Lion de Geules

The Sicilian Coronation Mantle

from a heraldic point of view


Hubert de Vries





A heraldic analysis of the program of the famous Sicilian Coronation mantle in the Weltliche Schatzkammer in Vienna may reveal to whom the mantle originally belonged. 




The famous socalled “Sicilian Coronation mantle” consists of a semicircle of red silk with a diameter of 345 cm. The mantle is decorated with gold an silver embroidery and adorned with precious and semiprecious stones. According to the text written on the hem it was made in the royal workshops of Palermo in the year 528 of the Hegira (1133-'34 A.D.). [1]

The main figures on the mantle consist of two large lions and a palmtree in between them. They are depicted in the act of killing two camels or dromedars.

The legend on the hem is in kufic script and reads: “This was made in the Royal Workshops and has flowered through the happiness and honour, the diligence and perfection, by power and merit, with his agreement and by his well-being, magnanimity and sublimity, by his fame and beauty as well as by the fullfillment of the desire and hope for  persisting and invariable happy days and nights, for honour and precaution, for maintenance and protection, for success and security, for victory and capability in the city of Sicily in the year 528.”[2]

Taking the lions on the mantle into account, the mantle certainly cannot have been a royal garment because in that case we would have expected, instead of the lions, an eagle like the eagles on the mantles of Brixen and Metz. [3] Roger II (1130-1154), king of Sicily in the time the mantle was made, indeed was dressed in Byzantine costume. We can see this on a mosaic in the S. Maria dell Ammiraglio (Martorana) built in 1143. The royal dress consisted of a colobium and a chiton with a wide embroidered hem. The chiton is blue, strewn with little golden crosses. The king is wearing a loros and is crowned with a Byzantine royal crown consisting of a broad circlet, with a plate in the middle, set with precious stones. On the rim are three big pearls and from the lower rim are hanging


two pendoulia. In fact he wears no mantle (chlamys) at all. From other sources indeed, it is known that the symbol of the king of Sicily was an (golden) eagle, later fixed in the Hohenstaufen coat of arms for Sicily: Argent, an eagle sable. 

If the mantle is not a royal mantle to whom can it be ascribed really? The key to the answer of this question is in the two lions so conspiciously placed on the mantle.






The stencil of the two lions adossed is very old, like so many other martial symbols. The stencil has not devoloped very much through the ages and the lions on the mantle are thus of an extraordinary originality. A very old example, but certainly not the oldest one, can be seen on a bronze disc or mirror from the time of Darius the Great  (521-486). On this disc are two lions rampant reguardant adossed within a bordure of the little suns in the shape of marguerites which we can see everywhere in Persepolis. [4]) Other examples date from many centuries later. They are on cloth made from the ninth until the fourteenth century, in particular in Byzantium that had the monopoly on silk for a long time. On these silken clothes the lions adossed sometimes are placed in a medallion in a fashion strikingly resembling the lions on the Persian disc.

Taking the many lions adossed on cloth into account but also noticing that lions are very old and traditional martial symbols, we have to conclude that the lions-in-medallions have to be martial symbols also. In the miltary hierarchy the lion comes after the two-headed eagle, the eagle, the griffin and the bull and we normally do not find the lions adossed in this short list. We may assume that the meaning of the lions adossed certainly has to be different from the meaning of the classical single lion. What that meaning actually can be, may be deduced from the portrait of Alexius Apocaucos, alternately called “grand-admiral” and “grand-duke”. [5] On this portrait he is sitting on a kind of throne. He is all dressed in purple strewn with medallions in which are two lions rampant adossed. This is one of the very few examples in which there can be made a direct link between the title of grand-admiral and the corresponding symbol of the two lions adossed [6].  Thus we may be sure that the two lions adossed are the symbol of a grand-admiral or a grand prince, that is to say a megas dux in the Byzantine hiearchy. This conclusion  is not contradicted by older examples of lions-adossed-in-medallions.[7]


Grand duke  Alexius Apocaucos. On his dalmatica medalions with white lions rampant adossed


Lions adossed and eagle on the ceiling of the chapel of the Royal Palace in Palermo. The construction of this chapel started in 1130 and it was inaugurated in 1140.


