Arms and Armour of the
Crusading Era, 1050-1350
By David Nicolle
32A-C 'Goliath and Philistines', carved reliefs, County of Blois, C.1205
(in situ north portal of Cathedral, Chartres, France)
These carvings are good examples of the kind of fanciful and exotic military equipment often given to 'pagan' or 'infidel' figures in early Gothic art. Fanciful as it might be, many of the elements can be traced back to an original source. It is also interesting to see that many pieces which would subsequently be adopted by European warriors first appeared in such imaginary equipment. Here Goliath wears armour based on Byzantine art which was, by the 12th and 13th centuries, often similarly fanciful. It consists in one case (A) of a scale cuirass with laminated upper arm defences. In the second example such a cuirass seems to be worn over a stylised hauberk with mittens (B). The leg defences are more interesting. These consist of decorated poleyns, greaves which seem to lack hinged divisions at sides or back, and either scale-covered or highly stylised mail sabatons. Such leg armour is remarkably similar to that of early 14th century Europe. It must also be remembered that the Bible specified Goliath as wearing 'greaves of brass upon his legs' (I Sam., 17.6).
33А—В Enamelled sword-pommel, north French, mid-13th century
(Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, United States)
One side of the sword-pommel is decorated with the arms of Dreux quartered with the ermine of Brittany (A). This almost certainly links it to Peter of Dreux, Duke of Brittany, who fought alongside Louis IX in the disastrous Second Battle of Mansurah in 1250. The other side of the pommel has a shield bearing a red cross on a green ground, a badgeoften adopted by French Crusaders, and is decorated with vines. This pommel must surely come from a sword captured at Mansürah which then surfaced centuries later in Damascus, perhaps having been the heirloom of a Muslim family.
34 Effigy of Raoul de Beaumont from Etival Abbey, Maine, c.1220
(Archaeological Museum, Le Mans, France)
Although a crude and early effigy, it displays a number of interesting features. The most unusual is the flat-topped but still apparently segmented helmet. This lacks both face-mask and nasal, though a remarkably early example of the nose-covering mail flap or bretache may hang from the man's chin. The round objects apparently on his shoulders are, in fact, censers swung by attendant angels. Raoul de Beaumont wears a long-sleeved mail hauberk with a coif and mail chausses, and has a large flat-topped kite-shaped shield hanging from a guige, and a sword hanging at a peculiar angle across his groin.
35 'Murder of St Thomas Becket', carvings, County of Blois, early/mid-13th century
(in situ Cathedral, Chartres, France)
In stark contrast to the fantastic armour of Goliath and the Philistines, the English knights who slay the Archbishop of Canterbury wear simple armour consisting of mail coifs, mail hauberks with mittens, mail chausses and unpadded loose surcoats. Their swords are equally simple and undecorated.
36 'St Theodore', carving, County of Blois, 1230-5
[in situ south transept of Cathedral, Chartres, France)
Slightly more elaborate arms and armour have been given to the warrior saint Theodore, but he still has a basic mail hauberk with a coif thrown off his head and lying on his shoulders. His mail chausses do not go under the soles of his feet. He also wears a surcoat slit at the sides to expose another garment beneath. His shield is the newly fashionable, smaller, flat-topped kite-shaped type and his sword has a massive cup-shaped pommel.
Данный сайт является составной частью проекта Global Folio