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Conquistadore meets Aztec (Read 13809 times)
David_T
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Re: Conquistadore meets Aztec
Reply #15 - Jun 20th, 2004 at 5:47pm
 
Great illustration!

I read that same account and now I have a picture to go along with it. But, you forgot one detail--I don't see a "puddle" under the Spaniard's feet. Surely that must have scared the pee out of him Grin
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Re: Conquistadore meets Aztec
Reply #16 - Jun 20th, 2004 at 7:46pm
 
No debate on my end.  I simply don't debate facts that are in evidence.  Such evidentiary exploits are motivated by a preference to diffuse debate.  I agree in retrospect, with Gun.  I should have provided a source where the information could be found should the reader be interested, and avoided taking up so much space.
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Hondero
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Re: Conquistadore meets Aztec
Reply #17 - Jun 21st, 2004 at 12:26pm
 
Tech, your speech has been  great  Cheesy, I´ve had a lot of fun,  and the information on Spanish old measures is extremely interesting, as to have it before one when reading old Spanish texts, as for example the Cronicas de la Conquista.
The quote of Johnny has been used frequently by different authors in all times and thus it has been deteriorated as it is logical, changing units and facts according to the exactitude and quality of the author. For that reason the observation of Jeff is not superfluous, and it´s always advisable to mention the author of quoted texts.

The original quote is from Alonso Enriquez de Guzman, who accompanied Pizarro and fought beside him at the siege of Cuzco. The ideal would be to transcribe the quote as he wrote it, in old Castilian, but unfortunately one has to translate it to modern English although it loses great part of its original taste.  It says, more or less, talking about to the Incas of Manco Cápac:

"The main weapon they have is the sling, that uses it from childhood. When they are born they already wear it on the head like a cap. With it they throw very big stones that can kill a horse and sometimes to the rider although they strike to him in the helmet. Their slings are really almost as lethal as arquebuses. I have seen breaking in two pieces with the sling an old sword that a man had in the hands, to a distance of thirty pasos".

So, in the first place, the quote was about the Incas of Peru. Secondly, it was an "old" sword , what it seems to indicate of smaller hardness and solidity. Third,  it talks about thirty "pasos", that would correspond to about 20 meters aprox. But in any case the exact distance is not important here since the author is not speaking specially of accuracy with the sling, but of power when breaking the sword.
The slings of the Incas were without a doubt frightful, and at the same siege of Cuzco where the event of the sword takes place, a brother of Pizarro, Juan Pizarro, was struck by a stone of sling on the head, and since he had forgotten to wear the helmet, his skull was broken, dying fifteen days after.
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« Last Edit: Jun 21st, 2004 at 3:53pm by Hondero »  

He brought a conquering sword..., a shield..., a spear... , a sling from which no erring shot was discharged.&&
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Re: Conquistadore meets Aztec
Reply #18 - Jun 21st, 2004 at 12:44pm
 
Take it from one who knows,  I always say.   Wink  Good work Hondero.
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Re: Conquistadore meets Aztec
Reply #19 - Jun 21st, 2004 at 2:17pm
 
Johnny,

Fantastic Illustration!  I knew that you had to be related in some fashion to Osprey publishing.  Your style reminds me a lot of Angus McBride.  Good stuff!!

As for the quote, I have no oppinion on whether meter or yards is historically accurate.  I do, however, think that the author had never seen a macquahuitl (macana) wielding Aztec!  The sling is tough, but a club with shards of obsidian is to be greatly feared...at least by Cortez and his men.

Rob
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Re: Conquistadore meets Aztec
Reply #20 - Jun 22nd, 2004 at 2:52pm
 
I do not agree with the first statement - the Aztecs used the atlatl, which the Conquistadors feared far more than the sling.  The Incans were not truly effective with their slings against the invaders, and the Maya had dispersed before the Spanish invaded.  Excellent picture though, good detail and sense of action.
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Re: Conquistadore meets Aztec
Reply #21 - Jun 22nd, 2004 at 3:04pm
 
The spanish maybe feared the atatla because they were more out in the open. The sling is small, maybe the spanish didn't even know that they had them. It wold be hard to conseal a atatla in your pocket.
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Re: Conquistadore meets Aztec
Reply #22 - Jun 22nd, 2004 at 4:24pm
 
Where can I find sources giving descriptions of Spaniards being killed, swords being broken and horses stunned or killed by the atlatl. I've read a few blurbs about this, but can't find good information.
Johnny
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Re: Conquistadore meets Aztec
Reply #23 - Jun 23rd, 2004 at 1:49am
 
