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MILITARY MEN-AT-ARMS SERIES


TH AG 0
AMERLAN
222
THE AGE OF
TAMERLANE
Text by
DAVID NICOLLE PHD
Colour plates by
ANGUS McBRIDE
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I. :\luugol Empire. T,II11CI"I:1I1f'
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The Publisht'rs rClo;r('! lhal C;lll c.'lller int" 110
correspondence upolliltis m:lIl1:-r.
TlteAge ofIamerlane
The warriors of 14th C. Iran wore many type ofannou.r. In
this Persian m.anu cript from Sbiraz at least four horsemen
have mail hauberks whiJe the bor e in the centre is protected
by lamellar armour and a rigid chamfroD on it head. (Kirsh-
i-5arnaJc Ayyar, c.1335 AD, Bodleian Lib., Ms. OU5. 381, f.39v,
Oxford)
dyna ly h :lablished i. full f drama, VI IOn s
and d feat at th hands rvariou r in luding
th I urful Qara and q 0 unlu ('Black' and
'Whit h p) Tur mans. B-1 wi. a bri f hI' n-
ology of the ar-torn years Ii'om around Timur's
birth t hi. dyna ty' lIap in th al'l y'arso
the I Jth ntur .
D alh f 1 "t d ccndant or Hul u
. tart of c Ilapse of II-Khan (M ngol)
auth rit ill tran.
Birtll t.!I Timar lIenr Ki 'h.
Yuan (Mungol) d n:t driven out of
.hina bing.
Timur becume ruler uf TraIl. 0 (min.
Till/ur ;I/lIade.\ kllllflmZIII.
Timar i'll'adcJ ]agalai lerriLo'..)! as far as
IOllgolia.
Birth l'Til1IUr'ii' n. hahrukh.
Traditional . tal Ii. hmcnt of ur' man
( ara 'unlu an I q Qc yunlu d n-
asti in Kurdislan I'm nia < n I zar-
hajan underJalc rid suzcr inty.
1335
Tile Lame Conqueror
'r1an or amburlan, a h was kn wn in
various I art of ur pe i one f the m 51
eXIra rdinar c nqu mrs in histor. ithjn hal a
lif<:lil'l'l> hj.' armies' iz d huge t rritori ,. [r m th
hurd'r, of M ng Ij I Pal. tine ancl nat tia.
lighl, .lal s ac pled-at lea I n minall -
Timur's over! I'd hip as th y owe red beft re his
apparent! irr i libl anni .. His pa was al.
mark'd b mas acres lhalouldid c en Iho' of the
'longol. for. h I' a vag'r . mall w neler that lhe
uf lili omplcx and ni hun ri h chara I r
pI' 'ad int Europ h re Timur becam lh'
slIbje I II t only f :hrisloph I' IIarl we" fam u:
play Tal/lbcr/alllc Ihl' Creal but also of work I
Spanish, Fr n hand oth 'I' Engli h writ r as well
as German, ltalian and z b comp r.
Tht' r al am rlane I' Timur-i-L nk-
(Timur th Lam ) - ame from a [amit o[
Tul' ifi d M ngol ari to rats th Barlas Ian.
Th y d minal d a 'maU I rril ruth f amar-
qancl,and w'dallegian'etoth on olJagalai
Khans wh had rul d mu h of enIra] . ia
r II wing lhe fra menlati n f n his Kh n
Empir> in th late 13th entur Timur, who e
nam m an 'ir 11 nc', v ntuaU w n th titl
, n nqu r d L I'd f th n 'limat ' and
Sahib Qjran ('L I'd f th FOrlunat I sLial
onjun Ii 1\'). H had all' ady gain d the ni k-
Ilam' 'Lam' aft r bing truck by. v ral arrows
during a minor skirmi. h in t : one hit Timur in
th right leg, anoth I' in th right arm, p rma-
nend damaging b lh. (Th s w und w r
rirm d wh 1\ '[imur's t mb wa opened by
ar ha ologits in 1941.) t around th ame time
Timurwa als wound din th right hand-by hi
own fath r abr a ordin t n
Timur's a lonishing life ouIel fill th pag f
several if Il-al- I'm b k' and lh SLOr of Lh
Death of Timur.
R vi\al r
a t'rl1
go ernol's.
hahrllkh iz s Samarqand.
Def! at f J layrid: of Iraq b ar
Qo unJu.
ara lInJu Ideal Timurid alii sat
I atLI rKur Riv r.
. hahrukh" exp clitiolJ into \
[ran and against art unlu.
hahrukh kf!'ats Qara ) lInlu at
Ihree-da . battle nfAlashgird.
Wars b '1\ C'11 Timuri 1 .B 'f( and
r ngol:, d f at or lugh Beg.
Periodi zbeg raid. fl"Ol11 11 ,rth into
Timurid I"hwarazm.
hahrukh' exp 'cliti n int cst'rn
Iran againsl ara 0 IIllu; Timurids
I sc {' hW'lrazm alld n rtll rn Trans-
oxania t zb 'g .
'olel n Toq amish 1 . 0111(': rul ror h
H I'd'.
Prince or Moscow eI 'fcats lei 11
11 rel'arm atb,HtI of'Kulikoojld.
Timur invade.1 .. IIglwlli.lllI/I and eastem hall,
ra/J/llre.1 HI'f(lI.
Timul' irwadeJ we 'Iem Ira11 , caPIUTI'
obriz.
Timur capture hJaha.n alld. '!Liraz.
Timur invades Colden Horde. difeal' oq-
lawish (II baIIIeoj Kundll<.r!w.
Timl1r invade:. we.lern Iran. Iraq, Georgia,
Golden Horde. seizes BaghdadJorJirsllime.
QllUl11' n Sultan Ba azit clef! at: rll-
:ad'r. c t b ttl (r i poli ..
imur i71 ode. India defeats. 'ulian '?f Delhi
al bollie qjDrlhi.
Timur iI/vade lnalolia, 1';0, (;I'or
u
i(/,
dljeals At/amluks, ca/Jtnr/!' ALeppo and Dam-
n CW, ei<.e5 Baghdad./or ecol/d lime. defeat
l/O/71a/l. ullllfl BlIyazjl al battle '!fJlnf..aTll.
I 398-g9
Timur's Empire & Campaigns
......>137S6
1391-2

1398-9
1399-1404
\.
(
\,
,
Russia
I
Gt n. _ Gcnonc
Ven. _ Vl.ncUan
8.,.z, - Byzontlne.
On. - Onomon,
Loc. - Locol fulcra
Sor. - Sarbodors
Ti11lur was fortunate, nOI only ill the Celestial
Conjullction of stars .al his birth bUI also in the
p(llilit'al and 1llililary circumstanccs in which hc
p,n'w up. "1'11(' 14th Ct'lltllry was a lime oflurmoil
and war ililhe Muslim world as it was in Europe.
Thl: Black Death had ravaged the area, weakening
oncc SlnIC$ like the i\IOllgol Colden Horde
north ufthe Cilspian Sea. Less is known .. bout the
plag-ue ill Iran ilnd the t-\l'ah areas hut it certainly
cOlltriblllcd 10 instability, decimated the popu
lation, hit tracle ,md undermined lhe semi-feudal
structure which mainlaillCcI not only govcl'llll1ents
hUI also .armies. reaction to the Black
Death diflcred from that in Europe. Inste.acl of'
ollthlll'sts or rcli,g-ious hysleria, urban unrest or
The panel. in Ihi"tnanullcripl It'Il.de in Shira:r., '34' A.D, ",how
tnu.ic,oI in.lrutnenta, .nitn.. t...nd ... riou.. type.. of weapoo.
Thue inelude .. tridenl sitnihor 10 the 1IlIIian ronco, .... Iraiflht
"word, probably a tn.ce aod whal coutd be Ih., lI.rrow-guide
frOIn a n....d. This doevice turn..d lin ordinary bow into a
ICtnpO"'ry cronoow. Ah...r, Mu".,utn of An, ;ov,
45,385, Cloeveland)
revolution, thci\lllslim peoples relied 011 tra-
dilional ramily or lrihal loyalties, reduced their
binltrat<.' and hoped lor bClier times. Agriculture
rCtrcatcd as the populalion slumped. Huge .areas
rcvened to nomadism. while somc isolated groups
like the Arab bedouin may actually ha\'C escaped
the plagues relatively lightly. III Europe there was
a rapid cconomic recovcry but the i\fiddle East
stagnated alier the Black Death which, of course.
returned in a series orlesser epidemics during what
somc hislorians h.av{' called the 'Coldcn Age of
Bacteria'
The fullest evidence comes from Egypt ami
Syria, whcre lhe i\lall1luk mililOiry dite ,II first
escaped the worSl ravages ol"thc Ulack Death but
suflered along with cw'ryonc else in suhsequent
epidcmics. The rcvcnues fmlll lhcir iq/a estates fell,
as did theil' standards 01" military discipline.
IJc.alh of'Shahnlkh.
Timurid civil war!>.
;>.lul'derol'Ulugb Beg.
Uzbcgs involved in Timurid eivil wars.
Oltoman capture of Ist.anbul
(Byz.antine COllStalltinople).
Aq Qoyunlu dcfcat Til1lurid Sultan
Aim S.a'id.
'Iuntlman OJlra Qoyunlu overthrown
by Turcoman Aq Qoyunlu in Armenia.
\\cstern Iran, Iraq.
Prince of defeals Colden
I-Ionic amlY al bailie of Ugl'a River.
eOcctivc liberalion orRussia f!'OIll ;>'1011-
gol domination.
Anarchy in Transoxania, colk-Ipse and
fi-agl'llClltalioll of"I'imurid power.
Dclcat of' 'I'urcom:ln Aq Qoyunlu by
Persian Safilvids al baltlc of Shurur,
collapse of Aq Qoyunlu.
Tinwrid Prince Babar conqucrs
1\ rghaniSI a n.
Dt'ath ofTilllurid Sultan Husayn Bay-
<jara of' Khurasan. ClleClivc end of
Timurid dYllaSty.
Timurid Babar of Afghanistan con-
quers northern India, crcalion of
i\lo,g-ul dynnslY which lasts umil Brilish
Raj in 1857.
Timurs I#rld
1447
1447-49
1449
145-
1453
5
Thill relatively crude illulllrlldon from lIouth,w"'lIlcrn Ir.n
WIl" n'llde during Timur'. life and include. inlerest;ng
delail". Perh"p. the mo"l imporlanl arc l.ee" whi.,h .ee.. re
Ih", lurbaned ...an'.lamellar ,a.llers to h..i.leAII. (Shahnamah,
'37' AD, Topkapi Lib" Ms. " .. :t. '5", f. osr, hnanbull
Bccausc the Mamluks wcrc recruited from slaves,
in from southcrn Russia, Egypt's
military elile was able 10 maintain its numbers,
Elscwhere tlw frceborn eliles of Iran. Iraq and
Turkey may have declined both in numbers and
mili t:l ry q uali ty.
Tirnur's homeland of TransQxani" did nOl es-
cape the Black Death, l)ln here lhe situation was
more complicatcd. The steppe Mongols had rever-
ted 10 their traditional nomadic ways following the
hrcak-up of Cenghis Khan's Empire. In lhe
westcrn ;lIld central steppes they ,vere now largely
Tllrcified in speech and customs. Even where they
retained a distinct idcntity lhe Mongols of the
Jagatai Kkanate were few in llumber and mixed in
origin. In fact thc Jagatai Khanate consisted of
two dissimilar regions: Transoxania in the west
and .\Iloghulistan or the 'Land oflhe Mongols' 10
lhe casl, Mo.ghulislilll was largely nomadic wilh
few 1O\vns and lillie agriculture. The Muslim failh
was spreading but was as yet so superficial that the
people were regarded as being Olltside lhc l'vl uslim
world by the urbanized, agricultural and deeply
inhabitants of Transoxania. Here, in lhe
western pan of the Jagatai Khanate, a Mongol
elite still dominated the country but was rapidly
losing control over the cilies and even the fenile
river vallcys. Meanwhile the spread of dubious
'folk Islam' practices led the more orthodox Mus-
6
lim peoples of Iran and lbe Middle East to doubt
whether tbe Transoxanians were still really
Muslim.
The mid-14th century had been n chaotic
pel'iod or civil wars within thc .JaKatai Khanate,
during which the once nourishing NtslOrian Chris-
tian communities of Central Asia obliterated.
I'aradoxicfllly, howcver, the cities of Transoxania
witnL'SScd a revival or tl'dde and prosperit)'. Even
during Tillltlr's lifetime business was conducted in
'Keheki' dinar:; namt.'d after Kibak, the last truly
enoctivc Jagatai Khan, whose name is slill recalk'd
in lhe ko/),k, lhe smallest unit orRussian cuncncy.
There docs not seem to have been any similar
revival in Iran where the r-,'longol II-Khan state
hnd collapsed in the mid-14th celllury. The land
which was to fall before Titlltlr's furious assault lay
divided belween the Karls of the cast and lhe
Muzaffarids orlhe west, both of whom bad begun
as Mongol v:lssals. A series of minor dynaslies
ruled Afghanistan and tbe Caspian coast, while
the Sarbadars held an area south-cast or the
Caspian. These Sarbadars were an interesting
though short-lived dynasty whose name meant
'beads on the gallows'. They arose as Shiite
peasallt rebels against the last Mongols and were
involved in almost constant warfare against their
neighbours. These neighbours were in tlll'n united
in rcgarding lhe Sarbadars as a dangerous threat
to all existing order in which the world was
dominated by Turks and Mongols-II01 by Per-
sia n peasa nts!
Further west Iraq and A'l.arbayjan (north
western Iran) wcre ruled by theJalayrid dynasty
which, descended from a Mongol tribe, had done
much to ['estore the damage the Mongols had
earlier inflicted on Baghdad. To the north, beyolld
tlte Caucasus moulltains, the Mongol Golden
Horde stllvived but was also falling apart. Never
thelcss this Golden Horde kept firm control over
the vassal princes of Russia. South oflhe Caucasus
Christian Georgia was expanding lowards lhe
Caspian Sea and down into Armenia, an arca it
contestcd with Turks, Kurds and even some small
Mongol tribes. In Anatolia the Seljuq Sultanatc,
anersurviving llle Mongol lerroI', had collapsed to
be replaced by a series of liny TUl'kish cmiratcs of
whom the Ottomans were but one. As these little
states squabbled over the ruins of Seljuq and
Mongol authority, freelance mercenary soldiers
and adventurers oHcred thcir services to local
rulers or lought on thcir own account, bringing
anarchy to town and country alikc.
The Genoese not only dominated Black Sca
trade but occupied various ports on the north coast
ofTurkey as well as part of the Crimea in southern
Russia, while European Crusaders had seized the
rich city of Izmir on the Aegean coast. With
hindsight the 14th cClllury is secll as a period of
ChriSliall catastrophe in the Near East as the
Turks swept into Europe. At the time, however,
this was not so obvious-a fact which innuenced
Christian Europe's attitude to Timur-i-Lcnk and
his successors.
TiInur and his conquests
Ti11111r's career was unequalled since Alexander
Ihe Greal ill tcrms of constant balllcficld success.
Only in his youlh, while recovering his lillnily
estates south of Samarqand, did TimlJl' face oc
ensional defeat. He took on all his neighbours and
heat every onc. He was undoubtedly a great
g-cllcral yet, unlike Cenghis Khan, 'rimur was no
sta!Cslllan. Hc led his armies on campaigns whose
brutality was unmatched until the 20th century;
yet he failed to destroy any of his main foes, despile
defcating them in batlle. Evell more remarkable
\I!as the fact that Timur was over 4,0 years old
before selling OUl to conquer an empire. His
energies had previously rocused upon seizing and
Ikfore collapsing benealh Timur's repealed ; .....a8;on., Ihe
Jalayrid rulers orlnq were greal palron" of an. Thi. picture
ofan Iranian hero .I.ying. myor demon w probably m.de
in Baghdad .round '380 AD. The honem'. body .rmour if<
hidden benealh hiSlunic but be h.a. mail a ..e.,whanging
froRl hi. helmet. (Shabna.mah, Topkapi Lib., Ms. H.z. 2'52',
f'48r,4Ianbul)
Some of Ihe manuSCriplS made ;n Baghdad ahordy before
Timur devaSlaled Ihal city lIhow .rmour in considerable
detail. Here a Persian hero's armour ill of fine lamellar
conslruction, probably worn over a mail-lined IUn;C. He .1,,0
weara metal vambracell to proteci hill lower ar..U' (SJUlh-
namah, c"39O AD, Topkllpi Lib., Ma. H..... 2':)3, f'73r,
blanbul)
consolidating powcr ill his homeland or Trans-
OXilll ia. tvl ost ofTi III ur's la tel'l if{; was su bseq uc1l11 y
spent 011 campaign; yet he rt:mained an inefficient
conqueror, constantly returning 10 j ~ l c c stubborn
'rc.;bels',11 thing Cenghis Khan rarely had to do.
Timur's aims also dinered li'om those ofCenghis
Khan. For example, he apparently had no wish to
rule the vast but poor sleppes orCelllrall\sia and
southern Russia. His cxpcdilions HI lbe north or
north-cast were intcllded to crush the remaining
Jagatai Khans and ensure lhat the Golden Horde
never became a threat to his rear. Even Tilllur's
campaigns in Iran, Iraq, India, Syria, the Call ca
sus and "natalia were largely for loot. Booty and
the skilled crafislllen whom his troops dragged
back to Samarqand werc to enrich Timur's home-
land. Evcn where he did eswblish a permancnt
administralion it generally proved inefTicicnt alld
short-lived. In fact the clIett of Timur's wars,
beyond lhe frontiers ofTransnxatlia itself, was to
7
complelc til<" e!('stl"ul'lifll1 stal'lee! h) the t>.lung:ols
and whirh had bC'l'll c)I1l) repaired by
their II< ruined lraclt' ami n'duced
populations II) .1 Mlllll'tinu'.. amoullt.
though again l'()llll'llIl>llrar) chnHli( len; probabl)
cX:lg:l{erated 111(' ("'''..:Irlll fir tilt, <!("\a"t:t1iun. Timur
mil{hl han' I>ct'n a Kl'l'at hut ill pure!)
hislOrical IeI'm" II(' ('ould he "C('II :h thl'
bandit or all tillle. Iii.. clllpin: rclJ apart,
thoug:h hi.. dC'''Cl'llCbnt .. did h()le! nllt(h or t'astern
Iran :tlld .\ft:lwlli"lan. ,I.lo \\dJ .IS I"rall"O":lIIia.
I"hcl"l', ironical!), tht") I'llit'd ()\cr one of till' litH'Sl
OO\\('riul!;"nl":1rl and ,lrC'hiu'(llll'{' in tht" hi.. tor) of
Islamic
Timur dcspis('d till' Tajiks nr Ir:llliall-..
urban and pupul;ttiolt of Tram-
oxania, L' nlil.c Ihe nllturc<! militar) dill's of 1ll0:.t
of.h(, :\lu.. lim \\ode!, Timllr (':llllt' fmm a rough
frontier pro\ ince and \\ <15 him<;elf \irtuall) un-
Y('I he \\as h) IItl 1lIt::\IIS il{lIorallt: he
spoke had a broad kllO\\ It'(lg:t, of
political .1Ild militar) afl:lil..... :Iud rCl{ankd himself
as an cxpen 011 reli,c;iuu.. nl,ltll'rs. The t>.lolll:;:ols.
('\{'II tho..;( ,.. hc) h,HI ,upcrfici.dh convcrted to
0 ..", or Ih" fi ..""1 ..........criptll r ....... a"shd"d WlII ...."d" by
J"oayd.1 5,,1I.... i i .. '3" A.D, belW"",,", To... " .... two",;"."r" or
th." diy, 0 .. 00.. "'S" a "'''q"i"hed _rrior w"ars ord....ry
l"m",lIar armo"r Oy..r a "hort.vl"",ved mail "hirl ....hil" Ih"
viclor lOeC.m" 10 have an early ver,,;oo or ...aiJ.a..d.plale
cuira"". Both or Iheir ....;m.l" .lliO h.y" hone-armo..r, thai
on the riShl bei"S; orlarse lealher la..."n.", Ihat on 1h",lcfl or
..arrow iron lam"I1.". "'nOlh"r JIlIS" "how" Ih" a .. d",,,t
P"n;".. Emperor "' .. ""hi ......... Hi... .. ard" w"ar Iypical
T;murid h.l" and C1lrry Iheir r"ler's ..lor", IOmall "h..i"Jd .nd
bow. .....jll Kirr.." .. I, Briti"h Lib., Ms.
Add. c8,,:J, London)
8
hi"111, st ill Ii II Ic 1\\ (d 1hti r 1 r"d i til/n.llY"1/ (II" codl' uf
tribal I:t\\ as linalis('d h) Kh,cll. Tillllll"
added lht: Isbillit' \/lIIri" k1!;.d cock in \\ hat miKhl
haIe: bcen a pori t ica I t:lt't ic 10 \\ in I .. b mi(- I'dil!;iolls
SllppUrl. TimuI' ,,1'0 Ic)()l. p.lin' 10 "p,lrt :\lu,lim
shrilll"S his fJth('I'\\i,t nllll-
pail!;Ib. lhen' \\('l'l' lHlt,lhk e'(ot'lltioll": lht:
"t'lwrable Grl'at ill Dam'L.SCth
\\rh, furc'>:amplc, hUl'lwd ill \\11;11 Illil{ht h.l\t' ht'CJ1
an accident. Timur',!, HI\ 11 !"t'lil,(iCllh kdilll,'" art
unl.nu\\ II. but hi' did mala' .. KI't'.ll ,Ium Ill' pict).
ami \\:h t'\{,lltuall) huril'd ,tt tilt' fi't't or :\"m'
Sayyid B:I raka, :t inl \\ hI) h..d HIlt-n'd him ..d,ict'
mUl'h of hi, lilt'.
