Capitals, Basilique Notre Dame de Saint Nectaire, 1146-1178AD
Saint Nectaire (Puy-de-Dme), France



Capital, Saint Nectaire Betrayal and Flagellation of Christ

Capital, Saint Nectaire Sleeping Guards at Christ's Tomb

Capital, Saint Nectaire Horseman of the Apocalypse

Capital, Saint Nectaire Ranulfo: perhaps a generous donor, torn between Good and Evil

Capital, Saint Nectaire Archer

Saint-Nectaire is a commune in the Puy-de-Dme department in Auvergne in central France. The village is in two sections Saint-Nectaire-le-Haut and Saint-Nectaire-le-Bas.



Referenced on pp.114-115, Arms and Armour of the Crusading Era, 1050-1350, Western Europe and the Crusader States by David Nicolle
289 A-H Carved capitals, County of Auvergne, late 11th/ early 12th centuries
(in situ church, St Nectaire, France)

A-D Flagellation; E Oppressive knight; F Guards at the Holy Sepulchre; G The Betrayal; H Horseman of the Apocalypse. The region of the Auvergne is rich in Romanesque carvings illustrating military equipment. These indicate that the area was a kind of cultural frontier between north and south and that the late 11th and early 12th centuries were a time of technological change. This is most clearly illustrated in the helmets, of which there are quite a variety. Low-domed types, apparently of two segments joined along a central comb and strengthened by a wide rim, are almost certainly descended from late-Roman forms (A, B and G). Conical segmented or fluted helmets with nasals seem to mirror the slightly simpler conical helmets of northern France (G, E and A similar form, though lacking a nasal, is worn by the unarmoured Horseman of the Apocalypse. Most mail hauberks have mid-length sleeves and reach only to the upper or mid-thighs. A very interesting feature of these mail armours is their integral coifs with ventails across the lower part of the face. All would be laced at the left temple and are twice shown laced in this manner (C and E). Elsewhere they hang down from the chin (A, B, F and G), forming a roughly rectangular shape which probably explains the square shapes shown below the throats of mail-clad warriors in two Catalan Bibles and in the Anglo-Norman Bayeux Tapestry. Shields are basically kite-shaped. Swords are broad and straight with round (A), quatrefoil (C) and nut-shaped (F) pommels. One is carried beneath the hauberk with its hilt protruding through a slit in the mail (A). Another is carried from a knotted sword-belt (F). Two war-axes are shown, both with half-moon blades (F and G). One has a substantial spike at the back which makes it closer to the weapon seen at Moissac and others in Spain. Such a feature was not characteristic of Northern European weapons at this time. Another figure (G) also illustrates a substantial but rather mysterious glaive-like hafted weapon. It has a long, apparently single-edged blade but the haft is mostly obscured.




See also Ripoll Bible (Farfa Bible). Catalonia, Spain, ca. 1027-1032AD. Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Rome (MS. Vat. lat. 5729)
Biblia Sancti Petri Rodensis, the Roda Bible, Catalonia, 1050-1100AD. BnF Ms Latin 6
Other 12th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers