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Old 26th October 2018, 09:16 AM   #1
Kubur
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Default Boabdil swords and Jineta

Hi Guys,

I was looking in our forum for infos about jineta and Boabdil swords and i found only one descent thread

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ighlight=jineta

Some posts are very interesting. The problem is that the original post was about the drooping quillons and not specificaly on the Jineta.

Do you have more informations about these swords? Their number in the world? (Ibrahim posted something about it), their copies / reproductions?
I saw many of them of different qualities...

Thank you for you help - and knowledge!

Kubur
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Old 26th October 2018, 05:47 PM   #2
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That thread from 2008 was a remarkable exercise, and had a great deal of information about the Hispano-Moresque swords (Boabdil was only one user of them rather than a descriptive term). The term 'jineta' refers to light horseman and may derive from the Berber 'zanete' with similar meaning for the light cavalry used in Spain responding to Umayyad invaders in the 8th century.

It does not seem that the stylistic form regarded as 'jineta' (but also Nasrid) became known until 13th century during the 'Reconquista' ending the Muslim rule in Andalusia in 1491.....that was where Boabdil the Nasrid ruler was defeated.


While this synopsis is perhaps not as accurate as more thorough research might reveal, it gives an idea of the time frame.


Swords of the Nasrid/Hispano-Moresque styles are pretty rare, and I know only of examples in museums in Spain. They are best described in Calvert (1907), "Spanish Arms & Armour", although Nicolle's works have great coverage as noted in the discussions in the linked thread. Bibliographies there as well as even in the Osprey monographs are very thorough.


In the original thread there was some great discussion which I enjoyed very much and Marc (who left shortly later) and Gonzalo added outstanding and detailed research.

It was the brilliant input by Ibrahiim several years later that brought in a good deal of outstanding and pertinent data and insight showing comparisons and plausible connections and differences between these and more recent Arab swords. That input actually brought back Gonzalo from hiatus and rekindled more valuable discussion.


Hopefully this gives a bit of overview that might be helpful. I think the discussions in the link attached here are more on the overall style of the Nasrid swords in which the 'drooping quillons' were a distictive feature.
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Old 27th October 2018, 02:26 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
That thread from 2008 was a remarkable exercise, and had a great deal of information about the Hispano-Moresque swords (Boabdil was only one user of them rather than a descriptive term).

It does not seem that the stylistic form regarded as 'jineta' (but also Nasrid) became known until 13th century during the 'Reconquista' ending the Muslim rule in Andalusia in 1491.....that was where Boabdil the Nasrid ruler was defeated.

Swords of the Nasrid/Hispano-Moresque styles are pretty rare, and I know only of examples in museums in Spain. They are best described in Calvert (1907), "Spanish Arms & Armour", although Nicolle's works have great coverage as noted in the discussions in the linked thread. Bibliographies there as well as even in the Osprey monographs are very thorough.



Thanks, Jim, for the much-needed clarification on terminology, especially to counter the common use of Boabdil as an identifier and general descriptor of the genre. But didn't the Nasrid Dynasty and its capital Granada fall to Ferd and Izzie in 1492? I seem to recall that it was the same year as the expulsion of the Jews and Columbus' first voyage.

Yes, the best surviving ones are in Spain, a complete one (down to the scabbard belt) in astoundingly good condition is in the Museo del Ejército de Madrid (you can see images in Ada Brunn Hoffmeyer's "From Medieval Sword to Renaissance Rapier" in Robt Held (ed) ART, ARMS, AND ARMOUR (1979), p 58. Years ago someone gave me a 35mm print image of a really nice one in the Musée de l'Armée in Paris. but I can't seem to locate it at the moment.
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Old 27th October 2018, 04:10 AM   #4
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Hi Philip,
Yup, you're right it was actually on Jan 2nd but Ferd and Izzie summoned Muhammed XII (Boabdil) to surrender in 1491 a short time before that so technically 1492. In any case, it was the end of Nasrid rule in Andalusian Spain of the time.

The profound influences of the Nasrid dynasty not only deeply influenced Spain in continuum despite the end of Muslim rule, but filtered into Europe and many cultures in addition to the remaining influence in the Maghreb. It is remarkable that these swords, which I think of as Hispano-Moresque, do not remain in larger number and even those which remain have been challenged as far as authenticity and provenance.
I did not know of the one in Musee d'le Armee in Paris, and excellent reference added in the Ada Bruhn Hoffmeyer article in Held (1979). I imagine there must be other articles in "Gladius", the arms journal in Spain, but have not checked their index.
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Old 27th October 2018, 05:27 AM   #5
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Fred and Izzie.....
Sounds like a couple in SF bathhouse:-)
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Old 27th October 2018, 05:52 AM   #6
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Fred and Izzie.....
Sounds like a couple in SF bathhouse:-)


Haha Ariel. It's "Ferd" as in Ferdinand, not Fred. But the imagery is highly amusing. When I was in college we used to sing a ribald ballad about Christopher Columbus, with some hilarious but extremely off-color references to the royal couple that would offend any patriotic Spaniard and are definitely not fit for a dignified and erudite venue such as this forum. If the mood strikes I might be inclined to belt out the verses at the Baltimore arms fair, after a few drinks...
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Old 27th October 2018, 06:38 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
It is remarkable that these swords, which I think of as Hispano-Moresque, do not remain in larger number and even those which remain have been challenged as far as authenticity and provenance.


Jim, do you have the magnificent and very weighty exhibit catalog The Arts of the Muslim Knight: the Furisiyya Art Foundation Collection ed by Basher Mohamed (Milan, 2007)? There is a discussion with double-page and centerfold photos (pp 44-47) of a remarkable and perplexing sword whose blade is identified as Nasrid, 14th cent. from its inscriptions, but for all intents and purposes this blade (single edged, spear-tipped, one narrow dorsal fuller each side and a supplementary fuller at the ricasso) is the most un-Islamic thing imaginable in terms of form. If you looked at it, the opinion would undoubtedly be a backsword blade of "firangi" type commonly seen on Indian swords of four or more centuries later. Furthermore, the hilt resembles those Hispano-Portuguese "crab claw" swords from the beginning of the 16th cent. that were widely imitated in crude form in Kongo. But the hilt, according to Mr Mohamed, is said to be of 19th cent. manufacture.

This is an intriguing sword, the blade defies conventional perceptions and I don't know what to make of a hilt that is said to be 19th cent. on it (a revival of a long-obsolete form). I regret not posting a scan of the image(s) simply because the large-format pages, on which the sword appears on two facing pages and again on a three-sheet foldout, are too large for my scanner.

At any rate, the catalog commentary has something interesting to say about the Hispano-Moresque so-called jinetasthat are the real subject of this thread. According to Mr Mohamed, there are only six known examples, and their blades are nondescript, uninscribed, and do not resemble any comparable double-edged blades from other Islamic culture-spheres. This group was reportedly exhibited at the Alhambra in 1992 to mark the cinquecentennial of the conquest. You might want to look for the exhibition catalog, Al-Andalus: the Art of Islamic Spain (Metro. Mus. of Art, 1997) which has images of these swords. I don't have a copy but it's on the "get" list as of now!

That being said, it might be appropriate to examine some of Mr Mohamed's assertions regarding this small genre. As to their dissimilarity to other Islamic double-edged blades, if we could compare images of all six surviving examples with the counterparts to this type in the Topkapi Sarayi Museum collection, featured in Ünsal Yücel's Islamic Swords and Swordsmiths, we might have a better idea of the degree of dissimilarity and whether it is significant.

Based on the images available to me at present, the Topkapi's published blades are of flattened lenticular cross section except for one with full length wide shallow fullers. The jinete sword published in Held (referenced in prior post) has a half-length deep and narrow fuller, looking for all the world like Oakeshott's Subtype XIIIb. It would be great to see what the other survivors look like.

All of the above referenced blades have similar ogival tip profiles, regardless of fullering or or other details.

As to inscriptions or the lack thereof, the example published in Held does show a circular cartouche, bridging the fuller, that contains some squiggles including something looking like an S, which in the book illustration is of insufficient resolution to decipher. Whether that qualifies as an "inscription" awaits better imagery. Let's hope that the Al-Andalus catalog provides us more to go on.
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Old 27th October 2018, 07:55 AM   #8
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Thank you Jim, it's a very clear and net abstract.

I will copy and paste the most relevant informations and pictures on Jineta / Boabdil swords of the previous thread here for all the forum members and visitors.
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Old 27th October 2018, 07:58 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Gonzalo G
But on the contrary, it is an accepted fact that the jineta sword influenced in the first place the spanish swords, to the degree it was copied in Toledo by the christians (in that time Toledo was on spanish hands), and latter this type of hilt probably spread to other countries, but I don´t have any proof of this diffusion into the rest of Europe. I don´t have the impression that the zenetes had much contact with europeans. In fact, the jineta tactics to make war using the cavalry in a special form, for which even the stirrups of the saddle were modified, were latter copied by castillians to the point it was known by europeans as the "castillian way" to make war.

As you know, the main weapon used by the zenetes was a lance which can be also throwed. Jineta, or Gineta, was a whole complex of tactics, weapons, horse harnesses, all interrelated as a whole, so you can find a treatise of this development in the "Tractado de la Cauallería de la Gineta" a military cavalty treatise written in antique castillian languaje by Hernan Chacon, a knight of the Order of Calatrava.