Despitc such publil- pict). Timur.iLtnl.. rc
lained a typical i\lolI.l{ol love or alcohol in largc
quanti lin; and his d rUll kClllWSS bn'a Ille.: provl.:t"bi., I,
ill a lranSp.,rnH altC'lllpt 10 ding to
till' Iet":r ifllot lbe spiril or Islamic law, the only
[Jeopk who wcrc allowl'd to drink wine at
rl)Ul'l Wl'rt Chri:Hians, olhers being rcstrlclt:d to
allernati\'C rorms of' beverage, Huge amountS of'
[i)IKI, as WC'I I as d rin k alid wotllf'n, wcre 'consllllled'
at Tilllur's COUl'l with an allllost l1Iodel'll dedi-
cation to l'onsump!iIIH, Thf' stat liS of'
Tilllurid and cOllcuhill .... S was remarkably
lihera tcd atld itideI'd inn L1ellt ial, fu rt hc'r ()!ll'lld ing
nnhO<.II)x i\Juslim upillinn,
10 the (:lId or his lili: and durin/{ an almOSI
f"ilst thal preceded his lasl
l';\mpaig-n, the semi-nipplnl. h,l!l:hlind Timur
slill joined in Ih(' dOl ncing. Li kc most such Timurid
n'lchratiOlls, tlw fl'-aSI wok plan' in tile open air
:llld ill SlllllPIUOlIS dccoraliOll amazed
\\'C'st('l'll visilUrs like the Castilian ambassador Ruy
(;()Ilzales Cla\'iju, III r.lct Timur had a parli,u1.nr
10\1' fill' rim' ;llld, according 10 C]:wijo, his
audiCIH'c pavilion each side measurillg
a hundred (ls \\alls Wl're of black, white and
) ell ow :-ilk hands wilh oVI'rhanginE{ porticos
poned by pillars, Its lall dOllled roof was held up
hy Iwelve blue, g:old and other colOllred pillars as
thick as a 1ll;\Il':-; bod}', 011 top urlhe dome was a
silkc'n tlllTet with hal tlcmetlts, the entire struci un'
Ill'i IIg secu red lIy ni Il1Slltl ropes. The ill1crior nf litis
immense tCllt was blll'd with n:d tapestric... de-
('orated wilh ca.l{lcs at l'arh {'Ol'lH:r, alld
.'lOod a rais('d dais \\ !lere Tilliur 1ll'ld COUI'\. Other
roya I or pri Iln:l} tell IS a rUUlld, inelud ing 011('
lhat s('l'\'{,d it mosque, all being cilclosed hya
silkell \\ a 11 wi til ;ltHII ht'l' ba ttlcmcllted pon ieo on:r
i Is {'Ill r:lllCC,
III additiOil 10 I(JOd, drink, song: and dance,
('Illntailllllent 011 lhl' \\'cddin,t;" feast includcd :tern
hats, par:lclcs offon'igll gifts such as ostriches alld a
gir:dlc li'om Eg-ypt, as well as elephant and horse
r:I('Cs. Finally Ti nlll I' issued an edkl which permit-
ted all lill"! liS of plcasure a lid, as IIII.' 11 Ilsyrn pat IIClic
chronicler ,\hnwd i\rabshab wrotc: 'every sui lor
haslened 10 dcsire and every JoveI' lllei Ids
bdo\'ccl, without anyOlle harassing anodler ur
superior proudly with inferior, whether in
Ihe army or a mOIl!-\' cilizens", nor was lhe s\\'ord
drawlI except the swurd ofcontcmplation, nor lhe
This iIIuslral;on from Sh;u"" 1397 AD, sho............ rrior;n a
full m..il haubc:rk plus lo....,r arm ..... mhuc.,,, including n.. ps
10 prOle.,1 lb., b .. ck" ofh;s hand", Uis h.,hnl"1 h",s pendanl "",r
flaps la.,,,d 10 illl rim a" ... .,1100"" mail ....."nf.i', (Sh"ninlinan-
namtoh, Brililih Lib"M", Or, "780, f''''3''', London)
spl'ar brandishl'd Ihl' blll'(" ur luve that
I}('nl by t:mbra('l'.'
Thuugh h:lIn'cl orTilllUr" J;te-Illml'd
li'om his OWl I .... utlcrill,l;" al I Ill' Ill'
('ould not hdp adll1irillg thl' mall. tv
Ahm<ld Tilliur 'did Ilut Jm'c' or
Edschood; wil alld sporl plea"l'd him not. I-It' was
not sad in Ilorjoyrul ill Hedid
IIOl ;dluw in hi, fOmpan) allY ubsn'lw talk Ill" talk
ofblnodshed or caplivil), rapf', pIcHld,... Ill' \'iol
ation ol'lIH' han'm. 11(, was spirited and h"a\'l' and
inspired O1\\e and olll'dinln', lie Jun'd hold ami
brave soldi{'I'!'> h) Whchl' aid Iw ('IWIH'd thi' IOl"ks of
t{,'l'ror and lorl' in piq'c's OWll Ii kl' Ii, and III rough
them and thl'il' oV"l'lurnt'd the- Iwig-hl:; nf
. ,
mountains.
9
Tim"r's Army
Legend has TimuriLcnk reduced to ont follower
in 1362, but ill realit)' be led a mixed army built
aruund :.t core of Hlithful Turco-Mongol tribal
troops. He probabJ)' inherited a small following in
his role as a member urlhe feudal elite arK ish near
Samarqand. Trihal nomads may have beell the
most warlike clement in Timur's rapidly expand-
ing army, but the fcud<ll aristocracy from settled
agriC'ultural areas providC'd another pillar of sup-
port, asdid the cities. Among: the latter were urban
militia forces known as sarbm/urs I)lH, like the
5i milarl y na Illcd I'll lers of north-eastern I ran, they
proved to be turhulent and potentially revolution-
ary. Success bred success IOf Timur, and he was
generally able 10 expand bis army before major
campaigns.
III a mixed reg-ion like Transoxania. on the
frontier of Islam, it is not surprising to find
din!:rCl1t religions as well as cthnic groups rep-
resented in 'I'itllllr's suppostdly ;Vlllslim army. J-lis
enemies probably exay;gerated the I;\(,t, but
pagans, shamanists, Zoroastrians, Christians and
others were all found bcncilth Timur's ballner.
The army which invaded AnalOlia in for
example, included men from Transoxania, the
steppes of'l'llrk('stan, India and Iran; while the
force that set out to invade China in the year of
Timur's death bad Transoxanians, Jagatai lvlon-
gals, Khura"anis, Mazandaranis and Sistanis from
Iran, Turcomlltls from Anatolia. Azar-
bayjanis, Persians from Fars and Iraqis-there
wc're prohably Armenians as well. Some of these
troops Illust h:l\'c had cxtraordinary slOries to tell
OfSllcil UllllultllOUS times. but few wen: recorded,
'"
Th.. looming walls of Ankara'. Ciladd dat.. from many
p .. riods. Th.. IOw.. rll ar.. do,... II.. C and protrud.. to provid..
""u:.. II .. oc artilt..ry baslionll, Almollc wichin !lighc of thi"
Citad..1 T;mur routed ch.. Ouontao army ill 1402 AD buc
wh..n""1 Tintur'" Empir.. prov"d a .hort-tivcod cr.... tion, ch..
Ottomanll r ..v;v..d 10 crcaC., II ,nil'" which .... durcod into
mod..rn lim..lI. (Autbor'" pholograph)
The oullill(' of one soldier's Iii..: was, however,
wrilten down. He came from a cultured mlher
than tribal or nomadic background, won faille as a
noted warrior and al.'lO wrote poetry, and in the
closing ycars of his life rctired 10 the desel"l as a
hermit.
Nomads remained. however, tlJ(' harkholll' of
Timur'.<; power. came from Transoxal1ia,
from tribes which claimed Jagatai Mongol
origin. Each provided a military contingent ac-
cording to ilS size and in return the tribe enjoyed a
free, tax-exempt status. Such nomad troops
wt'rc led by their own aymak oOlccrs and alsu
provided elite units. ivlilitary roles were l:lrgc1y
hereditary and one guard unit, the i!,Ol/fdli", had a
long tradition going b:lck 10 lvlol1go1 times, By
Timur's days, in fact, these gau{fhill had almost
become a tribe in their own right.
Transoxania still bad a largely Iranian
speaking native majority in the 151h century and it
\\'as from these Iranians that the turhulttlt,\(lrbad(lr
militias wcre drawn. Tltty defended Samarqand
against theJagatai Khan's I:lst attempt to rctake
Transoxania early in Timur'.., carecr, for which
TitllLlr rewarded them by executing: their leaders
as 'rcvolutionaries', Nevertheless Till111r Ilad a
high regard for the sarbadar.r' military capabilities,
employing those of neighbouring Khurasan as well
as lhosc orlbe Transoxanian cities. Most wOllld, of
comse, have been infantry skilled in siege warf:'ue.
Th.. va.. c..... mbling Citad..1 of KUlayba larg..ly dale. from
Ib.. Byzantilt.. "ra. H.,r.. Tin:tur .. "tabU"bed II b ..adquarl.. n
whil .. hi" aroni.,. urron.cod ..rlt Altacolia lUI far al h:n,ir
aod Ih.. A..g..'" coa"l. (Author'" pholograph)
a.rnarqand in the 15th C. howing Cirad I entral market-
place and main mosques (aft r Ma son); B-unexcavated
site-plan of 12th-13th C. fortre ofKwniyan at trar, a hase
ar .. during ome ofTimur's campaigns (aft r Akhisbev); C-
plan of 14th-15th C. fortre s of Zhany Dary in Kbwarann.
Thi region was of major strategic ignificance during
nruggl b (ween Timur and the Golden Horde, and later
between the Timurids and Uzb s. (After Tol tOY)
c
(",
:..:
o m 30
~
~
o 30
~ .
e .
(9.
In
d
hi.
hi
r d Timur th
ur oman
ag in t the ri ing
al
int
aJ:
II
-'\

.,. '.
A_OIII; tbe mo,u y'"e..;o o::rlpt. ill the Top pi
Palaeo:: Lib....., ...., Iwo vol" .,. D(lh.. raUb Alb.un,...,...,p-
book. colluted by sa Ouoma.. Suh.....ad iodudiaS pio::t"r"
in olherwi_ "akaown .n)'I..... Some .0::1001.... believe lhey
wen painted in c....' ...1 Alii. dOl ..i ..! Timu..'.lif..um" while
othera lhiak they were rnadll' de.. lhe T ....o::o....... ....:Je... of
'Slh C. Arm"..i nd Au..b.yj lh,"' Iwo fool.-Iclin-a a"'"
armed with curved daSS""" .. brlt....."s, bows _d "hield"
while their quiver. are of. type not .. "ed by hon_reb"......
