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Old 9th February 2009, 06:06 PM   #1
Jim McDougall
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Default The Mystery of El Cid's Swords Tizona and Colada

While researching material with the early cutlass and scimitar, and the discussion reviewing medieval and earlier Spanish swords, I became caught up in trying to discover more on the famous swords that were El Cid's.

El Cid (El Sayyid= the Lord), Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar (1043-1099) was a famed Castilian heroic figure, immortalized in Spanish history and legend, as well of course as the Hollywood epic "El Cid" with Charleton Heston and Sophia Loren.

These two swords seem to have become even more fabled than El Cid himself, and what they might have looked like, how El Cid acquired them, and what became of them has become a mystery. Some versions claim Tizona was taken in battle with a Moorish opponent in battle, and was passed down to El Cid's som in laws, some say he was awarded both of the swords.Another account suggests Tizona was part of a ransom for Berenguer Ramon II. I found one account that claimed Tizona was buried with him.

Most confusing is that both swords, or examples stated to be them, are today in museums in Spain.

The name 'Tizona' means literally burning stick, firebrand (=a person who stirs revolt or trouble).
It is said that the blade was forged in Cordoba, and was of damascus steel. Could this be a metaphor for the carbon used in forging the steel? With 'Colada' , while the term literally means 'strained' (as in the fruit used in the well known cocktail), as used for the sword (according to Sebastian de Covarubias, writing in 1611) referred to the acero colado process of producing alloyed steel without impurities. This would seem to support the concept, and naming of swords for these factors as well as often where or who made them was a well known Muslim practice.

While Tizona was said to be a single hand sword, it is often claimed that Colada was a two hand sword. According to most resources, this would seem unlikely, as the two hand swords, at least of larger size and extended grip, were not used until at least 1300, and then not popular until much later, about 16th century. This leaves the identity of Colada even more confusing.

Returning to Tizona, in considering the swords in use during the 11th century, it seems likely that it may well have been of the forms used by the Almoravides, double edged and likely hilted much like the early Islamic swords or even with simple straight crossguards and 'Viking' style hilts. The Frankish blades were much in use not only in Andalusia, but Morocco, and the hilts resembling the Viking style seem to have been often used as well.

In 2007, the Spanish noble owning Tizona, though it had been on display in the Royal Armoury in Madrid since 1944, decided to sell it to the Cultural Ministry to display in Burgos near El Cids burial location. The authenticity of the sword was contested, much likely due to the hilt form which was of style much later, 14th to 15th century in Hispano-Moresque fashion. As that battle ensued, the metal of the blade was tested metallurgically, and again...one version claims the metal corresponds to 11th century Cordoba, while other views hold to the 14th-15th century assessment.

The Colada, also in Hispano-Moresque mounts of that period, remains at the Royal Palace, seeming to attract much less conflict, as it seems generally held that its authenticity is probably questionable at best.

In 1839, there was a fire in the Royal Armoury in Madrid, and according to accounts, including Sir Guy Laking, many of its holdings ended up in London auctions subsequently. Nothing was actually written or inventoried as far as I am aware, until Albert Frederick Calvert wrote "Spanish Arms and Armour" in 1907. Many of the swords and weapons shown instantly reflect doubtful attribution. In this inventory, Calvert describes 'Colada' being there, and that the Conde de Valencia believes it belongs to the 13th c. but notes he also thinks that the blade (#G180) may be 11th century. It is noted that both Colada and Tizona had been included in inventories of the treasury of Ferdinand and Isabella at Segovia.
This suggests perhaps that these two escaped the apparant 'deaccessing' of 1839.

In another curious reference titled "Selections from the Letters of Robert Southey" (1856), the accounts written by his son in law J. Warter, note a letter of 1827, where someone he knew had stolen the sword Tizona from the castle of Bejar, leaving another in its place. The figures involved and the ultimate outcome are left muddled in a mess of letters, but the implication seemed worthy of note.

These are the proceeds of notes I gathered and some observations which I feel has given me a better understanding of the history of these famous swords, and I hope others will add comments and hopefully additional information.

All best regards,
Jim
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Old 10th February 2009, 06:55 AM   #2
Gonzalo G
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Let´s stick to the facts. The Tizona was mentioned on literary sources only, in the times of El Cid. Latter, on the year 1503, Gonzalo de Bricio, by mandate of the Queen Isabel La Católica, makes an inventory of the weapons existing in the Alcázar of Segovia, and among them describes the presence of the Tizona". Fray Prudencio de Sanvoval, in his chronicle of Kings of Castilla and León, mentions the Tizona, which is kept on the hands of the Marquee of Falces, since it seems it was gaiven to them by the King Fernando El Católico as a reward to their services, with the condition to bring it to the royal palace on the swearing of Kings of Spain. The Marquee kept the sword until 1936, when it "disappears" from their residence, along with the probatory documents. The sword "reappears" after the Civil War in the Castle of Figueras, in 1939, and it passes to the Army Museum in Madrid.

We don´t know if the sword on the hands of the kings was really the Tizona, we don´t know if the re-appearded sword is the Tizona, and I personally don´t know if the legitimacy documents, signed by their Catolic Majeties, were also found.

Of this sword, it is said that the hilt is not original, but rehilted in the times of the Catolic Kings, almost five centuries latter from the times the Cid lived.
The hilt is clearly european, and the blade, according with the clasification from Oakeshott´s book Records of the Medieval Sword, seems to belong to the XIII type, though all the hilt with guard and pommeal from this sword are clearly from the Reanaissance. Not like a sword taken from a moroccan nobleman, though you stated, without references, that frankish swords were exported to North Africa. You have to take on account that the almoravids were berber specifically.

