Illustration from

Summa de vitiis et virtutibus by Willelmus Peraldus

British Library Harley MS 3244, England, after 1236.


Click for a larger image.


Summa de vitiis et virtutibus composed by Willelmus Peraldus (d. 1261) in c. 1236. Harley MS 3244, ff 27r-33v
Doves representing the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, and a knight on horseback with the shield with inscriptions referring to the Trinity, crowned by an angel. The armour of the knight and the trappings of the horse are labelled with the names of virtues.

Source: British Library
Origin: England
Date: 2nd or 3rd quarter of the 13th century, after c. 1236
Language: Latin



pp 333-4 SCENES & CHARACTERS OF THE MIDDLE AGES By the Rev. EDWARD L. CUTTS.
The Harleian MS. 3,244 contains several MSS. bound together. The second of these works is a Penitential, which has a knightly figure on horseback for its frontispiece. It has an allegorical meaning, and is rather curious. The inscription over the figure is Milicia est vita hominis super terram. (The life of man upon the earth is a warfare.) The knightly figure represents the Christian man in the spiritual panoply of this warfare; and the various items of armour and arms have inscriptions affixed to tell us what they are. Thus over the helmet is Spes futuri gaudii (For a helmet the hope of salvation); his sword is inscribed, Verbum di; his spear, Persevancia; its pennon, Regni cælesti desiderium, &c. &c. The shield is charged with the well-known triangular device, with the enunciation of the doctrine of the Trinity, Pater est Deus, &c., Pater non est Filius, &c. The knight is clad in hauberk, with a rather long flowing surcoat; a helmet, in general shape like that in the next woodcut, but not so ornamental; he has chausses of mail; shield, sword, and spear with pennon, and prick spurs; but there is not sufficient definiteness in the details, or character in the drawing, to make it worth while to reproduce it.



See also:
Effigy of William Longspée, an English Knight, Wiltshire, c.1230-40
Statues on Wells Cathedral, England, c.1230-40
Knights on a War Elephant in a Bestiary, British Library Harley MS 4751, England, 2nd quarter of the 13th century
Other 13th century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers