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Armoured Figures on Coptic Ivory Panels on the Ambon (Pulpit) of Ottonian Henry II

Aachen Cathedral, Germany.


A larger image of a Cavalryman on Coptic Ivory Panels on the Ambon (Pulpit) of Ottonian Henry II, 6th Century. Aachen Cathedral, Germany.


A larger image of an Infantryman on Coptic Ivory Panels on the Ambon (Pulpit) of Ottonian Henry II, 6th Century. Aachen Cathedral, Germany.

Photos by Sailko
The Ambon of Henry II (German: Ambo Heinrichs II.), commonly known as Henry's Ambon (Heinrichsambo) or Henry's Pulpit (Heinrichskanzel) is an ambon in the shape of a pulpit built by Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor in the Palatine chapel in Aachen (now Aachen Cathedral) between 1002 and 1014. Six convex ivory panels made in Alexandria or elsewhere in Egypt in the sixth century AD decorate the sides. The top panels on both sides show martial victory scenes. In the right panel, a warrior stands armed for battle while in the left panel a warrior is on horseback, striking an animal with a lance, two Genii crown the figure.



Referenced as figure 134 in The military technology of classical Islam by D Nicolle
134. Ivory panels, Pulpit of Henry II, 7th century AD, Islamic or Coptic, Aachen Cathedral (Bad).
See Bayḍah Helmets by David Nicolle, an extract from The military technology of classical Islam

p. 202:     Two basic forms of arm protection were known, the sāʿad or vambrace, and the kaff which seems to have been a type of pauldron or epaulette. While the former was probably of Transoxanian origin (Figs.61B, 428, 430, 440, 445 and 446), the latter may have corresponded to those flexible upper-arm defences, of leather with or without scale reinforcement, that remained characteristic of Byzantine armour from the 5th to 14th centuries (Figs. 95, 655 and 656).
...
pp. 203-204:     The kaff was clearly not the same as the sāʿad in the 10th century10 and, as stated above, it may have corresponded to arm

10. Al Hamdānī, Al Iklīl, edit., Al Karmalī al Baghdādī, pp. 255-257.

defences widely worn by Byzantine troops.11 Probably rarer in Islam than in its Christian rival, this kaff could be made of iron12 but may not generally have been so. The one reference that specifies a kaff of iron states that it was worn by an 8th century Muslim warrior from Syria, a region still under strong Byzantine influence. In fact, this particular kaff could be, and indeed was, cut off by a sword-blow.13 Evidence from 12th or 13th century Georgia, where the kaff was known as the kap'hi, suggests that such Middle Eastern pauldrons were of lamellar.14 As such they would surely correspond to those epaulette-style defences that appear so frequently in Islamic and non-Islamic illustrated sources from the Muslim world (Figs. 122, 134, 141, 142, 143, 175, 213A, 241A-C, 242, 246, 248, 249, 267, 294, 305, 414, 421, 447, 606, 600 and 641). Specimens from the 7th to 12th centuries would mostly seem to be of Byzantine inspiration, although those from the extreme east of Islam and from the later 12th and 13th centuries probably represent parts of a lamellar jawshan cuirass.

11. Haldon, "Some Aspects of Byzantine Military Technology from the 6th to the 10th centuries," pp. 33 and 37.
12. Al Ṭabarī, op cit., vol. II, p. 1402.
13. Ibid.
14. Rust'heveli, op cit., verse 1392.



See also Byzantine soldiers on the Throne of Archbishop Maximian of Ravenna, Constantinople or Alexandria, 545-553AD
Other Illustrations from Coptic Egyptian and Nubian Sources
Other 6th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers
Other Byzantine Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers