The fuero of Caceres tells us, furthermore, what was the regular equipment of the Spanish foot and mounted soldier of that period. "Each horseman shall go forth to battle with a shield, a lance, a sword, and spurs; and he that carries not all these shall pay each time five sheep wherewith to feed the soldiers.... Each mounted man or pawn that trotteth not or runneth not to quit his town or village as he hears the call, - the first shall have his horse's tail cut off; the other shall have his beard clipped."
Defensive arms included various kinds of coverings for the head; the loriga or covering for the body, the calcias or covering for the legs, and the shield.
The loriga (Latin lorica) was the ordinary hauberk or shirt of mail, such as was worn all over military Europe, made of rings or scales sewed strongly on a linen or leather under-tunic consisting of a single piece, and reaching to the knee. The Gran Conquista de Ultramar of Alfonso el Sabio also informs us that it was tied at certain openings known as ventanas ("windows"), and that the collar of the tunic was called the gorguera. The resistance of the Spanish loriga to a pointed weapon does not seem to have been great, for the Chronicle of the Monk of Silos says that at the siege of Viseo the arrows of the Moorish bowmen went through the triple lorigas of their foe.
Towards the twelfth century the custom arose of wearing over the coat of mail a loose, sleeveless frock (the waffenrock of Germany), woven of linen or some other light material, painted or embroidered with the owner's arms. As the Count of Clonard observes, it is clearly this kind of frock that is referred to in the following passage of the Leyes de Partida: "For some (of the knights) placed upon the armour carried by themselves and by their horses,1 signs that were different one from another, in order to be known thereby; while others placed them on their heads, or on their helmets."
The Normans used a form of hauberk with attached mail-stockings. In Spain we find in lieu of this leg-covering, the Roman calcia (Latin caliga), extending from the foot to just below the thigh, and subsequently called the brafonera.1 This was, in fact, a separate mail-stocking, made of closely interlacing steel rings, and worn above the leather boots or trebuqueras.
1 The horse was also covered with a loriga, on which, from about the twelfth century, were thrown the decorative trappings of cendal or thin silk, painted or embroidered with the warrior's arms.
The Battle Of La Higueruela (Wall painting. Hall of Battles, El Escorial)
The Spanish escudo or shield was usually made of wood covered with leather, and painted with the arms or the distinguishing emblem of its lord. Sometimes it was made of parchment. Thus the Chronicle of the Cid informs us that this hero after death was equipped with "a painted parchment helm and with a shield in the same wise." Another form of Spanish shield, the adarga (atareca, atarca; Arabic ad-darka, to hold upon the arm), of which I shall subsequently notice specimens in the Royal Armoury, was commonly in the shape of a rough oval or of a heart, and made of various folds of leather sewn and glued together. The Chronicle of Alfonso the Eleventh speaks of a certain famine which broke out among the Spanish troops, and caused them such privation that "they chewed the leather of their shields." 1
1 "Calzo las brafoneras que eran Men obradas Con sortijas de acero, sabet Men enlazadas; Asi eran presas e bien trabadas, Que semejaban calzas de las tiendas taiadas."
Poem of the Cid.
The battle headgear of this people passed through many changes. "The helmet of the eighth century," says the Count of Clonard, "was the same which had been used by the Cantabrians and Vascones before the general peace proclaimed by Augustus Caesar. Helmets of this design are engraved upon the medals (reproduced by Florez) of the imperial legate Publius Carisius. They covered the entire head and face, leaving only two holes for the eyes, as we see upon the carved stone fragments in relief at the door of the church of San Pedro de Villanueva, representing the struggle of King Froila with a bear."
Another form of helmet which the Spaniards began to use about this time was the almofar (Arabic al-mejfar), made of iron scales. It covered all the head, with the exception of the eyes, nose, and mouth, and corresponds to the camail of the Normans. Beneath it was worn the linen cofia, a kind of bag or cap in which the warrior gathered up his hair. After about another century a round or conical iron helmet (capacete), fitted with cheek-pieces, was superposed on the almofar and fastened round the chin with straps. The capacete of a noble was often adorned with precious stones and coronets of pure gold, while a spike projecting from the top was tipped with a large carbuncle, in order to catch and to reflect the flashing sunbeams.
1 Count of Clonard, op. cit.
The substitution for this spike of multiform and multicolor figures or devices dates from a later age. The Chronicle of Alfonso the Eleventh describes as something altogether novel and sur-prising, the crests upon the helmets of the foreign knights who flocked, in 1343, to Algeciras to aid the cause of Christianity against the Moor. "All of them," says this narrative, "placed their helmets at the door of their dwellings, supporting them on stout and lofty staves; and the figures on the helmets were of many kinds. On some was the figure of a lion; on others that of a wolf, or ass's head, or ox, or dog, or divers other beasts; while others bore the likeness of the heads of men; faces, beards, and all. Others, too, had wings as those of eagles or of crows; and so, between these various kinds there were in all as many as six hundred helmets."