An extract from Armies of the Dark Ages 600-1066
by Ian Heath

[Based on A Caucasian & a Negro Swordsman Fighting, Vercelli, Italy, about 1040] [Based on Nebuchadnezzar's Army Besieging Jerusalem in the Facundus Beatus, 1047AD]
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139 is a Negro soldier, fairly typical of those who fought for the North African and Spanish Moslem states from the late-8th century. He wears only light clothes, in this case a white cotton skirt and coloured waistband, and carries typical arms consisting of javelin, sword and a light, brightly decorated shield probably of hippopotamus hide. Some substituted a long dagger for the sword and many carried bows. Chieftains would have undoubtedly resembled Arabs more closely and some at least wore armour.

140 shows an 11th century infantryman in more characteristically Arab dress, though the baggy knee-breeches are unusual. His shield is decorated with several bosses and is probably a turs.

Other Andalusian infantry of this era would have been little different from the Arabs described under 96 and 97, though even many Berbers would have been dressed similarly to 139.

Next: 141. KITE-SHIELD PATTERNS in Armies of the Dark Ages 600-1066 by Ian Heath