Lead Moderator European Armoury
Join Date: Dec 2004
There is no smoke without fire
So the Captain was indeed Pinhão; not Fernão but Simão.
And, as i have previously discerned, both words SURRENDER and INDIA are in the inscription
Say Prasanna, did you know this paper ?
The inscribed mural stone at Maha Saman Devale, Ratnapura by Donald Ferguson (1899).
... Let into a niche in the basement of the raised quadrangle, a little to
the north of the flight of steps leading from the outer courtyard, is a
mural stone of some historic value, and of singular interest from the
strange and unexpected position in which it is found. On it, sculptured
in bold relief, are two figures about half the size of life. They
represent the closing event of a mortal combat between a Portuguese,
armed cap-a-pie, and a Sinhalese warrior. Conquered in the encounter,
the latter has been stricken down ; his sword and shield are cast
despairingly aside ; and his antagonist, trampling under foot his pros-
trate form, is now with one final blow about to deprive him of his life.
The inscription below, partly in Roman and partly in Sinhalese
characters, is so much effaced as to be only very partially readable ;.
some portions of the figures are also damaged, seemingly from the action
of the weather upon the stone. The whole is, however, most spiritedly-
executed, and enough of the inscription remains to show that the name
of the Portuguese soldier was Gomez. The Sinhalese say the prostrate
warrior was their champion, one Kuruwita Bandara, a dreaded enemy
of the Portuguese, whose soldiers he had repeatedly cut off, and that
some fifty had fallen by his hand ere he himself was slain. The
sculpture was no doubt executed in Europe by royal or vice-regal
command, and sent hither to do honour to the soldier whose valorous
deed it commemorated.
The above is the only reference to this stone that I have met
with in the many writers on Ceylon — Portuguese, Dutch, and
English — whose works I have searched for information
regarding it ; and yet it is undoubtedly some three centuries
old ; though how long it has heen in its present position,
and whether it was originally placed near the spot it now
occupies, are questions which may well arise in one's mind.
Mr. Skeen's description contains several errors. I think
it more probable that the sculpture was executed in Ceylon,
where there would be no lack of artists in the Portuguese
ranks competent for the work. There are no Sinhalese
characters in the inscription, which is entirely in Portuguese.
Moreover the name of the Portuguese warrior (who is
hardly " armed cap-a-pie") was not Gomez, though any one
ignorant of Portuguese might easily conclude so from
deciphering the first few letters-.
The inscription, so far as I have been able to decipher it,
is as follows (I expand the contractions, and separate the
combined letters): —
COM • EST A* • RENDl • ESTEf * HA ■ 23J ■ ANNOS • QVE ■
ANDO • NA • INDIA • E • HA ■ 15 J • QVE • SIRVO • DE • CA
PITAO • E • TAOQVE§ • OS • REIS ... DE ... E • ■ REI ■
DE • IAFANAPATAO • EV- SIMAO- PINHAO • VENCI
* Scil. espada. f Scil. homem, J Conjectural. § Or ao que 1
[Com esta rendi este, ha 23 (?) annos que ando na India, e ha 15 (?)
que sirvo de capitao ; e taoque (?) os reis...de... (?) e o rei de
Jafanapatao, eu Simao Pinhao o venci.]
With this [sword] I overcame this [man], it being 23 (?) years that
I have been in India, and 15 (?) that I have served as captain ; and as
soon as (?) the kings and the king of Jafanapatao, I, Simao Pinhao, conquered him. "