On the other hand, I have seen many interpretations about the supposed influences from Europe to the rest of the world which do not have a base in actual evidences of a causal nexus, but only on similarities, more or less superficial, on the morphology of the weapon. This a very known practice of ethnocentrism which must be revised in order to have a more objetive vision of the history of the swords. The first example I recall, is the supposed influence of the macedonic machaira on the hindu sousson pata and the khukri, although there is older evidences of this kind of blades in the south of actual India, far from the area of contact with the greeks.

You must take on account that the islamic hilts (and blades) do influenced deeply the european swords, as in the case of the hussar swords from Poland and Hungary, form turkish influence, which latter went as far as Spain with their "sables a la turca" (sabers turkish style). This influence was also reinforced by the mamluke influences which came latter, in the beginning of the 19th Century, and which reached even England. I have seen many european blades on middle east and oriental swords, but always they were remounted in new hilts in the taste of the new owners, and the old hilts were discarded.

Speaking of resemblances, I don´t think the downward curved quillons is enough proof of any influence in either side. But the jineta sword, and specially the hilt, has a special morphology considered as a whole, from which I cannot find ancestry on european swords before the 13th Century. Apart from resembances, we need to establish the physical routes of influence, the commercial or warfare netwoks, the ancestor models and their evolution, and so on. From my sources (Ibn Jaldun history of the berbers), the zenetes were a relatively isolated tribe from Europe influences in that time, making war to other berber tribes and to the fatimides, and it was not until they had an ephimeral hegemony in North Africa, that they went to Spain, first as military contingent, and latter as conquerors of Al-Andalús. Between zenetes, in the west of North Africa, and the europeans, in the Middle East, there were the fatimids, and no commercial post on the coast linked them directly with Europe until latter, when the jineta swords already was an adopted weapon.

However, maybe I do not have enough information on this subject, but if you do, please help me to correct my mistake. I think I have many black spots in my knowlege of the berber and moorish history, and I would appreciate any solid reference you can give me on this point.
My best regards

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Old 27th October 2018, 08:00 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Having said that, I think it is best to consider these distinctly formed hilt styles and focus on their possible ancestry. While the history of the Zenatas and the geopolitics of Spain in the medieval period is fascinating, I hope I can address the question without that complexity.

As Gonzalo has aptly noted, we do not know what form the tribal groups that became known collectively as Zeneta in pre-Islamic times, but as they are believed from Tunisian regions, some research on those regions in period may reveal clues. As noted, we do know that by the 8th century, most of the groups were distinctly Muslim, and these Berber warriors were well established in Andulusian armies. By the 15th century, it is noted however that these light horsemen equipped a la jineta (for Zeneta) though numerous, "...much of thier equipment was imported from Italy, though Spain had a long established armament industry". ("Fernando El Catolico", David Nicolle, Military Illustrated #44, January, 1992, p.48).

While this would seem to suggest that European weapons were prevalent, and possible influence was there, there is no qualified estimation of how prevalent. It is noted further a suggestion of an earlier form of weapon existing in the description of the war sword of Ferdinand the Catholic "...a magnificent late 15th century weapon in an older Iberian-Islamic tradition; it is distinctly related to lighter Granadan swords such as the superb surviving 'jinete' sword of Boabdil". ( M.I. #44, op.cit. p.51)

The sword of Boabdil is the distinct form of Hispano-Moresque jinete, with pointed dome pommel, and profusely ornate with the quillons dropping straight downward, parallel to the blade. The Ferdinand sword has the gently drooping guard with drooping inner quillons associated somewhat with European 'crab claw' type hilts.

In "El Cid and the Reconquista 1050-1492" (D.Nicolle, 1988, Osprey200) these distinct 'jinete' hilts are shown on p.19 (fig. I) as late 14th century, and on p.46 (plate F2) being wielded by a Qadi (religious judge) of late 14th century. It is noted that "...the decorated light sword is described of Grenadine form, a weapon originally developed for light cavalry a la jinete".
It is also noted that some of these jinete swords were richly decorated, probably as gifts or bribes for neighboring Christian aristocrats (p.36).

The sword of Boabdil is illustrated and described in David Nicolle's article "Abu 'Abdullah' Muhammed XI Boabdil of Granada" (M.I. #43, Dec.1991, p.50) and is apparantly held in the Museo del Ejercito in Madrid.

Turning to the later representation of this distinct sword type, the Omani kattara shown in Robert Elgood's "Arms and Armour of Arabia" ( 1994, pp.17,18, fig. 2.13 and 2.15) shows these hilts structurally of essentially the same form of the 'jineta' discussed, but with decorative coverings missing, the dramatic downward quillons vestigial. There is no definite ancestry offered for these swords which are considered of 17th to 18th century (despite an auction catalog with 12th-14th c. date suggested without specific support). Though there is no agreed regional provenance on these, it does seem clear that they are reflective of the 14th century jineta's of the form discussed.

These jineta swords, with dramatically straight downward guard extensions that run parallel to the blade, rather than being guard quillons, particularly with elaborate decoration as in the Boabdil sword, seem to reflect an almost architectural characteristic.

While the reference to the sword of Ferdinand suggests association in its downturned quillons to the Boabdil jineta, I feel that this rather benign form in comparison relates more to cross influence with the European forms.

While this certainly does not answer the question, it has prompted me to learn more on the forms noted, which I have tried to share here.As always, I hope that others might have access to material that would describe the weapons used by the Zenete in North Africa, as well as early Granadan swords that might have been prototypes for the jinete.
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Old 27th October 2018, 08:01 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Marc
If by “the war sword of Ferdinand the Catholic” David Nicolle means either the so-called (sometimes) “Ferdinand’s sword” in the Real Armería:

or the sword from his tomb that stays now in Granada:

then, beyond some decorative aspects, I don’t really see any relationship with the so-called sword of Boabdil in Madrid’s Army museum.

which is a “typical” exemplar of the courtly/luxury Hispano-Moresque sword of Nasrid style from the 14th-15th c, of which some exemplars (less than a dozen, I think) are still extant. I seems quite clear that from this date afterwards this was the style associated with what a “jineta” sword was, specially in the Christian ambit, but it is not so clear that this was the kind of sword that the Zenetes brought with them. We know the Zenetes, in their 13th c. invasions of the Iberian Peninsula, bring with them the light cavalry tactics that will heavily influence the Christian Spanish way of fighting on horseback, including many changes of equipment. But the period descriptions of their swords are not clear enough to make us able to recognize a Zenete/Jineta sword by itself, specially regarding their morphological features, as many of the accounts are not only vague but also centred in the description of how rich and decorated some of them were, obviating the characteristics of those swords that were not destined to the rich and powerful.

On the other hand, in the 13th c. the Zenetes had already been Islamized for a long time, as they had contacts with the first Umayyad invading waves that in the 7th century swept North Africa from East to West, and in fact they helped them to first conquer Iberia as shock troops, at that time. Well, to make a long story short, what I try to point out is that the elite ruling classes in Muslim Spain, those who brought the strongest “foreign” influences in art, religion, society, law, technology, etc. were Umayyad Arabs. And the pre-Islamic and early Islamic Arab swords had straight, double-edged blades, with short, curved quillions (even “D” shaped guards, where the blade emerges from the straight side and the grip from the curved one) of Persian/Sassanid influence (see, for example, HOYLAND, R. G. and GILMOUR, B. “Medieval Islamic Swords and Swordmaking. Kindi’s treatise ‘On Swords and their Kinds’ ”, Ed. By E. J. W. Gibb Memorial Trust, 2006; ALEXANDER, “Swords and sabers during the Early Islamic Period”, Gladius XXI, 2001, pp. 193-220 or ZAKY “Introduction to the study of Islamic Arms and Armour”, Gladius I, 1961, pp. 17-30). And in Al-Andalus there was no take-over by the Central Asian Turcoman tribes with their curved swords (among other things), but instead there was a certain fondness by the old Arab traditions. And on top of that, and most importantly, there are examples of straight double edged swords with short and/or curved quillions from the 9th (CANTÓ GARCÍA, “Una espada de época Omeya del siglo IX D.C”, Gladius XXI, 2001, pp. 183-192) and 12th (NICOLLE, “Two swords from the foundation of Gibraltar”, Gladius XXII, 2002, pp. 147-200) centuries in the territories of Muslim Spain. The picture that seems to emerge to all this, is that the late Nasrid swords are a development of these earlier double-edged swords which in turn are the inheritors of the pre-Islamic and early Islamic Arab swords, and that their dropping quillions seem to owe more to the Persian/Sassanid typologies than to any European influence. As an additional twist to the question, those early Arab swords are, after all, what the Qajar “revival” swords tried to imitate, if I’m not mistaken, with a tendency to also feature the kind of dropping quillions that we also find in Qattaras from Oman and Yemen.

In short, that although the mutual influences between Hispanic Muslims and Christians is an absolutely undeniable reality for as long as they shared the territory, I don’t think that the dropping quillions of the late Nasrid luxury swords are a consequence of it, but a development of the old pre-Islamic and early Islamic Arabic sword typologies.
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Old 27th October 2018, 08:02 AM   #12
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The influence from the Umayyad Dynasties ended in the 11th Century, and so the relatively isolation of the Califate of Cordoba from the rest of the islamic world. From the 11th Century, north african infuences went into Spain with the sucesive waves of the invasive berber which founded new dynasties, intensifying the cultural contact among them. First the Almoravids, latter the Almohads and finally the Zenetes related to the Marinid dynasty to the beginning of the 14th Century. They were part of the ruling class in Al-Andalús, and the support of the Nasrids for a time.

