MILITARY ACCESSORIES FROM BOLESŁAWIEC ON THE PROSNA 1 JERZY MAIK - PDF

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FASCICULI ARCHAEOLOGIAE HISTORICE, Fase. X, PL ISSN JERZY MAIK MILITARY ACCESSORIES FROM BOLESŁAWIEC ON THE PROSNA 1 Bolesławiec - small town situated on the border between the District of Wieluń,

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FASCICULI ARCHAEOLOGIAE HISTORICE, Fase. X, PL ISSN JERZY MAIK MILITARY ACCESSORIES FROM BOLESŁAWIEC ON THE PROSNA 1 Bolesławiec - small town situated on the border between the District of Wieluń, the District of Ostrzeszów and Opole Silesia, on the road leading from Poland to Wrocław in Silesia - was founded by Bolesław the Pious, Duke of Kalisz, in 1266 (Fig. 1). In 1335, in Vysehrad in Hungary, an agreement was signed between John of Luxembourg, King of Bohemia, and Casimir the Great, King of Poland, where John of Luxembourg promised to knock down the Castrum in Bolesławiec, which temporarily belonged to Bohemia. Moreover, Casimir the Great, who was taking the castle over, took on an obligation not to rebuild the castle, which would become an obstacle to easy travelling between Poland and Silesia 2. We do not know what the future fate of John of Luxembourg's Castrum was, because no traces of it were ever found. Casimir the Great, however, did not keep his promise and built a new castle in Bolesławiec immediately after the treaty, in the years In addition, this was probably his first defensive undertaking. The castle was erected in the Prosna River valley, on the remnants of the bank uplands. The layout of the structure followed the pattern of early medieval earth and timber strongholds - the brick wall on stone foundations consisted of 23 straight sections of different lengths, meeting at an obtuse angle and joined with specially-shaped bricks. Fig. 1. Location of Bolesławiec on the map (Illustrated by E. Wtorkiewicz-Marosik). 1 I would like to thank my colleagues Marian Głosek and Witold Świętosławski for their help with the writing of this article. 2 T. Poklewski-Koziełł, Średniowieczne zamki między Prosną i Pilicą (Medieval Castles between the Prosną and the Pilica), Łódź 1992, pp ; by the same author, Rubież Prosny i Baryczy Fortyfikacje stale (The Border on the Prosną and the Barycz The Permanent Fortifications), Łódź 1994, pp Fig. 2. Sketch of the castle after the archaeological works of with the excavations and relics of brick architecture, a. walls dating back to c. 1335, b. walls dating from the years , c. walls of the 16th century, d. walls dating from the years , d. walls dating from the years , e. archaeological excavations, f. probable location of the timber buildings. (Illustrated by E. Wtorkiewicz-Marosik). JERZY MAIK The castle was equipped with a gatehouse. From the outside the walls were strengthened with sand. Inside the walls were wooden buildings, most probably the living quarters and the kitchen. The castle was the headquarters of the military crew whose task was to control an important ford across the Prosna 3 (Fig. 2, 3). After Casimir the Great's death in 1370, his successor, Ludwig of Anjou, pledged Bolesławiec together with the District of Wieluń and the District of Ostrzeszów as security to Władysław, Duke of Opole. Thanks to him, the castle was added on. The outer walls and the rampart were made taller and an octagonal tower and two brick houses were erected in the courtyard. One of the buildings was reserved for official occasions and the other was residential in character. A latrine tower was built at the outer wall, where the wall and the dwelling house met 4. Władysław Jagiełło came to the Polish throne in The Polish gentry were putting pressure on him to regain the pledged territories. In 1391 or 1393, a war broke out with the Duke of Opole and in 1393 Polish troops laid siege to the castle of Bolesławiec. A bombard was used to attack the castle with heavy gunfire. It seems that as a result of this bombardment the dwelling house, which might not have been completed yet, was