When we accept that a pair of lions adossed is the symbol of a megas dux, the coronation mantle should have belonged to an officer with a similar position or rank in Sicily (very influenced by Byzantium) in the time of Roger II.

What remains is to establish who actually held that office in the time of Roger II?


After the conquest of Palermo in 1072, Robert Guiscard installed a greek from his suit as his emir, in the latinzed form ammiratus. In this he continued a tradition set by the Moors who also let govern the island of Sicily by an emir. At the time the word ammiratus had a wider sense then the word “admiral”, derived from the arab amir al-bahr: (supreme) commander at sea, has now. The office was comparable then with that of a prime minister, like that of a megas dux. At the end of the reign of Roger II many of the administrative powers of the admiral were transferred to the chancellor, but in the time of William II this was undone. From the beginning however the care for the seapower was one of the main tasks of the admiral of Sicily. [8]

The admiral and prime minister of Sicily in the time of Roger II and the year of the manufacturing of the mantle was, without any doubt, George of Antiochia (†1151).




George of Antiochia started his career in the service of the prince of  Al Mahdia (on the East-coast of Tunisia) but changed sides to Roger of Sicily after he had lost his patron there. At first he was a strategos (general) in his service. In 1123 he had the command of a sea-campaign and from that time the history of his life is also the history of the Sicilian fleet. That fleet was initially under the command of admiral Christodulos who died about 1131. In the same year, on a campaign to Amalfi, George was already called maximus ammiratus an so we have to accept that he succeeded Christodulos not long before or not long after his death. [9] It is a remarkable fact that Christodulus is never called “grand-admiral” and that this title was used for George immediately after Roger II had received the royal title from Pope Anacletus on the 27th of september 1130. This suggests that George was in fact the first grand-admiral, a style only adopted for the commander of the fleet after Roger had been made king. [10]


George shaped and executed in a very clever way the politics of the Norman kings who could take their chances in the unfavourable political circumstances the Byzantine Empire and the North-african coast states were in. The isle of Djerba was conquered in 1135 and served as an important  base for the next campaigns to Africa. Tripoli was attacked in 1142 and fell in 1146. After that followed Al Mahdia, Susa, Sfax and Gabes. In 1148 the Sicilian territory in Africa reached from Tripoli to Bona and in the interior from the desert to Kairouan. Not less prosperous was the campaign against Byzantium that was engaged with the crusade of Conrad III and the Venetians. Corfu was conquered in 1147 and further Roger penetrated the Gulf of Corinth. Because the reconquest of the Byzantine southern Italian territories was thus made impossible, the young king of Siciliy matched in that sense the pressing forward of Islam  in the Byzantine empire.[11]


So George of Antiochia was a very important man who not only bore the title of grand-admiral but also of grand-archont (administrator). He formally belonged to the royal family and was the first person in the kingdom. [12] May 1143 he started the construction of the S. Maria dell’ Ammiraglio (Martorana) in Palermo, an that can serve as a proof of his great wealth. He died in 1151, in the age of almost 70.


The situation in the time of the making of the coronation mantle was as follows.

After count Roger had received the royal title from the hands of Pope Anacletus, he invested much effort in th following years to establish his authority in his kingdom. In this ambition an important part was played by the fleet. At the end of 1133 a great loss was suffered because 23 ships charged with gold and silver shipwrecked [13]. In the spring of 1134 (however) king Robert sailed with almost sixty armed galleys for Salerno. He directed them from there to Naples where they could penetrate into the harbour but were repulsed by the Napolitans. On their way back they destroyed some Napolitan strongholds and retruned to their king. It is possible that some others joined the raid but these were of minor importance. The same year the fleet was sent to Africa.

After 1123 Roger had not interfered in African politics. Now, in 1134, he had the opportunity to set in an even stronger fleet (as before). Al Hasan, the Zirid prince quarreled with his African sheiks because he had favoured one of them. He was besieged in (Al) Mahdia by Mutarrif ibn Ali who was  authorized to fight him at sea and on land by (sultan) Jahya. Al Hasan turned to Roger for help who sent twenty ships. They arrived at the moment Al Hasan attacked with his galleys. Both fleets surrounded the ships of the prince of Bugia but they were released by the grace of Al Hasan. In the spring or summer of 1135 a big fleet appeared before Djerba that was besieged and taken. On the fleet were some famous Frankish knights among whom, as Caspar thinks, George of Antiochia could have been the commander. [14] 


It is possible that George of Antiochia took the command of the fleet that sailed for Africa in the summer of 1134 and that the mantle was made for him for that occasion, that is to say at the occasion of the first campaign of the Sicilian fleet in African waters. Also it is possible that he received the mantle as a kind of reward for his victory in the Al Mahdia campaign.




Alas, no portraits of George of Antiochia have been preserved and for that reason we do not know how he looked like from primary sources. [15] However we may reconstruct his uniform or his robes of office with the help of some other clothes preserved in the Weltliche Schatzkammer in Vienna. The style of these is very much alike the style of the mantle. Also some other pieces have been preserved elsewhere that could have been part of the same garment. Putting these pieces together would make it possible to reconstruct a more or less correct uniform of George of Antiochia as a grand-admiral of the Sicilian kingdom in the 12th century  [16]


The pieces known are the crown, the dalmatica, the gloves, the belt, the sword, the stockings and the shoes. [17]


The Crown




Three Sicilian Crowns

Left: The crown of King William II. Centre: The Crown of Palermo. Right: Smaller crown of Empress Constance.


By putting the socalled “Crown of Empress Constance” along with the other pieces, the enigma to whom this crown actually belonged can be solved.


At the opening of the royal tombs in the cathedral of Palermo in 1781, a crown was found in the tomb of Constance of Aragon (*1182 ca-† 1222), the first wife of Frederick II Hohenstaufen. This crown was considered at first to have been the crown she had worn as an empress. Afterwards it was concluded that the crown belonged to Frederick II himself and should have been worn at his imperial coronation in 1220. [18] This conclusion has not been contradicted by later authors. [19] At his imperial coronation in 1220 however, he certainly wore the Ottonian alias the Salian crown, as can be seen on his seal.

            Portraits of the first three Sicilian kings show that they were crowned with a crown of Byzantine shape, used by Byzantine emperors until the beginning of the 12th century. Further, the crown is not a crown of a queen or empress because the crowns that can be ascribed to empress Constance, be it Constance Hauteville or Constance of Aragon, were of a different model, the first being a high tiara, the upper rim set with pearls, the other a broad circlet, set with onion-shaped ornaments. [20] The crown from the tomb of the empress however is in the from of a semisphere and closed like the model of the crowns of the Comnenian Dynasty. On these crowns however were plates with a greek cross that is lacking in the crown from Palermo.


The Crown of Tancred of Lecce

Left: Tancred sitting on his throne when Constance Hauteville returned to Palermo. Ms of Petrus de Ebulo, Carta 27 (120), detail. Right: Crown of Tancred on his tomb, alias the tomb of Frederick II, in the Cathedral of Palermo. There is an eagle on the other side of the tomb.


The crown of Palermo is worn by king Tancred on Carta 27 (120) of the Liber ad Honorem August of Petrus de Ebulo [21] The crown is also on his tomb in Palermo Cathedral and on a capital in the cloister of the Cathedral of Monreale.[22]

In any case the crown of Palemo is not an imperial crown, nor in the Byzantine tradition nor in the western tradition. Also it is not a royal crown because it differs greatly from the crowns worn by the Sicilian kings and also a great deal from the circlets set with leaves or lilies of the western kings.


If the crown is not all this, what can the crown of Palermo possibly be?


