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Weapons In The Iconography Of The Warrior Saints

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Chapter Summary

This chapter begins by examining the lance, the weapon shown most frequently in the iconography of the warrior saints, and which carries ideological content that had already taken root in antiquity. On depictions of warrior saints the most common form is a short type of spear that reaches just above the head. The differences between the lance depicted alongside the warrior saints and the above-mentioned varieties of Byzantine shafted weapons is explained by the strong iconographic tradition, the endurance of which may have favoured the continuity of customs connected with this element of weaponry. The crux hastata also appears on reliefs with Sts Sergios, Theodore and George on horseback on the northern facade of the cathedral of the Holy Cross on Aght'amar; on the silver claddings of Georgian pre-altar crosses from Sakdari and Lapskaldi, where they are held by George, Theodore and an unidentified rider.

Keywords: Crux hastata; iconography; lance; shafted weapons; spears; St George; warrior saints



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