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Fig09.jpg (390495 bytes)

A comparison of the main types of cannon used in Mediterranean warfare at sea


     (a) Ottoman basilisk, ca. 1453, cast for a stone ball of about 930 lb. Guns similar to this may have been used by the Ottomans at Zonchio and Jiddah. After an existent cannon in Rumeli Hisar, Turkey.

     (b)Ottoman 120 pdr, wrought-iron basilisk. After an existent piece in the Deniz Musesi Park, Istanbul. The Ottoman basilisks used at Jiddah in 1517 were possibly similar pieces, perhaps 40-50 pdrs, of the same construction. This monster was probably a specialized siege/fortress gun.

     (c) Spanish 36 pdr culverin, mid-sixteenth century. After existent pieces and Luis Collado’s proportions.

     (d)Spanish 50 pdr full cannon, mid-sixteenth century. After existent pieces and Collado’s proportions.

     (e) Venetian 52 pdr full cannon, based on existent pieces.

     (f) Ottoman 56 pdr ba   topu, mid-sixteenth century. After an existent piece in the Askeri Musesi Cannon Park.

     (g) Ottoman 56 pdr pedrero, ca. 1570. After an existent piece in the Askeri Musesi Cannon Park.

     (h)Spanish 14 pdr half culverin, mid-sixteenth century. After a gun by the German founder Gregory Leofner in the Museu Militar, Lisbon. This is the gun referred to in Pig. 17. Similar pieces by Spanish founders tended to be larger and heavier for their bore diameters.

     (i) German 12 pdr half culverin, ca. 1516. After an existent piece in the Askeri Musesi Cannon Park, Istanbul. This piece is probably representative of many similar Spanish pieces by German founders. Earlier Spanish-German pieces tended toward greater bulk and length and more elaborate ornamentation.

     (j)Venetian 12 pdr sagre, early to mid sixteenth century. An Ottoman šayka topu (sidepiece) would have been of similar dimensions.

     (k)Venetian 12 pdr aspide, mid to late sixteenth century. Note the short length of this later piece.

     (l)Spanish 6 pdr half sacre, mid-sixteenth century. Most sacres used on galleys would have been somewhere between this piece and the 14 pdr half culverin (h) in size  and proportions. 

Pieces (c) to (g) are probably representative of most cannon used as main centerline bowgun on Mediterranean war galleys from the 1530s until Lepanto.