Is this sword autentic? Are the laboratory sudies from the Complutense University trustworthy? Are there some valid proofs which relates this sword to the Cid? It exists the possibility that this sword was used as a symbol and for propaganda purposes in times in which new regimes were beginning to consolidate, and there was a need of national symbols to create a sentiment of unity on the country. Curiosly, the Cid seem to be fought more time at the service of the moors or for his own interest, than at the service of his catolic king, against who also fought. Something Hollywood and other "sources" conveniently forget to mention. Colada means "cast" in spanish. It is mentioned as taken as a battle trophy from Second Count of Barcelona, Ramon Berenguer, so it´s origins before are not clear. We have to mention that Barcelona was a county in which the metallurgy was at the higher level on all the christian iberic area. The catalans or catalonians, inhabitants of the County of Barcelona, were the first to produce casted iron (iron very pure for the standards of those times in liquid state, produced in the fargas catalanas or catalan forge), in what today we call Spain, though the arabs were more advanced in this sense. Please see from Fernando Olaguet-Feliu Alonso, Arte Medieval Español hasta el Año Mil (Medieval Spanish Art to the Year 1,000, pags. 285 - 286). We continue.
Regards

Gonzalo

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Old 10th February 2009, 05:33 PM   #3
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Excellent Gonzalo! Beautiful dissertation, and exactly what I had hoped for, a direct rebuttal that does exactly what you noted, sticking to the facts. The material I presented was a compilation of excerpts from a wide range of resources, many of which clearly carry the 'spin' syndrome.
Considering the very nature of both of these swords, being represented as artifacts reverently associated with a virtual national treasure and heroic figure of this stature, the chances of 'clear title' and unbroken ownership is unlikely at best.

I think this is a subject encountered with most, if not virtually all, weapons of such monumental importance, in all cultures and in some cases, religions. We know that in the most classic case, there has been considerable and most troublesome issue concerning like analysis of the Swords of the Prophet Mohammed, which reside, again reverently, in a museum.
It would seem that they, like the swords of the Cid, were probably remounted in later times, much as many swords in use were, into styles more in fashion of newer times and done with great respect.

In many other instances, there are cases where the weapons once held by profound historical figures are sought after, or if in place, constantly scrutinized by historical revisionists. In cases where national pride or that of any elite institutions integrity is challenged or in any way threatened, of course there are sensitive issues.

The swords Tizona and Colada clearly fall into such category, and in the turbulence of history, of course changed hands numerous times. The reason I brought up the rather nebulous reference from the letters of an apparantly prominent figure of the 19th century, suggesting theft and switching of the sword, and the rather shameful 'deaccession' of the museums holdings after the fire was to emphasize such possibilities.

I think Gonzalo has presented some much more secure references documenting likely changes in the holding of these weapons, and reviewing these references will likely present more thorough likelihood of the validity of claims to authenticity. Actually, this is exactly what the museums should be doing, if they have not already done so.

I especially like the reference to the literal meaning of 'colada' and my efforts in discovering the translated meaning gave me 'strained' and of course enough silly references to the drink to give me call for a more stiff one!

I think it is great to see that in both cases, the exotic sounding names for these swords were directly inspired metallurgically, something else which seems to have escaped the copy writers discussing the legends of El Cid.

With Colada, the term 'cast', and I earlier noted, the acero colada process of producing pure alloyed steel, noted in the 17th century reference. It seems that Gonzalo has very nicely linked this supporting information and the fact that Barcelona, known for such metallurgical processes may have been the place where Colada was made. With the swords alleged provenance coming from a Barcelona noble, this does present good historical data, regardless of whether it applies directly to the actual sword representing Colada or not.

Returning to Tizona, the references to the literal meaning of the word; coal, burnt, burnt stick and firebrand, also present intriguing metallurgical reference suggesting the carburizing of steel. The 'damascus' term often seen applied in historical references is typically not to be taken literally, as it is often much too broadly used for serious reference. The term in this parlance can often mean anything from a well forged blade, to actual watered steel to even more remotely, a sword actually made in Damascus (unlikely as this had been more a trade center than manufacturing center since Tamerlane's time).
The interesting results of the scientific tests of the incumbent Tizona seem to be represented quite differently depending on who is recounting them. While one reference states the blade is in fact from 11th century, specifically Cordoba ; the other claims 14th to 15th century with no other specifics .
I wonder if the actual documentation of the tests are obtainable ?

In all, completely fascinating, and I hope worthy of more discussion from anyone who has serious interest in not only Spanish history, but in important historical weapons held in museums.

Thank you so much Gonzalo.

All the best,
Jim
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Old 10th February 2009, 11:02 PM   #4
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Just wanted to add more concerning the naming of Tizona and Colada:

"...swords were named after thier place of production, or at least supposed place of production. There were qala'i from a site in central Arabia or Iraq or Malaysia, Diyafi swords from Iraq, Baylamani from Baylaman which was either in Yemen or India and Mushrafi, from a site which was also either in Yemen or Syria. It is a curious characteristic of these names that the places are so uncertain , which suggests that even by the earliest Islamic times the names referred to types rather than places of production".
"The Armies of the Caliphs"
Hugh Kennedy, N.Y. 2001 p.173

With Islamic swords, they were of course held in the highest reverence, much the same as in European parlance from the swords of the Vikings into the age of chivalry. There was great attention put toward the steel in the blade and its forging, and the Arabs often used metaphoric and poetic descriptions, such as "...the sword drank the water" (op.cit. p.174) referring to the tempering. In the 9th century, al-Kindi, in his treatise on swords was particularly interested in the patterning in the steel in the blades, often using the term 'jauhar' (=jewel) in referencing watered steel.

After discovering the metallurgic nature seeming to be associated with the references to Tizona and Colada, it is interesting to consider the possibility that these name/terms might have been applied to more than these two swords alone. While the passage I have quoted clearly refers to the Islamic practice of naming swords, the culture in which El Cid lived and fought was in Moorish Spain, and the practice would seem to have been well in place. The references to the swords in later literary references to El Cid may well have reiterated the names or terms applied to his swords in earlier accounts.

Perhaps later references reflecting swords in inventories included swords called by the term (?) and not distinctly 'the' Tizona or 'Colada' (?)
I am only suggesting this as a possibility that should be considered in references to these resources, emphasizing this is only a thought.

In the study of often seen sword markings, it has been suggested that the 'makers' names inscribed or stamped in the blades such as 'ANDREA FERARA' or 'SAHAGUM' may well be brands or types of swords. This thought pertains to the superb marketing and commercialism of Solingen in using favored names of earlier makers to appeal to certain client groups. In earlier times, the Franks were also keenly aware of quality marking, and the famed and mysterious 'ULFBERHT' swords seem to have been marked in this sense as well.

Best regards,
Jim
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Old 10th February 2009, 11:49 PM   #5
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Jim, I am under the impression that the naming of swords was also used by the europeans, but I am unable to ensure it comes from an islamic influence. The name "Tizona", as you noted, could mean a burning coal stick, and it could poetically designate something like a terrible burning sword. Tizón is the part of a branch burnt to the point of an ardent coal. It has another meanings, but not appliable. I wouldn´t use it as a reference to a forged vs a casted sword, as the word has no metallurgical implications in castilian languaje (several other languajes were spoken on the teritory of actual Spain, and I think Celtan speaks one of them, which is more near to the portuguese than to the castilian).
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Old 11th February 2009, 05:05 PM   #6
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The naming of swords seems to have been a practice of the times in general, and the references were with regard to what seems to have been the source of the names applied. With the European swords, it seems that the practice was known among the Vikings (N.Europe) in the sense that they often used heroic or powerful names and phrases to refer to not only thier swords, but axes and other arms as well. The totemic associations taken by warriors seem to have in some degree come into the equation, as with the berserks (bears etc.) but what is most interesting, and does seem to be somewhat in accord with what I was suggesting with the Islamic swords, are references to dragons or snakes as pertaining to the Viking swords.
As described by Oakeshott in his venerable "The Archaeology of Weapons" the snake allegory refers to the imagery of the pattern welded blades, whose patterning from the manner in which they are forged recalls the skin of the snake, also wonderfully described by Dr.Lee Jones in his "The Serpent in the Blade".
Here, once again, are references to metallurgic characteristics used in reference to swords, whether in naming them, or in describing them.
This artful and poetic analogy often lent well to the romantic literature that became popularly known, and has come through the ages in classic literature.

Perhaps, as I was noting earlier, the names of Tizona and Colada, may have been loosely applied to contemporary swords referring to the style in which the blade was made, or again, where it was made. It seems that I have seen references that refer to 'the tizona' or 'the colada' , which suggest possibly a descriptive term rather than specifically a singular entity.

The tizona term, as noted, has varying reference to burned wood, etc. and also of course might have been applied artistically as in 'the flaming sword'.
The colada term apparantly has numerous connotations but the two I found both applied to metallurgic characteristics. I am not sure whether these clearly different terms might have been used to define blades manufactured differently, but the possibility seems worthy of consideration. Naturally semantics, varying dialects and archaic application might all be conflicting in trying to determine how this may have been intended.

It does remain interesting that the interpretation of the names does suggest some possibility that these were descriptive terms rather than names for specific swords, which would still help in better understanding the references to them in the literature. I think this is important in evaluating the cases for the existing swords representing these extremely important artifacts.

Excellent observations Gonzalo!! I am really intrigued by this topic, and its great to have you join me in discussing this.

All the best,
Jim
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Old 12th February 2009, 12:27 AM   #7
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Default Swords baptism - a fashion from the period.

I know this is not news, neither it will "heat or cool" the situation, but i would like to mention it, if you don't mind.

In a precious old book that i am lucky to have ,dedicated to the edged weapons collection of the Viscount of Pindela, the introduction covers the evolution of the Portuguese (Peninsular) sword.
At the X century stage, the author (Alfredo Guimarães) reminds us the general form of the cross (guard) that swords were developing since the carolingian cicle, enlarging and later stabilizing, giving symbolic character to the insignia of western christian knights and promoting, in a significant manner, their baptism (1).

In a footnote:
(1) " El nombre que se daba a la espada en el bautismo, lo guardaba toda la vida. La de Carlomagno se llamaba Joyeuse, la de Roldan, Aurandal, la de Renato, Flambaut, la de Oliveros, Haute claire, la que el Cid conquistó alo rey moro de Valencia se llamaba Tizona, y la que obtuvo del Conde de Barcelona, Collada. Asi eran particularisadas" -Pompeyo Gener
(Pompeyo Gener seems to be a Spanish authority in edged weapons)

Need translation, Jim? If so, just tell.

Fernando
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Old 12th February 2009, 01:51 AM   #8
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There you are Fernando!!!
You seem to have a lot of 'precious old books'!! and as I have always said, they are goldmines of esoterica and important references concerning these weapons typically not found in the more readily available corpus of arms books.

Yes, by all means, your translation of that note, puulleeze!!

All the best,
Jim
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Old 12th February 2009, 05:32 AM   #9
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The excerpts below from Spanish arms and armour, being a historical and descriptive account of the Royal Armoury of Madrid (1907) will be my humble contribution to this very interesting topic!

What surprised me in browsing the said book is the dearth of info on the colada and the tizona. Perhaps somebody can tell us the 'inside story' there?

By the way, thanks to Gonzalo for referring me to the LINK from where the book (45 mb) can be downloaded.

What would I do without you guys?!
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Old 12th February 2009, 01:21 PM   #10
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Let me try. Castillian speakers, don't hit me .

Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
" El nombre que se daba a la espada en el bautismo, lo guardaba toda la vida. La de Carlomagno se llamaba Joyeuse, la de Roldan, Aurandal, la de Renato, Flambaut, la de Oliveros, Haute claire, la que el Cid conquistó alo rey moro de Valencia se llamaba Tizona, y la que obtuvo del Conde de Barcelona, Collada. Asi eran particularisadas"
.

"The name given to a sword in its baptism, was kept for all life. That of Charlemagne was called Joyeuse, that of Roldan, Aurandal, that of Renato, Flambaut, that of Oliver (the Dane) Haute claire, the one that el Cid conquered from the moor King in Valencia was called Tizona, and the one that he obtained from the count of Barcelona, Collada. In this way they were particularised."

As i said, nothing new, just a confirmation of what is vastly divulged.

Fernando
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Old 12th February 2009, 01:51 PM   #11
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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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Old 12th February 2009, 02:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Let me try. Castillian speakers, don't hit me .

.

"The name given to a sword in its baptism, was kept for all life. That of Charlemagne was called Joyeuse, that of Roldan, Aurandal, that of Renato, Flambaut, that of Oliver (the Dane) Haute claire, the one that el Cid conquered from the moor King in Valencia was called Tizona, and the one that he obtained from the count of Barcelona, Collada. In this way they were particularised."

As i said, nothing new, just a confirmation of what is vastly divulged.

Fernando



Thank you so much Fernando!
Actually it is great to see this translated before me, as I have been here most of the night instead of sleeping...which was impossible with paladins charging back and forth in my head! I have been wading through this maddening sea of literary folklore for hours, and these sword names are really confused or confusing or both.

