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Textile with Byzantine Soldiers Hunting.
Byzantine, Museo Sacro, Vatican.

Plate 59 (p.127)

Caption (p.126)
59.     Men hunting wild animals. Silk serge. Fragment. The upper medallion is complete. but only a quarter of the lower one has survived. From a reliquary in the Sancta Sanctorum. Byzantine (?). 8th century. Museo Sacro. Vatican. On either side of the Tree of Life two huntsmen are attacking animals with spears: the one above, a lion; the one below, a leopard. They wear green tunics with orbiculi and clavi. This motif is derived from Sassanian art, but is also frequently met with in mosaic floors in Palestine and Syria.

    There is a peculiar mixture of styles in the silk with the lion-hunter design from the Sancta Sanctorum in the Vatican (plate 59). The strong colours (red, yellow, green, white and azure) with the undyed inner weft are almost the same as in Spanish materials. The design, however, with its costume decorated with red clavi and its ornamental surrounds, is more clearly Byzantine—of course with Sassanian influences—than the Mozac fabric in Lyons. It is also reminiscent of Syrian textiles like the hippogryph fabric from the Sancta Sanctorum and the horseman fabrics from Milan, Prague and St Calais, as well as of the horse material in Trier and the griffons in St Ursula's, Cologne.
Source: pp. 114 & 120, Early decorative textiles by Volbach, W. Fritz

See also Hunters on Coptic Textiles
A set of Arab, Syrian or Byzantine Horse Archers on Silk (Barham Gur Shoots a Lion and an Onager with One Arrow), 7th-8th Centuries
Other Illustrations of Byzantine Costume & Soldiers
8th century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers

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