destroyed. However, the castle itself was not taken. Bolesławiec passed into the King's hands only after the Duke of Opole's death, that is, in Bolesławiec become the seat of starosta (governor) and its successive tenants belonged to the wealthy nobility. Some of them were lords. The first repairs after the war damage were carried out already by the first starostas in the fifteenth century. It was then, or at the beginning of the sixteenth century at the latest, that the courtyard was paved. On the hillock on which there was the road leading to the castle, a lower farm yard (przygródek) was built, which served as a base of supplies. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, rich tile stoves in the renaissance style 3 Zamki środkowopolskie (The Castles of Central Poland), part 2, Bolesławiec nad Prosną (Bolesławiec on the Prosna), ed. T. Poklewski, Wrocław-Warsaw-Cracow-Gdańsk-Łódź 1982, pp ; T. Poklewsk i-k o z i e 11, Średniowieczne zamki..., p. 17; M. Ż e m i g a ł a, T. Poklewski, Próba odtworzenia zmian w zabudowie zamku w Bolesławcu nad Prosna w woj. kaliskim w ciągu wieków od XIV do XVII (An Attempt at the Reconstruction of Changes in the Structure of the Castle in Bolesławiec on the Prosna in Kalisz Province from the 14th to 17th Century), Rocznik Kaliski , vol. 14, 1981, pp Zamki środkowopolskie..., pp ; T. Poklewsk i- - К o z i e 11, Średniowieczne zamki..., pp , Zamki środkowopolskie..., pp , T. Poklewsk i- -K o z i e 11, Średniowieczne zamki..., p. 63; by the same author, Rubież Prosny..., pp , Note 341; J. Szymczak, Organizacja produkcji i ceny uzbrojenia (The Organization of Production and the Prices of Arms and Armour), [in:] Uzbrojenie w Polsce średniowiecznej (Arms and Armour in Medieval Poland) ed. A. N a d о 1 s к i, Łódz 1992, pp patterned on the stove tiles from Wawel Royal Castle in Cracow were built in the castle houses. However, during the sixteenth century the condition of the castle was gradually deteriorating. The descriptions found in inspection records and inventories are evidence of the starostas' lack of concern with the castle. It was in the castle farm, which brought in profits, that all their money was invested. It seems, however, that the castle had not yet lost its military importance at that time as firearms and bolts for crossbows were still stored there 6. It was only in the years that Satrosta Casper Denhoff turned Bolesławiec Castle into a lordly manor house. The living quarters were enlarged, a castle kitchen was built outside the defensive wall, next to the gatehouse, and an Italian garden was created outside the wall, too. Finds from the archaeological strata dated at the time of Denhoff seems to support the assumption that the castle did become the home of a rich court. There were found numerous remnants of luxury pottery, glass and other objects. Even the animal bones found at the castle rubbish dump are evidence that the court would only eat better pieces of meat. At the dump there were also oyster shells. However, as a result of Denhoff s modernization, and especially because of the passages made to the kitchen and the garden, the castle lost its defensive character 7. The castle was badly damaged during the Swedish invasion in 1656, after which another, smaller, renovation took place. Unfortunately, the Swedish destroyed the castle completely in They blew up the dwelling house and defensive wall so that Polish troops could not use the fortress any more. Traces of these explosions were discovered during excavations. The castle was never rebuilt. The walls were gradually taken down in the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries. Only a large tower and two fragments of the defensive wall have survived up to our times 8. The archaeological examinations of the castle in Bolesławiec on the Prosna were conducted by an 6 Zamki środkowopolskie..., pp ; M. Ż e m i g a ł a, Ogrzewanie piecowe na zamku w Bolesławcu nad Prosną XIV- XVII w. (The Stove Heating at the Castle in Bolesławiec on the Prosna 14th-17th Centuries), Łódz 