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"An Arab Chamfron in Scylitzes Chronicle?" Topic


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Druzhina06 May 2021 3:22 a.m. PST

A drawing of an Arab cavalry horse with chamfron in Scylitzes Chronicle appeared as fig. 609I in David Nicolle's 1982 PHD thesis: "The military technology of classical Islam"

It has appeared in subsequent publications and by other authors. It appears as follows in 'Horse Armour in the Medieval Islamic Middle East' by David Nicolle (2017):


Fig. 12. Fleeing Saracen, Skylitzes Chronicle, Siculo‑Byzantine, late 12th–early 13th century AD (Biblioteca Nacional, Cod/5‑3. N2, f.54v, Madrid).


The figure it is based on is


Folio 5v, 'Scylitzes Chronicle' – A battle between Byzantines and Arabs.

Although blue could be used to represent iron, this is a blue horse with a darker blue face (except for a blaze), dark blue mane, left fore-leg and lower right fore-leg.
There is no circular eye-hole, the eye is eye-shape.

Does this horse have a chamfron?

mirror site
Folio 5v, 'Scylitzes Chronicle' – A battle between Byzantines and Arabs.

Druzhina
Illustrations of Arab Costume & Soldiers

John the OFM06 May 2021 6:11 a.m. PST

I think that it would be more credible to call it a change on if the horse were brown.

Legionarius06 May 2021 8:38 a.m. PST

This is a very ambiguous depiction. If we use Ockham's Razor and accept the simplest explanation, there would be no chamfrom. An indicator could be that there is no change in color and that, since the scale and plate armor on the horseman is bronze in color, the chamfrom should also be colored the same. I am inclined to say that no, this is not a depiction of horse armor.

Perris070706 May 2021 10:37 a.m. PST

I am going with NO chamfron. Just a color issue. Notice the horse gets darker toward the front.

noggin2nog06 May 2021 10:47 a.m. PST

Clearly no chamfrons (or any other armour) on any of the horses in the original illustration.

William Warner06 May 2021 11:22 a.m. PST

I agree, no chamfron on that particular blue horse. It is simply an effect of the application of color by the artist.

LorenzoMele09 May 2021 12:07 p.m. PST

Well spotted Druzinha.
Lorenzo

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