The Silos Beatus Codex

Commentary on the Apocalypse by Beatus of Liébana, Spain, 1090-1109AD
British Library Add. MS 11695.

Folio f196r. The Rider upon the White Horse

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A larger image of The Rider upon the White Horse, Silos Beatus Codex, Beatus of Liébana, Spain.

Source: British Library

The layout consists of six horsemen upon their respective mounts arranged in three plain bands with a star-studded ground in reference to the battle in heaven – which is not depicted, unlike in the later Arroyo Beatus (f. 152r). The riders move from left to right as if on the march. The only difference between the rider in the top right-hand corner, who represents Christ, and the others is that he carries his sword in his mouth. The sword in his mouth represents the preachings to punish unbelievers.

Although this illustration is now missing from Morgan, Valcavado, Girona and Seu d’Urgell, the likeness of the layouts in the Silos Beatus and the Ferdinand I Beatus (f. 240r) does suggest the existence of a similar, if not identical, source. The text is absent from Silos but present in the Osma and Ferdinand I (xps cum suo exercitu ad pugnandum vadit contra diabolu[m]). The horses are white in line with the text. The garments on the other hand are contemporary military dress. The headdresses are square and decorated with developed foliate motifs, as are many initials in the codex.

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Silos Beatus Codex, Beatus of Liébana, Spain.