The word "Artilleria"


#1

I want to make sure I get the meaning of this word, which has many almost identical counterparts in other languages, very clearly and correctly. As far as I know, it comes from “art” because aiming early cannons correctly was an actual art, each was cast slightly differently and behaved as such during firing. The early cannon casting factories were called artillerias (like “papelleria” to “papel”). Did this word just stay with ammunition factories (no matter what calibre they produced), sort of like “cavalry” stayed with motorized units after they “lost” horses, or there is another explanation?


#2

IN nearly all the Romance Language countries (Italy-France-Belgium-Spain-Portugal and Romania) the word Artilleria refers to both the Arm of the Service (Big Guns) and also the Military Engineering related to both the manufacture of all Guns (Big and small) and their ammunition.
In fact, in most of these countries, the entire supply and organisation of Supply and Manufacture is controlled by “El Servicio de Artilleria” ( Spanish)…modify according to the Language…the meaning and concept is the same.
Hence it is usual to see "Artiullery officer xyz designed this or that Infantry Rifle etc…in the Romance European context.

All this dates from the Renaissance, when technically learned men (usu. Engineers) designed and operated Cannon, as well as building fortifications etc.
During the 1600s and 1700s, the way to a qualification in Engineering was to be found via the Artillery Service of a country, where such things as Mathematics, Metals technology, Civil Engineering, etc, were part and parcel of the Artillery officer’s Knowledge.

IN English speaking countries, Artillery was known as “The Ordnance” when related to “BIG” guns…hence the Ordnance Corps handles Guns and Ammunition Supply, whilst “Artillery” actually uses the Guns (Big) in combat.

Regards,
Doc AV


#3

I believe in Spanish military usage, the term for a manufacturing facility for arms and armament was termed
Fabrica de Artilleria coupled with the location. Depending on space limitations the items manufactured could be marked with all, or abbreviated forms of the name. Around the time that this box of ammunition was made, Spanish bayonets and other edged weapons were marked Fabr. Artilleria Toledo, and Artilleria Toledo.

In American terms we would probably translate Artilleria as used by the Spanish circa 1900 as “Arsenal” or “Armory.” Originally (late 18th and early 19th century) Armory was used to describe places where arms were made, and Arsenal, places where they were stored and maintained. Hence Springfield Armory, and Frankford Arsenal. In the mid 19th Century Frankford Arsenal expanded their operations to include conversion from flint to percussion (atcually the Maynard tape primer system, using locks provided by Remington). That evolved into the percussion primer/cap business, and then the cartridge business. But, the “Arsenal” name was already well established. Likewise, by the time Rock Island Arsenal got into the rifle manufacturing business, it was firmly identified by that name, and no attempt was made to change it to “Armory.”


#4

Just to show how names change meanings when transported across Languages, the previous Poster mentions the word “Arsenal”…this is originally a Venetian word, from the 10th to 12th Century, denoting the Shipyards where Galleys (Both War and Mercantile) were built in the Lagoon City. It was also the Place where the Cannons were eventually made and stored, as well as other Firearms ( Letter in the Beretta Letter Copy Book dated 1528, requiring so many Musket Barrels to be delivered “to our Arsenal in Venice” ).

The word soon took a generic meaning, from its “proper Name”…and was used across Europe to denote any Store of Firearms and Gunpowder, with or without manufacturing Facilities ( by the 1800s, it meant the whole range of storage and manufacture, esp. in the English Language).

Political correctness has degraded the word down to meaning “a collection” of small arms ( as few as Two!!!) when reporting alleged criminal matters in the news media…

SO whilst we have “Armory and Arsenal” in US English, the former usually denoting a storage of Small Arms ( as in “the National Guard Armory” or the “Police Armory”, which denotes storage and a Limited Ammunition production (ie, re-loading), “Arsenal” is usually attached to Large Manufacturing Facilities for Larger Calibre Guns, and Ammunition.

The Terms have become blended over time, in some cases.

Another Country which used the Term “Arsenal” ( in English translation) was China, where all Deposits of Guns, Ammunition, and Manufacturing Facilties were called “Arsenals” in Imperial Times eg. Tientsin Arsenal, Hanyang Arsenal, etc.

The French , of course, were “French”…Gun Factories were called “Manufacture Des Arms” (Arms manufactory), Munitions factories were called “Manufacteurs des Munitions” ( ammunition Makers) etc. And deposits of Large Guns were called “Parcs d’artillerie” ( Artillery parks)…you gotta give it to the French…a correct descriptive name for everything…

Regards,
DocAV