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Old 11th February 2020, 04:28 PM   #1
Marcus den toom
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Default Romanian Brass cannons 1480-1500

I found this article and translated it with the google translater, enjoy.
http://istoriamilitara.org/stiinta/...eiul-vechi.html


In 1999, during the archaeological investigations, carried out inside the Orheiul Vechi citadel, two pieces of artillery were discovered during the reign of Stephen the Great - unique objects for Central and South-East Europe: for the Republic of Moldova it represents the oldest pieces of fire artillery ever discovered (Sheet no. 1, 2). These bronze cannons were found in the soil filling of a destroyed dwelling (no. 52), in the southwest corner of the medieval citadel (Plate 4, 5). The cannons were in the central part of the destroyed complex, at a depth of 1.80 m, in a layer of soil and ash. The artillery pieces were placed at the same level, with the adjacent rings, being oriented with the mouth to the east. Inside a cannon, a stone peg was discovered.

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Bronze cannon, Orheiul VechiTunul no.1 (Sheet no. 3/1) represents a piece made of bronze by the method of casting. The tube of the cannon is provided with a single hole in the front. The inside of the pipe represents a channel in the form of a threshold, towards the mouth being wider and allowing the placement of the window, and towards a narrower bottom, favoring the loading of dust. Loads of dust and spoons were made through the mouth of the cannon. The surface of the cannon is embossed, which is, in our opinion, due to the imitation by the founders of the body of the cannons made of flat iron rods and fastened with rings.

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On the surface of the cannon, in the region of the mouth, is represented a coat of arms, made up of a shield on the surface of which there is a heraldic emblem highlighted. The shield is rectangular, with a sharp base. The heraldic sign has the form of an anchor, provided with two bars at the top (which form a kind of "roof" of the "anchor") and two bars in the field on the left.

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Dimensions of the cannon: length - 62.8 cm, diameter of the mouth of the cannon on the outside - 13.5 cm, diameter of the cannon in the middle - 10.5 cm, outer diameter of the pipe on the sole - 11.15 cm, size of the cannon (diameter of the mouth) - 8.0 cm, diameter of the combustion chamber - 4.0 cm. The thickness of the walls: in the placement room of the window - 1.40-2.25 cm, and in the combustion chamber - 3.20 cm; bottom thickness - 3.70 cm. Cannon weight - 26.60 kg.

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In the central part, the cannon is provided with a special ear, in which an iron ring is attached. The diameter of the ring is 8.0 cm, and the thickness - 1.30 cm.

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The hole for the ignition of the dust is at the bottom of the cannon, within a quadrilateral sector, specially arranged, with the raised edges. The dimensions of the quadrilateral sector - 2.0x1.8 cm, the diameter of the hole - 0.4 cm. By its form, the cannon is specific to the years 1460-1480.

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Bronze cannon, Orheiul VechiTunul no.2 (Plate 3/2) in material and shape, this cannon is analogous to cannon no.1. It was made of bronze, using the casting method. Compared to the cannon no.1, it is worked in an archaic manner, it has a coarser surface, worked negligently, with a heraldic sign analogous to the coat of arms of the previous cannon, but executed in a non-skillful way. Unlike the first, the second gun, has the embossed surface in sector two. Inside the cannon there was kept a gill of limestone, with traces of bronze oxide. The spiral has a circular shape, with a diameter of 7.5 cm.

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On the surface of the cannon, near the mouth, is printed a relief sign, similar to the shape of the sign in the central part of the first cannon. Unlike the first, on the surface of the second cannon the shield is missing, and the represented sign retains the same shape: anchor with roof and two side bars on the left.

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Dimensions of the cannon: length - 62.25 cm, diameter of the mouth of the cannon on the outside - 13.7 cm, diameter of the mouth of the cannon in the middle - 11.0 cm, outer diameter of the pipe on the sole - 9.80 cm, size of the cannon (diameter of the mouth) - 7.5 cm, diameter of the combustion chamber of dust - 4.5 cm, thickness of the walls: in the placement room of the shell - 1.30-1.70 cm, and in the combustion chamber - 3.0 cm, the thickness of the bottom –1.70-2.40 cm. Cannon weight - 31.05 kg.

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In the central part; the cannon is provided with a special ear, in which an iron ring is attached. The diameter of the ring is 8.0 cm and the thickness in section - 1.30 cm.

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The hole for the ignition of the dust is at the bottom of the cannon, within a quadrilateral sector, specially arranged with the raised edges. Dimensions of the quadrilateral sector - 1.8x1.8 cm, hole diameter - 0.4 cm.

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The cannons from Orheiul Vechi are of particular scientific interest: they are among the oldest objects of this kind found in the Romanian space. These guns fit wonderfully into the range of artillery pieces, dated to the last quarter of the fifteenth century - the beginning of the sixteenth century and come to complement the range of such discoveries in Europe.

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In this context, it should be remembered that the first firearms discovered in Europe date from the first half of the century. XIV [1], and in the Romanian space - from the last quarter of the XIV century. According to the city of Sibiu, firearms are certified since 1373, and in Sighişoara with 1393, here are certified local industries for casting artillery pieces [2].

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Some authors claim that in the Romanian Country the artillery appeared during the reign of Mircea cel Bătrân, and in the Land of Moldova - during the time of Alexandru cel Bun [3]. In the Romanian countries, starting with the second quarter of the 14th century: in 1432, Vlad Dracul addressed to the Brasovians: "please, like my brothers, cook me a hundred rifles (cannons)" [4].

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The first documentary attestation regarding the use of fire artillery on the battlefield, dates to Romanians, during the reign of Vlad Dracul. In the battle of Giurgiu (the year 1445), the Romanian ruler used two bombers which according to the chronicle of Jean de Wavrin, "made more noise than damage" [5].

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The large-scale implementation of fire artillery in the Romanian countries, dates from the middle of the 15th century and is attributed to the rulers Iancu de Hunedoara (in Transylvania), Vlad Ţepeş (in the Romanian Country) and Ştefan cel Mare (in Moldova).

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During the 15th-16th centuries, in Romania, various types of firearms are reported: bombardments (heavy and light), culverines and archbuses (heavy rifles). Among the light cannons were the bombarda manualis - the hand bombard, which was fixed to a skull, in carts or which. Heavy bombers [1] struck at 500 and 1000 m, and light bombers at 400 and 700 m [6]. The artillery pieces were made of iron or bronze. It was fired with metal or stone holes, and as an explosive, it was used as a powder of silica, powder and coal.

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The first written mentions regarding the use of cannons in Moldova date from the middle of the 15th century. Thus, after an inscription on the wall of the White Fortress we find that in 1454 the fortress "was armed with cannons" by the stanciul stanciul [7].

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During the reign of Stephen the Great the artillery was used at the siege of Chile (1465), in the battle of Vaslui (1475), in the White Valley (1476), in Suceava (1476), in Suceava and Codrii Cosminului (1497).

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Referring to the siege of Chile in 1465 a chronicler wrote: "last Friday morning the city began to beat and so they harassed all day until evening" [8]. Something before "in the sixth year of Stephen's reign, in the years 6970 [1462], July 22, they struck Stephen's vood, with a shotgun in his ankle at the city of Chile" [9]. This event was reported in the following way in an older chronicle: "В лъто 6970 юниа 22 удариша Стефана воевода пушкою у Келию граду" [10].

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Two years after the siege of Chile, in 1467, after the battle of Baia, Ştefan cel Mare captured "chariots and tents and various bombers, cars and cannons big and small" [11]. According to the chronicles of Grigore Ureche, in 1475, in the battle of the High Bridge in Vaslui, the Moldovans acquired the Ottoman "rifles" [12]. In 1476, the citizens of Suceava fortress "defended themselves with cannons and did not care about the Turks" [13]. According to the Turkish chronicles, in 1476: “there were chariots on the side of the cliffs, from which they were firing with cannons ... causing the earth to tremble with their noise; ..... the worshipers, not tolerating these blows, although they were accustomed to put their chest in front of the guns and rifles, lay down with their faces to the ground "[14]

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According to the reports of the Polish chronicler Bernard Wapowski, we learn that in 1497, Suceava was besieged with large cannons, "machines" for demolishing the walls, two of which were "of astonishing size", one being drawn by 40 and another by 50 horses [ 15]. Very soon these artillery pieces had been captured by the Moldovans soon.

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In the same year 1497, after the victory of Cosmin's Codrii over the Poles led by Jan Olbraht "all the big guns, with which [the Poles] had beaten in the city of Suceava, were taken smaller and smaller ones, which is not possible to them. string "[16].

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In the country of Moldova, as in other European countries, there were several ways to supplement the army with artillery pieces. First, the guns were purchased from Transylvania, from the workshops in Brasov, Sibiu, etc. Very accessible to Moldova were also the workshops in Lviv, from where large quantities of weapons were brought. A no less important source of completing the military arsenal during the reign of Stephen the Great was represented by the seizures of weapons from the Ottoman armies (1475, 1476).
Until the discovery of Orheiul Vechi, in the Romanian space there were 4 pieces of artillery dated from the century. XV. The oldest is considered the bronze bombardier discovered in the fortress of Giurgiu, dated 1445, possibly during the battle of Vlad Dracul [17]. There is a small bombardment, on the poles led by Jan Olbraht also made of bronze, discovered in the city of Severin [18], an iron cannon of unknown origin kept in the Central Military Museum in Bucharest [19] and a bronze bombing found in the city of Bârlad and dated 1476 [20]. Two cannons are represented in a fresco dating from sec. XV from the Romanian Country [21].

