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Old 12th February 2009, 12:51 PM   #11
Jim McDougall
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Location: Route 66
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Hi Lorenz,
Its great to have you come in on this with us, and we have agreed, this does seem to be developing into just the intriguing discussion I hoped it would be. I'm glad you added the Calvert reference, as this has stood for some time as one of the few references to Spanish arms in English. Your mention of the dearth of reference to Tizona and Colada is something I also have thought extremely unusual in looking through this work, which is intended to focus on the importance of this collection and Spanish arms in general.

While I could not think of any specific reason for the brief mention of these two most important weapons, it does seem that Mr. Calvert was amidst considerable sensitivity as he was a guest in this cataloguing and description. In the assistance provided to him by the Conde de Valencia de San Juan, some of the material discussed reflect the degree of concern toward the sword once thought to be Colada, now considered the Lobera of Ferdinand III.
The sword next to it was noted as having been attributed to Roland erroneously, but now 'possibly' one of Ferdinands swords (G22).
Tizona was mentioned, but at this point without going into greater detail, only suggesting the sword there was quite likely the true Tizona.
I think that with weapons of this stature, Mr. Calvert wisely limited his review of them to the levels of information shared by the Conde, and avoided further speculation.

Moving on, I think what is most interesting here are the entries on the G21 sword formerly thought to be Colada, and now believed to be the 'Lobera' of King Ferdinand III (King of Castile and Leon, reuniting them in 1231).
It is noted by Calvert on p.32 (...how the name Lobera came to be applied to a sword is unknown).
What is interesting to me is why the question about the Lobera name for a sword, and speculation about the name of a person reflected in memoirs . It seems worthy of note here that in this reference, the sword is referred to as a "lobera sword" and of its great virtue. Somehow there is key focus on the naming of this sword, yet the names of Tizona and Colada are not really reviewed here or it appears in any depth in other references I have seen.

One thing I would offer here for consideration, is another reference in the Calvert text (also p.32) referring to the virtue of ones 'lobera' sword, in a seemingly more general reference.

In looking into what I could find for translation of 'lobera' it seems that the term in variation refers to a wolf pack or wolves lair. While admittedly reaching at this point, I find it interesting that roughly in this period, the concept of using a wolf as a marking guaranteeing the quality of a blade was about to become a known practice. This would be in the established arms making location from earlier Roman Noricum that became Passau. In trying to locate a place name in Spain that would have the name Lobera, it seems that in Zaragoza there is a municipality named Lobera de Onsella.

In later period the famed swordsmith Julian del Rey is said to have used the wolf marking, working in both Toledo and Zaragoza. While it is unclear whether the image used is actually a wolf, or possibly a lion, it has been generally held that it was a wolf (actually referred to as a perillo =dog).
Clearly not connected directly to this case being discussed, it seems worthy of note that there could be a remote connection to wolf marking deriving from this earlier possibility. Perhaps the term 'lobera' was a colloquial metaphor for a sword or type of sword, much in the way the 'fox' became used by Shakespeares time to describe a sword.


In this region of NE Spain, this had been colonized by the Romans, later the Islamic Taifa (Kingdom) of Saraqustah (Zaragoza) and c.1035 AD under Frankish fuedal fiefs.



This is my admittedly limited understanding of the complexity of Spanish history, but the point I am hoping to make is that the name 'Lobera' for this sword, in my opinion is once again, a reference to where the sword was likely made. It would seem that this could be a place name, as in the one I found (I'm sure there are others) in which Zaragosa is of course known for sword making. It was well known as one of the campaign regions for Charlemagne (which brings up once again his paladin, Roland ) which makes it tempting to consider how the attribution for the G22 sword emerged.

It would seem that in these times, a sword made in Zaragoza, with the earlier influences of not only the Frankish swords but Islamic makers, would be of the virtues (quality) expressly noted. How the lobera term becomes applied is at this point completely unclear, and again, what I have compiled is purely speculation. I have placed it here for the consideration and discussion of those of you who are without a doubt more advanced in Spanish history than I am, and very much look forward to your thoughts and observatiobs.

All best regards,
Jim
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