Tactical analysis leaves little doubt that the most effective Andean weapon was the sling, a conclusion indirectly supported by the depiction in the Nueva corónica of prominent Inca commanders, notably the general Calcuchima, wielding the sling in battle. Sling stones were said to be capable of shattering a horse's thigh or snapping a sword blade in two with a square hit at short range, and the Spanish feared these missiles as they feared no other indigenous weapon, no doubt in part because of their random nature.

http://www.angelfire.com/ga4/guilmartin.com/Edge.html#_ftn41

the sources speak about the Incas. Aztec ... ?
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Hondero
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Re: Conquistadore meets Aztec
Reply #24 - Jun 25th, 2004 at 12:32pm
 
Quote:
I'm also interested in the Spanish swords of this period. Toledo blades were awesome. Incredible strength, but flexible. You could take a sword, bend the blade into a S or semi-circle, and it would spring back to its original shape. Maybe Hondero has some good information on this!
Johnny


Johnny,  I ought you somewhat about swords  Cheesy
I am not an expert in swords although who does not know the famous steel and swords from Toledo? The city still remains as in the Middle Age and to walk around its streets is to return to the past, and only half an hour from Madrid. The crafts of the swords and armors keeps on alive, although now mainly for the tourism. One can find in the shops along the streets great amount of swords, replicas of famous swords of all times, but also ceremony swords for today armies of many countries.

It is said that the quality of Toledo´s blades is due to the properties of the water of its river, the Tajo, in which they were hardened. But without a doubt their craftsmen got to develop a very special art, mainly in XVI century, although the tradition of making excellent swords is very old in Spain, until the point of which the Romans adopted a Hispanic sword like the standard weapon of their army: it was the famous "gladius hispaniensis", that caused more deaths throughout history than any other weapon until the appearance of the firearms. The Roman gladius was the celtiberic sword of short antennas, very beautiful, to which the Romans just changed the grip. There are Latin texts that describe the quality and way to make those wonderful swords of Celtic tradition.

Returning to the Toledo´s  swords, they were made in such a way that their edges were very hard and sharp, but simultaneously the blade was flexible and did not break because of blows, being both things normally contradictory. To greater hardness of a steel, greater fragility and facility to break itself. For that reason they made the inner part of iron (very ductile) and it was covered with very hard steel sheets. The set was soldered at high temperature in the forge and afterwards hammered to merge the parts in an only part. We could say that it was a compound blade, something like the compound bows.
The process to make swords in any country considered the principles to combine the iron and the steel, but in each place there were different ways of doing it and the secret of the quality was without a doubt in the procedures. In some places it was done twisting rods of steel and iron like plaiting a cord, in others they made of steel only the edges, etc, etc. One of the main reasons of the fame of Toledo´s swords was maybe that each unit was put under a rigorous control of quality, in such a way that the sword that did not pass the tests was sent back to the forge to remake it.
There are so much to talk about swords... but we are slingers, aren´t we?  Grin


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He brought a conquering sword..., a shield..., a spear... , a sling from which no erring shot was discharged.&&
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David_T
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Re: Conquistadore meets Aztec
Reply #25 - Jun 25th, 2004 at 7:36pm
 
Swords,

Wow, I wonder how many nearly lost arts there are.
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Re: Conquistadore meets Aztec
Reply #26 - Jun 27th, 2004 at 11:24am
 
Heyhey, very awesome illustration! Smiley
Though if I was picky I would probably pick at the eye-area and chinbone. I'm also an illustrationist, but primarily I deal with 3d graphics. I focus on organic modelling (people).

Hey, it's awesome that you've made illustrations for the Thracians book Cheesy

I've gotten 11 books from Osprey Publishing, but 4 books have not yet arrived:
New Vanguard 78: Greek & Roman Siege Machinery
New Vanguard 89: Greek & Roman Artillery 399 BC
Men-at-Arms 360: The Thracians 700 BC-AD 46
Special: Hannibal's War With Rome

It's very cool to have met someone who has illustrated a book I've already ordered. Cheesy
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Re: Conquistadore meets Aztec
Reply #27 - Jun 27th, 2004 at 12:56pm
 
I also like Osprey.  Probably everyone here does.  I like mostly Medieval, Japanese or American colonial era books, but I have a few others.  The illustrations are often first rate.
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Re: Conquistadore meets Aztec
Reply #28 - Jun 27th, 2004 at 2:04pm
 
I personally know Angus McBride.
He has done some biblical illustrations for my company, LifeWay Publications. Very nice and wonderful person.
Johnny
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Re: Conquistadore meets Aztec
Reply #29 - Jun 28th, 2004 at 9:39pm
 
Heyhey.. I actually got the book in my mailbox on monday. Smiley

Looking good, I can see many of your b&w drawings on pages 8, 13, 14 and so on..  "© Johnny Shumate 2001"
I take it that's you? Smiley

Great drawings m8!

I also love Angus McBride's illustrations, they just.. rock!
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