Although I think traditions changes slowly, some amount of influence must be carried by the new berber rulers along all those centuries of constant intercourse with North Africa, and this is specially valid in the case of weapons. I can´t imagine the berber warriors leaving their weapons and adopting new ones but in a period of time where very serious intercourses must be happened.

I agree that there are almost no recorded swords from this period, and the same thing happens with the christian swords. The swords from Santa Casilda, Don Fernando de la Cerda and King Sancho IV, are among the few we can count on. By the way, the sword of King Fernando El Católico is more related to this last sword, clearly a christian sword, than to the muslim swords. There are documented downward quillons in swords from the 12th Century in Europe, in Oakeshott, "Records of the Medieval Sword" from the types Xa and XII and foward, but I think those are clearly different from the muslim types.

So, there are great difficulties in establishing ancestries and the various steps on the evolution of the spanish-muslim swords and their infuence over the ones used by christians, as the swords used by the kings are not necessarily representative of the diverse variants used by the common soldier. But there is a fact which makes me think more, that there is a connection between the nasrid swords, and the espada jineta, and this is the fact of the great similarities among the Omani Qattara and those swords, a smilarity which goes more far than a mere coincidence and points directly to the berber as the link between them. Of course, as I said, in the measure we have more information, even in this thread, there can be other explanations. More archaeological developments and more translations from arab books must be made to have a firm certainty in all this genealogic tree of muslim swords in Africa and Spain. In this, I would leave a chapter apart for the nimcha.

Marc, I think you can get online only from the XIX Volume of Gladius. I only have texts from this volume to the XXVII. I would appreciate very much if you can tell me how to get the first volumes online. Maybe I´m not very good with the web. As with many other things.
My best regards

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Old 27th October 2018, 08:04 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
JINETA SWORDS A quote from a sold item at

Quote"Jineta (or Gineta) swords are the most direct, fair and rich inheritance of the hispano-arab panoply. The name origin comes from the Cronicles of Alphonso X which tells us about a berber tribe of the Benimerines also known as Zenetes who moved into the Iberic penninsula during the XIII century to fight at the service of Mohammed I of Granada, and brought with them this type of weapon, with a shorter and lighter blade but still as wide and with a great quality steel as the ones used by christian forces of the time.

Due to their quality and scarcity (nowadays hardly a dozen of these swords survive) the jinetas are universally considered and admired. Besides a few now within private collections and worldwide museums, in Spain only three museums are fortunate enough to treasure some examples; the San Telmo Municipal Museum (Picture 9) in San Sebastian, Basque Country, The Army Museum (Museo del Ejercito)(Picture 10); and the National Archeological Museum (Museo Arqueologico Nacional)(Picture11) in Madrid".Unquote.
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Old 27th October 2018, 08:04 AM   #14
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When I was in Spain a few years ago, I took the attached pictures of the jinetas.

First, a couple heavily adorned examples from Museo del Ejercito in Toledo, I believe the first one is attributed to Boabdil.

Then, a broadsword with an ivory hilt, also one of Boabdil's swords.

Finally, one more sword from the Archaeological Museum in Madrid.
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Old 27th October 2018, 08:06 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Whilst the Moroccan Nimcha has occasionally been associated in the design to or from this weapon I see virtually no link whatsoever except a vague potential hint because of the turned down quillons ...which as you can see bare no resemblance at all, nor does the hilt; whilst the blades are totally different...in fact the Moroccan blade is often European.

The swords below are indicated as (Top left to right) but may be incomplete as there are 11 descriptions but 12 pictures!! but it may be correct up to item 7.
1 - Sword found in Sangueza, pommel is missing (XIIIth century ?, probably the oldest known)
2 - Sword of the Cardinal Infant Don Fernando (Real Armeria in Madrid)
3 - Sword said to be of Sayyidi Yahya (Casa de los Tiros, Granada)
4 - Sword of San Marcello de Leon (museo archeologico, Madrid)
5 - Sword said to be of the Sultan Boabil (museo del ejercito, Madrid)
6 - Sword "bèrbère" (armeria real, Madrid)
7 - Sword hilt
************************************************** ******
8 - Sword of the "Cabinet des Médailles" (B Nat, Paris)
9 - Sword of San Telmo (San Sebastian)
10 - Sword said to be of Abindarraez (MET museum, NY)
11 - Sword of the Kassel Museum (Germany)