(Fuih Album, Topk.pi Lib.,1'>b. HlIZ. 'z',S3, ff'3-..J'. b ....bul)
and wule! be called llie l\larco Polo of the 15th
CCIlIUI) .
Organisation
111 gCI1l:ral TiIllUl"s arm)' was closer to that of
Gcnghis Khan and his 1\longol successors than to
Ih(' armit:s of 1_ltll ("('niliry stales. Horse-
archers wen.'tlw numerous troops in both the
central ann) \\ hich ah\ ays with Timur and
in variom I"f'f,;ional forccs. Th(,"S(' regional armies
answcrcd directly to Timur and could be sum-
Illom-d to battle \\ithout l'cfcrcnce to local govern-
ON. The o\'er;lIl sil.l' ofTimlll"'s armies varied and,
like all Illedit\ al forces, iJi hard to estimate. I t was
I:lr.';c b) 15th cClllury standards and,
;'l('l'ortlilll-; to Timur himself. " lorc.... hc led against
12
Ihe Golden Horde in 1391 \... as ahOllt 200.000
strong-a not impossible figure despite the logist.
ie.1I of the day.
Timllr Iwokl' the tribal structure into
nc\\ military formatiulls, primarily to forestall the
development of rival power centres. Leadership
was cllIrustcd to Timllr's own liJllowcrs or his
r:.. mily ;IndJagatai forces \\er(' gradllall) scltll,d in
newly conquered territor). In additiulllO units uf
horscarchers there \\ere infalllr) l'i.Jrc('!I and, of
increasing imponance, siege ellgilleers, \\ ho could
not be rccruiuxl from the tribal nomads. :'\I05t
military terminology remained :'\Iongul or Turk-
ish. /I and IIII1J referred 10 large tribal
to a similarly large unit of theoretically 10,000
men. a I>ersian \\ord for 1,000. s("'('ms to
have been ndoplt.'<! b), both Turks and
wclll)('fore Timur's time, \\ hile smaller formations
of from 50 to OIlC thousand nwn were givcn the
namc of q05hun. Likc armies
before lhem, Tilllurid forc"(."'s were divided into
decimallillits, though hO\\ far this \\ as reflc..'Cled in
is unknO\\n. A rorps or sllb-<;eclioll of an
ordu army was sometil1H.iI tt<rml.'<! a Jau), while
auxiliary forces could 1)(' known as IJnshar. Such
lightly equipped, fasHno\'ing raiders a
leading role during Timllr's Anatolian campaign.
Officer r:lIlks were by 110 meows rigid. Some senior
men were known as sardars, a Pt'rsian wurd which
survived as 'Sirdar' into the 20th century British
Imperial Army. Other officers included senior
emirs, millg-bash;s in charge of ',000,
leading 100 and ol/-hashis heading len men, Such a
system mirrored that of the Ottomans, both armies
drawing upon similar military traditions,
As Titllllr settled his Jagatai troops, many or
their leaders IIlIlSI havc bC('1l \\'hl('h ,htls
drew Iht'lll into the scmi.fcudal ditt, of the :'\'1 uslim
world, Under Timlll"s SUtTCSsors milil:ll'y fiefs
bccamc known as sUJ'llfgllll/ which dearly had
much in common with the Islamic if/la and
latC!' Ottoman li"'(lI" sysll'ms, Unlike EUl'opean
fc-udallit'fs these remained the pl'opcny of
the ruler .llld could be cllllfisratcd :11 3n)' lime.
L'n1ikt' the old ;q/a, howe\'er. Ihe su,l'urglwi its
holder conlrol local administrtltiOIl and jus
tice \\ ell a... taxlil in l'etm'I'l rbr military scn;n'
willl a specifi("(1 nurnl)('r of follow('rs. Unlike the
iq/n the Tilllllrid SII)"/Irl!.hlll C\'cIHuall) became her-
I'([ila!')' and lhus mu<:h c10slT to 1lH" European
Somc ruyu/:t!.hfllJ wcre also CllunnOllS, consislln,g- of
provinces or greet( cities,
POI) llH'lll was regular in Timur's arlll)', ns wen:
p\'ll!'inlls for retired soldiers, all Ixin,t;' dra\\'n li'om
pl'Ovincial revenues, Dran animals and hurses
('Ollld be I'equisitiorwd li'om tlll' people:, while:
\ariO\Js members or tile nobility were cnlnlstcd
willr lhe mailltenance alld increase of" cavall')
horse herds. Timur's armies also made consider-
:lhk Lise or war ek'pbants, The)' wcre 11('t the (irst
hlall1it l<lI't"es to do so bUl they caust:'d eunsider-
able impact by using rill'S!' mllssi\'c beasls all
\'arious E.astcrn campaigwi, Thl SpiH1ish
e11V/1Y Clavijo desnibed the elcphants al a wed-
ding as lheir hides paintcd red.
J..\l'ec:t1 illlClotlwr 'Ol/lllrs, eileb wilh a silk-t'u\'cn:d
\\'Ulxkll castle on its back: lhese castles also had
tlags al each ('orner. and carried fi\"{ or six soldiers
whill a driver rock Oil the heast's neck. Fi!{hting
ekph;ll1ts h<l.d cUITcd wmrd-likc bla(ks lai>tclH.:d to
their short/ned tusks. They wcre trained LO ad-
\,;111('(' in lirle abreast in a series or short jumps or
rlJ.... Cll t t Ll pw:.t rds and dowl rwa rds wi t h their
tmks;1l carh move
Enormous military re\'ie\\'s wcre a major fCaturc
01" the Timurid arm)', as they bad becn since tl\(
early days of Islam. Some w('re organised ill
Transoxania during- lhe rew intervals of peace
\I IIiie- ot hers wcre held deep i encmy lerri tory.
[n SUdl cascs the reviews WCft' designed to check 011
an discipline and cquipmCll\ as w(11 as
irltilnidalill,l{ a foc, In 1:$91 'rirllur reviewed his
illvading army sumcwhere south of the Ural
mounlains in \he heart or the Golden Horde
Khanate. [\cry division was drawn up behind its
Ahno,n idenl;"aIIO Chine"., "avalry a.re Ihe.... IWO hor"..... "n
;n Ihe Farm Albu.m. Only .. Per";"D inll"riplion and minor
duail" of drawing I'''.'''' th" pictur" ;n an (..Ia...;" "on'",.',
n"re ;1>, however,linle reaSon to doubt Iha, Tin,ur'" army
and those of his ealilern foe" indud"d ",uch hur",enu'o. SOJne
may "ven have Ih".." Chinese_lilyle n'a",,;ve double.
ended sta.ff.wea.... n". (Hum AlbUIn, Topkapi Lib., M". Haz,
"'53, f.87 r ,l,uanbul)
IlIgh or horse-lnil Slarldard. Tilllllr t,;[("ll
ill turn dressl,d ill full \\ ith an erminc head-
dress I.Oppt'd I"illl Ol nlll}-IIlI]"USlld goldl'rl <:1'/)1\11,
Every soldie:r had his spe:<tr, mare:, lealher-
<:O\'e:rec! shield. 1)0\\' and quiver of
i\lall) carried tw" an ordinary salm
011 the len and a nll\ht, right: I\hill"
an eli It' or Ireav) cavalry rode armoun'd horsl:s,
sOl11e bcing ar11ll"d with lass(ls, Tlrl: n,'it'\\
tWII days ;\nd e:n(kd \lilh a might)' roll ofk\tlll'
drums and the shuutirlJ..:: nrllw 1\
"SUrlllI! (Chargc!), A silllilar rl'\'il'\\ W,b hdd
oUlside Sivas ill AllaLI)lia ill !.I.lI'! 1)('I(m the: gTl'at
lmllie of :\nkara, lien' \';\l'iOll .... unils WlTe: distin-
guished by hal'ing their ;\lrnclIrr. saddl/s, ljlliwrs,
bdts, spear-pcnnl)llS, .. hields and batlllc:r'i all or
r(d. purple, yCllllw, 1\ IrilC or [It her such t:ulour.
Some historians ha\'e aSsllmed lh",
ont ortbe: first sil1l;e: arH'll'lll lillles to ust
rt'i1I11rlif(ll"lllS; btlt lilt' ick:l had !JcC'n ,well II/It
III Hyzanliurll hill lhl'Ollglrlltrt Illllch or lilt"
Soon., of Ihc my.leriou" fatU, Albul" nuo.alur"t< "how
Chinese costu.n., such at< a hat wilh ear,n",p" worn al the top
orlhill picture. Stu;Sht t<wordt< of. 'ype seCn io bolh Chioes"
a.nd earlier Cenl.r,,1 A"ian arC also al.pear, But olhcr re.ture..,
lik., the ",mlary belt !tod """,s;,,e mac.. or the lerl.hand
fisure, are Iypically hlam;", (f"a/ih Album, TOI.kapi Lib,. Ms,
Ha;e. \lIS]" f'''9''. hlanbul)
medieval Ldamic world from at least Abhasid
times and was still common among the :\'Iarnluks.
The marching order of a Timurid army was
similarly well though perhaps less mag
nificent. Timur himselfnurmally lravelled behind
a vanguard ofsevcral iI/111m regiments. Next came
the bulk of cavalry units, followed by the infantry
and a baggage train carrying Timur's mobile
court, treasury, armoury. spal'c uniforms and
mher t-"(luipmcllI. The baggage tmin was itself
protccled by large cavalry formations and was
followed by the soldiers' families with Lheir own
waggons, LenLs and herds. Some importanl Lents
were carrit-xl inLacL aboard huge cart". I n camp the
men's tents were piLched in regular streets around
the royal cnclosure. Such encampments resembled
regular towns with butdu:rs, cooks, bakers, mer
chanLS selling fruiL and \ egctablcs. armourers.
blacksmiths. coppersmiLhs and saddlers. DespiLe
Aaot.h"r mimtur" La IUrl" i. tki. illuu....tio.. or.
baul" betw""",, ..0...." ... ".....d ior...try. Th" ror..."" Ii!ht wit.h
.pe.......d tridnns, d,,, L.It"r h.vi..! lI"..Lialir t.h" ......"
tho"" c.rrin! lor root ..Idi" in oth"" perhaps
early Timurid F.(ilJ Album mini.tllr.,.. (I".tib Albu.... Top-
bpi Lib.,I'o1. lb.a. :1053> r.nr, 1.,b"l)
an abundance of bread Timur's tl'OOpS, or at least
the majority of Ihem. apparentl}' preferred rice
with their meat. :\Iobilc wooden bath-houses \\'cre
creclcd to enable mcn 10 allend the lutmtlm 'Turk-
ish bath' bcc:tuSt:. despite Ihe pn.'scl1cc of 110n-
this was ostcnsibly an Islamic army
unlike the unwashed hordes who follo\'\Icd Gcnghis
Khan. \\'estern visiLors were also amazed by the
relative sobrieLy ofLhcsc mobilc military cities, lhe
drunkenness of Timur's coun apllarently being
reserved for particular occasions. They could.
however, be very noisy. with all the bustle and
animal noises of an Islamic city pluo; the rrequent
blaring oftrumpcts.
