From Harleian Roll, Y. 6. The Life of Saint Guthlac. Date, about the close of the twelfth century. The figures wear the tunic, hauberk of chain-mail, and square-topped helmets, of which one only has the nasal. The triangular shields are suspended round the neck by the guige : their ornaments are mere fanciful patterns, not heraldic. No armour appears to be provided for the lower part of the figures.
Figure of Goliath, from a Latin Psalter of the tenth century in the British Museum
Additional MS., No. 18,043. The hauberk is coloured blue in the original, apparently indicating chain-mail. The curious combed helmet is of the same hue, clearly implying a defence of iron.
Another group from Cotton MS., Claudius, B. iv.
Anglo-Saxon spearmen, from the fine manuscript of Prudentius in the Tenison Library. Date, the beginning of the eleventh century. The drawings are in pen-and-ink only, but very carefully executed: the later subjects by a fresh hand, but all Anglo-Saxon work.
In the monumental effigy of Sir Robert Shurland, who was made a knight-banneret in 1300, we seem to have a curious and probably unique effigy of a knight in the gameson. We give a woodcut of it, reduced from Stothard’s engraving. The smaller figure of the man placed at the feet of the effigy is in the same costume, and affords us an additional example.
Saxon freemen seem to have universally borne arms. Tacitus tells us of their German ancestors, that swords were rare among them, and the majority did not use lances, but that spears, with a narrow, sharp and short head, were the common and universal weapon, used either in distant or close fight; and that even the cavalry were satisfied with a shield and one of these spears.
Saxon Soldier, in Leather Armour
Saxon Horse Soldiers
Of the quilted armours we know very little. In the illuminations is often seen armour covered over with lines arranged in a lozenge pattern, which perhaps represents garments stuffed and sewn in this commonest of all patterns of quilting; but it has been suggested that it may represent lozenged-shaped scales, of horn or metal, fastened upon the face of the garments. In the wood-cut here given from the MS. Caligula A. vii., we have one of the clearest and best extant illustrations of this quilted armour.
Saxon soldier in armour
Picture represents very clearly the half-armour worn by the pikeman and the weapon from which they took their name.
Next, round plates of metal, called placates or roundels, were applied to shield the armpits from a thrust; and sometimes they were used also at the elbow to protect the inner side of the joint where, for the convenience of motion, it was destitute of armour. An example of a roundel at the shoulder will be seen in one of the men-at-arms in the woodcut
The cut is a spirited little sketch of a mounted knight. The horse, it may be admitted, is very like those which children draw nowadays, but it has more life in it than most of the drawings of that day; and the way in which the knight sits his horse is much more artistic. The picture shows the equipment of the knight very clearly, and it is specially valuable as an early example of horse trappings, and as an authority for the shape of the saddle, with its high pommel and croupe.
The accompanying wood-cut represents various peculiarities of the armour in use towards the close of the thirteenth century.
Perhaps the earliest people to form real cities in this part of the world, or indeed in any part of the world, were a people of mysterious origin called the Sumerians. They were neither Semites nor Aryans, and whence they came we do not know. Whether they were dark whites of Iberian or Dravidian affinities is less certainly to be denied. They used a kind of writing which they scratched upon clay, and their language has been deciphered.
Samnite Warriors (From painted vases)
The Romans completely beaten by the Samnites at the battle of the Caudine Forks
Persian Body-guard (from Frieze at Susa)
Monument of Athenian foot soldier found near Marathon.
The caravan soon reached the gates of Kouka, where, after a journey extending over two months and a half, they were received by a body of cavalry 4000 strong, under perfect discipline. Amongst these troops was a corps of blacks forming the body-guard of the sheikh, whose equipments resembled those of ancient chivalry.
Lancer of the army of the Sultan of Begharmi
In 1807, not far from the scene of Clapperton's landing a few years later, a brave but fierce people appeared on the Gold Coast. The Ashantees, coming none knew exactly whence, flung themselves upon the Fantees, and, after horrible massacres, in 1811 and 1816, established themselves in the whole of the country between the Kong mountains and the sea.
Warrior of Java
Civic Guard of Ghent (Brotherhood of St. Sebastian)
The Germans had brought with them over the Rhine none of the heroic virtues attributed to them by Tacitus when he wrote their history, with the evident intention of making a satire on his countrymen. Amongst the degenerate Romans whom those ferocious Germans had subjugated, civilisation was reconstituted on the ruins of vices common in the early history of a new society by the adoption of a series of loose and dissolute habits, both by the conquerors and the conquered.