Distinguished guests:

domingo, 18 de janeiro de 2015

Break on through...

 ... to the other side! The right side, that is! :D
I pinged FeedBurner and the problem was instantly solved! 
Thank you my friends for the heads up! :D

This   is Lucid Eye´s Cro-Magnon Leader.

Just waiting for the second pack of Hunters to come out - any time now, it seems..

Test: my posts are not updating on my friend's blog roll

This is just a test. If you can see it on your blog roll, problem solved. If not, I´ll keep trying... :)

sábado, 17 de janeiro de 2015

Muhammad ibn Abu 'Amir: Al-Mansur

 "During the 10th century, al-Andalus reached the pinnacle of its power, with its influence stretching from the Pyrenees well into North Africa. When the powerful caliph, Abd al-Rahman III, died in 961 the Umayyad dynasty seemed more entrenched than ever, but amazingly within 70 years the caliphate was in ruins. But at least it did not go out without a kind of bang, the fireworks being provided in the last years of the century by the powerful vizier, Muhammad ibn Abu ‘Amir, de facto ruler during most of the reign of Abd al-Rahman's weak grandson, Hisham II (ruled 976-1009, 1010-1013).

Abu ‘Amir, better known by his honorific title, al-Mansur (meaning "the Victorious." Almanzor in Spanish) was a noble of Arab background from near Algeciras. He manoeuvred his way into power when befriended by Hisham's mother, a Christian captive from Navarre (who allegedly became his lover as well). Al-Mansur is best remembered for the numerous, devastating raids (razzias) - some 57 in all - directed against the Christian north. He swept across Christian lands, from Barcelona (985) to Coimbra (987); he attacked Leon and Zamora (988), and numerous smaller places. The high point was the raid on Santiago de Compostela (Galicia) in 997, in which the town was razed, the church destroyed and its bells taken to Córdoba –on the backs of prisoners-of-war-- to be used as lamps in the Great Mosque. All that remained apparently was the tomb of Santiago which, we are told, was spared because it was a holy place, and because al-Mansur was impressed by the courage of an old priest who refused to abandon it. 

In order to improve the efficiency of his forces for the razzias, al-Mansur reorganised his armies in 991, and eliminated regiments made up of tribal groups. He also recruited mercenaries, especially Berbers from the Maghreb --and even Christian soldiers-- to provide the manpower that the raids required.  

In many ways, the actions of al-Mansur were a challenge to the Umayyad caliphate and an attempt to establish his own personality on Córdoba: he was more pious than the caliph (ostensibly the successor to the Prophet, Muhammad), he burned secular books from al-Hakam’s magnificent libraries, and he undertook more razzias than Abd al-Rahman III.  And in adding to the Great Mosque and building his own palace complex, al-Mansur signalled his power and authority in much the same way the palace of Madinat al-Zahra conveyed the greatness of Abd al-Rahman III. The eight-aisled extension at the east end of the Mosque is remarkably restrained, but it underlines al-Mansur’s piety, especially when compared to the luxurious addition of al-Hakam II (ruled 961-76). As for the palace, whose name–Madinat al-Zahira— implicitly challenges that of Abd al-Rahman III’s Madinat al-Zahra, it has never been found. All we know is that it was built somewhere on the other side of Córdoba from Madinat al-Zahra!

Nevertheless, al-Mansur was not above coming to terms with his Christian enemies if it served his personal ambitions.  Having usurped power from the Umayyads, he sought to legitimize his dynastic aims through marriage to royalty, in this case with a Christian princess.  In 992, he married the daughter of the king of Navarre, who bore him a son pointedly named Abd al-Rahman, but equally or better known as Sanjul or Sanchuelo (after his maternal grandafther, Sancho, king of Pamplona).  Al-Mansur's death in 1002 when returning from a successful expedition in the Rioja area effectively marks the end of Córdoba.

Source - Spain, Then and now:10th C. Al-Andalus: Al-Mansur

sexta-feira, 16 de janeiro de 2015

And now for something completely different...

"One day, men, this will be known as the Riviera"
"What´s that, chief?"
"Go google it"

 " Is this the Ice Age or the Stone Age, chief?"

"It´s both, dummy"
"You´re so bright, chief! How can you tell?"

"Just check your basing, numnuts... "

"Don´t you guys feel the need to turn your back on civilization?"
"Civily what, chief?"
"Oh, forget about it..."

" I´m gettin´ this strange feeling..."
"Yes, chief?"
"That we´re about to go down in History.."
"Hist what, chief?" 
"Never mind"

             "Sometimes I miss those knuckleheads..."

quarta-feira, 14 de janeiro de 2015

Hät Moorish Command - 1/72

My first "serious" attempt in 1/72 : Hät Moorish Command. 

 These are very nicely sculpted plastic figures, in nice poses too. 

 The donkey is so funny...!

I´m not so fond of the banner, I guess I´ll have to do something about it...

Hope you like them!

My special thanks to Peter Bonami, whose fine artwork and kind comments worked as a challenge!

domingo, 11 de janeiro de 2015

Aljubarrota - Castillian Artillery

At Aljubarrota, the Castillians opened the battle with a salvo of their 16 cannons. 
According to the "Chronicle of Dom João I", its only mortal victims were two Portuguese squires and an English archer.
Nonetheless, the bombardment caused a great commotion in the Portuguese host, because to most of the men, this was an unknown weapon! 
But a Portuguese squire immediately said out loud: 
"Do not fear, for I saw the two men who died entered a church eight days ago, and killed the priest who said Mass there. This simply means that the Good Lord, who will give us the victory today, does not want these two evil men to share the honour with us!" 
And all who heard him, doubled the purpose of fighting against the enemy.

sábado, 10 de janeiro de 2015

Montjoie St. Denis!

....was probably the first warcry to be heard on the fateful afternoon of August 14th, 1385, at the Aljubarrota battlefield. 
After a brief bombardment by the Castilian artillery, the attack on the Portuguese lines started with a charge of French cavalry, at full speed and strenght, in an attempt to break the opposing infantry lines.

However, the rain of bolts and arrows released by Portuguese crossbowmen and English archers caused heavy casualties among men and horses.

This, and the difficult terrain, previously filled with traps and obstacles by the Portuguese - rendering it almost impracticable for the remaining horses - forced the surviving knights to bravely continue on foot, sword in hand or breaking their long lances to make them more manouverable.



quinta-feira, 8 de janeiro de 2015

Henri de Bourgogne, Comte de Portugal

Dédié à Phil et aux Riflemen de Bourg en Bresse.

Un noble Français, le "grand-père" du Portugal.

Henri de Bourgogne (1066 - 12 mai 1112) fut Comte de Portugal depuis 1093 jusqu'à sa mort au siège d'Astorga alors qu'il combattait les Maures, le 12 mai 1112. Il était le fils d'Henri de Bourgogne, héritier de Robert Ier, duc de Bourgogne et frère de Eudes Ier, duc de Bourgogne.  Étant le cadet, Henri avait peu de possibilités d'atteindre la fortune et d'obtenir des titres par héritages, et ainsi, il participa à la Reconquista contre les Maures dans la péninsule Ibérique. Il rejoignit le roi Alphonse VI de Castille et León qui avait épousé sa tante paternelle, Constance de Bourgogne, et l'aida à conquérir le royaume de Galice qui comprenait à peu près la Galice moderne et le nord du Portugal. Comme récompense, il reçut la main de la fille d'Alphonse VI, Thérèse de León. Il devint ainsi, également, comte de Portugal, un comté qui dépendait à l'époque du royaume de León. Lorsqu'il meurt en 1112, il fut d'abord inhumé en Espagne puis au XVIe siècle, il fut transféré en même temps que sa femme dans la cathédrale de Braga.

A French nobleman, Portugal´s "grandfather".

Henry of Burgundy ( 1066 - May 12, 1112 ) was Count of Portugal from 1093 until his death at the siege of Astorga while fighting the Moors, in May 12, 1112. He was the son of Henry of Burgundy, heir to Robert I, Duke of Burgundy and brother of Eudes I, Duke of Burgundy . Being the youngest, Henry had little opportunity to achieve wealth and get titles by inheritance, and so he took part in the Reconquista against the Moors in the Iberian Peninsula. He joined the King Alfonso VI of Castile and Leon who had married his father's sister, Constance of Burgundy, and helped him to conquer the kingdom of Galicia which included roughly modern Galicia and northern Portugal. As a reward , he received the hand of the daughter of Alfonso VI, Teresa of León. He became, also , Count of Portugal , a county that depended at the time of the Kingdom of León. When he died in 1112, he was first buried in Spain and in the sixteenth century, he was transferred together with his wife in the Cathedral of Braga.

Il eut de nombreux fils avec Thérèse. Le plus jeune, le seul qui dépassa l'enfance, fut Afonso Henriques, le second comte de Portugal en 1112. Cependant, le jeune Alphonse avait d'autres plans : en 1128, il entra en rébellion contre sa mère qui voulait s'emparer du Comté et en 1139, il se déclara indépendant de León et le premier Roi de Portugal.

He had many sons with Theresa. The youngest, and only one to reach adulthood was Afonso Henriques, the second Earl of Portugal in 1112. However, the young Alfonso had other plans: in 1128, he rebelled against his mother who wanted to seize the County and in 1139, he declared himself independent of Leon and the first King of Portugal.

Source: Wikipedia

domingo, 4 de janeiro de 2015

Arab Cavalry

This is what I came up with when I decided to try my hand at painting some 28mm cavalry. 
Assuming that it would be a futile exercise to try and change Mongol warrior´s minds, I simply changed their heads - and shields. 
A very simple conversion: Fireforge Mongol Cavalry x GB Arab Spearmen & Archers. 100% plastic.
Is the result Moorish, or just Moorish-ish...?   

sexta-feira, 2 de janeiro de 2015

Portuguese Flags in the Age of Discovery

From left to right:
- Flag with the Order of Christ Cross (or Cross of Portugal)

- Flag with the Christ Cross and the motto "In Hoc Signo Vincis", as described by Jerónimo de Corte Real in an epic with 21 Cantos he wrote and illustrated, commemorating the success of the second siege of Diu, India (1546)

- Flag with the Portuguese Royal coat of arms - 1385-1580 ( House of Avis). 

                           "The Siege of Diu - Canto VI" - by  Jerónimo Corte Real.