Illustrations from the Roda Bible:
Biblia Sancti Petri Rodensis.
BnF Ms Latin 6. c.1050-1100AD
also known as the 'Noailles Bible'
Although the stories portrayed in the illustrations are ancient, the figures wear 11th century Catalan costume.

Judges 4

Debora sending Baraq into

1 Samuel

Ark brought into the camp /
Death of the sons of Eli

Paralip. I-II

Death of Saul /
David and the Amalekite


Job tormented by Satan

Oratio Salomonis



The life of Jeremiah

Judith 6.10-14

Fighting around Bethulia


Four Horsemen

Apocrypha: I Maccabees

Mattathias kills the apostate/
Massacre on the Sabbath day

Judas Maccabeus Battles
Apollonius (166BC)

Battle of Bethzacharia (162BC)

Alcimus and Demetrius I/
Battle of Béerzeth (161BC)

Description : De Celebratione missae by Remigius Autissiodorensis (Remi of Auxerre) ca. 841 – 908.
Catalogued as Biblica Sancti Petri Rodensis, this is a four-volume Bible with some additional materials.
The name is from the monastery of St Peter of Roda, Catalonia. The published catalogue entry is in Ph. Lauer (ed.), Catologue Général, I pp. 5f. Vattioni (see under Editio princeps) gives the date as 10th or 11th cent. (p. 173): in this he follows PK. Klein, "Date et Scriptorium de la Bible de Roda. État des Recherthes", Cahiers de Saint Michel de Cuxà 3 (1972), pp. 91-101.
The first two volumes of the Roda Bible appear to have been created at Ripoll, the last two volumes may have come from the workshop of Rodes itself. (The Art of medieval Spain. A.D. 500-1200. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, N.Y.)
Manuscript volumes: Latin 6 (1), Latin 6 (2), Latin 6 (3), Latin 6 (4): Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

Referenced on pp128-9, Arms and Armour of the Crusading Era, 1050-1350, Western Europe and the Crusader States by David Nicolle.
321A AH   Roda Bible, Catalonia, 11th century
(Bib. Nat., Ms. Lat. 6, Paris, France)

Click on a figure to see the source:

Two extremely important 11th-century manuscripts survive from Catalonia: the Roda Bible and the Farfa Bible. One feature that has drawn the attention of armour scholars to these manuscripts is that they seem to show rectangular shapes on the breasts of normal mail hauberks (P, U, V, W, Z, AA and AG). This is otherwise only seen in the 11th-century Anglo-Norman Bayeux Tapestry and a handful of other isolated illustrations. Here, however, they almost certainly represent unlaced mail ventails that hang below the wearers' chins. Such unlaced ventails are frequently shown in 12th-century sources, and the square outline of those in the Catalan Bibles might indicate either that they were a new feature with which the artists were not fully familiar, or that early forms of unlaced ventail from the 11th century did tend to fall into a roughly rectangular shape rather than into the triangular shape seen in the fully developed 12th-century version. The figure of Judas Maccabbeus or perhaps King Eupator (Z) has sometimes been interpreted as wearing a coat of scales. This is unlikely in the 11th century and may simply be the manuscript artist's attempt to make this important figure more splendid. Most helmets appear to be of segmented construction (B, C, E, F, H, L, N, U, Y, Z, AA, AE and AG), either of two pieces joined along the comb in sub-Roman style or true spangenhelms with the segments fastened to a frame. One-piece helmets might also appear (G, I, P, R, V, W and AH). Some helmets have nasals (H, N, P, Q S, U, W, AA, AE and AG) but most do not. Some even appear to have extended neckguards (AE and AG), while others are shown with brims or partial brims like chapel-de-fer war-hats or even early salets (G and Z). One helmet might include a rudimentary representation of the decorative brow plate seen in later Andalusian helmets (S). The manuscript clearly reflects a period of experiment and change before the almost universal adoption of conical one-piece helmets with nasals in the late 11th and 12th centuries. The traditions and influences seen in the helmets of this transitional period seem to include late-Roman, north European, Islamic, and perhaps even Byzantine elements, none of which should be surprising given Catalonia's geographical and political position. Other features of interest are the variety of shields, which range from the large convex round forms for cavalry (H and I) to smaller round ones for infantry (P and AH). The whole early history of the kite shaped shield seems to be illustrated in this one manuscript, from almost oval forms (L and V), through round-based kite-shaped types (J) to the fully kite-shaped variety for both horsemen and footsoldiers (G, N, Y, Z, AA and AG). Apart from spears, mostly with wings or flanges, and swords with straight, curved and down-turned quillons, round, nut and a remarkable bar-like (AC) pommel, the Roda Bible includes other interesting weapons. Large staff-slings are shown no less than three times (F, K and AD). Such weapons were used in siege or naval warfare and should be seen in the context of other beam-sling devices, from the smallest man-powered mangonel to the largest counterweight trebuchet. Almost as surprising are the differently shaped long-hafted axes. The simpler types have similarities with Northern European war-axes (L, T and AB), but a second variety (D and X) has a half-moon blade and a long sleeve down the haft. It seems to be connected with the tabarzîn war-axes of Iran and the Middle East.

Text links to images referenced:
Debora sending Barak into combat
Defeat of the army of Sisera
Death of the sons of Eli
Death of Saul at the Battle of Mount Gilboa
Gezer taken(?)
The capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar (587BC)
Fighting around Bethulia
Massacre on the Sabbath day
Detail of Staff Slinger and Armoured Warrior in Elephant Howdah
Battle of Bethzacharia (162BC)

A Spanish Heavy Cavalryman in Armies of the Dark Ages 600-1066 by Ian Heath, based on the Roda Bible
A staff-slinger in Armies of Feudal Europe 1066-1300 by Ian Heath, based on the Roda Bible

See also Book of Maccabees in The Leiden I Maccabees manuscript, 10th Century
Subjugation of the Cantabrians by Visigoth King Liuvigild, Spain, 11th century
Other 11th century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers
Index of Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers