Saturday, December 18, 2010

Heath's Armies of the Sixteenth Century (1)

As you can see from the title page, this is volume 2 of Ian Heath's excellent work. This volume deals with the armed forces present in the New World, both European and indigenous. I cannot think of any comparable work and recommend it for anyone interested in the topic. It was published in 1997 and has not been superseded to my knowledge.

The book is divided into five (geographic) sections, not including the Bibliography. This last, incidentally, is quite useful, despite its seeming brevity (It is just four pages long but is set in small type and is quite comprehensive.).

Of course, my interest is with La Florida, and this is covered in the section titled "North America 1497-1608," which provides most of what I'm looking for. Specifically, sub-sections for "Florida" (pp. 123-130) and "Virginia" (pp. 130-134) are useful. "Florida" is a typical treatment. It gives a historical overview of the Spanish and French expeditions (1513-1581) and the Indian cultures of the region. This is followed by a section on warfare, including weapons and forts. Finally, Heath presents his characteristic, detailed line drawings of warriors and soldiers.

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