The upper register of folio 24v
The Army of the Four Kings defeats the Army of the Five Kings
British Library, MS Cotton Claudius B IV
An Old English translation of the first six books of the Old Testament
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8 Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) went out, and they joined battle in the Valley of Siddim
9 with King Chedorlaomer of Elam, King Tidal of Goiim, King Amraphel of Shinar, and King Arioch of Ellasar, four kings against five.
10 Now the Valley of Siddim was full of bitumen pits; and as the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some fell into them, and the rest fled to the hill country.
11 So the enemy took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way;
12 they also took Lot, the son of Abram’s brother, who lived in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.
Date: 2nd quarter of the 11th century-2nd half of the 12th century
Title: Old English Hexateuch (imperfect), comprising Ælfric’s preface (1r–v), Genesis (1v–72v), Exodus (72v–105v), Leviticus (105v–110v), Numbers (111r–128r), Deuteronomy (128v–140r) and Joshua (140v–156v)
Claudius B.iv. was probably compiled in the second quarter of the 11th century at St Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury. It incorporates translations and a preface by Ælfric of Eynsham, while the remaining parts of the translation were carried out by anonymous authors. Peter Clemoes suggests that Byrhtferth of Ramsey was responsible for the compilation as well as for parts of the translation.
Referenced on p35 Campaigns of the Norman Conquest by Matthew Bennett:
An eleventh-century English manuscript shows mounted warriors on the march. Although it does not prove either way whether the pre-Conquest English used cavalry in battle, it is a reminder that they were just as 'horsy' a society as that of northern France. According to the 'Laws of Cnut', an earl's heriot (royal death duty) included eight horses, and that of a thegn, one. The decision to fight on foot probably owed much to the tactical requirements of an encounter; although it is true that we do not possess any accounts of insular cavalry warfare to match those of Duke William's career.
Referenced in WAR - 005 - M.Harrison, G.Embleton - Anglo-Saxon Thegn AD 449-1066
Anglo-Saxon battle scene from an 11th-century manuscript. The number of crowned kings is a result of the biblical subject matter.
Only a single figure, and that a king, wears mail - a sign of high status. The unarmoured warriors are thegns.
They are mostly clean shaven and wear stylised Phrygian caps and typical tunics.
The oddly shaped spears with triple guards, are influenced by Carolingian artistic conventions: no spearheads of this type has been found.
The figures on the right appear to be stealing away from the battlefield, relieved of the duty to fight by the death of one of the kings.
(British Library, Ms. Cotton Claudius b IV)
Back to 'Abraham Rescues Lot', in the Old English Hexateuch, British Library, MS Cotton Claudius B IV