VENETIAN OARSMAN c.1410

An extract from Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 2
by Ian Heath



64.      VENETIAN OARSMAN c.1410

This figure and the next are from a fresco of 1407-10 in the Palazzo Pubblico, Siena, depicting a naval engagement between Venetians and Imperial forces. The fresco indicates that at this date oarsmen generally wore at most only light armour comprised of a helmet, arming-cap and tight brigandine or mail corselet. Additional protection was provided by a shield, which was hung along the telaro frame of the galley when the men were rowing; 64a depicts such a shield from the fresco, painted red with the winged and haloed lion of St Mark in gold. Similarly decorated oval, heater and small circular shields are also depicted in use in this fresco. The figure depicted here is armed with one of a variety of broad-bladed polearms to be seen in this source, which indicates that they must therefore have been popular shipboard weapons. Others carry spears or javelins instead, and probably most had swords. See also notes to figure 59.


[Based on a Naval Battle by Spinello Aretino, fresco in the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena, 1406-7]



See also 59. ITALIAN MERCENARY, 15th CENTURY in Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 2 by Ian Heath
Next: 65. VENETIAN CROSSBOWMAN c.1410 in Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 2 by Ian Heath






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