By Dave MacLeod
Last updated 2011-02-17
Next we see William's preparations for the invasion of England and the decisive Battle of Hastings. One of the most striking images is the one that depicts the slaying of Harold with an arrow through his eye. That Harold died in this way is a fact 'known' to almost every English schoolchild. But is it true?
The inscription here reads 'hic harold rex interfectus est', with the name 'harold' written above a warrior with an arrow in his eye. But the words 'interfectus est' (has been killed) appear to refer to a second warrior being hacked down by a mounted Norman swordsman. The tapestry is our only source on this point, so we cannot know which of the two figures was meant to be King Harold.
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