Nubia and the Sudan (mid-9th to 11th centuries)
Plate H, Armies of the Caliphates 862-1098 by David Nicolle
H: Nubia and the Sudan (mid-9th to 11th centuries)
H1: Sudanese mercenary late of Egyptian service
This man has been a member of an elite palace regiment, as shown by the magnificent embroidery on his 'abā' cloak, his highly decorated shield and his gilded infantry spear.
(Main sources: 'Veil of St. Anne', in reality a late 11th century Fāṭimid 'abā', Treasury of the Church of St. Anne. Vaucluse;
fragment of lustre ceramic, 10th-11th century Egypt. Victoria and Albert Museum study collection, London.)
H2: Nubian aristocratic cavalryman
Quilted armour including padded trousers remained the standard form of protection in sub-Saharan Africa for a thousand years.
Most iron items are likely to have been imported from Islamic North Africa or Egypt.
(Main sources: St. Menas in a 9th-10th century Nubian manuscript, Brit. Lib. Ms. Or. 6805, London;
wall painting from Faras Cathedral, 10th century Nubia, Nat. Mus., Khartoum;
carved wooden plaque from Qasr Ibrim, 12th-13th century Nubian, Brit. Mus. Inv. EA.71889, London.)
H3: Ahadi tribesman
Since no pictorial evidence is known to survive from sub-Saharan Africa west of the Nile during these centuries,
this tribesman is based on detailed descriptions by Arab travelers and geographers, plus later costume and weaponry.
(Medieval sources: St. Menas in a 9th-10th century Nubian manuscript, Brit. Lib. Ms. Or. 6805, London;
carved capital showing African warriors, 12th century Siculo-Norman, in situ, Cathedral Cloisters, Monreale.)
See also St. Menas, Nubian, 9th-10th centuries AD. British Library Ms, Or. 6805, folio 10r
Illustrations of Costume and Soldiers from Coptic & Nubian sources
other 8th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers