Sunday, July 31, 2022

Huntsman or hunter from Palmyra

 Salvete Omnes,

let us canter to Academia platform and Palmyra of the Parthian, Sassanian & Roman empires world. 

more than 2000 years ago camel and horse-riding Palmyrene traders with their caravans traversed the ocean of sand and rock deserts and dry steppes of eastern Syria and Arabian Peninsula -

The Archaeological Museum at Palmyra (Tadmor)  contains this stone relief showing a leopard hunt from horseback - a horse archer is shooting his arrows, carried in a saddle strapped gorytus, at the snarling feline.

Prof. Michal Gawlikowski uploaded his article titled Hunter (published in 2009) on this hunter from Palmyra - it can be had from academia.-  you can read it there or download it too.
 more sculptures showing trousers and leggings in the ancient Palmyrene art

 more about the ancient camel riders from the Syrian desert in the future, God willing.



 some Arabic proverbs about camels - here


Sunday, July 24, 2022

More ancient Hellenic Petasos imagery

 Salvete Omnes,

dog days of the summer - and hence to enliven them a bit - more images of the petasos hat from the ancient Hellenic world
Wiki Commons - various museum collections 


Saturday, July 23, 2022

Old Southwest

 Salvete Omnes,


Dog days of the summer - let us canter back to the olden days of Mexico fresh from the French-Maximilian empire vs Republic war and Porfilio Diaz ascendancy, to the early American Southwest via this book by William Henry Bishop.
This travel book was published in New York in 1883.

And some period imagery 

beauty of San Xavier del Bac 


Tombstone muscle and law


Thursday, July 21, 2022

Naronowicz-Naronski - drawings

Salvete Omnes 


long, long time ago there was in Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth one learned engineer and a fantastic draughtsman named Jozef Naronowicz-Naronski (1616-78) .  
Naronski, who was of Gozdawa coat of arms, identified himself, in one of his works ,  as Eques Lithuanus (Lithuanian as of Duchy of Lithuania nobleman) and was a protestant (Polish Brethren), which led to him emigrating(along with many fellow brethren) from Polish Commonwealth after 1658 and settling in Hohenzollern Ducal Prussia where died in 1678, penniless due to the prince elector non-payment for this many years of service as cartographer and engineer in Ducal Prussia.
He was a scion of a Grand Duchy of Lithuanian Ruthenian nobility, that since 1560s served as lance horsemen for the Radziwill family.
He was thoroughly  educated in the Commonwealth prestigious Racovian Academy  and perhaps also in Netherlands. ( Stanislaw Alexandrowicz, Pochodzenie Jozefa Naronowicza-Naronskiego, tworcy topograficznej kartografii Litwy i Prus Wschodnich, p.61-66, in
Acta Universitatis Nicolai Copernici, nr 340, Torun 2000).

Military engineer Guillaume (William)de Vasseur Beauplan, in Polish military service since 1630s through May 1648, worked  mapping towns  and rivers of southern Polish Crown lands (today Ukraine), and Naronowicz-Naronski worked with him in the late 1630s and early 1640s. He drew the map of lower Dnieper Rive and Ukraine -then the name  Ukraine compassed the south-easterly lands of Polish Crown consisting  of Kiev voivodeship and south  through the wastes of the so called Dzikie Pola [Desert lands - Loca Deserta] (Rymsza & Rymsza, O zacnosci Inzyniera wg Naronowicza-Naronskiego i o moscie fortecznym w twierdzy Boyne, p.288, in Technical Transaction, 20B/2009, nr 9, Warszawa 2009).

While in service of grand hetman of Lithuania prince Janusz Radziwill he worked as hetman's inspector of military srongholds and also drew maps etc - one of them is the so called Birze Map - given to Lithuanian by prince Radziwill in 1993.

here there are some interesting soldiers drawn into the map- 


He wrote and illustrated three volume work on military and civilian architecture & engineering etc for engineers, of which this manuscrit -   Optica lubo perspectiva to iest opisanie nauk widzenia albo przezoru w obaczeniu wszelkich rzeczy wymalowania y własney postaci wyrażenia także osobliwie architectura militaris to iest budownictwo woienne... potem architectura civilis[...] przez Jozepha Naronowicza Narońskiego, którego ręką rysowane y pisane A. D. 1659 Junii 3 skończono. - survived.

And a good quality scan is available at the Warsaw University Library site as linked above.
On the iconographic side of this work there are plenty of very interesting little drawings that accompany his diagrams and text.


I corralled some images from these Warsaw University scans showing Old Polish costumed engineers and soldiers

this one is the only one that  has military figures painted with watercolor

and some amazing and beautiful  drawings:



Monday, July 18, 2022

Alexander astride Bucephalus - Pella

 Salvete Omnes,


I came across this equestrian monument while perusing Wiki Commons -

This is a sculpture erected in Pella (Greece), the ancient capital of kingdom of Macedon, and was sculpted by Constantinos Baliou Loghos.(says wiki)

This modern sculpture is realistic and symbolic at the same time - Alexander holds a figure of Nike - goddess of Victory - in his extended hand.

 unfortunately the bridle as sculpted is a modern one and does not belong here - more about Alexander and his horse's tack in a separate post .
Still Bucephalus as depicted here is strong, powerful and war-horse like - so I say it is a powerful and moving image of the famous pair.


Sunday, July 17, 2022

Petasos and Thessalian horsemen continued

 Salvete Omnes,


more about this ancient Greek horseman and their petasos hat (sort of early Latin American and Southwestern US hacendado 'sombrero' and then cowboy hat) 

just a short entry with a quote from prof, Nick Secunda -The Ancient Greeks. London 1986:


'[...] the Thessalians were the finest horsemen in Greece, and cavalry in Thessaly retained a prime importance in battle when it had become almost obsolete throughout the rest of the Greek mainland [not including Macedonia].
Thessalian riding dress was quite distinct , and adapted to the climate of the landlocked plain - very hot in summer, very cold in winter, thanks to the mountain-chains which surround it. The extravagantly wide-brimmed version of the Greek petasos, or sun hat, kept out the heat and dust of the plain, while , enveloping Thessalian cloak kept the wearer warm in winter but cool in summer. These two distinctive features of Thessalian dress are shown on a great number of Attic white-ground lekthoi which seem to show Athenian aristocrats dressed after the manner of their wealthy Thessalian counterparts. ' 

in these two lekthoi images you can see the realistically painted wide brimmed hat, chlamys, javelins, riding boots etc

to be continued


Petasos - ancient Greek horseman hat

Salvete Omnes,


ancient Greek Petasos was perhaps the first wide brim hat for the horseman, huntsman and traveler, be it of felt, leather or even woven from plant fiber. 


It seems that petasos originated in ancient Thessaly and for centuries was part of the Thessalian horsemans's suite:
petasos hat, chlamys(and perhaps an exomis or khiton/chiton(tunic)  underneath), 1 spear, 2 javelins, long soft leather boots and sword/sabre or a short sword. The very headgear was used by horsemen in Magna Graecia (Italy eg Tarantine Greeks) , Macedonians, Athenians, and later was transported along with the general pilos hat and Macedonian kausia hat to Asia, as far as northern India and Central Asia - Bactria etc. 

Petasos from Iran - VI-IV centuries BC ('Before Christ' not before C19 - :) )


various images from Met in NYC



nota bene,  a type of ancient horseman cloak - chlamys -  in ancient art - some examples

Parthenon frieze


from a sculpture (Mausoleum at Halicarnassus)  

 as reconstructed