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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Indiana Jones factor

A wall painting showing a battle that took place during the Thirty Years' War; from Palazzo Taffini, Savigliano, Italy. Like in a famous scene from the first Indiana Jones movie, while some knights exhibit vintage weapons, others simply shoot them with pistols. It was the epoch of the transition from the Medieval war techniques to the modern ones.

Giovan Battista Marino described this in his long poem Adone (canto 10, stanza 250), in a section devoted precisely to the Savoys' war enterprises in the early 17th century:

Vedilo in dubbia e perigliosa mischia
passar tra mille picche e mille spade;
giĆ  dal volante fulmine che fischia
trafitto il corridor sotto gli cade. . .

See him, in an uncertain, perilous fight,     Thomas of Savoy
ride through a thousand pikes and swords;
now, pierced by a flying and hissing
thunderbolt, the steed under him falls. . .

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