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 27th October 2018, 08:07 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Gonzalo G
Note the presence of the spherical pommel, not to be confused with a discoidal pommel, more common on the European swords. This pommel maybe will evolve to the more dome-shaped with a finial as in the Nasrid swords, or maybe the last is a late stylistic import into North Africa or to Al-Andalus through North Africa. The provenance of this swords, in the opinion of most of the specialists, including Oakeshott, is occidental North Africa, around the 12th Century.
There are more illustrations in the study from Nicolle, which can be downloaded here:

Note the presence of the spherical pommel, not to be confused with a discoidal pommel, more common on the European swords. This pommel maybe will evolve to the more dome-shaped with a finial as in the Nasrid swords, or maybe the last is a late stylistic import into North Africa or to Al-Andalus through North Africa. The provenance of this swords, in the opinion of most of the specialists, including Oakeshott, is occidental North Africa, around the 12th Century.
There are more illustrations in the study from Nicolle, which can be downloaded here:
http://gladius.revistas.csic.es/ind.../download/59/60
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Old 27th October 2018, 08:11 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Gonzalo G
The broadswords with downcurved quillons came to the Iberic Peninsula since the early Muslim rule, as stated in the bibliography given by Marc, to which I add the study by Rafael Carmona Ávila, already mentioned. But until the 11th Century those swords have not yet the type of quillons found in the Nasrid swords. Those last came in two types: ceremonial (more apltly denominated “dress swords”, the type of sword used by Boabdil) and fighting. An example of the last is seen in the article from Berástegui Lizeaga, Crespo Francés y Valero y Rosado Galdós, “Identificación de una Espada Jineta de Guerra”, Trabajos de Arqueología Navarra, No. 18, 2005, pp.91 to 112 (it can be downloaded from the Internet):


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonzalo G
This sword has more taper, no central fuller and more space to place the index finger over the quillons and under the blade. This is one of the very few existing jineta fighting swords, so we don’t know how representative is of his type. How can we fill the gap between the Muslim sword from the 10th-11th Centuries backwards with this new type? The only information we have is that the Berber Zenetes arrived in Al-Andalús around the 12th Century, and I quote again the work by Nicolle on the Gibraltar swords:

“A new type of sword and its associated tactics are believed to have been introduced to the Iberian peninsula by Berber mercenaries and conquerors in the 11th-12th centuries, perhaps as a precursor to or early version of the jinete light cavalry tactics clearly introduced from North Africa in the 13th-14th centuries. Light cavalry combat a la jinete was again associated with what western European came to know as the Italian Grip and, according to some scholars, with curved quillons 10. In fact the term jinete comes from Zanata, the tribe from which many of the Berber soldiers of both Granada and Morocco came. Their highly effective light cavalry tactics using minimal armour, light leather shields, relatively light swords and javelins thrown from horseback were adopted first by the native Andalusian troops of Granada, then by their Christian Iberian foes, and eventually by some other European cavalry as well.” Nicolle, Ibid., p.158.
Even if we concur with Marc in the fact that there are vague descriptions of the morphology of the jineta swords, we can establish: first, that the Zenetes Benimerines were the main military force under the Nasrid Emirate of Granada to almost its fall, so it is very likely that their military equipment dominate the military fashion of the emirate; second, the fighting sword already shown corresponds with the description, since it is not a broadsword, but a very tapered one, less heavy and more apt to pierce the evolved plate armor of the Christians (the cuirass); third, the quillons are more narrow and allow the “Italian grip” with more protection to the index finger than those given by the quillons of the traditional Muslim sword, since they almost close on the blade, like the later fingerguards, to which they very possibly evolved in time (see Ada Bruhn Hoffmeyer, Idem., pp.32 and 34); the so-called Italian grip favored a more accurate thrust, which corresponds with the intended piercing action of the tapered blade; the Zenete sword was different to the classic Muslim broadsword, this is why it called strongly the atention in the Al-Andalus and Christian spheres, not only the morphology of the hilt and the quillons was different to the known Muslim broadswords from Al-Andalus, but also the morphology of the blade, and the souces insist that they were lighter; the difference among the dress swords and the fighting swords could be great in the Iberic Peninsula, just see how it evolved the rapier as a dress sword different from the military.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonzalo G
But it must be also noted that North Africa experimented a development in the production of arms and armour, as Nicolle and McBride write about this production in the 10th-11th Centuries:
“These centuries also witnessed a huge expansion in Noth African metallurgy, far beyond what had been seen in the Roman period; but although arms and horse-harness were made locally there was little exportation of finished goods”.
David Nicolle & Angus McBride, The Moors. The Islamic West 7th-15th Centuries AD, Osprey Military, Col. Men-at-Arms, No.348. 2001, UK, p.18.
In other words, the problem with North Africa and probably the Iberic Peninsula was not the quality of their weapons, but the capability to produce in mass with a more or less uniform quality, a feature which conditioned the need of imports into the Muslim world from elsewhere, including India and Europe, especially under the constraining needs extant in times of war. And the west North Africa and the Iberic Peninsula were always in recurrent times of war, more or less like Europe. This is a feature which will characterize many areas of the East, since their producing capabilities were not equilibrated with their military needs, as their more traditional crafts were not so “pre-industrial”, possibly with a less efficient labor division and technology, a feature which would be more developed under the pre-capitalist and capitalist European economy. It was already noted in other thread that the Indian swords produced in Deccan were superior to the English, at least until the 17th Century (R. Elgood, “Swords in the Deccan in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries”, pp.223, and 224), but still existed the need to import European blades, as they also imported the Persian blades, even made with Indian steel.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonzalo G
My hypotheses: the original Zenete-Jineta was not the type of dressing sword used by the Nasrid nobility. This last had a blade more in accord with the traditional muslim broadsword, except for the hilt, which was influenced by the Zenete but highly ornamented, and not capable to support the “Italian grip”, since the altered form of the quillons did not allow it: they were literally closing over the blade. It is a common feature of the ceremonial swords to imitate old forms and use extreme ornamentation, since they gave to their owners the prestige of tradition and power. Fighting swords were another matter.

