The Hidden Church
(Sakli Kilise)
Two Military Saints

Two miltary saints - one named Nikitas. Only the last three letters of the other's name -NIS came out in the photograph. Both are wearing lamellar klibania with armoured sleeves, and both are armed with spear and sword.

Detail of the armour. The two klibania are of similar construction. There is no sign of the "bands" between the rows seen in other representations of lamellar - the rows of plates seem to be laced directly to each other. Note that the upper plates seem to be secured by only one vertical lace each, while the lower ones have two. This could be explained in various ways. Firstly, it could be an accurate rendition of an unusual form of armour, of an unknown construction. It could be a simplification of the rendition, caused by artistic laziness or by difficulty of painting this amount of detail at such a height, but I find this hard to credit, if only because the plates on the sleeves, at a similar height, have two laces each. Note also that the sleeves are of similar construction to the klibanion, except upside down. What at first glance seems to be wrist armour is more likely to be braid decoration of the tunic cuffs. There is also what appears to be jewelled decoration between the klibanion and the sleeves.

Both saints are wearing what are quite obviously calf-length padded kampotoubia, as shown by the discontinuity at the ankle. There is also an interesting detail of the footwear - is this mere "modelling" of the contours, or are there extra protections - rather like spats - laced over the shoes?

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