16th Century Play Piercing

In reference to the previous history post, Matthias wrote me with a pointer to the cover of a 1973 Campo di Marte album (an Italian prog-rock band). The album focuses on the foolishness of war, and with that in mind, the cover is an old Italian engraving (probably from the 1500s — please post here if you know more) of Turkish mercenaries doing play piercing to show their courage.

Click to see a much higher resolution scan of the album cover that shows the illustration in good detail. BTW, Mattias released this album on his label if you’re interested!

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by BMEzine.com LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by BMEzine.com LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

17 thoughts on “16th Century Play Piercing

  1. at a guess this would be something from the reign of Philip II 1556-1598, as he was the main Spanish Monarch to wage war aganist the Turks as Spain had recently converted into a purely Catholic country and the monarchs had also become known as Catholic Monarchs and the Turks were often Muslim i believe

    Philip II and his government were quite paranoid that the converted Muslims (or Moriscos) in Spain weren’t actually converted and were just pretending, and were also conspiring with the Turks concerning an invasion on France, so this painting may have been Muslim/Turkish propaganda from that sort of period

    if it interests anyone the Morisco’s were found to be conspiring with the turks by the Government and forced to disperse and spread around the country, where they did still attempt to communicate and plot but nothing ever came of it

    feel free to correct me if i’m wrong in any of this, it wasn’t something we studied in college in great depth but I got an A on the module :)

  2. why have i been chatting on about Spain when that paintings italian :S

    ah well

    just ignore me :P

  3. This is also reminiscent of the original “Fakir Musafar” character — I don’t have the original Ripley’s drawing handy to post, but they definitely reminded me of each other.

  4. I thought the middle guy had the mace sticking up out of his skull, but it’s the dude behind him :) also, the one with the sword through his temple is pretty hardcore – especially since there isn’t a lot of skin on mine to put anything through. the guy on the far left is a rockstar!

  5. I love how he has a sword sticking through the side of his head.

    These guys are so fucking cool.

  6. Who did those? Where can I get a mace, battle axe, scabbard and double sided thingiemebob stomach surface piercing? Want.

  7. At cuntcumber: learn2history.

    High heels were more commonly worn by men as early as the 1600s. Sometimes heeled shoes were used to get better grip on stirrups for riding horses.

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