The Christians were influenced by this last type of sword, but with modified quillons and an incipient development of the ring guards, probably a development from the grip and quillons of the fighting jineta swords. It is not casual that the first ring guards, which evolved to the “crab claw”, appeared for the first time in the Iberic Peninsula, on the Christian Spanish and Portuguese swords (please see the Black Swords or “Colhona” used by the Portuguese). It must remembered that also Portugal was part of the Muslim domain and that to the 15th Century, even already independent, was influenced by the military traditions from the rest of the Peninsula.

The rapier evolved, at least in part, from this original fighting jineta sword. The cited study from Ada Bruhn Hoffmeyer points in this direction.

The nimcha sword type of quillons does not necessarily owe to any European tradition. The cultural elements behind them were already in North Africa long time ago. In the Catálogo de la Real Amería de Madrid (the catalog of the royal armory of Madrid), we find a suggestive description of four sabres taken from the Spanish Expedition to Oran in 1732 (free translation): “Four Moorish sabers owned by the Bey of Oran. The first one with wood hilt and a cap of engraved silver; guard, quillon and guard rings ended in pythons, all this decorated. The second one has a hilt of horn with plaques of chiseled silver, guard with a quillon and ring guards made of steel. The other two have their hilts covered with shell, nacre and plaques of chiseled silver, guard, quillon and guard ring made of engraved metal. ” Catálogo de la Real Armería, edited by Aguado, Madrid, 1854. p.61. It must be noted thay they are sabres, had a guard (probably a knuckleguard) and only one quillon, since the word “gavilán” in spanish denotes a single quillon. Does this rings something? Maybe a nimcha?.

On the other side, just saying that the jineta or the nimcha are “likely” or “suggestedly” a product of influences from Italy or France, is patently a subjective judgment, as the words imply. And sometimes we found a wide abuse of this words, if not supported by clear facts. The first fact we have to take in consideration is that there are no European hilts in the 13th Century resembling those of the jineta sword. The second fact is that the crab-claw type of guards appear until 15th Century in the Iberic Peninsula (see Ada Bruhn Hoffmeyer), and their only visible antecedent is the fighting jineta sword. Again, see the Castilian and Portuguese swords from this period.

And speaking of the possible diffusion into Europe, especially Italy, from this type of hilts, the berbers did have contact with Europe, contrary to what has been said. Europe did not came to North Africa, but the berbers went to Europe in this period. Just to mention some facts: Aghlabid Berbers conquered Sicily, North African Muslims colonized Bari, Taranto and Apulia in the 9th Century and in the 10th Century they fought in Southern France as allies in local Christian quarrels. Bishop Athanasius recruited Islamic troops and Muslims settled in the province of Lucania. David Nicolle & Angus McBride, The Moors. The Islamic West 7th-15th Centuries AD, Osprey Military, Col. Men-at-Arms, No.348. 2001, UK, p.16. And the Zenetes were a military contingent in all this armies. Just search in the history of the Berber emirates and dynasties and you will find.
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Old 27th October 2018, 08:14 AM   #18
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Now some relevant pictures
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Old 27th October 2018, 08:15 AM   #19
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More including the one with a "falchion type blade" (in a Museum in Paris)
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Old 27th October 2018, 08:20 AM   #20
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Dear Forum Members,

Is it possible to post here only information's and pictures relevant to the topic

Jineta & so-called Boabdil swords??


I noticed in many threads a difficulty for the forum members to focus on a specific topic, that demonstrates of course their immense knowledge but also a difficulty to develop theirs ideas along a main stream...

Thanks

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Old 27th October 2018, 01:17 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
...Is it possible to post here only information's and pictures relevant to the topic ...

What an entry, Kubur !!!
We know you don't mean to be so authoritative as you may sound. Probably members find that weaving considerations on topic peripherals is part of the game. You should see what going off topic really is .
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Old 27th October 2018, 01:30 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Philip
... Years ago someone gave me a 35mm print image of a really nice one in the Musée de l'Armée in Paris. but I can't seem to locate it at the moment...

Then Philip, you will have to satisfy with a 2D image of the one in the Middle Ages Museum of Cluny


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Old 27th October 2018, 02:09 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Philip
Haha Ariel. It's "Ferd" as in Ferdinand, not Fred. But the imagery is highly amusing. When I was in college we used to sing a ribald ballad about Christopher Columbus ...

Are you paging me Filipe ? ... as you know 'Fernando' was the actual King's name . Interesting that you mention Christopher Columbus (Cristóvão Colombo) as pertaining to the Boabdil saga.
Written material pretends that he was actually around by the time the Nasrid King was expelled from Granada. Interesting also how Francisco Pradilla depicted in 1882 the handing over the city keys to the Catholic Kings. Look at Boabdil's and one of his knights swords.
An artist's gesture of imagination this painting must be as, judging by what is registered, the Nasrid King delidered the keys to Fernando's officials at the Comares Tower of the Alhambra, on the 2nd. January 1492 by dawn.

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Old 27th October 2018, 03:28 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by fernando
What an entry, Kubur !!!
We know you don't mean to be so authoritative as you may sound. Probably members find that weaving considerations on topic peripherals is part of the game. You should see what going off topic really is .



Its the whole idea of the forum, I agree.
But it's also possible to open a new thread just for discussion on peripheral topics...
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Old 27th October 2018, 03:30 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Then Philip, you will have to satisfy with a 2D image of the one in the Middle Ages Museum of Cluny
.


Are you sure Cluny?
I was thinking the National library

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/b...8f/f1.item.zoom

Another one in Paris
with a different kind of blade

http://www.musee-armee.fr/collectio...e-boadbdil.html
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Old 27th October 2018, 03:41 PM   #26
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Question the first Jineta has a German blade from late 16th early 17th c.
Is it common to have Jineta with late blades?
Do you know if the Spanish examples are the same?
It's probably logic when you look at the quality of the hilts and scabbards.
It might explain why these swords survived until our days...
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Old 27th October 2018, 05:28 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Kubur
Thank you Jim, it's a very clear and net abstract.

I will copy and paste the most relevant informations and pictures on Jineta / Boabdil swords of the previous thread here for all the forum members and visitors.



Kubur thank you for saying so, and thank you for posting the great images and recapping some of the outstanding discourse from 2008 and 2017 on this complex topic. It is good to have this comprehensive material compiled together here for readers and future researchers.

Philip, thanks for the mention of the Furisayya volume which is brilliantly compiled material and photos as well. The complexities of this sword form often move into a notable spectrum given the periods and geo-cultural considerations but seem distinct and influential in their character.
The decorative motif and elaborate designs in addition to their 'exotic'
structures and elements are breathtaking to say the least.
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Old 27th October 2018, 05:48 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
... Are you sure Cluny?
I was thinking the National library ...

Well ...

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Old 27th October 2018, 08:44 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Well ...
.


I think it was only for an exhibition on the swords in 2011.
The sword belongs to the National library.

http://medaillesetantiques.bnf.fr/w...12148/c33gbdnf6

This sword is called epee /espada de Luynes (name of the previous owner)
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Old 28th October 2018, 11:10 PM   #30
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I believe the jineta subject is quite more complex than initially thought so the best is to pile up all the relating info.

This is an interesting start even when in Spanish:

http://www.alhambra-patronato.es/fi...nsa_nazar__.pdf

There are several archeological remnants usually not mentioned as ginetas, for example this islamic sword found at Guadalajara (the gilt one).

For me, the closest relatives to the Nasrid jinetas come from the Mamluk State. And the Mamluk weapons come from Syria. And the Syrian weapons are derived from Bizantium.

Interesting pictures in an article by Yotov:
https://www.academia.edu/2328824/A_...11th_CENTURIES_

A not anymore extant Jineta was painted by El Greco. You can compare it to the San Telmo Gineta and a Mamluk banner...

You have mamluk swords with low quillions and others where the hilt surrounds the sheath mouth. Spheric pommels seem to be a characteristic of some mamluk and bizantine swords...

We can go East to Xian an Tibet as well...
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