Armies of the Muslim Conquest (Men-at-Arms 255) by David Nicolle

By David Nicolle

The dramatic eruption of the Arab peoples from Arabia after their adoption of the Muslim religion within the seventh century is still the most remarkable occasions in international background. via the tip of that century they governed a nation that stretched from the Atlantic to India, from southern Arabia to significant Asia, overlaying a space a ways more than that of the Roman Empire. as a result war, not less than one of the nomadic bedouin, was once a typical point of lifestyles. Complemented by way of quite a few illustrations, together with 8 complete web page color plates through Angus McBride, this distinctive textual content by way of David Nicolle tells the true tale of the armies of the Muslim conquest.

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Ur Zeit del' Ol/laijodeuuach Tabari (Tubingen [92[); still an essential source. C. T. ), 'Jahiz of Basra to AIFath ibn Khaqan on the Exploits of the Turks and the Army of the Khalifate in General', , Joul'llal oIthe Royal Asialic Society (Oct. 1915). Al Harthami (eds. A. R. 'Awn & M. M. l al HUrl/b (Cairo [964); [Ith century abridgement of a 9th century Abbasid military manual-Arabic text in urgent need of translation. 35 M. Hinds, 'The Banners and Battle Cries of the Arabs at Siffin', AI Abllalh XXIV (Beirut 1971), 3-4 2 .

Their armies reflected military traditions from Byzantium, Iran and Central Asia as well as the Arabs' own heritage. DI: Umayyad guardsman (early 8th century) This elite soldier's iron and bronze hclmet is of Iranian or Iraqi manufacture though its design originated in Central Asia. His wearing of a second mail dir' hauberk beneath his dllrra' a open-fronted tunic seems to have been an Arab habit. The extraordinary series of three scabbard-slides securing the scabbard to his baldric comes from an illustration of a camel-riding Arab invader on a mid-7th century wall painting from Pianjikent near Samarqand.

Mu'tasim was, in fact, the last Abbasid Caliph to Their military advantages were listed as superbly command his army in person until the late 12th trained horses, superior riding skills, determination in battle, speed and accuracy of archery even when on the move, great lise of lassos, self-sufficiency on campaign, and a supposed ability to maintain and even manufacture their own equipment. Yet the presence of so many foreign soldiers still caused century. In general the educated Muslim now had a remarkably modern attitude towards the profession of arms and again it is al Jahiz who best sums up mid9th century attitudes.

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