THE NINE WORTHIES
The nine heros divided into three groups usually included Hector, son of Priam of Troy, Alexander and Julius Caesar from classical antiquity, Judas Maccabeus, David, King of Israel, and Joshua, conqueror of Canaan, from the Hebrew Law, and King Arthur, Charlemagne and Godefroy de Bouillon as the Christian Law. As a group, the nine represent all facets of the perfect warrior and are embodiments of wisdom and chivalric heroism.
The first mention of the Nine Worthies was in a novel entitled Les voeux du paon (The Vows of the Peacock), written by the poet Jacques de Longuyon for Thibaut de Bar (d. 1312), bishop of Lige in circa 1312. Guillaume de Machaut (d. 1377) took up the subject again in his La Prise d'Alexandrie (The Capture of Alexandria) in 1370 - 1371.
It was in the late 15th century that the Marche workshops in the region of Aubusson and Felletin took up the theme depicting the heroes on horseback. A document of 1546 records that Jehan Chartier from Bourges commissioned a set from Lonard Déveau and Joseph Laurent, weavers in Felletin (D. & P. Chevalier and P.-F. Bertrand, Les Tapisseries d'Aubusson et de Felletin, Lausanne, 1988, p. 20).