1987, pp ; M. Żemig a ł a, T. P о к 1 e w s к i, op. cit., pp Zamki środkowopolskie..., pp ; M. Ż e m i g a ł a, Ogrzewanie piecowe..., pp ; M. Ż e m i g a ł a, T. P о к 1 e- w s к i, op. cit., pp ; M. Ż e m i g a ł a,... salsamenta omnia, muriaticam... divendere . Przyczynek do znajomości handlu owocami morza w XVI i XVII. (A Contribution to the Knowledge about the Trade in sea friuts in the 16th and 17th Centuries), [in:] Archeologia i starożytnicy. Studia dedykowane Profesorowi Andrzejowi Abramowiczowi w 70 rocznice urodzin (Archaeology and the Antiquarians. Studies Dedicated to Professor Andrzej Abramowicz on His 70th Birthday Anniversary), Łódź 1970, pp Zamki środkowopolskie..., pp ; M. Ż e m i g a ł a, Ogrzewanie piecowe..., pp MILITARY ACCESSORIES FROM BOLESŁAWIEC ON THE PROSNĄ Fig. 3. North-eastern view of the ruins (Photo by K. Karpińska). expedition organized by the Central Poland Archaeological Centre of the Material Culture History Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences 9 headed by Tadeusz Poklewski. About 10 per cent of the area contained within the defensive wall were examined. Nearby areas outside the castle, namely the ramparts, the farm yard and the road leading to the castle were tested. The excavation works revealed the stratigraphy of the castle hill formed by sets of archaeological layers. The first set consists of natural layers and the earth with which the drainage trench dug before building the defensive wall was subsequently filled up. Therefore these layers date back to a period before the building of the castle and were formed in 1336 at the latest. The second set is composed of the strata connected with erecting and using phase I of the castle, building phase II, as well as the damage caused by Władysław Jagiełło's troops. The set comprises the defensive wall foundation trench, defensive wall building strata, rampart strata, courtyard use strata, as well as the earth with which the tower and the dwelling house foundation trenches were filled up, their building strata and the house destruction layer. The set should be dated at the period from 1336 to The third stratigraphie set is composed of the 9 Today: The Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences Branch in Łódź layers formed as a result of repairs carried out on the castle after the war damage of the end of the fourteenth century and the castle use strata dating from the fifteenth, sixteenth and the beginning of the seventeenth centuries. Ceramic flooring laid in the years separates the layers mentioned above from the younger ones. Thus the set can be plausibly dated at the period between 1401 and The last, fourth, stratigraphie set consists of the layers found between the above-discussed flooring and the damage strata dating back to 1704 and the layers connected with the later demolition of the castle walls. In some parts of the castle there are strata which can be dated more precisely, for instance, at the period between laying the flooring and the destruction of the castle in 1656 and the renovation which followed the event and lasted until at least Thanks to the archaeological works, besides other finds, the elements of arms and armour, horse-furniture and riding equipment which are the subject of the present study were found. They were discovered in all the stratigraphie sets, except the first one, that is, they were not discovered in the layers older than the strata connected with building the defensive wall. Some defensive arms, such as lames of a coat of plates, so-called plates, and a fragment of a steel gauntlet, were also unearthed. Among the offensive 10 Zamki środkowopolskie..., pp arms discovered at the castle, there were a sword pommel, battle axes, a lance-head, projectile weapon heads, stone bombard balls, and iron handgun balls. A number of objects connected with the horse and the rider were found on the site, too. These were snaffle bits, a curb bit, a stirrup, horseshoes and spurs. JERZY MAIK Defensive Arms The Armour Plates (Lames) Fragments of