Liber Testamentorum
Detail of soldiers of Alfonso III of Asturias

by Pelagius, c.1118AD


The full page from Liber Testamentorum Eccleciae Ouetensis, Spain, c.1118AD.


ARMIGERIE IUS
BCD
Liber Testamentorum Eccleciae Ouetensis. Catedral de Oviedo mss. 1. Ca. 1118.



Referenced as figure 384 in Arms and Armour of the Crusading Era, 1050-1350, Western Europe and the Crusader States by David Nicolle
384A-E Liber Testamentorum Regium, Asturias, 1126-9
(Library of the Cathedral, Oviedo, Spain)

A Guards of Alfonso II of Asturia; B-D - Guards of Alfonso III of Asturia; E - Guards of Alfonso II of Asturia. It seems as if earlier styles might have survived in the isolated Asturias while French influence penetrated Castile. Here soldiers carry broadswords with down-turned quillons (B and D), and in one case recurved quillons (E). Two large, kite-shaped shields are shown. Generally such large shields seem to be associated with spears; and small round shields or bucklers with swords. If this is a survival of Arab-Islamic influence then the sword and buckler might indicate cavalry, the large shield and even larger bladed spear indicating infantry as in the iconography of Fātimid Egypt. Without further evidence, however, might also indicate light infantry with sword and buckler and heavy, European-style cavalry with lance and tall shield.
Detail of Alfonso II praying to Christ Pantocrator and soldiers in the Liber Testamentorum



Other 12th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers
Other Spanish and North African resources