What they could have worn

in Jerusalem in 1184

I was not able to find pictures from the period of the film "Kingdom of Heaven" (circa 1180).

I do know of quite a bit of art from the early 1200s, so i'm presenting some here for those curious about what they could have been wearing in Jerusalem.

Local people regardless of religion would have dressed similarly - although there would be differences such that the locals could tell each other apart. And of the Europeans who had moved there, some began adopting local dress or aspects of it, too.

The following were selected to show both men and women. They were all painted in Syria or Iraq - whose styles were so similar scholars often can't tell them apart - and date from 1222 to 1237, except as noted...

Some are clickable for a closer look...

From the Maqamat of al-Hariri - Ms. arabe 6094 - 1222 - Syria

husband and wife before a judge

From an Arabic language copy of De Materia Medica written by the Greek Diocorides - 1229 - Syria

two students approaching the mastera student sitting by the master

These paintings two, above, show Roman, or at least Rumi (i.e., Byzantine) influence.
Most of the rest of the paintings in this book are in the style of the paintings on this page from the Maqamat


From a Maqamat of al-Hariri

listening to a sermon in a mesjid

Notice the variety of modesty accessories the women use
(i don't use the term veil, as some of these items are clearly not veils.)

husband and wife before a judge

The page had been damaged and the face of the qadi (judge) has been badly repainted in more recent times.


Three Illustrations From
the Maqamat of al-Hariri - 1237 - Baghdad - Ms. arabe 5847

al-Harith with his companionsA woman herding camels

This woman wears sleeves fashionable in the cities
and probably not worn in the countryside at this time

A noble woman giving birth with attendents

A noble woman giving birth accompanied by attendents


I don't know from what manuscript this comes

A woman spinning

A woman spinning cotton or silk, in a style similar to the Maqamat above...


I don't know from what manuscript this comes

Two seated men, sharing a drink

The style reflects a combination of Syrian/Iraqi (as seen in the Maqamat paintings) with elements of Seljuk, especially in the draperies and the blue headwrap...
Note glass pitcher and drinking vessels

A scene from a Seljuk love story of the early 13th century, Varka and Gülshah...

Seljuk Persian painting of Vakra and Gulshah