Monday, 7 January 2013

The Nine Worthies

High up on the East Front of Montacute House, you can see the statues of nine figures in armour. These represent the Nine Worthies – great military leaders of history and legend who were revered throughout Europe. There are three figures from Graeco-Roman tradition, three from Hebrew tradition and three from European Christendom. Putting them roughly in chronological order, they are:
  • Joshua, who led the Israelites after the death of Moses
  • Hector, the greatest Trojan warrior during the Trojan War
  • King David, the conqueror of Jerusalem
  • Alexander the Great, founder of the Macedonian Empire
  • Judas Maccabeus, who recaptured Jerusalem from the pagans
  • Julius Caesar, the Roman conqueror of Gaul
  • King Arthur, the legendary British leader
  • Charlemagne, who reunited large parts of Dark Age Europe
  • Godfrey of Bouillon, leader of the First Crusade
Montacute's Nine Worthies are all attired in Roman-style armour, which makes it difficult to tell them apart. However, it is reasonable to assume that the prominent central figure is the "local" man, King Arthur!

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