Since Timurid attiLudes LO women owed more 10
Mongol than LO r..1 uslim custom it is nOt surprising
to find mention of female warriors. This eaused
raised eyebrows among Islamic chroniclers.
Lhough it should be remembered thai even in the
Crusader era women members of the Syrian.Arab
elite could don armour in defence or a castle.
During his invasion of thc Golden Horde Timur
ordered women camp followers to put on spare
helmets and mililary gear and to protecL the camp
<

while their menfolk roell' in S('arcb of the foe.


Ahmad Arabshah stmcd that women actually
fought in close combat, while Clavijo referred to a
race ofmystcriolls warrior 'Amazons' who, living
sollle IS days' march from Samarqand. consorted
with their neighbours only once a year. They
supposedly followed the Greek Christian rile and
were subjects of the Chinese Emperor rather than
or Timllr. Presumably Clavijo's talc echoed tlte
existence of Nestorian Christian Turks in what is
now Chinese Central Asia, a people who tradiLion-
ally permitted their womenfolk equalily in both
peace and in war.
Relatively little is known about Timurid flags.
banncrs and heraldry. Timur himself used an
cmblem of threc' circles renecting the 'fonun:He'
r('lcstial conjullnion at his birth. Military flags
wcrc certainly llsed 10 convey messages and orders,
as lhey had long done in Muslim armies. The
signal/or the pillage of an enemy camp or city was
the raising of a black banner ovcr Timur's royal
enrlosure. A 'pOIl)' express' system virtually ident-
ical to that uscd by the ivlongols was also employed
by the Timurid.'), with }'lllli (Mongol) or c!W!Jlll'
(Persian) postal stations along the main roads arid
tlc"i government mcssengcrs carrying the ruler's
orders to all corners of his empire. The postal
stations wcrc plan:d a day 01' a hall:day'!\ riding
apart, some baving '200 spare horses kept at
eonstant readincss. Also spaced along these routes
wcrc go\'crnment sluds to provide a supply of
mounts for Ihe e1cltu and, presumably, lhe army.
Thc au thori t)' of to req uisi! ion whate\'cr they
needed from the local populace was so great that
they were feared throughout the empire. People
ran away at tbcir approach as as Clavijo statcd,
'thc Dcvil in person wereolltbcir heels'.
Despite cOllScious imitation of the t-.longol em
pin: lhen' was a noticeable decline in Mongol
SI)'lcs Of(OStUtlll during the Timurid era. This was
true at COUI'l ,wd even in the arm)'. though it was
1I10S1 obvious in I ran. Blllky fashions of cssellt ia II y
Chinese orig-in werc replaced by closer-fitting
Iranian Turbans replaced Turco-
caps, which were fast becoming associated
with Central Asian paganiliTll. Timur him.'Sclfdid.
howcver. introduce a new pat\(Tll of military
headgear so that his mell could recognise eaeh
other. This m;;I)' have heen the fur-trimmed kalpak
The dec:oraled po..tal or Tirnu..'ll Aq Sarai 'While p,tI.. c:e'.1
Ki.h (onoch'ro Shakh..i b"J w....1tuOlll ....Ii....ly COyo:red wkb
b ..i!htJy colou..iM LiJ Thei .. iDMC..iplioo.. and !eoonel..ic
palte...... could be "n:n ro.. mileland p ..odaimed lbe power or
the conque..o... Timu.... palace ill now enti..dy ..u.iniM. wich
only lbi. c:..urnblin! mODumenlal !aLeway .Landin!.
which appeared ill Ishlll1i.. art shonly al't('1' his
death, based upon a Turro1llan style. The bulk or
Timur's troops, p:lnirularly those of Jagat<li
origin, still won.' their hair in ivlongol pigtails. The
army remained. in Hie!. more traditional in its
dress th:1 n ot her scctions or' J'i III urid socict y.
Like all th.. main :o..liddle Eastern nrmies,
Timur's underwent rigorous trallllllg.
Wrestling was already :t popular sport and se(:ms
to havc' had Illuch in ('Ollllll(ln with the traditional
wn::stlingstill sel.'lI in Turkey and Iran. M llch 1110l'C
important, however. wen' vast hunting ex-
peditions organised all the same lines as those
introduced 10 Ihc Islamic world by Gcnghis
Khan's TI\(lu.s:lllds of troops in their
proper military units would a IargC' tract
of territOry and then gradually mo\'(' inwards
forcing all the game into :I small area where it
rOll lei be s13 u/.{h teredo Sut:h hUll ts look dap Ol'(:\'CIl
weeks and C'very mov(' was like a c<lreful militarr
manoeuvre. This nol cmly ga\'C' the mcn practice in
archery and other combal skills but. mOl"(' import
,-
.,
-. -- -
,.. --

A new school of detailed aod col(lurful "dunk pa.nhng


de"eloped under Ihe Timurid dynasty. Thill manullcript was
painted in Yazd tWO year" after Timur's durh. II shows ..
Pen;'..' herll slaying a dragon with hi" ani.... al_headed ""I.('e.
Ue hali neither armour nllr e"en Ihe double-breasted lunic
normally worn by Turc.... Mongol warriors, (Anthology or
poem. Topl... pi l.ib., Ms, U"",. 7!1i, hcanbul)
,(1111) , eel IIII iI l'll-llnl III;' Iif Ill. specd Ill"
In alit! I'HII1ll1l11111;,tiolis. !\\I was
allfmt'd atldllo Illok place hl'liwc
till' tlnkl' gi\I'll. I\llltlltl)!;h 11l1lllill14 pro\'l(kd
lillnl, f)ll olle p;lI'III'III,lf O1'1'aSi11ll dl'!'p inside
(;1,ld,'lI 11(!t'(1!- IITrilf!t"}, gn';11 (II'
a(lilllals \\1'1'1' al other linlt's Il'li w 1'01. This sho\\s
lhal lilt' IUIIlI \\ as pril11,lril) :t eXt'rTisl' bill
.. Iso. ,I ol'milil;lr} might.
c\(:unpi<' by I hI' otlil'l'r I'llrpS and l"\t'n
Tilliur ltin"dr "II("(JlIral4nl a ('ull or l'l)llrag-t'
\Vilhill the Tinllll' (,('!"lailll} lOok part ill
fig-hlill,r.: againsl tile <.;ok!ell H'Jrdt, until. a.s lilt'
'::lIflll'l/fllllflh pUI ii, 'his
arruws lien' all his hrokt'll, but his
"\,,rd IJralidisJlt'd'. \U haVe' IWl'1l
quitl' lIorl1lal le,r Tillllll' \\ 110, \'arJitT ill !tis can','I',
Ilarllll't'll II) "111g-1t- (l)Illbal by Ihe ruler
or Urgallj his (Jr lhal cit), Ti1llur
:lITqllt'd amI :q)llI'an'd Iwlilrc lhl' lIIoa[ cdling
lIallll'. IHII lhl' lattcr 10'11 his IICI'V(' and
r,.lilcd [" lun! lip. N01 Till1ur's pcr-
n'pul:llitlll high among: his 0\\11 mell
am!. iUlllrn, Ihl' <lI'('OUllls IlI"Timur\ art' I"ull
01" 01" cXlraurdinar} daring- b) nOic('l's and
l'Olllnlllrl
I'Xpt'('lcd 01 ;, Turkish or
7\1011.'-:01 ruler and in Ihi:. Till111r played his part to
Ill(' 1"1111. ('\CIl in day" wh('n his (clftunes
\\",'1'1' ;11;1 Iml 1,1111. In till' hrid"il!Il'1"\ al.s l)elwlTlllli!>
lat.r l':l III pail4lli'. "' 'illl 1I1' r,:nsli rt'd llial his ;lrtllY was
I;I\'ishly ri.. asled, led and l'rlll'riaillcti. Dn'(ls 1,1"
\1 ('r'C ("t,IIhrall'd II) Ilflil'i;ll p'ltl"
hut \Il'n' I'l'llarded pl'lml"li.)11 Or' tilt' rank of
This(')lwmpt,>d a tn;lI1 frollllilxatioll,
l'lllilled him lu kl'l'l' the loot hl' I\Utl ill \Iar,
a<llllilit'd !tim lilliit' I'tl)al ,Hldi,'IlCl' \Iilhlllli prior
.. ga\,t him a plilll' "I" 1IlIlHlllr t)11 all
slall' ;llld t"renl Ilim li'l,m
uUlil lhl' nlnlh time he COllltlliltl"d a p,lrticul:lr
ninlt'! Such pri\'ikgt,:. 1\l'l"C' inheriled h) lhe
Ilill'rilJl"'s I;tmil) (11l1il IJII' ,l.(l'l1n;llilln,
lIlliit' t'omparal)ll' PIISlhlllllt1lLl; ,I\\;lrds wert'
heap<.:d UPOIl lht' I:lmily 01" a 1\ bo dit'd
perl;-,rmin,l{ II::ats
The fierc\' "l"cn in Ti11lur\ al"lll} \\as
firmly bas('d upon :l1litudl"s, as
reflect cd ill till' or an l':ll'l) !.llh
soldiel' Ilbo said. 'Th....\Iongol is IIH' ofitis
He il; lIC\'<.:r lit'c. is
bt'Ill'1:I(tur, hl' docs not St'rTt' him Iill' IllOnt'y.'
Timur's Iroops \I('IT, of COllrM'. paid but illl'ir
dedication .seems 10 have bc(:n undiminished,
Islarn also illlposed ils OWII disciplilil', parI icularly
ill mal tel'S. TIlt, Etn lhal Titllur's arm)'
\\'a5 excused tile midtliglH prayt'r aftcr reaching
the north of Golden I-Iordc Lcrl"ill)r")' wberc, ill
midsullllllcr, lhert' 1\:1:. 110 Irue illdicale!\ tl1::11
prayel's hen" oiller'wise rigurousl} l'nlorccd.
SlCl"Il was n:nainly mainlaim:d insidt'
cnemy lerTitory, but 011 Ihost' nl1'C occasions wht'n
\lnits prow'd disloyal punishmenls cuuld I}(' either
fierce 01' mild. A tribal unil whit'li Ihreatened
re\'olt nl Khojand in 1376 onl), had ils ultlJ or unil
disbanded, lhe 1'<.:lllllanlS bdllg illcorporalt'd illlO
ollter regilllenls, Punisll111elll for dd;':al ('ould hI'
Severe il" it was ICiI Ihal the Iroops wen: at fault.
