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Old 14th May 2009, 04:22 PM   #1
Matchlock
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Default Brilliant Minds Needed: a Multi Barrel Illustration of 1511

Fernando, Jim, Richard (in alphabetical order),

Please comment, all ye blessed with keen wits ...

I am neither a physicist nor a technician but to me this is pure fanatasy.

From:
Flavius Vegetius Renatus: Vier Bücher der Rytterschafft (Four books on knighthood), Erfurt, Germany, 1511.

Michael
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Old 14th May 2009, 05:35 PM   #2
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Hi Michael,

Not on your list, but I would point out that as drawn, it's topologically impossible, as the central cannons pass through each other.

Could something like this be made? Actually, yes, if you assume that the cannons are really short (as shown by their fuse holes), and if you assume tha the central frame is a wooden or metal solid lattice, rather than interlaced as shown.

That said, it's something I'd rather sell the enemy than use myself. It's neither aimable nor powerful (short barrel, relatively large ball), and the only way to fire it is to have a bunch of people standing in the central lattice and shooting outwards. Since they have no shielding, nor any place to even duck, using this weapon would be a suicide mission.

Neat design though. Maybe it has some mystical meaning , with fire going everywhere and enlightenment subsequently occurring, or something.

Best,

F
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Old 14th May 2009, 07:10 PM   #3
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I wish i were a brilliant mind, to coment on this one with authority. I am only brilliant enough to recognize that this is too much sand for my truck.
Fantasy, fiction ... where is the border between them and reality ? Probably the drawings of da Vinci were initially considered fantasy, namely the helicopter and the wheel lock mechanism ?!
Isn't this drawing coherent with the others from the same work (and not only)that you showed here?
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=7927
Maybe all these are fantasized drawings of weapons to come? Ones looking more 'implausible' than others?
You said it, multi barrel devices (cannons/mortsars/böllers) were part of the scene.
Was Flavius Vegetius Renatus a writer or an arms specialist?
Let me stop here, to avoid talking more BS.
By the way, did you people know that it was da Vinci who 'invented' the pointed projectile?
Fernando

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Old 14th May 2009, 07:42 PM   #4
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Hi Fearn,

Brilliant thoughts and observations indeed - thanks a lot!

I agree absolutely with you.

Best,
Michael
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Old 15th May 2009, 02:47 AM   #5
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Hi Michael,
Thank you for your kindness in including me in this category, which though I am not actually one, I am always honored to be in the company of the many here who are.

My first instinct in looking at this thing is....what the heck were they smokin' in those days!

It is interesting that this interesting...actually bizarre....illustration is contemporary with DaVinci, and many of the inventions he put to paper were probably considered equally bizarre in those times. Surprisingly, a number of them truly did come to fruition....thankfully this guys idea did not!

I cannot imagine how such a firearms nightmare could ever have been actually conceived as a viable invention. I cannot help but think that this illustration may have had some allegorical intent, much as Fearn has suggested. I think his points on the improbability of the dynamics of this 'invention' are well placed also, as perceived by my own very lay understanding of technical things.

It is known that many famed classical artists in these times, with DaVinci at the fore, often had unusually wry and profound symbolism and mysterious satire imbued in thier works . Naturally the pretense of "The DaVinci Code" strongly suggests this somewhat plausible potential, regardless of obvious conflicting perspectives.

As we have discussed before with multibarreled firearms in developing times, there was a distinct problem with simultaneous ignition. In many cases, from what I understand, guns such as the 'pepperbox' pistol, with six or more shots in a revolving chamber, could easily discharge all at once...probably not good for the firer of the weapon !

Fernando, interesting note about Leonardo's invention of the pointed projectile, as I always say, amazing what you have in that archives of esoterica!

All the best,
Jim
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Old 15th May 2009, 02:52 AM   #6
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I don't know if any of you watch the discovery channel; but this year there is a show on which they build functional weapons from Leonardo's War Machine designs .

Good stuff !!
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Old 15th May 2009, 04:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
I don't know if any of you watch the discovery channel; but this year there is a show on which they build functional weapons from Leonardo's War Machine designs .

Good stuff !!


Hi Rick,

Yeah, I saw one of the episodes. Maybe we can get them to build this?

It would make slightly more sense as a fireworks device than a weapon, somehow, and there are details that don't make much sense.

Still, I can't help thinking of this one as "The Cannons of Enlightenment." Once you get it, grasshopper, you will be enlightened, or something.

Best,

F
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Old 15th May 2009, 04:36 AM   #8
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I have just come across this post and have this thought....If the thing was mounted horizontally on a central pivot, on for arguements sake a castle parapit, then it would be possible to load/reload the barrels pointing in your direction while at the same time firing those away from you, at a supposedly either scared or by now laughing enemy! A reasonably rapid rate of fire could probably be achieved, provided of course you did not forget which barrels were loaded and which were not!
This drawing appears in several books dealing with ancient weapons.
Regards Stuart
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Old 15th May 2009, 12:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
I have just come across this post and have this thought....If the thing was mounted horizontally on a central pivot, on for arguements sake a castle parapit, then it would be possible to load/reload the barrels pointing in your direction while at the same time firing those away from you, at a supposedly either scared or by now laughing enemy! A reasonably rapid rate of fire could probably be achieved, provided of course you did not forget which barrels were loaded and which were not!
This drawing appears in several books dealing with ancient weapons.
Regards Stuart

While i was promenading this morning (here), i had a similar thaught.
You could have this device mounted in a strategic place, and position yourself away from it ... behind a wall, a pavise, or in a hole, depending in the context. The small barrels can be either all linked to each other by match cord, or each one withs its own connection; with a single or multiple extension reaching the 'gunner' spot, depenging on the system used, by its time depending where this 'battery' was placed.. When the enemy aproaches, you can either have a simultaneous or a one by one deflagration; either a bang bang with only psichologic efects (XIII-XIV century) or a serious shooting.
I guess instant reloading was not much of an issue, in those days; reloading would take ages. The thing would function like a one act battle openning ... like nowadays landmines are ambush starters.
Bla bla bla.
Fernando
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Old 15th May 2009, 01:06 PM   #10
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I did see one of those episodes Rick....the one with the wagon type thing with slashing knife blades on the wheels etc. It was kind of a forerunner of the thrashing machines used by farmers (P.D. =pre John Deere).
It was completely fascinating, but like this, the thought of being around that thing in real life gave me the creeps.

Good note Fearn on the 'cannons of enlightenment' !

Good observations by Stu and Fernando on the possibilities here, and frankly, very 'enlightening' to me as the whole concept of this thing as an actual working device was frightening, if not perplexing. I am no inventor, nor engineer, and trust me, trying to keep up with the complexities of this huge rolling bookmobile I am in is well enought of a challenge!

The idea of 'preloaded' barrels does seem sound, and much in the same manner that charges were encapsulated, eventually becoming cartridges, this concept does seem somewhat well placed. Just to spin the unit around for ignition and reloading.

All best regards,
Jim
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Old 15th May 2009, 02:11 PM   #11
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Excellent contributions, guys!

Thank you so far!

Fearn, I especially like the 'cannons of enlightenment'!

Now here are more illustrations from the same book, some curious and others either way ahead of their age or somewhat bewildering.

Have fun,
Michael
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Old 15th May 2009, 02:15 PM   #12
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More 'riddles'.
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Old 15th May 2009, 02:19 PM   #13
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That's it.
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Old 15th May 2009, 02:31 PM   #14
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Hello Michael.

Brilliant minds needed,...and you include My name? This prooves I have you fooled!!

It is interesting this contrivance is viewed from above, or in other words, the only safe position anywhere close to it.
It could make a one-off land-mine so to speak, but is a bit complex for that!

To me, it appears to be the sort of thing a school-boy would doodle in the border of his excersise book, when his teacher was proving to be unusually boring..............I had many such fantastic devices in my books!...Stemming not from any brilliance of mind, but more from the mind being closed down, and the hand still 'running'!
That is about all I can say.

With very best wishes,

Richard.
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Old 15th May 2009, 02:35 PM   #15
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Michael,

Your other posts came up whilst I was answering the earlier one. I was not ignoring these later posts, and will be back later!...must go..

R.
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Old 15th May 2009, 02:52 PM   #16
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Fantabulous pictures, Michael.
I love this one; very real .
Fernando

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Old 15th May 2009, 02:55 PM   #17
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Wasn't there a major European outbreak of ergotism in the early 16th century?

Jeff
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Old 15th May 2009, 03:18 PM   #18
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Aha! Now we know where Salvador Dali got his inspiration from. He ripped off 16th century woodcuts

It does seem like all of these illustrations make some sort of commentary on the times. The jester with the pointed nose is a lier, has a sharp tongue and pointed/sharp wit. He is set up like a siege engine on wheels, so perhaps it refers to tactics of winning sieges through wit, lies, and good oratory skills.

The other siege engines look like experimentations with rams, lances, guns and maybe even a draw-bridge.

The tower and the metronome-like contraption seem to demonstrate some sort of awe or apprehension with machinery and mechanical contraptions. The tower with the connected wheels doesn't seem to do anything, unless it is a signal tower of sorts. The soldier pulling on the rope appears to have a meaningless job...perhaps a comentary on the obsolescence of human labour in the face of mechanization? By that time water and wind mills were already used to drive many industrial/craft processes - milling, blacksmithing, carpentry...

Further down there is a tower with three sets of wheels in a triangular arrangement, connected by gear to a wind turbine...wind-power locomotion anyone?

Just some thoughts...thanks Michael for posting these facinating illustrations.