two lames were found in Bolesławiec. One of them (inv. no. 1218/78) is 160 mm long and 70 mm wide, the other about 75 mm long and 32 mm wide. The lames are about 3 mm in thickness. There are no rivets nor rivet openings in the plates. It must, however, be remembered that only fragments of the lames have survived. Both the finds were discovered in the courtyard use stratum under the paving laid in the fifteenth or at the beginning of the sixteenth century at the latest (Fig. 4). The suit of armour in the form of a textile or leather jacket with iron or steel lames riveted to the inside is referred to as a lame cuirass or, recently, a pair of plates (this term was used in the Middle Ages) in the scientific literature 11. This type of armour was in use from the thirteenth to the beginning of the fifteenth century 12. Remnants of such suits of armour were discovered in a post-battle grave on Gotland (1361) 13, in Siedlątków in central Poland (с. 1380) 14, in Nowe Miasto-upon-Warta in Great Poland (second quarter of the fourteenth century) 15 and in Plemieta in the District of Chełmno, that is, in Teutonic State territory (beginning of the fifteenth century) 16. Representations of such suits of armour can also be found in thirteenth and fourteenth century iconography, for instance, in a wall painting in the basilica in Assisi A. Nowakowski, Uzbrojenie ochronne (Defensive Arms), [in:] Uzbrojenie w Polsce..., p Ibidem, pp В. T h о r d e m a n n, Armour from the Battle of Visby 1361, Stockholm-Uppsala , vol. 1, pp , vol. 2, table 1, pp A. Nadolski, Helm i fragmenty zbroi z Siedlątkowa (The Helm and Fragments of Armour from Siedlatkow), Prace i Materiały Muzeum Archeologicznego i Etnograficznego w Lodzi , archaeological series, vol. 15, 1968, pp R. Grygiel, T. Jurek,Doliwowie z Nowego Miasta nad Warta, Dębna i Biechowa. Dzieje rezydencji i ich właścicieli (TheDoliwowiefrom Nowe Miasto-upon-Warta, Dębno andbiechowo. The History of the Residences and their Owners), Łódź 1996, pp , Figs A. Nadolski, E. Grabarczyków a, Militaria z grodziska w Plemiętach. Uzbrojenie ochronne (Military Accessories from the Motte in Plemięta. The Defensive Arms), [in:] Plemięta. Średniowieczny gródek w ziemi chełmińskiej (Plemięta. A Medieval Stronghold in the District of Chełmno), ed. A. Nadolski, Warsaw-Poznań-Toruń 1985, pp Fig. 4. Lames: a. inv. no. 1218/78, b. inv. no. 1174/72 (Illustrated by E. Wtorkiewicz-Marosik). ( ), on tombstones in Mnsterfeld and Böbingen in Germany (first half of the fourteenth century) and on some Silesian dukes' seals, for example, the seals of Henry the Pious ( ), Bernard of Świdnica ( ), Bolesław II of Ziębica ( ) and Przemysław, son to Ziemnomysłowic, Duke of Cuiavia (c. 1307), as well as on the seal of the City Council of Cracow (1329) 17. In the case of the Bolesławiec lames, no remnants of fabric or leather, to which the laminations had been attached, were found. Fortunately, the relic from Nowe Miasto gives us an idea of how the jacket covering the plates might have looked like. On one of the plates, under a rivet, there was a small remnant of mineralized cloth 18. The sample was not analysed, but the photograph shows a piece of thick fabric, probably a 1/1 tabby, with fewer than 10 threads per 1 cm. It seems that the Bolesławiec lames come from one or two suits of armour made in the fourteenth or around the turn of the fourteenth century which might have been still in use in the fifteenth century. The Steel Gauntlet A fragment of a gauntlet was found outside the castle, in the layer being the remnants of artillery earthworks, from which the castle was bombarded at the siege of A. Nowakowski, Uzbrojenie ochronne..., pp R. G r y g i e 1, T. J u r e k, op. cit., Fig. 74:4. 