Decisions, decisions! I’d like some fancy dagging along the roof of my tent, but I am not finding evidence for it in the10th century. I see lots of color. I see solid colors on the tents for images of Byzantine troops in camp:
Page from the writings of John Skylitzes (Madrid Skylitzes) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
These date from later than the 10th century but demonstrate what they considered how tents should look. In this close up we see Byzantine tents as the Byzantine army takes their oaths in preparation for battle.
Close-up of image by John Skylitzes (Madrid Skylitzes) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
I see solid colors portrayed with decoration at the eaves and along the roof. In images further down, also of Byzantine tents, the colors appear solid, the decoration at the eaves is contrasting, and some tents have decorations on the roof, but not all. Again, I wonder if this suggests ethnic differences or simply the way the artist chose to paint his pictures.
Note in the images above and below here that the Muslims are shown with round shields and the Byzantines with those long pointed bottom shields. I wonder if this is just the artist or if it represents an actual common difference?
An Arab emir’s tent from Skylitzes via Wikimedia Commons
There are not enough images from enough sources for me to make a solid conclusion, but these images certainly suggest that different groups decorated their tents differently. Most notably that the Muslim tents are portrayed as having a much stronger horizontal decorating motif, where the Byzantine tents are more often solid colors limiting the decoration to the roof and the band where the roof and the walls connect in the illustrations. In the Arab Emir’s tent, there is a striped sort of look to the way the large panels are colored, again, wondering if this suggests that there were vertical stripes as well as colored panels and a decorative lower edge?
This image repeats the solid colors, and gives the additional information on bows and the variations of tent shape found in a Byzantine camp. Looks like both sides wear the same helmets, and use the same bows. The shield shape used by the soldiers in the citadel is the same as used by Byzantines in other images.
I see no sign of fancy dagging along the upper part of the wall where it meets the roof, bands of contrasting color, but no dagging. I wanted dagging but cannot find evidence to justify it– so far at least.
I need to find another source of images. 🙂