish-Kipchak-Circassian rulers of post-Saladin  Egypt and Syria (1250-1517AD). - a handy 'Art of the Mamluk period' essay on the MET platform .- and the famous Baptistere de Saint Louis from Louvre.

Please note the research I have read uses the word  'Mamluk' - with a capital 'M.' While the later Ottoman period warriors of Egypt and Syria who came to fight under Napoleon, after his  invasion of Egypt, are called Mamelukes (of the Imperial Guard)..

I have been a student of Mamluk history and  research (eg via Mamluk Studies Review etc) related to the slave-soldiers concept and execution in the Islamic world, and their state in Egypt and Syria, so I daresay I am somewhat  familiar with the history, especially military history and some of their 'furusiyya' works, of this sultanate and material culture related to their military and horse culture.


Below there are some military and war horse related works studied and available in English via net libraries:

About 32 years ago a Mamluk-Kipchak work titled Munyatu' l-Ghuzat was translated into English (the Works of Turkish literature ) -

it is a treatise on horseback riding and mounted training for, naturally, the Mamluk 'askari or warrior-soldier.

about 27 years ago preeminent researcher in the military history  dr David Nicolle wrote a very interesting paper: The Realitiy of Mamluk Warfare: Weapons, Armor and Tactics,( Al-Masaq 1994, pp77-100) -  where dr Nicolle discussed a treatise by a writer from the sultanate - Muhammed ben Isa al Hanafi al Aqsara'i (died 1347AD) - titled The Complete Instructions in the Practices of the Military Art.' Dr Nicolle went on writing many articles and books on the subject of medieval Islamic military, including one on the Mamluk 'Askari (from Osprey Publishing, Warrior series, 2014).

In 2001 Isolde Betty Nettles submitted her dissertation on the Mamluk Cavalry practices - (Univ. of Arizona), where the author discussed aspects of the furusiyya and various knightly equestrian traditions.


 and finally the Mamluk  horse manuscript from the British Library

all images come from Wiki Commons  - do take a look at their glassware


Friday, July 23, 2021

Brazil aka New Holland by Frans Post

Salvete omnes,

      from the XVII century there comes a painter who documented New Holland or  the colonial Brazil under the Netherlands' heel (1630-1654)- please note that the Dutch, meantime fighting the Catholic Spanish Hapsburgs,  were premier slavers or slave traders of the cross-Atlantic world.
        During 1630AD, upon several failed previous attempts, colonial Brazil was conquered by Dutch Republic  armies. Map here.

 In the paintings  by  Frans Post(1612-80), a Dutch painter who lived in the Dutch Brazil or the Netherlands short-lived cross-Atlantic  empire (New Netherland in North America, Brazil in America and Angola in Africa), we can see the Dutch colony - black slaves, Indians, Brazilians, and colonists within  the landscape and few and far between settlements.

Since this is an equine-relate blog we are going to corral the very few painting showing horses (from   Wiki Commons_- this is probably the best one:

This canvass shows that the Dutch conquerors adopted Iberian saddles and riding styles - a la gineta.

more horse images


and some landscape and people of Brazil - as   Michiel van Goth wrote :''Brazilians, Tapuyas, Negroes, Mamelucos, etc., all natives of this country''

Salve Market in Recife by Zacharias Wagner/Wagenaer


African man (warrior?) in Brazil by Albert Eckhout


and other Brazilians as painted by the Eckhout

all images are from Wiki Commons gallery


Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Diabel Lancucki was potrzebuje

 Salvete Omnes,

[in Polish]

imć pan Jacek Komuda - autor (powieści, scenariusze, felietony etc), historyk i popularyzator staropolskiej i polskiej historii militarnej, i Fundacja Ułanów Króla Jana upraszają o wsparcie produkcji filmowej - serialu - na podstawie własnej powieści 'Diabeł Łańcucki'(wydana przez Fabrykę Słów), gdzie starosta zygwulski Stanisław Stadnicki zwany Diabłem, herbu Szreniawa bez Krzyża, terroryzuje przemyskie, sanockie etc, a ulubiony bohater Jacek Dydyński i jego bracia  przeżywają przygody et awantury - nota bene w cudownej XIX wiecznej pracy 'Prawem i Lewem' Władysława Łozińskiego  jest rozdział o Diable i Diablętach.

Portal Zrzutka ma stronę dedykowana dla zbiórki na produkcje pierwszego odcinak serialu -

mój egzemplarz ''Diabła Łańcuckiego'', z autografem mości Jacka i moim własnym szkicem 

Tedy, niczym dawna husaria szable na temblaki, naciśnij mocno czapkę na głowę, ściśnij kolanami rumaka i pochyl kopię - cwałem w miernoty  popkultury! 

vivat niezależna produkcja i staropolska opowieść na srebrnym ekranie!


Monday, July 19, 2021

Muscovy Horses of early 17th century - Captain Margeret

Salvete Omnes,

      Jacques Margeret was a Huguenot mercenary who served in Muscovy (Grand Duchy of Muscovy) starting with tsar Boris Godunov,  tsar Dimitrii Ivanovich, and tsar Vasilii Shuiskii, and being a partner? confidante? of Mikhail Saltykov Glebovich  went over to the Polish side, thus serving with the Polish Crown and our King Sigismund III's army. 

Captain Margeret, while in Polish service,  participated with distinction in the battle of Kluszino, He left Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth circa 1612, eventually settled in Germanies, becoming a confidante and consultant to several rulers and magnates of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and German states, and by 1619 disappeared from the pages of history.

While in France after the death of Dimitri I, he wrote a very interesting account on the Muscovite state, and in his work  he also described horses of the Grand Duchy of Lithuanian, thus we can read about the Muscovite Russian (eg of Vologda) ,Nogai Tatar, Polish and Turkish horses in this work (English translation titled "The Russian Empire and Grand Duchy of Muscovy" ).
I compiled the pertinent pages from Gallica - French National Library - the French original

and two images containing  the old Muscovite Russian saddles


Saturday, July 17, 2021

Hans Memling, horses and riders & Madonnas

Salve friends and visitors,
Hans Memling was one of the many amazing painters of the Northern Renaissance - XV century prolific painter of astonishing imagination and  skill. 

Two Horses and a Monkey - a  portrayal of the medieval horse ideal, its allegory nicely explained here

Turin altarpiece 


Saint John triptych

Seven Joys of the Virgin 




Resurrection (of Budapest) 

and for its beauty - the Portinaris - husband and wife


and some samples of his Madonnas - nota bene several of his Madonnas contain magnificent oriental (Turkish and Persian?) carpets


and Adam and Eve