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Digenis Akritas Fights a Beast

Byzantine Sgrafito Plate. 12th century.

Dish depicting warrior battling fantastic beast (Digenis Akritas?).
Byzantium, 12th c. Glazed pottery.
Diameter 31.8 cm. Found in Chersones and acquired 1955.
Inv. no. X 728.
Pub.: Isk. Viz., 2, no. 662, pp. 129, 131.
Iskusstvo Vizantii v sobraniiakh SSSR. Katalog vystavki. 3 vols. (Moscow: Sovetskii khudozhnik, 1977)
Source: State Hermitage Museum :: Byzantium.

Referenced on p.41 Byzantine Infantryman, Eastern Roman Empire c.900-1024 by Timothy Dawson
A hero represented on a ceramic plate uses two swords to slay a beast. Such a combat technique would only have been a last resort on the battlefield, where the comprehensive protection of a shield was much more effective, but it shows the range of martial forms known at the time.

Other Digenis Akritas plates:
Digenis Akritas fights the Dragon
Digenis Akritas slays the Dragon with five arrows
Digenis Akritas saves a princess abandoned in the desert

Other Byzantine Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers

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