An illustration from

La CharitÚ Psalter from Central France

British Library Harley MS 2895
Last quarter of the 12th century

f.82v David and Goliath



Back to La CharitÚ Psalter from Central France, British Library Harley MS 2895



pp 321-322 Edward Lewes Cutts Scenes and Characters of the Middle Ages
The warrior, who is no less a person than Goliath of Gath, has a hooded hauberk, with sleeves down to the elbow, over a green tunic. The legs are tinted blue in the drawing, but seem to be unarmed, except for the green boots, which reach half way to the knee. He wears an iron helmet with a nasal, and the hood appears to be fastened to the nasal, so as to protect the lower part of the face. The large shield is red, with a yellow border, and is hung from the neck by a chain. The belt round his waist is red. The well-armed giant leans upon his spear, looking down contemptuously on David, whom it has not been thought necessary to include in our copy of the picture. The group forms a very appropriate filling-in of the great initial letter B of the Psalm Benedictus Dns. Ds. Ms. qui docet manus meas ad prŠlium et digitos meos ad bellum (Blessed be the Lord my God, who teacheth my hands to war and my fingers to fight).



Referenced on p14, French Medieval Armies 1000-1300 by David Nicolle (Author), Angus McBride (Illustrator)
'David and Goliath', La CharitÚ Psalter, Loire region, late 12th century. Goliath wears the old-fashioned equipment often given to 'infidels' in medieval manuscripts, though such short sleeved mail hauberks would also have been issued to sergeants. (Ms. Harl. 2895, f.51v, Brit. Lib., London)



Referenced on p122, Arms and Armour of the Crusading Era, 1050-1350, Western Europe and the Crusader States by David Nicolle.
310 La CharitÚ Psalter, Counties of Bourg or Nevers, end of 12th century
(British Library, Ms. 2895, f.5lb, London, England)

Here Goliath is shown with simple military equipment. This is not, however, necessarily old-fashioned, as many warriors, infantrymen and sergeants as well as some knights, still used relatively short-hemmed, short-sleeved mail hauberks. His helmet is quite tall and rounded with a nasal. Such a style seems to have been as popular as the conical type in many parts of late 12th-century Europe. His large kite-shaped shield may hang from a guige though the decorated strap across his chest might be part of a baldric for a sword.



Other 12th century David and Goliath scenes:
David and Goliath in the Bible of Saint Stephen Harding, France, Bourgogne, France, 1109-1111AD
David and Goliath in the Melisende Psalter, Eastern Mediterranean (Jerusalem), between 1131 and 1143
David and Goliath in the Winchester Bible, England, Winchester, Cathedral Priory of St. Swithin, ca. 1160ľ80
David and Goliath in Biblia Segunde de San Isidoro de Leon, 1162AD
Goliath in the Hortus Deliciarum, France, Hohenburg Abbey, 1185