Most likely the crown is the crown or helmet of a duke. Such crowns consisted of a diadem with semisphere over which spanned one (visible) arch from the front to the backside. Sometimes the crowns have pendilia. Such crowns can be seen on different portraits of elected but not yet crowned Roman kings of the 11th, 12th and 13th century. For example such a crown is worn by Rudolf of Swabia on his tombstone in Merseburg but also by Frederick Barbarossa on his seal of 1154 and by Duke Frederick of Swabia († 1191). Last but not least also William II of Holland wore such a crown before his coronation.

            In later times the cap of the crown more and more bulged to both sides but always there is an arch spanning over the cap.

            We may conclude from these examples that this kind of crown has been reserved for high-ranking warriors almost equal to a king but only invested with military power. For this reason maybe this crown differs from the 12th and 13th century ducal hat which resembled a phrygian cap and had the model of the famous hat of the Venetian doges.  In fact the ducal crown may match the position of an archduke, albeit this rank did not exist in the Western empire until the fourteenth century. [23] 


Ducal Crowns



From left to righ& top to bottomt: Helmet of Chamoson (10th-12th C.), Rudolf of Swabia, Conrad III, Frederick I Barbarossa, Fridericus Dux, William II of Holland


Even when it is not entirely clear for what rank or function the ducal crown actually was reserved, the examples demonstrate that it should have been a very high rank and for that reason the Sicilian crown can, without much ado, be ascribed to George of Antiochia who occupied, as we have seen, such an exalted position. [24] The crown has been made, in that case, in about 1133.


As the crown can successfully be ascribed to George of Antiochia, we can conclude that Tancred of Lecce adopted the style of an admiral or wezir more than the style of his royal predecessors. As he also used the eagle as a royal symbol, we only can suppose that he acted as his own prime minister and that may be the reason why his tomb rests on two pairs of lions adossed.


Socalled Blue Dalmatica going with the “Coronation Mantle”. Manufactured in the royal workshops of Sicily, 1st half of the 12th century .. (Weltliche u. Geistliche Schatzkammer, Wien. n° 145)


Dalmatica  [25]

Palermo, 1st half of the 12th century.  Length 141, 5 cm.

Blue silk with broad hems around the lower sleeves and at the foot. Style and weavingtechnique are so similar to those of the mantle that they must have been made at the same time.




Silken gloves with a broad embroidered hem. Also found in the tomb of Hendry VI. These have been lost. [26]



Part of the garment was also a cingulum serving to tuck up the dalmatica. This can be the 12th century cingulum from the treasury [27] The garment can have been completed by a sword-belt for the so-called Ceremonial Sword.




The Ceremonial Sword.

It seems to be accepted that the so-called Ceremonial Sword also belongs to the other pieces in the Weltliche Schatzkammer in Vienna. Like these pieces, they certainly were not made for the occasion of the imperial coronation of Frederick II (*1194-†1250) as was still accepted by  Schramm en Mütherich. On the contrary, if we take the likeliness of style with the other pieces as conclusive proof, they have to be made in the first half of the 12th  century. [28]) If we accept this, it is not likely that the eagle on the scabbard belongs to the original program because this form of eagle is characteristic for the 13th  century and certainly not for the 12th , let alone for 12th  century Sicily. Besides, a black eagle on gold is the symbol of a Roman King of the 13th century.  The eagle, for that reason, probably has been added by Frederick II for his coronation as a Roman King in 1216 or even much later by king Conrad IV in 1246, anticipating his coronation that never took place. Also we know that the knob of the hilt was changed by Charles IV (1349-’78) by engraving the arms with the eagle and the arms with the lion of Bohemia. These facts clear the road for accepting that the sword and the scabbard were made for George of Antiochia. [29]


This is as much as to say that nor the crown of Palermo, nor the Ceremonial Sword have anything to do with Germany or the Holy Empire of the 12th and 13th centuries, but everything with the 12th century kingdom of Sicily. The sword-and-scabbard certainly have been robbed by Henry VI after his victory over king William III in

1194. It is known that he transported the Sicilian treasures by cart

Ceremonial sword and scabbard. Reconstruction of the original 12th century form. (After: Vienna, Weltliche Schatzkammer, inv. nr. XIII 16. )

-loads to Germany and this may be the reason why so much high-quality pieces came to belong to the Imperial Treasury.