Charlemagnes sword was indeed Joyeuse, and again it is described with what seems to derive from metallurgical metaphor...."...never was there a sword to match it, its color changed thirty times a day".
Again, who has it? Some say it was buried with him, some say it was held at St.Denys Basilica then taken to the Louvre, some say it is in the Imperial Treasury at Vienna.

But then, another of Charlemagnes sword was 'flamberge' or 'floberge' (=flame cutter), but noted that this 'name/term' was used for Rinaldo's and Maugis' swords also.
In another note Rinaldo's sword is named Frusberta. (?)

Hauteclere, the sword of Oliver, who was another of Charlemagnes paladins, along with Rinaldo, and of course Roland.

The 'Dane' was known as 'Ogier the Dane' (Holger Danske) one of Charlemagnes vassals, and whose sword was Curtana......the name of course later applied to other swords. It is also noted that 'Courtain' (=short sword)was but one of Ogier's swords, the other was named 'Sauvigne'. Perhaps here again, like Tizona and Colada being single and two hand swords, these were types as well?
Incidentally, inscribed on 'Curtana' it is inscribed on the blade:
"...my name is Curtana, of the same steel and temper as Joyuese and Durandal".

Which brings us to 'Durandal' which was the sword of Roland, as mentioned previously, but Charlemagnes 'right hand' paladin.
This sword is afforded even more romantic allusion, and described as having previously been owned by Hector of Troy, and won from the giant Jutmundus. Added to this mythology for the blade, the hilt was said to have contained a thread from the cloak of the Virgin Mary; tooth of St. Peter; a hair of St. Denys and a drop of St. Basils blood.

In battle when Roland was mortally wounded he desperately tried to break Durandal, but the sound sword would not break, so he 'threw it into a poisoned stream' so as not to fall into enemy hands.

So there is the bedlam of my sleepless night, the naming of swords and thier allusions which are becoming my delusions!!

All the best,
Jim
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Old 13th February 2009, 12:57 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
...........
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........

Jim



Mr Holmes would be proud

Best Regards David
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Old 13th February 2009, 02:38 AM   #14
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Well, if Calvert´s descriptions are as erroneous or ambiguos as the mentioned in many pages, we have serious problems. Calvert speaks of a coat of mail composed of "scales" (pag. 19), and his lack of knowledge of castillian does not permit him understand many words from the poems related to El Cid, like "lóriga", which designates in fact a scale armour, and he translates as "riven mail", meaning rivetted mail and "huesos", which means "bones", as leggins (pag. 23),.

Also, Jim, "Lobera" in spanish means two things. The place, den, cave or hole where the little wolves born and are raised, and if referred to a sword, it could mean a sword to kill wolves. It does not necessarily designates real wolves, as the word could be used in a poetic sense. Lobera is the equivalent of the italian word "lupara", which designates a shotgun to kill wolves, a shepherd´s shotgun. Also, there is a mention of this sword as belonged previously to a chevalier who´s last name is Lobera, and this is also a very plausible and acceptable explanation of the name given to the sword.

The Colada is actually mounted in a 15-16th Century style and the blade looks of a newer model than the Tizona, IMHO.
Regards

Gonzalo

Last edited by Gonzalo G : 13th February 2009 at 03:38 AM.
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Old 13th February 2009, 03:49 AM   #15
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Thanks so much David!!! Thinkin' outside the box again...right or wrong, its fun to evaluate data.

Thank you Gonzalo, for explaining the more concise definition of lobera. Naturally as a non Spanish speaker, despite variations and semantics, I sort of expected that there might be more to the term's actual meaning. Still, in romanticized allusion, who knows where the intended use of such a term might have gone on those times. Perhaps the place where the wolf swords were made (born) was a 'lair'? Doesn't really sound too much more bizarre than the allegories I read through concerning the names applied to the swords of the chilvalric heroes, including flaming swords, etc.


Thanks again for your observations on my notes, as always I appreciate your knowledgable input as I offer these speculations.

All very best regards,
Jim
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Old 14th February 2009, 11:32 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
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 ...

Hi Jim,

Yes indeed, a very interesting topic to say the least!

While Googling for colada and tizona, I found this Wikipedia article on the List of magical weapons, which is mainly about swords. Here's an excerpt, and I highlighted the subject swords for easier browsing:

In folklore

Sword Kladenets – a fabulous magic sword in some Old Russian fairy tales.

Green Dragon Crescent Blade – Exceptionally heavy guandao wielded by Guan Yu in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms; forged from the body of a dragon.

Dyrnwyn – Sword of Rhydderch Hael in Welsh legend; When drawn, it blazed with fire; if drawn by a worthy man, the fire would help him in his cause, but its fire would burn the man who drew it for an unworthy purpose.

Hrunting and Nægling – Beowulf's magical swords.

Shamshir-e Zomorrodnegar – Legendary Persian sword.

Skofnung – sword of legendary Danish king Hrólf Kraki.

Thunderbolt – as wielded by various mythological deities such as Zeus.

Vajra – A composite weapon made from the bones of a willing sage used by Indra.

Zulfiqar – a sword gifted from God to Imam Ali

Taming Sari - a keris owned by mythical Malay warrior Hang Tuah. It possesses supernatural powers, bestowing invincibility to its wielder. According to one story, Hang Tuah fought the Majapahit warrior who owned the keris to a standstill, unable to defeat him. Later, after using trickery to switch weapons, Hang Tuah won easily.

Norse mythology

Gram – Sword of the hero Sigurd from Norse mythology, also known as Nothung in the Ring cycle

Gungnir – Odin's spear.

Hrotti – Part of the treasure of the dragon Fafnir.

Lævateinn – A weapon mentioned in Fjölsvinnsmál.

Mjolnir – The hammer of Thor.

Tyrfing – A sword made by dwarves in the Elder Edda.


Irish mythology

Fragarach – Sword of the god of the seas Manannan mac Lir and later Lugh in Irish legend; it was said to be a weapon that no armour could stop.

Caladbolg – Two-handed sword of Fergus mac Róich in Irish legend; said to make a circle like an arc of rainbow when swung, and to have the power to cleave the tops from the hills.

