Aragonese knight, late 13th centuryThis knight bears the arms of Tolosa quartered with those of Catalonia. By the mid-13th century a great deal of Spanish arms and armour was identical to that of Italy from where the kingdom of Aragon imported military equipment. In terms of costume, however, the Spaniards remained slightly different. A number of pieces of magnificent clothing and headgear have also survived in the tombs of kings and princes.
Castilian crossbowman c1300Iberian crossbowmen were among the most effective in Europe. Those of Castile may have been heavier armoured than the almogavers of Aragon, this man wearing a cuirass of leather scales is holding the shield and standard of the knight. Certain details in the carving on which this armour is based suggest such protections were worn in Spain but could also stem from garbled reports of Islamic lamellar armour. The large shield or mantlet, crossbow and light sword are, however, more straightforward.



Andalusian nobleman c.1290Muslim Andalusian costume had been influenced by North African Almoravid and Almohad periods while Andalusian military equipment was still comparable to that of Christian Iberia. Thus this man wears a full mail hauberk and mail chausses beneath his typically Islamic tunic. His sword is a late development of a typically Arab form while his bamboo-hafted spear and highly decorated leather adargo shield are in North African style. The gilded decoration on the front of his helmet appears in numerous pictorial sources and finds unexplained parallels in 13th and 14th century Byzantium.