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Figure 4 The Story of the Trojan War The Death of Troilus, Achilles, and Paris

The set represents a medieval revision of classical history. The designers of the tapestries drew largely from two texts for their iconography: Benoit de Maure’s Roman de Troie and Guido de Colonne’s Latin Historia. There are woven French verses above and Latin below. However, these are not direct quotations from the medieval texts but original descriptive verse instead.

In upper and lower registers the tapestry is divided into five main and six secondary scenes. Some characters are identified by woven titles and make multiple appearances. In the upper left corner Achilles is about to decapitate Troilus. Directly below, Telamon rescues Agamemnon from Philimenis. And below that, Antilochus uses his lance to unseat Brunnus de Gemelles.

In the lower left corner, Troilus’s headless corpse is being tied to the tail of Achilles’s horse. King Merion attacks Achilles to stop him from further humiliating Troilus. And in front of Achilles’ horse a Greek soldier is killing a Trojan wearing a turban. Above King Merion is the battle between Menelaus and Paris in which Agamemnon is attacked by Philimenis.

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