Claíomh Solais – Sword of Nuada the king of the gods in Irish mythology; In legend, the sword glowed with the light of the sun and was irresistible in battle, having the power to cut his enemies in half.

Gáe Bulg – Spear of Cúchulainn; made from the bones of a sea monster.

Spear of Lugh – Spear of Lugh, the champion of the gods in Irish Mythology.


Arthurian legend

Excalibur – King Arthur's magical war sword.

Clarent – King Arthur's sword of peace. Also sometimes known as Mordred's sword that he used to kill King Arthur

Cernwennan - King Arthur's dagger

Rhongomiant - King Arthur's Spear


The Song of Roland

Almace – The sword of Archbishop Turpin.

Durendal – Indestructible sword of Roland.

Hauteclere – The sword of Oliver.

Joyeuse – Charlemagne's personal sword.


Japanese folklore

Ame-no-nuboko – Japanese halberd which formed the first island.

Kusanagi – Legendary Japanese sword.

Tonbogiri – one of three legendary spears created by the famed swordsmith Masazane.


Spanish folklore

Tizona - the sword of El Cid, it frightens unworthy opponents, as shown in the heroic poem Cantar de Mio Cid.

Colada - the other sword of El Cid, as Tizona its power depends on the warrior that wields it.

The lance of Olyndicus, the celtiberians' war chief who fought against Rome. According to Florus, he wielded a silver lance that was sent to him by the gods from the sky.


In novels

Mournblade - An enchanted blade from Michael Moorcocks stories.

Nehima – Lirael and Abhorsen by Garth Nix.

Stormbringer – Vampiric demon blade in Michael Moorcocks stories.

Sword of Martin – weapon from the Redwall series of novels by Brian Jacques.

The Sword of Truth - The sword wielded by the Seeker of Truth in the Terry Goodkind novels.

The Sword of Shannara - The sword enchanted by the druids to reveal truth in Terry Brooks novels.

Zar'roc and Brisingr Eragon's sword's in the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini

Rivenscryr- Sword of Tylar ser Noche in the God Slayer Chronicles by James Clemens, it has the power to slay the gods entirely, killing all aspects of them.

Callandor - The sword that is not a sword, a powerful sa'angreal in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series.

Soren, a sword in the Tara series by Madden Grimm

Ruyi Jingu Bang - An magical staff wielded by Sun Wukong in Journey to the West


The works of J. R. R. Tolkien

Anglachel – one of the two swords forged by Eöl the Dark Elf out of a black iron meteorite. It is said to be able to cleave any iron from within the earth. Anglachel appears to be a sentient sword that speaks on occasion and has some will of its own.

Glamdring, Orcrist and Sting – High-Elven swords; glow with a blue or white flame when Orcs are near.

Morgul-blade – magical poisoned dagger wielded by Nazgûl.

Caudimordax – this sword cannot be sheathed when a dragon comes within five miles of its bearer's presence.

Andúril/Narsil- the sword of Elendil (Narsil) reforged in Anduril on the return of his true heir, Aragorn- the reforging of the shards of Narsil was foretold as a sign of the coming of the true King of Gondor

Aiglos- the spear with which the Elven king Gil-galad went to war.

I don't know whether it's fair to put the historical colada and tizona in the above quoted list, as most of the blades there are fictitious.

Anyways, I just thought I'd throw in the above list for whatever it's worth!
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Old 14th February 2009, 04:12 PM   #17
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Yikes, Lorenz!!
Now thats compehensive,
Thank you for adding this list, and it does show the mythical weapons of literary classics and legend...and as you note, many, if not most are in some degree either fictitious or contained in illustrious descriptive metaphor.

With a number of these weapons, they actually existed, however they have been embellished or metaphorically described in so much literature that often conflicts with another, that in cases where these swords are supposed to still exist, there are unsurprisingly disputed perspectives on their authenticity.

Heroic figures such as El Cid, Charlemagne, Joan of Arc and so many others of course used swords, but they have reached such lofty stature in legend, it almost seems that to hold a sword said to have belonged to any one of them would seem almost disappointing, as a mere mortal object. This is my own perception at least, though in my mind I choose to imagine what these swords were like.

I recall once researching a sword said to have been used by a heroic Scottish figure during the time of the English civil wars, who was said to have had a huge sword with a ten pound sliding weight on a rod on the blade, there to add force to the deadly cut. A writer was doing research for a period novel and wanted to add as much authenticity as possible, always admirable.
It was incredibly fascinating and I found most of the events and locations associated with the individual factual, however in varying degree embellished. For example a castle was actually a rather large home or estate, and as always, the battles were of course not like the movies.
The 'ten pound' weight was naturally impossible, and the first sign of improbability, for even in the unlikely case he was actually using a true claymore..the huge two hand sword, such a weight would make use of one of these uncontrollable....especially sliding up and down the blade!

The term 'claymore' as noted, typically describes these huge two hand swords used during medieval times, but had mostly fallen out of use in Scotland by the 17th century, naturally with known exceptions. Many of these huge blades did end up in the developing basket hilt form, made famous in Scotland, cut down from these heirloom two hand swords. In yet another case of the semantics and misinterpretations with the study of weapons, the term 'claymore' became popularly applied to the single hand basket hilts.
Pehaps this was due to the known use in so many cases of 'claymore' blades, but whatever the case, in understanding contemporary literature and narratives, the conflicting terms can be confounding.

I never found any evidence of any sword with such a sliding weight on the blade, despite obviously the well known sliding bearings in open channels in the blades of 'tears of the wounded' swords of China, India and Persia. These were primarily ceremonial or parade type swords, with the sound of the moving bearings more thier purpose than any weight or force transfer.
I also found another mythical reference to such a blade with moving weight however, in a romanticized book about the famed Bowie knife, and of course regarded the context accordingly.

The sword attributed to the Scottish hero was eventually discovered, and honestly it was disappointing when there was no sliding weight, nor was it the huge claymore I imagined. Somehow, the stature of the hero himself to me was never compromised, and I realized that such a feature really was never needed, as the achievements of the man himself was the power and force. Perhaps even as mere mortals, we all have such power and force within ourselves in our own ways.
I'd like to think so...

All best regards,
Jim
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Old 14th February 2009, 06:19 PM   #18
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Swords such as Tizona and Colada have 'power' as political 'status' symbols. Later leaders may use such an 'icon' to 'rally' its people to a cause.

Holy relics (in Europe) were often faked, but the masses, unaware would travel 'hundreds of miles' on pilgrimages to view them. This gave the owners power, prestige and often , an income .

Hitler, himself, ordered the search for the 'spear of destiny', the spear alleged to have pierced Christ's side during the crucifixion. He realised, the political power and status he would gain by it's possession . In fact 'the' spear was recently denounced as a medieval fake ....

During the Crusades there is a story where they were heavily outnumbered and their morale low. A monk allegedly had a vision that the "holy lance" would aid them.

" .....Meanwhile in Antioch, on June 10 an otherwise poor and insignificant monk by the name of Peter Bartholomew came forward claiming to have had visions of St. Andrew, who told him that the Holy Lance was inside the city. The starving crusaders were prone to visions and hallucinations, and another monk named Stephen of Valence reported visions of Christ and the Virgin Mary. On June 14 a meteor was seen landing in the enemy camp, interpreted as a good omen. Although Adhemar was suspicious, as he had seen a relic of the Holy Lance in Constantinople, Raymond believed Peter. Raymond, Raymond of Aguilers, William, Bishop of Orange, and others began to dig in the cathedral of St. Peter on June 15, and when they came up empty, Peter went into the pit, reached down, and produced a spear point. Raymond took this as a divine sign that they would survive and thus prepared for a final fight rather than surrender. Peter then reported another vision, in which St. Andrew instructed the crusader army to fast for five days (although they were already starving), after which they would be victorious.

Bohemund was sceptical of the Holy Lance as well, but there is no question that its discovery increased the morale of the crusaders. It is also possible that Peter was reporting what Bohemund wanted, rather than what St. Andrew wanted, as Bohemund knew, from spies in Kerbogha's camp, that the various factions frequently argued with each other, and they would probably not work together as a cohesive unit in battle......"

http://www.stnicholas-billings.org/...iochcapture.htm


It would seem likely, that these two swords have been replaced with impostors ..which would have been staunchly 'defended' as being the originals ...by those whom had possession of them ...to achieve their political agenda.. much like the 'holy relics'......

In my opinion, the web of lies and deceit created would make research incredibly difficult as later generations continued to believe their truth.

Interesting thread

Regards David
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Old 14th February 2009, 10:17 PM   #19
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Outstanding history David ! and its great to look further into so much of this that is connected to the weapons that took part in it. This is exactly what I believe the study of weapons and thier development and history is about.

It is true that the weapons attributed to key historic and heroic figures are indeed important icons that carry tremendous power in promoting national pride and often patriotic fervor. The 'Spear of Longinus' is another great example of this concept of power symbolized by a weapon as an icon.

Actually, though there is a great deal of PR work that seems to have been involved with many weapons of such legendary stature, but I often wonder if there is not a degree of actuality in many cases. The weapons on display in museums of course are often restored or at least receive maintainance for thier preservation.

I am not sure on the Tizona or Colada swords, but in the case of the Boabdil sword which has elaborate mounts that may be end of 15th century, but also may be early 16th. Some references claim the blade is probably Berber, yet note it appears pattern welded. As always, I disclaim any great understanding of metallurgy, but whatever the case is with the blade, the fact that it seems to have been remounted with a more elaborate hilt to better represent the stature of this extremely important and heroic figure.

It would seem quite possible that the blades on these weapons might have been from the period claimed, and remounted in accord with more current fashion in a well meant show of respect. This is as least the concept I believe most commonly held with weapons held in high esteem in many cultures, and I know that many weapons were remounted many times in thier working lives.

There were apparantly tests on the blade of the Tizona sword, but it seems unclear on the actual outcome. On one hand it is claimed the blade is 11th century, and the other the same 15th-16th century attribution that seems to correspond to the Boabdil sword and Colada. Whether there is intentional deception involved, or simply stubborn refusal to let go of what is believed without regard for scientific or scholarly analysis is hard to say. It would be good to see some serious study in examining all of these swords, and if anyone is aware of any such case, I hope they will let us know here.

All best regards,
Jim

Last edited by Jim McDougall : 15th February 2009 at 01:32 AM.
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Old 16th February 2009, 09:17 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Thank you for adding this list, and it does show the mythical weapons of literary classics and legend...and as you note, many, if not most are in some degree either fictitious or contained in illustrious descriptive metaphor.

Hi Jim,

Thanks for the comments.

I guess all I can say is that if historical swords have joined the ranks of mythical and "magical" swords, then those real swords must really be that good whatever "good" means.

And the other thing that this veil of mystery does is that it continually feeds the legend, which then of course perpetuates the stories even more.

I guess a sword couldn't ask for more!

Quote:
Originally Posted by katana
Swords such as Tizona and Colada have 'power' as political 'status' symbols. Later leaders may use such an 'icon' to 'rally' its people to a cause.

Hi David,

Thanks for your post. And expanding the discussion to include historical similarities surely puts the subject swords in better perspective.

Isn't it interesting that the deceased El Cid was used as a rallying point then, and his swords continue to be used as such apparently? So for political propagandists (for lack of a better word), to them I guess it's not important whether the thing is true or not.

Interesting thread indeed ...

PS - On the power of belief and as an aside, as Neo (The Matrix) said "There is no spoon."
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Old 28th February 2009, 11:51 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Gonzalo G
Well, if Calvert´s descriptions are as erroneous or ambiguos as the mentioned in many pages, we have serious problems. Calvert speaks of a coat of mail composed of "scales" (pag. 19), and his lack of knowledge of castillian does not permit him understand many words from the poems related to El Cid, like "lóriga", which designates in fact a scale armour, and he translates as "riven mail", meaning rivetted mail and "huesos", which means "bones", as leggins (pag. 23),.
Gonzalo


