Dovecote Church

Unknown Military Saint

This un-named military saint (Jerphanion notes that the words O AGIOS (the saint . . .) are all that are visible of his inscription) is equipped in a similar fashion to the figures in the frieze. Like Saint Bebianos and the two mounted figures he carries a bamboo spear. However, he seems to be alone in having a round shield by his side. This is either plain except for a patterned rim, or else (and in my opinion more likely, as this is the way it would naturally be held) the back of the shield faces the viewer.

This figure wears a torso covering similar to those of Saints Esukhios, Eliakos and perhaps Bebianos in the frieze, but there seem to be traces, perhaps on a layer underneath, of plates of scale or lamellar armour. Like the others, he has short armour sleeves (in this case apparently scale) covering the upper arm just below the shoulder.

The kremasmata seem to be of scales - perhaps leather, or else gilded metal. The plates overlap downwards, and each row is offset from the one above as is usual in representations of scale armour.

I would hazard a guess that this saint is wearing calf-length kampotoubia, rather than boots, as there appears to be a line at the ankles suggesting a discontinuity between the legs and the footwear. It is hard to be sure, but the kampotoubia appear to be patterned.

Back to Illustrations of Byzantine Costume and Soldier in Dovecote Church, Cavusin, Cappadocia, Turkey