Du ri llf; Shah rll r('ig-n olLe a nny mosl or iIS
borses during a reI real ,llld was ill
humilialion. A perhaps apocryphal story ldb how
Tilllur' S<l\\' n man ul1'lo in lhe saddle:
durill).; a march, He mUllt'rcd, hall'lO himsc1l;
thnI Ihe mall should be execu lcd a ud a ft'\\ mi nu\('s
laler a ollie('r pres('nted the conqueror
wilh lhe unfOrtunal<.: soldier's head, whcreupon
Timul' praised God that he enjoyed such ullqucs
liolling obedil'llCC. Oflicers ga\'C il personal oath or
loyallY and sllllcl"ld ptlllishlll('1l1 forderclii'-
lion of dUlY. A st'llior COlllmallder \\'110 showed
wwardice ill tbe field would be shaved like a
IIOm:ll1. his lace paintcd wilh l'Ouge, dressed as a
Wllmall and llliide 10 run barefoot throllg"h Samar-
qalld, [\'en failun: in baltic could resul, in an
qnirTl' having his lcet publicly bealen wilh the
'1//llllI(ulli. On the other hand few of Timur'$ foes
could claim such stern discipline and as a result
their ,Innics ran'I)1 match\-'CI'rirnurid forces.
,S'tmfegy, Tactics ami
Siege HVljilre
Timur.iLl'llk was an illlJ{I\'"llOr in military aflhirs
as wdl as b,-'ing ;1 fille general. He was abo
regarded as Olle of the fillest chess-players of his
cla} . chess ha\'i rig fornu,:d pOl rt ofa Iuslilll prin\'(::'s
milital')' traillillg li,lI' Illilny centuries. In addition
III chess like thai played lotlay, Timur used the
'Crcat G;IIllC' Ilil!1 two camels, two g-iralTcs, 111'0
M'lllries, 1\1"0 siq!,c eng-incs and a wadI" or minister
wdl as 110rlllaJ chess pieces. Other versions used
oblong and even l'CIund boards. How far this
innuclH:cd Tilllur's tactics is unclear: hut his
rcgimcnb had sqMrale alld di"tinet assembly
an'a", while Timur used deceptiv(: routes, rapid
Illan.:hes and till' stratc,1(Y of t I,,:: indirect approach.
IIi, abo kllew when III retreat and was ahk to uSt'
this as ;l positiVI' tani(' Iwcausr or Ihe iron disci-
pline onlis \';U'LOLIS detailed aU'ounts also
shol\' Timur's arlllY using- Ill:luing and even Iheir
It'lHS to cross Illarsht's ill I raq, Elsewhere Timurid
horsemen would pnl their bowcases. qui\'t'rs and
across d1eir backs when obliged to walk.
For (CnlUrlcii tIll; llomads of Celltral Asia had
I)i'('n the fenik agricullUral land
nf'Transoxania wherc lor'll armies had dcq::lopcd
tlTi;ctin' defcnsive systems. 'riIllLlI', Ilflwever,
III I"lH:d III\' ta bits lIy goi ng omo till' ollcnsi V(:
ag:ainst the nomadic caMcrn rump or lltc.Jag-alai
Khanate. These liule-knowll but highly suc('csslLII
arc among his most mililary
arilievellll'nts. in wllich prolcssioll,ll Islamic
armics penetrated dcep intO the mountains anel
"tcppes (II' what an.' lll.IW Chincse Central Asia,
Sfl\'icl Kazakhstan ;md Khirgizia. Thc tactic
hy Toqtamish. Khan ()fth{' Goldell Hurde. in Ihe
lilC(' ofTimur's invasion was tlle traditional i\lon-
gol one ofdl'awin.l{ the Icw en;r dceper inllJ barrcn
hostik terri wry. a rill)', hown'cr. m'lin-
tain('d illi disciplille. It rdllSt:d to be drawn illto
ambushes, cross....d all obstaclcs inrludin,l.{ large
rivers, marshes ,\lId forests. SllppltllH'llll'd its food
supply with wid.... -nmg:ing hUllts and l'vclllually
lrapped Toqlamish with his back against (he
Vnlga and Kama WI thf' IllJl'th('rn edg-e or
the Eurasian steppe,;. Unabk 10 I'("lrcat f'unlll.:l' the
Golde.:11 Horde.: :I1'll1)' turlle.:d at bay, and was
thoroughly defeated <II 111\' hall k Ill' KUlldu'l.cha.
Timur 1'\ Cll ha\'e used mon' sophisticated
slrateg-y his 1399 11,1 c""lpai".pl
t\nalolia and the i\liddll' Ea<;t. Facing: Tilllur Ilcre.:
Ihe pllw('rllli Oltolllam aod i\lal1lluks whilt' lIlt'
Jala),rids h,ld rf't:lkcn Iraq to his 1'1';11'. The mili-
tary hislOrialt SirJohll Glllbh Sll,l.{g('SIS lhal Tilllur
{It-cided on a rapid ,hru"t illlll ,\llatoli" to thrOII'
Jad slaying $isrrlO, fro... a Georgian Chrisl.'an manuseripl,
Though oftcn eonsid"red to b" '31h C, Ih" lI.rn". and arn,our
in Ihi" iIluslralion strongly sugg"sl lin "arly 15th C d"'''.lf so
il would illus,rale the C<lui"mcnl ofG"orgi"n armi".. during
Ih" Timurid pC'rind,,, lim" when I.r"nian, Turkish and lal"
Iradilion.. mi"ed in Ih" Caucasus r"gion (p""Jtrr,
Ms. A.66.'), f.20s, M"nuOieripl Ins1. Acadcmy of Scicnc"..,
Thilisi, USSR).
'7
Caltpiall Sen by lhe Uzhoy channel. Larg'l' boats or
hargocs could lise this and suhstantial ships nT-
tainl)' S;likd lhe Caspian, Tilllllr lllade WiL' ul'holh
during im'asions 01"1101'1111'1'11 I ran, Al thl' sanw
lime hl' wa:- fully aware or Ihe \\ ider pulitic;tl
silu:ttiOIl in lhe Ncar and !\Iiddk East, all
illlli-Otl(Jm;ll1 aliialH.'l' with Chri,'lian princes in
An<llolia ;Ind l'\TIl makin,l.:" COlltact with Euro-
pe'llls, I-Ie was ('crt;liltly !Lupin/.( for naval suppOrt
whell hi' fi)l'lTlcd ,tll alliallC'c \\ ilh I,:lntinc Islan-
hul (CoIIslalllinople), Byzantine TrabzOl1 on the
Blad; Se;t Coast aile! 111(' C<:110eSl' trading: OUIPOSIS,
Tinlllr did not. hm\'I'\'('I', g:el 1l1l' '..!o g-alkys he
del11;lmlnlli'01n TralJzOlI, nul' llIl11:h help from tht'
olher PO\\'\TS,
'I'imllr's abilily to Irick !("j('s Iwcan1\' pro\'('r-
biOI!. On on'asions Iw \\'()llld leign Sirklll'SS ill frOll1
or [(lreig-n (\'olllilillK boar':- blood,
according [0 a \'isilill,({ archbishop 1'1'<1111 Iran), I-k
would ha\'e rumours spread lhal army II as
Edlin,;" apan or would <)1'{kr hi:- IrOI'ps 111 scallcr in
eOldidl'nt Ih;1\ such diM'iplilled rq!;i-
melllS would r('assemhk at till' lilll(' ([lid pi act' Ill'
ordcred, ,\gail1S1 a larger til<' he \\llule! sClid Dul
slIlall groups ol"lllell [I) Jig-Ill 1:t1sl' camp fires anoss
n('ig:hhouring: hills 10 make hi:- IIlI'n army appeal'
largcr, or lI'ould han' bOI"$l'nWl1 trail brallches of'
Mo'" oftht isolaloNl m;nialun" in Ihe farm A/bumsare in an
idtn!ifi('d 1"lam;c ,,1)'1(', Thi!l b.III('_!Ic('n(', probably front
copy of the $h.hmun.h, dale.. fro... Ihc early 'Sth C, and was
probably n.ade in Sh;ra"" The horse.. hav(' lam('lIar horse-
annour whil(' Ih(' warrior" w('ar lant('lIar cuira""(,lII t'ilh('r
O"er (Iefl) or under (righl) "cal.,.lined brigandine.. , The
di"membered figure in the boUom-l('f, eorn('r li(,11 b('!Iide a
war-drum, (f'a,;b Alb",.,. Topkapi Lib. Mil, Ha"', a 153, f,war,
IManbul)
his ellerll 1hi: 01lOm,In SIII1<ln Bay,lzi t,
ulrbalalll'I' before dll' :\lamluks in
amI cht' wL'akel' .Jalayrids in Baghdad, Ollce lhis
dun{' Ti11l11r returned \\ illl his rull mighl II)
SI'IC h' accounts \\ il h Bayazil. I'lal1lled orolherwisc,
Ih n'm,l iliS UlH: of' lile mo"l remarka hIt' episodes ill
Illl'die\'al mili lary
'rilllUr'" aSlOnishing ofgL'opoJilirs is rdlc('-
ted ill !lis urdu: 11ler:lli\'L' easl wesl Irade
hCI\I'(,:L'll Europc and Chilla 10 rlow
Ihroug-h his owtlcmpirl', To O1ehicH' lhis he sat:kcd
llH' Italian Blat'k Sea lrading post 0["ra1111 011 Iht'
Riwl' DOll, \'irlually "hlileratl,d Ihe Colden
Ilurek's \'olga cities ofSarai amI Astrakhan, ;Inc!
Ihus smashed lhL' old Stl'PPC lrading rUllle, Ther,'-
aher lra\'t'lInl along a 1110re
ruute through Trahzllil alld I ran, payillJ( lolls If)
Til'l111l' as the}' \\Tlll,
FIJI'" man raised ill CI'ntral Asia, "'ill1tJl' slll)w(,d
:1 l'elllal'k;\hk gnlsp or Ilaval 1'1)11('1', 111 the IsclL
n'lllury ,he Amu Dar):1 (OXliS) Rin'l", whiC'h
markl'd tht, fronlier bctW\'ell and the
rI'sl 01' Ihe i\l11slim wurld, \\'as linked 10 thl'
Anothe.. minialu..e f ..om alOlll copy ofthe Sb.hnan>ahlihoWli
a war..;or placing the ..",Yered h.... d of hi" fo'" upon a .. pea.r,
The victim'li hd... el li('", On Ihe g..ound .nd i" one ofyery few
repr"'lienlalivell of a hdn,el wil.h a fac.,......"k visor, Compar-
able hUI laler "i"o..ed heln'elll ",urv,,,e and are gen"'rally
r('(('rroNlto as 'Tartar', Thi", nu"'c:ripl date'" front tht ('arly
'5th C, and w""" probably ad(' in (fat;b Albu......
Top"ap; Lib" M", Ha;p;, 2153. ('35r, htanbul)
,"
\ 'll
\ 11' .
, . J
. 'j' .
./.
,
, .'
liTes 10 raisl' dusl enough t(W a Ihr Kre,ltcr force.
Timur's spy srn'icc was reportedly
hadllg inliml,crs among thc rdigious establish-
111(-lllS. hazaars and e\-ell .l!o\"(Tnment ministt:rs of
ri\al as Ildl ::IS among merchant e<tnl\'ans
11t;11 niss-nosscd tin- j\liddk East. Among them
II ('rT lIwn and women Arabic. Creck and
Hdm'I\-Snlllt.: pOSill,g- as ,Jews alld quolillg tllC
Talmud ill Aleppo's main s)"nag-og-uc. l\n inlernal
jlf,lin: or 1'>C("U ri I)' 1(lff't' ("nmisl ed of ;)genls k11011'11
:t.' kOllr/f!li ,1I1el harsh penaltif's ;Iwaitld IhcN'
llll'lltiollt'd unt:l\'(HlralJly in their r\'porcs_
The uses of terror
Tilllur's Iroops ;Ire said 10 h:l\'c burned his ll:lTnt.:
inlO che forests of Ihe Altai i\IOllntains ncar
and Timur hitnsdf had a carved slunt.:
('rn-led dcep ill Coldell Hor{!c lerrilOrr to mark his
munumcrll is now displayed in Ihe
I-Icl'lnita,l!e i\llli\(.Ull1. Lcningrad, Ir"rimur is re-
membered lor 'lIl)'lhing il is for his use oflerror as a
milit;\I') or political weapon_ He was flat alolle ill
Irying In h;l\'c ruler"!> assassinalnl. nor was
maSSHCI'e ra 1"1.: in l\ Iiddlc EaSlel'll Wit r!;l re followi flg
the i\longols' arrival on the scene. BUI whntas
Gcnghis Khan bu\(:bncd coldly and with a spcci-
fir cnd in view. TilllUI" indulgt:d in acts 01' appar-
Cllt!) POilllkss sadism. Tht: Slory that hI' kept the
Ottoman Sult:tIl Bayazil in an iron cagc is airnosl
rtl'tainly a legend, bUl Tilllllr did order lhe
cxtcrmi na t ion or bl illd ing of Ihe el1\ irc i\ IlIza rrarid
I'rillC'dy family so as to rcmovc potclllialthreillS 10
his I'll If'_
Al the othtT l'xlrellH: 'fimur's mell devastated
\\'lIole provinces. The ellccts have deady bcen
cxaggl"rac,;d bUI In Sistan, in south-westnn Ar..
g:hanistan_ all t'lllire agricultural systCm based
upon a Ii-agile irrigalion llctwurk \vas so d;lll1aged
lhat il has 1101 rCC(J\'crnl to day. The urban
ri\'ilisalion ()f the Coldell Horde along the \InIga
River was similarly shattered beyond repair.
Titnur's twO sicges of Baghdad pUI the sC<ll on the
decline or Ihac oncc great city. ruining repairs
ulldertakl'lI 5irl(:(' the l\longols captured BaKhdad
ow'!" a Century e;'lrlicl'. One ol"Til11ur's mOSI savage
praelil"cs was the crcction 01" lOwers forTlwd or
human heads. Sotn<: could still he SCt:n whell
Chl\'ijo visiled Iran, and he descrihed them as
bcillg" 'tall as lhe hei,g-ht to which onc might cast a
Here the m .. in char.. ct"'r, Sultan Is.ander, .. lone. we....,;. full
lamellar cuirasli, po:rhap.. Iiugge"ti..ng Ihat in ..Orne p.rtli of
early '51b C. Iran lamellar wall reu..... ed for Ihe .,Iile. Otber
,loldieu have Ilcal.,..lined brigandinell Ihough lheir hors"",
carry lam.,lIar defence", (Antholog,' of Sulta.. hk,.nder,
Shira:r. "<1'0 AD, Gulbenlcian Lib" Lisbon)
StOIlt', which werc ent iI'dY consll'uctcd from mell \
skulls SCt in clay'. In Sabzawar live eaplives wcre
cemented betwecn day and bricks Co rarlll
'minarels'_ Tirnur's tmops gcnerally CillTicd OUI
such brutal orders withouL compunction. though
when laId to wipc out Lhe cJltin: population of
Isfahan somc soldi('rs wcre reluctant Co slaughter
fellow i\luslims. To salve their cOflscictlccs lhey
bribed less scrupulous colleagucs 10 collect lheir
quola orbeads.
Members 01' Ullorthodux l\luslirn groups sui:
rered particularly from Timur's unrestrained
policy of massacre. These includcd Llle
nistic III/flY, Shiile i\luslillls ol"nonhcrn Irall and
the similarly Shiih' !JuwiliJ or Nvn-
Muslims sulfen:d even worse. for Timur tnok no
,l("COUllI Uf1l1C i\'luslim doctrine ofcolcralion_ Thc
Story lhal Ite ordered his cm'alry to ride down a
"\Oil' of Christian children outside Sivas hecausc
he did nUl like thcir song is almosl certainly a
'9
East"rn wall orlb.. upJKr court ofH"ra". Chad.... Thill WIll
on.. oflhelllrongC'lIl fortr...lIl1.. ,. ........ '''-rn 1.lan, and was buill
for Timllr'" SOn Shahrukh .... r1y in the 15110 C. (Photo Gu.a
..h..r .... ri)
Tactics
Timur was all cxcellenl ballk laclician as well as a
!Hral('.l.:"isl. He was l"l'cditl'd wilh Ill'\vtaclics, novel
modes of deploying his and IWC\'iuusly
unknown comhat Itll'malions. He was renowned
ror making: rapid alld rrl'qucntly changing allads
which clearly reflected lhe excellent discipline anc!
conllllLll1ie:lliolls wilhin the army. Like Ihe Mnn-
gnls bdlJre him and the Ottomans of his own day,
Timllr used a:lo odd lortilic:llions, This
idea had 1101 prcviollsly hcen popular in lhe
r-.liddk whel'e tlllbt transport n)llsisted or
pack animals ralher lh:l1I cans. the
Goleit'll Horde al KUlIdllzcha in 1391 'rimur
abandunl'd tradilional Islamic formal ions of a
myth; hut the way his 111('11 up to
Iuo,Ooo Indian prisoners IIcal' Delhi all I:.! Dccl'm.
bel' 1398 is llm-L1lOugh till': lIumbers arc
r<lll'd. Hen: j\luslim prisollc!'$ enjoyed tht pri\'i-
kge of" their throats CII! whereas 'infidel'
Hindus wcre cilhn nay('d or hurned ,din', The
Christians or Gcorg-ia \\'cre massacred ill great
numbers, \dlilt" Christian. Armenian, sol-
diers dcJcl1dillg Siv<ls lor the Ottomans \Vere
buried ali,'C ill the moat. AI Van similar Christian
.Iipalii troops wt:n.: hurled rrom the battlements
aner their (.'it)' lell. so man) being I/Hllwn that the
last rew survivcd, 'heir Ihll broken by til<"
bodie.. or lhose \dlU \\('Ilt before. Small wonder
thai Timur's namc terror throughout I ran
anti Iraq, and llial the govcrnmClll in
Cain) ac('('ptrd Titnur':lo slIzl'rainly aOer he dc-
ll'aled their lorccs ill ria.
and 1\\'0 wings, Inslead he dn'l\ up his
troops into s('n;n di\'isions, the CClllre and wings
each ha,'ing a \'anguard \\'hilc thc cenlrc W:l$ also
sllpporwd hy a slrong rcscrv!". This rnahlld him 10
drive oWI'oqtami$h orlhe Colden Horde when Illl.'
lattcr broke throu/{h TilllUl'"S Jcft and attackcd il
li'om Lhc rC'II".
Timllr adoptt'd a Illll'd) ddf-rl'.i\I' formaliOll
5111t:lll army al tll(' ballh- or
Delhi ill l:mR.l-ltdn'w llpulltllt'same
hillillal Ihe British would hf>ld during till' lndi;w
l\llIliny 10111' amI a halfl'L'IlIUrit's l,lIel". KlIO\\in,(r
Ih:1I hi, mell would Etn' lal'Rt' lllllll],c-rs or \\ar
t'kphallts, Timur had lar,l:"t' h,LrlH'c1 caltrop" SI'('-
scaltered ahcad of his pllSiliol1 al nig-lll 'II a.'
nOl 10 al<:rt lhe Indians. His main c11,ti'll('('s ('011-
or a ditch hiddt'll hl'lI:-.ll\\ul)(!. hehind
whiell was a \Ionc!('ll palisadl' "1I"C'Il,I.;"IIH'lIt'd wilh
lalW' SIIIt'1c!S or malllll'\:'>. C:lpILln:d 1\ atet'
were tClhered ahead Oflhc litH'S ill lilt' klluwkdW'
lhal only these beasts \\t'1"(' brgl' l'n(Hlgli to llihel
til{' ad\'ancing ,'kphants. O.'t:H'Ilt'd li'l't'n or t1ill'
\\t'n' also posl('d on eal'h lI,mk, "'hen thl'
massive' Indian army at!\'alll'l'{l 'I'illlllr
Ilext il II'ns :llmost hy
herds 01' Icar-rl'ilz('d c:lmds alld bllllhlut!> wilh
of hl;,zinf.:" oil),oakcd "tr:I\\ 01' ('Ollon 011
lIl('ir All allack :Old f1ighl
Tilllurid Gl\'alry drcw the I ndian elephant<- nIl
Ii'om tlll' PI"OllTtiullllrlllcir anc! illttllllc
(,I" hma 1(' ddcnsi"c a rra y, '1 'II(' Imljan ca\ all') :1l1c!
inlil1ltry then assaulted Ti111L1l"'S eli II'
liom tilt' f1a II k<.. TlllIug-1t hard Ihughl,
lht, haillc rapidly tUnled illtoa roul and thL' Sultan
or Delhi':. mCIl were harried bad; 10 tilt' gatts or
lltl'il' c;.pita!.
Iktiwe IIll' Imt t1l- ofAnkal'i1 ill l,pl2 'I'illlllr again
h:ld fnnnidablc; cnC:lll1pnWlH l'l"l'cted wilhin a
ditch, pikd rocb :llLd ;1 1-1(' ;t1su had the
Wt'lls poisoned !JcIWt'elllllnlsell'alld lIlt' :Ld\';\ll<:illg:
OIlOl1llLllS, This time Ti III Ill' his ill
eight di\'ilil0ns l'ollSislilLg of a left \Iilh it), \';(11-
f.:"llard, a righl wilh ilS n.:SI'I'\T ami a ('('nll'(' ill 1\\0
pariS, one of which was under Timur His
guards lornwd a IwparaH' division to JIll'
rear, ,,'hilt' Ill(' main r('''IT\'''S \\l'rt stalioned
IWI\\'(,'t'1l Timur's arlllY and tilt' of .\l1kal'a
which was stillllcid all Oltoman garrison. TIlt'
C"Olll)W ol"lhis haltlc is opel! to disput( lw{' ;\1:\.\
.
