The Tents of History

Part 16. Conclusions

Edited by Stephen Francis Wyley

These are just some of my conclusions based on the data collated so far, they are bound to change as the project continues.

- The Romans were into wall tents because they fitted better into their rectangular castra (fortified encampments) (Trajan's Column);

- The Dark ages saw the emergence of the wedge tent (The Oseberg Viking Ship) and the cone tent (The Utrecht Psalter);

- The 11th century saw the emergence of the bell tent (The Birdcatcher, from pseudo-Oppian, Kynegetica);

- Only a few manuscripts show seperate walls (11th century A.D. (Homilies of Gregory of Nazianzos), 1100-1197 A.D. (Chronicles of Petrus de Eboli), and  1460 A.D. (An Army breaking camp’ by Giovanni Bettini);

- So far the first yurt appears in the early 13th century (1225-1235 A.D. (Assemblies (Maqâmât) of al Harîrî).

- In 1250 A.D. the Maciejowsky Bible shows the emergence of the pavilion with it’s three poled tent showing Saul on his death bed;

- With the Mongol invasions whole new concepts in tent design makes the scene (The Encampment of Jenghis Khan, Mongol Court);

- In the 14th century, the “dormer” window appears in some of the roofs of the larger bell tent (Chroniques de Froissart, Jousts of Sant Ingilbert );

- By the 15th century more and more pavilions are showing up (Avis Directif pour faire la passage d’Outremer);

- In the mid 16th century (Boulogne 1544 A.D.) the range and size of the tents varied immensely;

- that there is no evidence so far that would support the theory of the "Wagon Wheel" internal support structure inside a bell tent. The shapes obtained are simply the product of the cut and tension of the fabric aided by the pole, the guy ropes and the pegs. 1.

- that any art work must be taken with a pinch of salt, nothing can be taken literally because it all depends on the artist's interpretation, style and intent.

1. The use of "negative evidence" for a certain practice is not supportable in any shape or form.
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