Emanuel
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Old 15th May 2009, 03:59 PM   #19
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Wow! Michael, the last couple of pictures in the series show what looks like water tanks for breathing underwater. Looks like extended containers with straps to tie around one's body/shoulders, with a hose to breath through. The things are shown underwater, so perhaps we're looking at the first designs for scuba-diving equipment. There are two pictures that actually show men underwater - one is holding a breathing apparatus that even has rope straps to tie around the head...he looks like he's wearing a full suit - we can see the colar around his neck. His groin doesn't look big for erotic purposes, but because this is what it would look like under a tight-fitting suit. The underwater soldier with a mace has a helmet, also looks like a full breathing apparatus...looks like he's fighting sea monsters and fish-men.

Keeping with the water theme, there are two picture of water pumps for irrigation purposes...no obvious mechanics involved, everything is hidden, pretty much like in a motor housing...interesting stuff! No schoolboy doodles here I don't think, these are brilliant for their time.


Regards,
Emanuel

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Old 15th May 2009, 05:36 PM   #20
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Yes, are there copies or reprints of this work acquirable, Michael ?
Suddenly you will be responsible for the da Vinci's family having to pay copyright fees to Flavius Vegetius Renatus's heirs .
Fernando

Oh, he was a veterinarian .
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Old 15th May 2009, 05:53 PM   #21
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Here, Emanuel.
Can you handle these ?

http://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de...ages/index.html

Fernando
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Old 15th May 2009, 06:10 PM   #22
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May i (again), Michael ?

Very interesting:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Publiu...egetius_Renatus

Fernando

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Old 15th May 2009, 07:44 PM   #23
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The only comment I can find to make about the latest drawings is that there must have been a good supply of a VERY strong smoking weed available at the time! My brain won't cope with trying to sort this lot out, but a most interesting insight into the medieval mind!
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Old 15th May 2009, 08:20 PM   #24
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Many thanks Fernando! I had missed Michael's citation.
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Old 16th May 2009, 12:40 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
The only comment I can find to make about the latest drawings is that there must have been a good supply of a VERY strong smoking weed available at the time! My brain won't cope with trying to sort this lot out, but a most interesting insight into the medieval mind!


Considering the age; I'd look more to Ergot poisoning than 13 .
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Old 16th May 2009, 04:22 AM   #26
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Thanks for the link Fernando. That makes it plain that Flavius Vegetius Renatus was not the author of these illustrations.

I have to agree with Richard. This looks like a mix of doodles and semi-practical devices. I don't think drugs were involved at all.

Just wish I knew what kind of text went with these pictures.

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Old 16th May 2009, 09:34 AM   #27
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Considering the age; I'd look more to Ergot poisoning than 13


Rick,
I think you are on the right track. Perhaps one of Heath-Robinson's ancestors and mouldy bread.

They are amazing drawwings.

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Old 16th May 2009, 01:08 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fearn
...That makes it plain that Flavius Vegetius Renatus was not the author of these illustrations...

He sure wasn't. Even the persons depicted don't dress in a Roman fashion, but with renaissance outfits, as also other ambiance details.
Browsing on this Roman writer (and veterinary ) on the (wonderful) Internet, one may learn that he was such a preponderant guy for his time and later; some of his maxims are still quoted nowadays.
It's quite possible that a later guy (a 1511 anonimous?) decided to illustrate the war machinery described (or implicit) in Flavius writings on war tatics (Epitoma rei militaris), whether with a fantasized or even satirized intention, or simply with a naíve knowledge of such devices, releasing the leash of his imagination.
But probably Michael knows how to solve the riddle and his hiding behind the door, whatching ud wonderind and wandering .
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Old 16th May 2009, 02:15 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Royston
Considering the age; I'd look more to Ergot poisoning than 13


Rick,
I think you are on the right track. Perhaps one of Heath-Robinson's ancestors and mouldy bread.

They are amazing drawwings.

Royston


Jeff mentioned it first .

I thought of a certain MS. D'Arc .
There was some speculation about that; was there not ?
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Old 16th May 2009, 04:40 PM   #30
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Default Ancient Culture and its Renaissance Period Revival

Hi there,

Many thanks to all of you for your esteemed contributions which have added various new impulses to my understanding!

As to the historical person of Flavius Vegetius Renatus: He was a Roman military theoretic, who lived around 400 a.D.

Like all ancient Roman and Greek cultural motifs, the Italian and German Renaissance (nomen est omen!) of the 16th century took up the ancient military devices again, copied and modified them to meet contemporary technical standards and needs. Thus, the anonymous author of these Renaissance technical and military books assumed the name of the ancient Roman author, indicating at the same time his will to continue and update the work of his predecessor.

As early as 1466, another early Renaissance author named Roberto Valturio published modernized copies of the original Roman author's works illustrated by colored contemporary woodcuts. I attach a few of them and you will see that Valturio and F.V. Renatus were kindred minds.

What was actually new to the Renaissance re-born works was their profuse illustration with woodcuts made by contemporary artisans. As has been observed in replies to this post, the author of a Gothic or Renaissance book was never identical with the illustrator(s).

Thanks again, all of you are brilliant and discussions like this are an important enrichment to our forum!

Best,
Michael
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