19 Zamki środkowopolskie..., pp ; T. P о к 1 e w s к i - -К o z i e 11, Średniowieczne zamki..., p MILITARY ACCESSORIES FROM BOLESŁAWIEC ON THE PROSNĄ Fig. 5. Steel gauntlet inv. no. 107/77 (Illustrated by E. Wtorkiewicz-Marosik, photo by K. Karpińska). This is the part of the gauntlet which protects the metacarpus. It is made of a steel, engraved plate about 1-2 mm in preserved thickness with traces of tinning. The gauntlet had been specially shaped to fit the form of the hand (Fig. 5). It seems that fragments of a similar gauntlet were found together with the armour lames in Nowe Miasto-upon-Warta. Thus they can be dated at the second quarter of the fourteenth century. These are finger defences 20. Steel gauntlets younger than the one from Bolesławiec and dated at the sixteenth century were discovered at the castle in Inowłódz in central Poland 21. Similar gauntlets, dating from the years , are also known in Western Europe. Pieces of armour made by Italian masters signed as AN or AM and P, 10, as well as others need mentioning here 22. Steel gauntles are rarely depicted in Polish medieval iconography. They can, however, be found in, among others, the Coronation of Madonna triptych from Wieluń (с ) and in the Triptych of the Holy Trinity from Wawel Cathedral in Cracow (с. 1467) 23. On the basis of written sources, by contrast, it may be assumed that gauntlets were in widespread use 24. Therefore it seems that the gauntlet from Bolesławiec was stratigraphically rightly dated at the close of the fourteenth century and that it might have been used by one of the warriors attacking the castle. 20 R. Grygiel, T. Jurek, op. cit., p. 87, Fig. 101: J. Augustyniak, Gantelet - fragment d'armure datant du XVIe siecleet provenant du château d'inowłódz dép. de Piotrkow (Pologne Centrale), Fasciculi Archaeologiae Historicae , fasc. 2, 1987, pp L. G. В о с с i a, E. T. С o e 1 h o,l'arte dell'armatura in Italia, Milano 1967, Figs. 7-11; J. G. M a n n, Fourteenth- Century Gauntlets, Connoisseurt , August 1941, p. 69, Figs. 1, 2: by the same author, Two Fourteenth-Century Gauntlets from Ripon Cathedral, The Antiquaries Journal , [London] 1942, vol. 22, pp A. Nowakowski, Uzbrojenie ochronne..., p. 82, Figs Ibidem, pp Offensive Arms The Sword Pommel The iron sword pommel in the form of a rectangular prism with rounded angles (69 x 49 x 43 mm) was unearthed in the fourteenth century courtyard use strata 25 (Fig. 6). The pommel resembles pommels of type H2, according to R. E. Oakeshott's classification with supplements by M. Głosek 26 and it seems to belong to this type. Pommels of type H2 appeared at the end of the thirteenth century and were used until the middle of the fifteenth century. They were to be found in swords of types XIII, XVI and XVII 27. Therefore the find can be dated at the fourteenth century. The Battle Axes At the castle in Bolesławiec, one battle axe and fragments of five others were found 28. Among the fragments of battle axes only one specimen, namely battle axe 1514/72, which is well preserved, can be the subject of a typological analysis. In the case of the other weapons, only fragments of the blades have survived, which makes it impossible for the researcher to identified the axe type. The fragments of axes inv. nos. 1154/73 and 1147/77 come from the layers dated at the fourteenth century and the remaining relics were found in the strata dated to the period from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century Zamki środkowopolskie..., p R. E. О а к e s h o 11, The Sword in the Age of Chivalry, London 1964, pp ; M. Głosek, Miecze środkowoeuropejskie z X-XV w. (Central European Swords of the 10th-15th Centuries), Warszawa 1984, p Ibidem, pp. 34, 139, 156, 163, Inv. nos. 1155/73 and 1514/72, 1051/73, 1154/73, 1147/77, and 1085/ Zamki środkowopolskie..., pp. 34, JERZY MAIK Fig. 7. Axes: a. inv. no. 1155/73, b. inv. no. 1514/72 (Illustrated by E. Wtorkiewicz-Marosik). Fig. 6. Sword pommel inv. no. 1258/75 (Illustrated by E. Wtorkiewicz-Marosik, photo by K. Karpińska). The most interesting find is axe inv. no. 1155/73 (Fig. 7a). It belongs to type Villa, according M. Głosek's typology 30. It is 184 mm in overall length, the cutting edge is 74 mm wide. It has a minimum shank breadth of 17 mm and the butt-end is 39 mm long. O
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