I only wanted to make an explanatory statement. I just read in a document about antique armour, that in the Victorian Era in England, the term ´maille´ has another meaning that in the present time. It designated also any articulated type or armour made from scales or from llamelae, and of course, chain mail and ring mail. So, my comment about the supposed confusion in Calvert´s book about the castillian word ´loriga´, is not really a confusion, but the proper use of the word in that time and place.
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Old 28th February 2009, 11:53 PM   #22
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I must apologize for my delayed and out of phase responses, but I have no internet connection, so I have to wait until I can connect from some place. There is an article related with the methodology used to dating the Tizona in the Complutense University, published by Gladius, Vol. XXI, 2001 (‘Modelo para la Datación de Hierros y Aceros Antiguos Aplicado a Tizona’ by José Manuel Jiménez, Daniel Arias, Esther Bravo, Juan Antonio Martínez y Antonio J. Criado), in which very briefly (hardly 18 lines), the method is described (and not really explained, as maybe it was not the intention of this article to reach much deep in this technicalties) on the grounds that the steels changes their structure from the moment they are forged, through the passing of time, due a diffusing process which produces an structural ageing at normal environmental temperature. This process results in a more relaxed structure from the strains created during the original forge, with more perfect crystalline structure, and therefore more stable. Some aspects of this change are enumerated, as the segregation of the excess of carbon from the ferrite, the production of cementite prismatic crystals in the perlite, the stress relieving produced by the staggering and growing of crystals, and, in the martensite, by the segregation and growing of spheroidized iron carbides with a morphology of clusters. A mathematic model (Porter y Easterling, 1981) is invoked as been used to calculate the date of production of the blade, and in the conclusions of this article, this date is established as 950 years ago. Taking on account that this article was published in 2001, we can deduct the date of production in the year 1051 AD.

I can’t make a scientific analysis of this article, since I am not a metallurgist. But I feel it places more questions than answers. Maybe one of the metallurgists in this forum would be so kind to help us in this area. I can help with translations from this article, though I also have some doubts about my proper use of metallurgical terms in english.

The whole article has only 12 pages, and it seems more as a succinct abstract of a bigger publication, and really it does not explains in detail the scientific bases in which those methods and mathematic models are based. Apart from the fact that the results of this study seems to be unconfirmed by another metallurgical laboratories. There are also two points of interests in this article. First, the fact that in the Fig. 1, there is a description of the blade as ‘andalusi’, jineta or slashing, suitable for cavalry fighting. The statements included in this description are not based in any ground. Why this sword is specifically andalusian, and not from another place of production? Are ‘jineta’ (or gineta) and ‘slashing’ equivalent concepts? It seems that the ‘or’ is superfluos and confusing. Why would be this type of blade would be called specifically ‘jineta’? Which would be the distinctive features of a jineta blade? Would it not be just a common period blade from medieval Europe? I must point that this blade have a central fuller in a style I have not seen in other muslim jineta swords, but in many medieval swords. Tough I have not seen all the muslim jineta swords and I can be mistaken.

Another point of interest is the fact that there is a mention of two kinds of metals composing the blade: softer steel in the core and harder steel in the outside or envelope of the blade. This could point more to an european production, though I can’t make a definitive statement about this point, as the history of the sword production in the Iberian Peninsula in this time period is yet to be made, in my opinion, and the possible differences among arab and christian methods is also to be established (or at least, I must confess that I have no knowledge about any comparative study of this kind). But this mention also produces more questions about the place of production of this sword, since part of Andalusia was in the hands of christians, and part in the hands of the arabs. Which cities or places in Andalusia produced swords in this period? Is this an arab, or a christian produced sword? Is there a time period in which this kind of blades is common in many countries in Europe? Or, is this kind of blade a specific and exclusive product of certain geographical and cultural area?

Returning to the point of the craft of a medieval blade: some sources (Allan R. Williams, ‘Methods of Manufacture of Swords in Medieval Europe: Illustrated by the Metallography of Some Examples’, in Gladius Vol. XIII, 1977) mention the use of pattern welding technique as the method used predominantly in Europe to the 10th Century. During the 10th -11th Century, according with this source, the swords were made frequently by a simple piling of iron and steel bars. Blades from the 11th -15th Centuries are described to be manufactured by a single bar of iron, case-carburized once the blade is made, or welding separate pieces of iron and steel, or welding different kinds of steel. But this source only studied swords outside of the Iberian Peninsula, and only belonged to a small group of samples. Spanish sources (Fraxno and Bouligny) mention the systematic use of iron cored blades, in an envelope of steel in the manufacture of spanish sword blades in the city of Toledo. From other source, we know those methods were used at least from the 18th Century by the bladesmiths from this city (José María Peláez Valle, ‘Comentarios Metalúrgicos a la Tecnología de Procesos de Elaboración del Acero de las Espadas de Toledo Descritas en el Documento de Palomares de 1772’, in Gladius, Vol. XVII, 1986). But in the same article, it is referenced that the Count of Valencia de Don Juan, wrote that when Dionisio Corrientes, a famous toledan bladesmith, died in 1773, also died the last bladesmith who knew the old antique techniques to make swords. The disappearance of the traditional toledan techniques in making blades and the lack of continuity of the old traditions is additionally pointed out in the article ‘Los cuchillos de Albacete’, by Juan J. Rodríguez Lorente, in Gladius, Vol. VI, 1967: ‘…as it seems to be evident from the fact that only an old master from Valencia {another city} could be found to take the direction of the new Factory {the Toledo Factory of Edged Weapons, founded in 1760}, when the old toledan bladesmiths and their traditions already had died or were about to die. I have not found information about the techniques used by the spanish arabs or mozarabs to make swords, and if they were different from the ones used by the christians in the non-arab dominated area. It must be said that the tests conducted in the laboratories of the Complutense University do not produce any certainty that the sword in fact belonged to El Cid, as they can only increase the factual possibility of this belonging, and, as I have mentioned before, I don’t know if the autentification documents were also recovered with the sword, and when these papers were made.

Another point of interest in this article is the reference to this blade as ‘cemented’, or case-oven hardened. This is gives us another interpretation about the two different kind of steels composing the blade and the process of manufacture. Also, it seems that Marrero had other sources with information about the results from the Complutense study, and he makes several interesting statements taken from his sources. The responsible of the study was the Prof. Antonio José Criado, the basis to state that the blade is andalusian seems to be the comparison of this blade with archaeological cementated or case hardened objects from the andalusian and Toledo area (nails and such), the blade had supposedly a double interrupted quenching and the name of tizona was given, according with this source, to any exceptional sword of this type. There is a strange reference to a history from the arab chronicler Al-Hulal about a gift to the almoravid emir Abu Bekr in the mid 11th Century, from his relative the emir Tusuf, of a set of ‘tizonas’. It is not specified if the swords were made in the Iberian Peninsula, as these emirs still were on North Africa at the moment when the gift was made.

