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Commentaries of Gregory of Nazianzus, Byzantine, 9th century
f.215v. (upper register) The Judgement of Solomon

A larger image of The Judgement of Solomon, f.215v, 'Commentaries of Gregory of Nazianzus', Byzantine, BnF Grec 510

Titre : Grégoire de Nazianze, manuscrit dédié à l'empereur Basile Ier le Macédonien.
Date d'édition : 0879-0883
Type : manuscrit
Langue : Grec
Format : Parchemin. - 465 fol. - Onciale. - Peint. - 435 x 300 mm
Description : Grégoire de Nazianze, Homélies.

Source : Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des manuscrits, Grec 510

Miniature au folio 215v. Au registre supérieur, le jugement de Salomon (3 Rois 3, 16-27): Salomon siège sur son trône flanqué de deux soldats tandis qu'un autre soldat tient l'enfant au-dessus des deux femmes représentées dans la partie droite.
Miniature on folio 215v. In the upper register, the judgment of Solomon (3 Kings 3, 16-27): Solomon sits enthroned flanked by two soldiers while another soldier holding the child above the two women depicted on the right side.

Referenced as figure 202 in The military technology of classical Islam by D Nicolle
202A to 202D. Manuscript of St. Gregory Nazianzus, A - 'Massacre of the Innocents,' B - 'Soldiers of Jaire,' C - 'Judgement of Solomon,' D - 'Angel before Joseph,' c.880 AD, Byzantine, Bib. Nat. Ms. Grec. 510, ff. 137r, 170r, 215v and 226v, Paris (War).

Referenced on p.24, Romano-Byzantine Armies 4th-9th Centuries by David Nicolle and Angus McBride
Judgement of Solomon in the Commentaries of Gregory of Nazianzus, late 9th century Byzantine. The executioner on the right has a tapering straight sword, while the guards on the left still have decorated claves panels on their tunics. (Bib. Nat., Ms. Gr. 510, f.215v, Paris)

The figure with raised sword is referenced on p.30, Byzantine Imperial Guardsmen 925-1025: The Tághmata and Imperial Guard by Timothy Dawson
Detail from The Judgement of Solomon, a miniature of c. AD 880. We may be fairly confident that the model for this image of a guard, holding the infant and awaiting the king’s decision, was a member of the red-uniformed Imperial Maghlavítai. The commander of that corps was the ‘lord high executioner’, who presided over the infliction of corporal punishment, and the death penalty on those judged guilty of treason. For reconstruction, see Plate B1. (Cod. Par. Gr. 510, folio 215v)

by Giuseppe Rava
The soldiers in white are referenced for Plate A2 (left):
A2: Primikérios Kandidatos of VIII Skhóla

The kandidatos, reconstructed from folio 215v of the Commentaries of St Gregorius Nazianzenus now in the Bibliothéque Nationale in Paris, wears the costly representative parade uniform (allaxima) of his unit. The white kandidatikion is furnished with a richly decorated collar (maniakion), and decorated with gold klavoi and orbiculi. The gold epikarpia on his wrists are copied from the Thessaloniki specimen. He is armed with a spear of Frankish type, with a 'winged' head (obscured here). The colours of his richly decorated skoutarion could be the semeion of either V or VIII Skhóla.

The figure with raised sword is referenced for Plate B1 (right):
B1: Guardsman of the Imperial Manglavion

Posed on steps in the Imperial palace, this figure is again reconstructed from the St Gregorius Nazianzenus manuscript, with the red skaramangion and trousers of the Imperial Maghlavítai which echoed the dress of the old Roman lictores. The long-shafted mace, and the golden whip in his belt, are symbolic of the duties and prerogatives of this unit; their 'police' role was not simply ceremonial, and they were empowered to inflict punishments up to and including death. Note his sword, furnished with a sleeve-like extension of the hilt down the blade below the crossguard.

by Giuseppe Rava

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