Illustration from

Histoire d'Outremer

par Guillaume de Tyr
traduction française avec continuation jusqu'en 1249

[By William of Tyre - French translation with continuation until 1249]

Saint-Jean-d'Acre, Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, 1280

M.E. Saltykov-Shchredin State Public Library, Ms. Fr. fol.v.IV.5, St Petersburg, Russia

John II Comnenus besieging Caesarea Antioch (Shaizar) (1138)

Raymond of Poitiers Count of Antioch and Josselin II Count of Edessa playing chess

Source: p24, Acre 1291: Bloody Sunset of the Crusader States by David Nicolle

A drawing of Mamluk Cavalry in Armies and Enemies of the Crusades 1096-1291 by Ian Heath, based on the Histoire d'Outremer.

A man-powered stone-throwing mangonel from the same manuscript



Referenced on pp.286-287, Arms and Armour of the Crusading Era, 1050-1350, Western Europe and the Crusader States by David Nicolle:
750A-O History of Outremer, Kingdom of Jerusalem, c.1280
(M.E. Saltykov-Shchredin State Public Library, Ms. Fr. fol.v.IV.5, St Petersburg, Russia)

A - Siege of Damietta, f.166r; B - Attack on Shayzar, f.129r; C-E - Siege of Maarat al-Numan, f.45r; F - Siege of Tyre, f.103r; G - Siege of Antioch, f.18v; H-I - First Crusade, f.10v; J - Siege of Antioch, f.27r; K-O - Capture of Antioch, f.36r. The Leningrad copy of the History of Outremer is one of the earliest and finest of late 13th century manuscripts from the school of Acre. It shows considerable knowledge of Islamic arms and armour, even to the extent of showing a kind of large saddlecloth of a type which found no parallel in 13th-century Western Europe (B). Muslim troops correctly wield heavy, winged maces (B), carry round shields (B and J), and have turbans wound around presumed conical helmets (C and L). Elsewhere they have possibly fluted helmets (D), brimmed hats or war-hats (D), low or tall conical helmets without turbans (J and K), and mail coifs (C and K). The Crusaders use mail hauberks with integral mittens (B, H and J), mail coifs (H and M), and mail chausses (B and H-J). Some have presumably padded cuisses over their mail chausses (B, I and J). Skull-cap cervellières or low-domed round helmets appear (H and M), but the most common helmet is the fully developed great helm (A, B, J and O), usually with an angled front profile. Most of these also have a clearly defined plume holder or ventilation hole on top, though no plumes are actually shown. Swords are tapering with curved quillons (B and N), and a crossbowman is shown with what looks like an early example of a loading-hook on his belt (H). Two interesting siege machines are illustrated. One is a small, man-powered mangonel mounted on a pole with attachments for three ropes (G). A second is an extraordinary device mounted on a substantial frame, with what looks like a loading winch in the front (F). Given the accuracy of other pictures in this manuscript, it seems unlikely that the artist has simply forgotten to draw the other end of the beam sling, so perhaps this machine is operated by torsion power in some way which was either unclear to him or is unclear to the modern observer. The closest equivalent to this device seems to be an engine somewhat crudely drawn on an Iranian ceramic plate some fifty years earlier.




Other 13th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers