From Cotton MS., Nero, C. iv. French art. Date, about 1125. The figure is one of a group representing the Massacre of the Innocents : a subject, with those of the Conflict of David and Goliath, the Soldiers at the Holy Sepulchre, and the Martyrdom of Thomas a Becket, very fertile in illustrations of ancient military equipment.
Great Seal of King Stephen. Drawn from an impression among the Select Seals in the British Museum, and from that appended to Harleian Charter, 43, C. 13. The helmet seems to have had a nasal, but the seals at this part are so imperfect that it cannot be clearly traced. Behind is seen a portion of the lace which fastened the coif or the casque.
Seal of Alexander I., King of Scotland : 1107-1124. The figure is armed in hauberk with continuous coif, apparently of chain-mail ; worn over a tunic or gambeson, seen at the wrist and skirt. Conical nasal helmet, lance with streamer, kite-shield, and goad-spur, are the other items of the equipment. The leg does not shew any armour, though the softening of the wax may have obliterated markings which originally indicated a defensive provision at this part. The ornaments of the portrait are usual at this period.
Second Great Seal of Richard I. Drawn from impressions in the British Museum : Harl. Charter, 43, C. 31, and Select Seals, xvi. 1; and Carlton Ride Seals, H 17. The armour, though differently expressed from that of the first seal, is probably intended to represent the same fabric ; namely, interlinked chain-mail. The tunic is still of a length which seems curiously ill-adapted to the adroit movements of a nimble warrior. The shield of the monarch is one of the most striking monuments of the Herald's art: the vague ornament of Richard's earlier shield has given place to the Three Lions Passant Gardant so familiar to us all in the royal arms of the present day. The king wears the plain goad spur, and is armed with the great double-edged sword, characteristic of the period. The saddle is an excellent example of the War-saddle of this date.
Great Seals of King Richard Coeur-de-Lion. The first of these has been drawn from impressions appended to Harleian Charters, 43, C. 27 ; 43, C. 29 ; and 43, C. 30 ; and Carlton Ride Seals, i. 19.
The king wears the hauberk of chain-mail with continuous coif, over a tunic of unusual length. The chausses are also of chain-mail, and there is an appearance of a chausson at the knee, but the prominence of the seal at this part has caused so much obliteration, that the existence of this garment may be doubted. The helmet is rounded at the top, and appears to be strengthened by bands passing round the brow and over the crown. The shield is bowed, and the portion in sight ensigned with a Lion: it is armed with a spike in front, and suspended over the shoulders by the usual guige.
A player on the crwth or crowd (a crowder) from a bas-relief on the under part of the seats of the choir in Worcester cathedral dates from the twelfth or thirteenth century
When about twenty years of age he entered the monastery at Citeaux with five of his brothers. His genius might have secured ecclesiastical preferment, but he chose to dig ditches, plant fields and govern a monastery. He entered the cloister at Citeaux because the monks were few and poor, and when it became crowded because of his fame, and its rule became lax because of the crowds, he left the cloister to found a home of his own. The abbot selected twelve monks, following the number of apostles, and at their head placed young Bernard. He led the twelve to the valley of Wormwood, and there, in a cheerless forest, he established the monastery of Clairvaux, or Clear Valley. His rule was fiercely severe because he himself loved hardships and rough fare. "It in no way befits religion," he writes, "to seek remedies for the body, nor is it good for health either. You may now and then take some cheap herb,--such as poor men may,--and this is done sometimes. But to buy drugs, to hunt up doctors, to take doses, is unbecoming to religion and hostile to purity." His success in winning men to the monastic life was almost phenomenal. It was said that "mothers hid their sons, wives their husbands, and companions their friends, lest they be persuaded by his eloquent message to enter the cloister." "He was avoided like a plague," says one.
The cut represents a group of Cistercian monks, from a manuscript in the British Museum. It shows some of them sitting with hands crossed and concealed in their sleeves—an attitude which was considered modest and respectful in the presence of superiors; some with the cowl over the head. It will be observed that some are and some are not bearded.
In 1098 a.d., arose the Cistercian order. It took the name from Citeaux (Latinised into Cistercium), the house in which the new order was founded by Robert de Thierry. Stephen Harding, an Englishman, the third abbot, brought the new order into some repute; but it is to the fame of St. Bernard, who joined it in 1113 a.d., that the speedy and widespread popularity of the new order is to be attributed. The order was introduced into England at Waverly, in Surrey, in 1128 a.d. The Cistercians professed to observe the rule of St. Benedict with rigid exactness, only that some of the hours which were devoted by the Benedictines to reading and study, the Cistercians devoted to manual labour.
The order of the Knights of the Temple was founded at Jerusalem in 1118 a.d., during the interval between the first and second crusades, and in the reign of Baldwin I. Hugh de Payens, and eight other brave knights, in the presence of the king and his barons, and in the hands of the Patriarch, bound themselves into a fraternity which embraced the fundamental monastic vows of obedience, poverty, and chastity; and, in addition, as the special object of the fraternity, they undertook the task of escorting the companies of pilgrims from the coast up to Jerusalem, and thence on the usual tour to the Holy Places.
The Exhibitor of strange Animals
From Twelfth Century Manuscript, Royal Library of Brussels.
King Louis le Jeune Miniature of the "Rois de France," by Du Tillet (Sixteenth Century), in the National Library of Paris.
Labouring Colons (Twelfth Century), after a Miniature in a Manuscript of the Ste. Chapelle, of the National Library of Paris.