Histoire ancienne jusqu'à César
Ancient history until Caesar
Saint-Jean-d'Acre, Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, between 1260 and 1270
Dijon - Bibliothèque Municipale - ms. 0562
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An Extract from Arms and Armour of the Crusading Era, 1050-1350, Western Europe and the Crusader States by David Nicolle:
749A-K Histoire Universelle, Kingdom of Jerusalem, late 13th century
(Bib. Munic., Ms. 562, Dijon, France)
A - Army of Porus of India, f.190;
B-C - Army of Porus of India, f.172v;
D-E - Spears of Amazons and of Alexander, f.86v;
F-G - Soldiers of Joseph in Egypt, f.57;
H - Story of Troy, f.89v;
I-K - Soldiers of Alexander (?).
Most of the figures in this manuscript are dressed and equipped in European style.
The exceptions are the 'Indians' (A-C) who, with their maces (A), small convex round shields (A-C), ṭirāz
bands around some sleeves (B) and an emphasis on archery (B-C), are clearly based on Muslim prototypes.
The same might be true of the spear pennons or streamers of the Amazons (D), which are in clear contrast to the triangular pennons of Alexander's men (E).
A mounted knight (K) is in up-to-date European style, even including plate poleyns. Two other great helms have plumes or streamers attached (I-J).
Infantry are in heraldically-striped helmets and surcoats (F and H). Both also have raised and presumably stiffened collars on their mail hauberks.
One shield appears to be a foreshortened oval type (F). The second infantryman has an extremely interesting and very early representation of a basilard dagger on his hip.
No belt is shown, but such a dagger would presumably have been hung from a belt by cords, as commonly seen in early 14th century European sources.
See also Histoire ancienne jusqu'à César (Ancient history until Caesar), The 'Roger Histories', or Ancient history until Caesar, composed by a cleric under the auspices of the castellan of Lille, Roger. Acre, c.1287. Ms Français 20125.
13th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers
Index of Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers