The lower register depicts Leovigild’s campaign against the Suevi.
Ivory plaque from the reliquary of Saint Aemilian. San Millán de la Cogolla (Logroño).
Held by the Monasterio de San Millán de Yuso, northern Spain
Note the kite shields of the tower garrison.
Referenced on pp.145-146, Arms and Armour of the Crusading Era, 1050-1350, Western Europe and the Crusader States by David Nicolle.
358A-B ‘Leovigildo the Visigoth captures the capital of Cantabria’, ivory panel from San Milan de la Cogolla, late 11th/early 12th centuries
(Archaeological Museum, Madrid, Spain)
Although sometimes described as 11th century, the carved ivory and the arms and armour it portrays seem slightly later. If the earlier date is correct then it may be taken as evidence that the long-sleeved mail hauberk, round helmet and oversized nasal seen in Muslim al-Andalus were also known in northern Spain. This would place Christian Spain technologically in advance of France or even Italy and it might, in fact, have been the area from which such styles spread to much of the rest of Europe. Since the bow and the crossbow seem to have played a more prominent role in 11th-century Iberian warfare than they did in areas north of the Pyrenees, these weapons may have been partially responsible for the adoption of more extensive armour. This could have been particularly true of the broad nasal, which may have later developed into the face-mask, which in turn preceded the all-enveloping great helm. The shields in this ivory panel (B) include both an early round-based version of the kite-shaped shield and a small round buckler.