Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Nothern Mexico
Marc, I´m very glad you came here. I think you made a splendid exposition. I only have some doubts. The influence from the Umayyad Dynasties ended in the 11th Century, and so the relatively isolation of the Califate of Cordoba from the rest of the islamic world. From the 11th Century, north african infuences went into Spain with the sucesive waves of the invasive berber which founded new dynasties, intensifying the cultural contact among them. First the Almoravids, latter the Almohads and finally the Zenetes related to the Marinid dynasty to the beginning of the 14th Century. They were part of the ruling class in Al-Andalús, and the support of the Nasrids for a time.
Although I think traditions changes slowly, some amount of influence must be carried by the new berber rulers along all those centuries of constant intercourse with North Africa, and this is specially valid in the case of weapons. I can´t imagine the berber warriors leaving their weapons and adopting new ones but in a period of time where very serious intercourses must be happened.
I agree that there are almost no recorded swords from this period, and the same thing happens with the christian swords. The swords from Santa Casilda, Don Fernando de la Cerda and King Sancho IV, are among the few we can count on. By the way, the sword of King Fernando El Católico is more related to this last sword, clearly a christian sword, than to the muslim swords. There are documented downward quillons in swords from the 12th Century in Europe, in Oakeshott, "Records of the Medieval Sword" from the types Xa and XII and foward, but I think those are clearly different from the muslim types.
So, there are great difficulties in establishing ancestries and the various steps on the evolution of the spanish-muslim swords and their infuence over the ones used by christians, as the swords used by the kings are not necessarily representative of the diverse variants used by the common soldier. But there is a fact which makes me think more, that there is a connection between the nasrid swords, and the espada jineta, and this is the fact of the great similarities among the Omani Qattara and those swords, a smilarity which goes more far than a mere coincidence and points directly to the berber as the link between them. Of course, as I said, in the measure we have more information, even in this thread, there can be other explanations. More archaeological developments and more translations from arab books must be made to have a firm certainty in all this genealogic tree of muslim swords in Africa and Spain. In this, I would leave a chapter apart for the nimcha.
Marc, I think you can get online only from the XIX Volume of Gladius. I only have texts from this volume to the XXVII. I would appreciate very much if you can tell me how to get the first volumes online. Maybe I´m not very good with the web. As with many other things.
My best regards