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Carvings on the west door of Trogir Cathedral in Dalmatia



Carvings on the west door of Trogir Cathedral in Dalmatia, made by Master Radovan in 1240. Though essentially Romanesque in style, Radovan's carvings include unusual costume and weaponry reflecting the Slav population of Dalmatia. This archer (left) has a composite bow and a quiver of almost Central Asian form. The 'Guards at the Holy Sepulchre' (right) wear scale or lamellar armour over their mail hauberks and, with their wide-brimmed chapel-de-fer helmets, are probably based on Serbian or Byzantine soldiers.
Source: p4, The Venetian Empire 1200-1670 (Osprey MAA No 210) by David Nicolle



Referenced as figure 777 in Arms and Armour of the Crusading Era, 1050-1350, Western Europe and the Crusader States by David Nicolle
777A-G Carvings, Dalmatia, c.1240
(in situ west door of Cathedral, Trogir, Croatia)


These carvings may be rather old-fashioned in style but they are known to have been made by a Slav Dalmatian mason Master Radovan, and are likely to reflect what he saw around him. The archer-huntsman (C) uses an early form of composite bow similar to that seen in southern Italy, Byzantium, and the pre-Turkish Islamic Middle East. The sword and shield carried by a figure in unrealistic Roman armour (A) is again old-fashioned, but more realistic than the man himself. Two other warriors (B and D) appear as lightly-armed infantrymen, though the apparently padded headgear of one (B) is unusual. Most interesting of all, however, are the three Guards at the Holy Sepulchre (E-G). They have wide-brimmed chapel-de-fer helmets with buckled chin-straps, separate mail coifs, and long-sleeved mail hauberks without mittens but worn beneath lamellar or scale cuirasses. The nearest parallel to the last, both stylistically and geographically, seems to be the effigy of Guido Pallavicino at Fontevivo in northern Italy, though this was made some sixty years later.



Hungarian Heavy Cavalryman, 12th Century, in Armies of Feudal Europe 1066-1300 by Ian Heath, based on carvings on the west door of Trogir Cathedral in Dalmatia, Croatia, by Master Radovan
Other 13th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers
Italian Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers






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