Appliquéof the coronation mantle

with square cross and cosmogram of simililar design.


Stockings belonging to the coronation robes in the Weltliche Schatzkammer in Vienna. Inv. Nr. XIII 12.

Stockings [30]

Palermo, 2nd half of the 12th century. Red silk embroidered with goldthread. Length 60 cm. Probaly from the same time as the mantle and the dalmatica. The collars, which mention  the name of  William I (1154-’66) have been added later.




These were also found in the tomb of Henri VI in 1781. [31] There is a fragment of light twilled silk and golden decoration, with an ivory button in the British Museum, London.






Garments of 10th -12th century princes

Left: Byzantine prince in chiton and chlamys from the 10th century Paris Psalterium from Constantinopel. Right:. Presentation of the Cathedral of Monreale in the cloister next to the cathedral. Ca. 1190 The donator may be duke Tancred, the future  king  (*1149-†1194).


King Tancred on horseback in the ms. of Petrus de Ebulo, fol. 102.

An eagle sejant on his crown (!) on the head of his horse and on his standard. His sword is carried before him.


For the reconstruction of Admiral George of Antiochia in uniform we may refer to the presentation of the Cathedral of Monreale in the cloister next to the cathedral. The construction of the cathedral started in 1172 by order of king William II. (1166-´89). He died before the cathedral could be consecrated. Therefore the figure presenting the cathedral is most certainly king Tancred (r. 1190-´94), during whose reign the consecration took place in 1190. In any case, the resemblance of the man in the cloister and the man on fol. 102 in the manuscript of Petrus de Ebulo is quite striking. [32]  The man in the cloister wears a quite long dalmatica upheld with a cingulum, shoes and stockings and a long mantle fixed with a buckle on his right shoulder thus leaving free his right arm.

Worn like this there would have been one lion visible. In the case the mantle was closed and the buckle fixed on the breast, the lions could be seen best. This way of wearing the mantle can be seen on the picture of king Tancred on horseback.

We can see that the mantle of the man of the cloister has an embroidered hem like the mantle of George of Antiochia. Also we see that the garment could be completed with a crown of the shape of the Palermitan crown.

A more vivid picture of how George of Antiochia might have been dressed is the Byzantine prince depicted in the Paris Psalterium (10th century). Here we can see that the length of the chiton or dalmatica could variate considerably but that the cut was almost the same for centuries. The embroidered hem in fact was the only part of the chiton open for changes in fashion, and  the decoration of the sleeves and hem in this example were characteristic for ninth and tenth century Byzantium.




By analysing the heraldic decoration of a tunic we can identify the person to whom it belongs. This is a quite obvious and generally accepted view so long as it concerns those tunics that are made and worn between about the end of the 12th  century until about the middle of the 15th  century when the wearing of tunics decorated with one’s personal blazon was abandoned.

It is generally supposed that the heraldic decoration on the tunic should be an individual symbol and not a classificatory symbol. When we abandon this point of view and accept that most of the heraldic symbols are no individual symbols at all, but can also be classificatory symbols, a wide heraldic perspective opens up.

As was demonstrated in this essay, heraldry can be of great help then to resolve a lot of interesting historical problems.      


This essay was published earlier as: De Siciliaanse Kroningsmantel uit Heraldisch Oogpunt.  In:  HERALDICUM DISPUTATIONES, Jrg. 10, N° 3, juli-aug-sept 2005 pp. 67-79.


Translation and update 5th of October 2006.



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© Hubert de Vries, 2005, Updated 2006-10-05;



[1]  Weltliche Schatzkammer Wien, inv. nr. xiii 14.  That is to say between 16th of July 1133 and 16th of July 1134  A.D..

[2]  Translation from the German: (Das ist) von dem, was in der königlichen Kammer (Hofwerkstatt) angefertigt wurde, (welche) gediehen ist mit Glück und Ehre, mit Eifer und Vollkommenheit, mit Macht und Verdienst, mit (Seiner) Zustimmung und (Seinem) Wohlergehen, mit Großmut und Erhabenheit, mit Ruhm und Schönheit sowie der Erfülllung der Wünsche und Hoffnungen und mit glücklichen Tagen und Nächten ohne Unterlaß und ohne Änderung, mit Ehre und Fürsorge, mit Wahrung und Schutz, mit Erfolg und Sicherheit, mit Triumph und Tüchtigkeit. In der (Haupt)stadt Siziliens im Jahre 528. (=1133-'34). In: Weltliche u. Geistliche Schatzkammer. Bildführer. Wien, 1987. pp. 136-137. In the introduction to „Raum 10” where the mantle is exposed, an externsive  bibliography.

[3]  The socalled Chasuble of  St. Albuin. Ca. 1000. Museo Diocezano, Bressanone. Purple silk with green eagles. This mantle can without any problems be ascribed to Otto III. The socalled Chasuble of Charlemagne can be ascribed to the Roman King Philip.

[4]  Bronze mirror from the collection of  N. Schimmel (N.Y., U.S.A.)

[5]  Alexios Apocaucos was a confident of emperor Andronicus III of  Byzantium (1328-’41).  When fighths broke out after the death of the emperor about the regency of his son and successor Johnhe took the side of the patriarch Calecas against the  megas domesticus John Cantacuzenos. In  1341 Calecas undertook, with his help, a successful coupd’état. Afterwards he disappears from history.  See : Marty, Didier: Alexis Apocauque, un parvenu dénué de scrupules. In: Moyen Age n° 35, juillet/août 2003. pp. 6-9  (with  bibliography).

[6]  Hippocrates, Works: Grandduke Apocaucos. Paint on paper., 42 Î 31 cm., Constantinopel. ca. 1338. Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale,  Ms. gr. 2144, fol. 11r°. In the head of the page: MEΓAC Δγξ O AΠOKAVKOς. (= Megas dux o Apocaucos)

[7]  An important piece of silk strewn with medallions with lions adossed is in the Musée des Tissus in Lyon (Fr.) and has the name of sultan Ala al-din Kaikobad I of Ikonion (1219-1237) on it. (Tissu au nom du sultan Allah al-Dîn Kaykobad. Samit façonné 2 lats. Soie et filé d’or. H. 1,12; l. 0,74. Achat à Masqulier, 1881. Musée des Tissus, Lyon, Inv. 23475). It could have belonged to an  atabeg  (governor) of the sultan who had a like position in Ikonion as did Apocaucos later in Salonika. There can be a relation with the seapower because Ikonion in the 12th and 13th had conquered some harbours of the Mediterranian and the Black Sea and had become, under the reign of Ala al-din Kaikobad, a seafaring nation.  

[8]  Cohn, Willy:  Die Geschichte der sizilische Flotte unter der Regierung Roger I u. Roger II. p. 65 

[9]  Ibid.  p. 27.

[10]  Ibid. pp 98-99.

[11]  Ibid. 1 Hauptabschnitt.

[12]  Ibid. p. 72

[13]  This passage in ibid. p. 29

[14]  Caspar, Erich: Roger II. und die Gründung der normannisch-sizilischen Monarchie. Innsbruck, 1904. P. 165.

[15]  It is sometimes thought that he is depicted on a mosaic in the S. Maria dell´Ammiraglio in Palermo but the portrait is certainly of the elder Roger II.

[16]  The likeliness of style of the mantle and the dalmatica was observed in the Bildführer  of the Weltliche Schatzkammer but no effort was made tot reconstruct the complete garment.   

[17]  A modern publication about the pieces in the Weltliche Schatzkammer is: Seipel, Wilfried ed.: Nobiles Officinae. Die königlichen Hofwerkstätten zu Palermo zur Zeit der Normannen und Staufer im 12. und 13. Jahrhundert. Kunsthistorische Museum, Wien, 2004. For excellent articles and illustrations the reader is remitted to this work.

[18]  F. Daniele, I regali sepolchri del Duomo di Palermo. Napoli 1784 pp. 48, 80. J. Deér, Der Kaiserornat Friedrichs II., passim, i.h.b. p. 19 ff., 64 ff. (with an older bibliography). P.E. Schramm, Friedrichs II. Herrschaftszeichen, S. 11. ff., 134f. Id., Herrschaftszeichen III, p. 884 ff. & passim. It is for sure that the crown was not worn by  Frederick II because on his seal  dd. 1199 (Die Zeit der Staufer, Kat Nr. 43, Abb. 14) he wears a western crown consisting of a circlet with three leaves.

[19]  Schramm, Percy Ernst & Florentine Mütherich: Denkmale der deutsche Könige und Kaiser. München, 1962. n° 198

[20]  Schramm cs, op.cit. 1962. N° 188:  Frauenkronen. The empresses Constance were: Constance Hauteville, the wife of Henry VI and  Constance of Aragon, the wife of  Frederick II. The crowns can be ascribed to both of them. The crowns were preserved in Bamberg before their disappearance. 

[21]  Ebulo, Petrus de: Liber ad Honorem Augusti sive de rebus Siculis. Codex 120 II der Burgerbibliothek Bern. Eine Bilderchronik der Stauferzeit. Herausgegeben von Theo Kölzer und Marlis Stähli. Sigmaringen, 1994. The wearing of the crown of Palermo by Tancred on this illustration cannot be free from doubt. The drawing is heavily damaged by scratching the right half of face of  the king to make him uglier and “look like an ape”. In the process of scratching the original crown in the shape of the crowns of his predecessors may have succumbed and  replaced by a simple helmet with, certainly, the royal crest. Of this underlying crown the prependoulia still can be seen.

[22]  The tomb of Frederick II now. After his entry in Palermo in 1194 and the killing of many of the Palermitan aristocracy, Henry VI opened the tombs of Tancred and his son Roger. The corpses were decapitated and their crowns destroyed. In the now empty tomb of  Tancred, Frederick II was buried in 1250.

[23]  The titles of grand duke, grand prince or megas dux did not exist in the Western Empire. Like positions were filled by clerical princes. These had the  pallium, mitre and crozier as the symbols of their rank. Sometimes a griffin is associated with those princes (like for example. Suidger of Bamberg (the future pope Clemens II) and Rainald von Dassel, imperial chancellor of Frederick Barbarossa and archbishop of Cologne).  The rank of Archduke was created in 14th century Austria.

[24]  Also the father of Tancred, Roger, Duke of Apulia (†1148) can be considered but he did no fill such an important role as George of Antiochia.

[25] Inv. nr. xiii 6.

[26]  According to  Daniele Il guanto poi di seta è assai gentilmente lavorato. (The silken gloves further, are very nicely manufactured).

[27]  Inv. nr. xiii 10.

[28]  Schramm cs, op.cit. 1962. N° 197.

[29]  It it unlikely that the mantle, dalmatica an other garments were altered at this occasion because he was (like his father) quite short. As a king of Sicily he wore his coronation robes in Byzantine style.

[30]  Inv. nr. xiii 12. Also Nobiles Officinæ n° 69 (p. 272)

[31] Daniele (F. Daniele: I regali sepolchri del Duomo di Palermo. Napoli 1784) writes about this: ...scarpa, il cui tomajo di drappo ad oro, è ricamato di piccole perle e 'l suolo ha di sughero, coverto dello stesso drappo..

[32]  Ebulo, Petrus de op.cit. fol. 102.  The man of the donation scene is not William II who had, contrary to Tancred, a short but not curly red beard. Two portraits of him are on mosaics in the Cathedral of Monreale.