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The cannons from Orheiul Vechi are different from the ones already attested in the Romanian space; being of a more evolved type. Similar artillery pieces have been attested in Loshult (Sweden), Tabor (Czech Republic), Tannenberg (Hesja), Vedelspang (Denmark), Kurzetnik (Poland) and date from the years 1460-1470 [22]. Artillery pieces similar in shape, but made of iron, were found in the Lower Dnieper region, near the island of Hortiţa [23], these being provided for the ships of the Zaporozhian Cossacks from the 15th to the 16th centuries. The oldest bronze cannon in Russia was made by the master named Yakov in 1491 and is kept in the Artillery Museum in St. Petersburg.

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In order to identify the production center of the cannons from Orheiul Vechi it is necessary to analyze the signs on the surface of these pieces. In this sense, one of the cannons from Orheiul Vechi (no. 1) and the sign on its surface respectively represents an original piece that, based on some analogies, can provide clues both on the place of production and on the sponsor of this piece. war. On the other hand, the second gun (no. 2), with a more archaic aspect, worked rather left-handed, represents, in our opinion, a copy of the first one, probably made in a different workshop than the one origin.

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The sign from the central part of the coat of arms on the surface of the cannon no. 1 from Orheiul Vechi, indicates on a similarity with Polish-Lithuanian medieval heraldic elements [24]. In this context, it is possible that the artillery piece is the product of a Polish workshop. Regarding the appearance of this cannon in the fortress of Orheiul Vechi, it can be admitted that this version could represent one of the pieces of the artillery batch seized from the Poles by Stefan cel Mare, in 1497, following the battle in Codrii. Cosminului. The second cannon from Orheiul Vechi, which has a similar, but unshielded, sign made by imitation, could be from the same Polish lot, but the possibility of producing it somewhere in Moldova, or even in Orheiul Vechi, according to the model of the cannon, is not excluded. original.

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Orheiul VechiDiscovery of the two cannons in the filling of the complex no. 52 from Orheiul Vechi, represents an echo of a major military event, related to the history of this locality. The fact that these very precious pieces, hidden by the defenders of the city very carefully in filling a destroyed dwelling were not subsequently extracted from the "cache" speaks of the tragic events that occurred at that time. Considering the upper chronological limit of dwelling no. 52, established on the basis of coins and stratigraphy at the end of the 15th century - the beginning of the 16th century and comparing with the data from the medieval chronicles, the tragic event named can be identified with the invasion of the Crimean Tatars led by Beti Gira, in 1510, an event which, according to the chronicler Grigore Ureche, "without news, many Tartars with three places entered the country, plundered from Orheiu to Dorohoiu and pre Prut up, much prey and slavery of people made and full of cattle. taken "[25].

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The presence of artillery pieces in the fortress of Orhei is not accidental. These discoveries fit perfectly in the policy of fortification of the fortress in the Răutului valley by the ruler Stefan cel Mare. Starting with 1470, the city of Orhei had obtained the high status of prisoner. Between 1470 and 1499, in the city of Orhei, seven prisoners with a duration of two to six years were attested: Radu Gangur (1470-1475), Gales (1476-1478), Radu Gangur (1479-1480), Vlaicu ( 1481–1484), Grozea Micotici (1486–1490), Radu Gangur (1492–1493), Ivanco and Alexa (1499 -?) [26]. About the special attitude of Stephen the Great towards the fortress of Orhei, he also speaks of the fact that, as paratroopers of the fortification in the Răutului valley, important boyars were appointed, among them the uncle of the Vlaicu voivod, all of them being appointed at the same time and as members of the royal council.

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During the reign of Stephen the Great, Orhei fortress was the main fortress on the eastern borders of the country of Moldova, which was to stop the invasions of Crimean Tatars and other enemies from the east or from the east. In this context, equipping the city of Orhei with fire artillery became an imperative of the time, especially since in the second half of the fifteenth century, these weapons had become commonplace for south-east and east Europe. The cannons from Orheiul Vechi were small bombs, called in the Romanian countries "sacked" [27] and in Russia "пищалъ". They could be freely installed on the western waves of the fortress or on the stone wall of the citadel. With a range of about 400-700 m, these guns were able to keep the enemies at a considerable distance from the fortress, to contribute substantially to the defense of the locality and to stop the forwarding of the attackers to the country's capital.


Summary
In the year 1999 there were discovered two canons of bronze during the archaeological excavations from the medieval citadel of Orheiul Vechi (R.Moldova). The pieces of artillery were discovered in the locative complex no. 52 placed in the south-western corner of the citadel and dated with the second half of the 15th century - beginning of the 16th century.

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The canons are worked in bronze through the molding method. There is represented a relieved emblem on the surface of the canons. In the central part, the canons had a small ear with an iron ring. Inside of one canon was found a stone canon ball. The length of the canons is 62.8 cm and respectively 62.25 cm, the diameter in the region of the external aperture - 13.5 cm and 13.7 cm, the diameter of the aperture (the caliber) - 8.0 cm and 7.5 cm and the diameter of the burning room - 4.0 cm and 4.5 cm. The weight of the canons is 26.60 kg and 31.05 kg.

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The canons from Orheiul Vechi are probably of polish origin. These pieces were probably part of the lot of artillery captured by the reign of the Land of Moldova Ştefan cel Mare from the king Jan Olbraht as a result of the battle from Codrii Cosminului in the year 1497.

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The hiding of the canons in the complex no. 52 of the citadel Orheiul Vechi is connected to the invasion in the Country of Moldova in the year 1510 of Tatars from Crimea led by the khan Beti-Ghirei.

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List of Floors

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Sheet no. 1. Bronze cannons discovered at Orheiul Vechi, the primary situation.

Sheet no. 2. Bronze cannons discovered at Orheiul Vechi, situation after restoration.

Sheet no. 3. The general plan of the fortress of Old Orhei.

Sheet no. 4. The Citadel of Orhei Vechi, view from the west.

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NOTES


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[1] János Kalmár, Reggi magyar fegyverek, Budapest, 1971, pp. 161-165; Volker von Schmidtchen, Die Feuerwaffen des deutschen Ritterordens bis zur Schlacht bei Tannenberg 1410, Lüneburg, 1977, pp. 10-83; Volker Schmidtchen, Technik im Übergang vom Mittelalter zur Neureit zvischen 1350 und 1600, pp. 209-598; Karl-Heinz Ludwig, Volker Schmidtchen, Metalle und macht 1000 bis 1600. Berlin 1997; Karl-Heinz Ludwig, Technik im hohen Mittelalter zwischen 1000 und 1350-1400, pp. 11-205; Zdzislaw Jun Zygulski, Broń w dawnej Polsce na tle uzbrojenia Europy i Bliskiego Wschodu, Warszawa, 1975, pp. 121-126; R. D. Smit, Towars a new typology for wrought iron ordnance, in The International Journal of nautical Archeology and Underwater exploration, London, 1988; Artyleria sredniowieczna, zarys histories. Krakow, 1957; А.Л.Монгайт, Русская артилерия в XIV-XVIвв. in Военно-исторический журнал, 1940, no. 7; Н.Савов, Корабиата артилерия, in Фар, Варна, 1986, no. 86.

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[2] I. Cupşa, Military art of Moldovans in the second half of the fifteenth century. Ştefan cel Mare, Bucharest, 1959; P. Abrudan, F. Sontag, The defense system of the city of Sibiu in the 15th and 16th centuries - expression of the conception of the people's war, in the SMMIM 1974-1975, p.129; R. Rosetti, History of the military art of the Romanians until the middle of the 17th century, Bucharest, 1947; R. Rosetti, Studies on the face of the war by Stefan cel Mare, Bucharest, 1925-1926, 2 vol .; T. Barbu, Manufacture of fire hydrants, I, Bucharest, 1973; Th. Nicolau, Moldavian Artillery in the XV-XVI centuries, in the Artillery Magazine, no. 4, 1932; The Military History of Romania, Vol. II, Bucharest, 1968, pp. 69-71; The Military History of the Romanian People, Vol. II, Bucharest, 1986, pp. 240-241, 324-325, 526-527; V.S. Iliescu, History of Romanian Artillery, Bucharest, 1977; C. Vlădescu, C. König, White and firearms from the collection of the Central Military Museum, in the Museum Magazine, Year II, no. 4, 1965, pp. 344-348; V. Stănculescu, C. Ukraine, History of Romanian Artillery in Data, Bucharest, Scientific and Encyclopedic Ed., 1988.

[3] The military history of the Romanian people, vol. II. Bucharest, 1986, p. 69.

[4] I. Bogdan, Documents regarding the relations of the Romanian Country with Brasov and the Hungarian Country in the 20th century. XI-XVI (1012-1508), Bucharest, 1905, p. 63.

[5] Jean Wavrin, Chronique, Paris, 1927, p.80.

[6] The military history of Romania, vol. II, Bucharest, 1968, p. 70

[7] А. А. Кочубинский, Тира-Белгород-Аккерман и его новая лапидарная надписьот 1454 г., in Записки Одесского Общества истории и
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Old 11th February 2020, 04:37 PM   #2
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