Interestingly, is the fact that the owners of the Colada refused to submit this sword to a similar study in the Complutense University laboratories (Juan Antonio Marrero Cabrera, ‘La Tizona en Palacio’, in Militaria, No. 14, 2000). I wonder by which reasons they didn´t want their sword to be tested. In this last article, it also mentioned that the inscription dating the Tizona was made two centuries latter, in the 13th Century, meanwhile the article about the dating of the Tizona in Gladius seems to place this inscription more latter, so the date, based on the inscription, can be reasonably be questioned. I wonder why somebody felt the need to make this inscription with the use of acid, as if the sword needed additional validation. Other specialists have been questioned the age of this blade based in the general typology of the swords from this period. These facts had produced before serious doubts about the authenticity of the sword, and some people suspected a forgery. It was not rare to make forgeries or replications of older swords in the actual territory of Spain, especially in the 19th Century, as we can infer from the numerous items found from this kind in the present day.
Regards

Gonzalo
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Old 7th February 2018, 02:45 PM   #23
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I am resurrecting this excellent thread for my own purposes... I am pleased to announce that an article of mine on the swords Tizona and Colada has been published in the most recent (December) issue of Medieval Warfare magazine. While much of it may not be new information, I think I have at least touched on a few points that are not well known.

https://www.academia.edu/35847672/T...ct_and_ legend

The space and format of the magazine are much too limited to go into much detail so a lot of my background research could not possibly be included. During my research I found again and again that many supposedly scholarly sources repeated claims without proper citation, or claims that are un-sourced or even contradicted by original sources. I am currently working on compiling my notes into a "proper" literature review, but this has become a much larger project than I first expected... In the meantime, I hope the article may provide some fuel for discussion!

Happy reading,
Mark
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Old 7th February 2018, 03:47 PM   #24
fernando
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Excelent material, Mark. Already downloaded to my library. Thank you so much for sharing.
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Old 11th February 2018, 06:18 PM   #25
Jens Nordlunde
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In post 12 Jim mentions Ogier, or Oddgeir as it is written in the old Nors prosa, but in moderne Danish he is called Holger Danske, as Jim correctly writes.
He was said to be a Danish prince doing service in France around 1220.
He is now sitting in the catacombs of Elsinor - waiting. When Denmark is in need he will wake up, and start fighting.
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Old 12th February 2018, 05:13 AM   #26
Philip
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
He is now sitting in the catacombs of Elsinor - waiting. When Denmark is in need he will wake up, and start fighting.


So he's Denmark's counterpart to Friedrich Barbarossa? Or perhaps to Portugal's King Sebastião, whom it is believed did not actually die on the battlefield fighting the Moors in Morocco in 1578, but rather took refuge in a hidden place and fell into a deep slumber from which he shall surely wake when his country needs him again...
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Old 12th February 2018, 06:40 PM   #27
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Interesting that you mention King Dom Sebastião, Philip, as he also played a decisive role in an episode of mystic swords, as per topic.
Having required that tombs of earlier Kings be opened to take their swords as protection amulets to the disastrous battle of Alcacer Quibir (al Quasr al-kibr) in 1578, one sword he carried was that of the first King of Portugal Dom Afonso Hemriques (12th century) resulting that, the only sword brought back from the battle, probably not offloaded from the ship, was decided to be that of Afonso Henriques, whereas its typology clearly defines it as being three centuries posterior, probably from another King, Dom Afonso V ( 15th century). This swap being kept as a true fact during so long time, the authorities are now reluctant to admit the error and thus the myth created around this sword, as that of the monarch that built up Portugal nationality.

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Old 12th February 2018, 09:33 PM   #28
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Obrigado, Nando, pelas fotos! This is all news to me -- I am familiar with the details of this tragic expedition but the books I read do not mention the "talismanic" role of royal swords! Where is this Dom Afonso V (?) sword now kept and displayed? It's a pity that the rest of the royal weapons that Dom Sebastião extracted from the tombs were lost on the campaign. As collectors, we can only hope that they are "sleeping" and forgotten in some Moroccan palace or fortress armory somewhere, rather like the ill-fated King himself (wherever he may be).
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Old 13th February 2018, 12:11 PM   #29
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The original sword of Dom Afonso Henriques resided by his tomb in the church of Santa Cruz in Coimbra, founded in 1181 with the support of this King and his successor Dom Sancho I, whose tomb is also kept in there.
In 1834 with the extinction of religious orders, the sword was transferred to Oporto, to be kept in the Museum Soares dos Reis. In it was againg moved in 1987, this time to the Oporto Military Museum, where it stays, exhibited inside a glass case.
It is written by period chronicler Friar Nicolau de Santa Maria, canon in the same church that, Dom Sebastião had visited both tombs in October 1570 and admired Afonso Henriques sword; kissing it, he said to his entourage: Good times when they fought with so short swords ! This is the sword that liberated the whole Portugal from the cruel yoke of the Moors, always a winner, and therefore worthy to be kept with all veneration. Then he gave it back to the church Prior, saying: Keep it father, as one day i shall resource to it against the Moors in Africa.
There is also documental evidence that Dom Sebastião wrote a letter to the Head Prior eight years after such visit, in 14th March 1578, requesting the sword (and shield) for the African incursion, with comitment to return it after winning the battle.
What actually lacks written evidence, after carefuly searching the church archives, is whether the actual sword was in fact returned to the temple, from which speculation exists that the one later present might have began to another (later) King, judging by its typology.
However still today the Museum tag defines it as the sword of Dom Afonso Henriques.
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Old 13th February 2018, 02:20 PM   #30
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According to my sources, the blade contains a large ammount of damascus-steel.

I'm relatively sure, it was forbidden to export damascus-steel raw material in these times(!).

So it is possible, that Tizona was forged in India or maybe Iran and later conquerred, bought by or given as a present to Europeans.

The sword got two inscriptions:
IO SOI TISONA FUE FECHA EN LA ERA DE MILE QUARENTA
"I'm Tizona, made in the year 1040"

and

AVE MARIA ~ GRATIA PLENA ~ DOMINUS TECUM
"Hail Mary ~ Full of grace ~ The Lord is with thee


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