Details from a Byzantine Icon
11th century



Centurion and gambling soldiers from an 11th century gold and enamel ikon of the Crucifixion. Held in Germany



Referenced on p26, MAA 89 Byzantine Armies 886-1118 by Ian Heath & Angus McBride:
Figures of this type seem to start appearing in the 10th century and are often thought to be Varangian Guardsmen. They only ever appear in biblical crucifixion scenes, however, and wear a type of headdress which in byzantine art is normally associated with Jews. But at the same time their rich panoply certainly suggests that artists may have used the equipment of guardsmen as their model, and interestingly this figure has a raven-like bird emblazoned on his shield, which could certainly associate him with Scandinavian origin.



Byzantine Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers





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