, .

.-- .. - ....

20
orth-we tern lOwer of th lower court of Heral Citadel of
tlerat, lh only one to hav ceramic til decoration.
fragment of inscription to the left may, however, ugge t thaI
a band of writing originally extended along the neighbouring
\ all . (Pboto G za Febervari)
11<1 ,11'11I;,'.\ uIlht' Ot/ol/1a/l /ll'kJ '30 '77-1), bUI
almOSI (','nainl) Lipped in Til Hlr' r::I\' ur wh 11 a
I:lrge pari 01' Turn mall auxiliari s
('hang' I I 'S.
SO amazing an lunch' k I \\ ere Timur s \'i
lori .. thaI lllall) 'U:I ' Il'cI Itim 1', ra tising- bta-k
alld. d('.", ill> !t. t Hi hi Il\'l'rsi n (If' 11( 't
or lIlt' \\' "I 'I'll stepp' n ma Is 10 Islam, ,haman-
i'li, ma/!;i riLUal, \\t're ,Iill lI,ecl, 'Rain 51 n ';,,',
pitT(', ol'rOl'k Iwli '\' , 110 It \'., \\' 'I' t 'hal gc Ihe
\\(':11111'1', were rr>pnrle u ,:d . "<lin'l Timul" ill
I: 1"5 \\!t,'11 his arm) \\:t, ddt-al I in a: a urrain-
kll mud b) th' t':lSL Tn Jagalai. In fa I
l'il11ul"'s '\\ ('alh r-I I k' I I him down II a nundJer
01'01' '(lSiOIlS, m( st n )labJ ' \\'I1('1l hi .. ma ':i\" .um)
\\'as bOg'ge I 10\\ 11 ill Sil \\ 011 it. \\ (I) l in\ ade
:hin:l, This lim' Ihe \\ealher had tlte la l W I'd,
'I Tim Ir's iron 'onslillllion linall) Ink Lh
gr 'al (' nqu n I' drill..... in th' nO\.\ bt lind J r -
vincial ]JOllac . or lntr.
Sieg warfare
( 11(' of'Ih ' main dilli.:r Ill'" lel\ C 'Il lht: armies ur
Til11ul" 'lll 1 )f hi: pl'cd nghi: Khan \Va'
Til Ill''''' SUt I" 'Ill A skill ill siege \Var!;trc. Th
ha 1 bC('t (;11' b II -r at thil> Ihan is lIy
n'('og;niscd hut Timur r ull 1."\\\ up n I n
1!ami\;1. \q,1I a.. 'ill( Ira ili IllS. In r: I
:kilk I si cllginl' '!"S, hug numJ 1'. f
un ,kil!t... d piolleer: as \V II a. 'Jig-hi troo s' and a
mobil' g 'Ilclarnwril' all pla)"d a maj)r 1"" 111
Tilllul'\ lllilil'U) .
,,lnia', bund n f r; I'tifi >d
m d wh domillG d lhis ar a during
oUlh ,lill b'c led 10 their 0 n chiers
nd lhu. b .( ming Ie:, I"lianl n
th militar p" r rlheir wn lrih m 'n. Timul',
how \"r managed to avoid lhis prabl'l11 and \i a
a I paying do e all nli n CI th . huilding, m in-
lcnan C, pI' vi i nill nd garri'OI in,' f' fi nifi-
calion' lhr ughuuI his I' 'aim, The "ilal njh: lhal
a:tl: pia. 'I i I lhe d r; n . I pp ar a ,
h >rwi' d min t d b) 110m di tribes, h \\1 d
.iu l h '" 'lrol g Iranian inOu 'II 'wa: 11 Timur'
lulit 1" uti k,.'( me WI" buill on Ih ruin: of
hin . e, igur or Turkish rOrtl' S,. fi I' "ampk
on lb northern sh rc Oflb, Issyk Kullakc high in
the' iell Sh II unlain:, lhough III I W I' 111
Turkish fool soldier of th mid-15th C, He i probably"
Turcoman tribal warrior and has mu b in conunon with
infantrym-0 in orne p .. hap early TiJnurid picrures of Ihe
Faun AJbunJ , (e .F, R. Martin Coil, pre ent whereabouts
unknown)
:21
the lowlands. Cbvijo, \\'ho callle l"l'OlH a land of
splendid r<lsllcs, described the fortress of"Firuzkuh
ill the west ol"Tilllur's empire as a multi-concentric
citadel all an isolated hill, so strong that none
could carry it by assault. According to Clavijo
ther(" wcn: many good castles dotted abOllt
f\rmenia, whereOlll' is known to have been held by
a lad}' who acknowlcdgnl Timur as her sovereign.
During Titllur's first forays illlO Iran his army
had been unable to lake defended cities but hy the
latter pan of his reign his army was fi\1ned for the
number and power of its siege engines. Fire
Ihrowing aroda balistas and stone-throwing lIuwga-
lIik Ircbuc!u.:ts wC!"e llsed against Sivas in !.J-oo,
local prisoners also bcing lorced 10 work as
pioneers. Elscwhere therc was Ill('ntion of ];Il"/{c
mantlcts of wovcn wattle to protect Timul"S Illen
the garrison's archers while they attacked
the Georgian capital of'Tbilisi. The need for a full-
scale siege could be avoided if the garrison was
lured into the open and then dclcated in hattie, as
happened outsidc Damascus in 1401. Even herc,
howevcr, nu mort' thall heroic defenders could
maintain resistance in the Citadel of Damascus for
a further month, despitc mining and sapping,
battering rams, siollcthrowing engines, Greek
Fire and a huge mobile siege tower that Timur's
troops sent againsl the Citadel. The walls were
hcatcd with fire thell rapidly cooled, it ,vas said,
with vinegar so that thcirsloncs could bc splil wilh
hammers. One tower did in filct collapse, killing a
numberofTimur's Iranian int:"lntry,
The power of late mediC"al StolHthrowing
trebuchets was illustrated by an incidcnl whell a
stone, hurled by the defenders ofa l'vlamluk castle
in northern Syria. rolled right into Timur's tenI.
On another occasion the discipline of Timur's
troops enabled him loseize Baghdad by making an
assault under the rull noonday sun or all Iraqi
summer. J\lost of the 'defenders' lining the city
walls were in reality only helmets propped up on
sticks, Sllch a coup de main also shows the quality
ofTimul"S spy nelwork inside Baghdad! f\rchae-
ological evidence proves the suddenness with
which the Colden Horde capital or Sarai fi.:J1 10
Timur. The invaders had fallen upon
neighbouring Astrakhan. this time in the deplh of
wintcr when the defenders had attempted LO build
a wall of ice-blocks from the frozen Rivcr Volga.
Timur's capture of Izmir 011 the Aegean coast of
Tllrkey pitted him against some of the best
Crusading troops li'om Europe. Timur's a rillY had
alrcady fought \"cslerners when they capt ured 1he
Genoese trading post at Kani\ on the nurtlJent
shore of the Black Sea, hut K:dtl had only becn
protected by a small lortified area ncar lhe pOl'l.
l .... mir had recently been strengthened ullder thl:
direction ofHospitallers l'rolllncarby Rhodes. TIle
Crusaders had never taken Izmir's Citadel, \\'hieh
made Timur's task much easicr. NOlie thi' It:ss he
used the full range ofsiege engines, mobile towers,
artificial hills of earth li'om '''hich his men could
shoot down into the city. and huge fires to crack
the SlOne walls. dramatic of' all, a causeway
was thrust across thc harbour mouth to blotk
reinforcement by sea. Even more remarkable for a
Cenlral Asian army, Timur's Ilwn had sent fire-
boats frOlll the Amu Dat'ya Ri"cl' along the Uzboy
In this Persian miniature of 1436 AD the Macrdonian con_
queror Ale.ander the Great appears in hill Istamic form all
Sikandu slaying a dragon with hi .. bull_headed maCe, The
bero Wear" norm",t mid-15th C. Turco-Iranian armOur which
now include.. early mail_and_plate knee and thigh defencell.
Sikand.,r ...1"0 hall hingrd gr.....v.,11 o".,r his IIhinli. (Z..l .....
nanu.h (?). e..-F. R, Marlin CoIl., prell.,nt wherrllboutll
unknown)
:halll1 I againsl lh limb 1': r\'ari U'
:a, piall p rt ,
T11I.: quc lioll I' whelhel" Timur's : I'In)' used
lin'arm I' main: In I . r..\d\' need pyl"Otc lllli
Il'ChllOI II ,'ailabl inlranandXlu.lim
India throuRholit the I ph . nlury, \\hile tlt
A
"I'E?;ypl had I e'n using cannOl . in e 1
II'aSl II\(' I The tt( mans lJav had gull
h lat' ,+lh century nel c 'n inl)' di Is)
I'll)' anl'1' Tilllur I 'alh, I Ul cI ar \'id n liJr
!{lIllpO\l c1er il Til lUI", <II.' 'I al is la -killg;,
Tile Lofel TiJJ1Urid.'
Till1L1I"'s I,m,ns lo ('nSlIr' Llll' SLwC!':siOI1 al"tcl' Ii,
ekalh I. His arlll)' ; I par 'l1lly \ alll' I lo
l"Onlinlll' \ ilh lhe ilwa:ion r :hina bUl inslead
Tim OWll t'll1pirc dril'l 1inlO 'i\i1 \\' 1'.1 n 1
eh.\( Sl'rupll'd all1J(J:t \"1') lilll mC:" 'I imurid ruler
'11(,(,,' ded another. Somc ol'thc, c m n WCI" highl)'
illl all I VfT) ('UILUIT 1. earning; a pi t' in
11') as pat I'OIIS or an if nOl as l"lH1q uer r '. Y I
lhl:' h leI" Tim1I rids were nul \\ iLh uL milit. I' . glor),
:llld lh ' (','('nl\l'd lailurc rTimur', ely' . ly owcd
1111 l'\' to thl' w ak fI till htions laid by Timur
hil IS ,II' than 1I a lack or ahilily anwng his
..
Tilllllr":; ,UII 'hahl"ukh cnntut1I) I"eunified a
.ltrUllkl'll mpin: in ,+0+ bUl, lhough he a
pl',Il'lA-!O\'ing man, h still ha I lo fight a \\ h I
or war. agai ll"t lill' >ign f e:" th most 1<1Ilg 1'-
til(' n,\,i\,('d Q, 1'a ( uyunlu Tur oman,.
()II ,'In!Jl"ukh',, dl'alh lh\' Timurid ('Illpir> l"rag-
Illt'ntce! illiO '1 Ti 'S or ramily :tal ',. Iugh Bf'?;,
Shahrllkh's SOil ulld nomillal SUCCI'SSPI", his
p()\\('r on Transu, 'Illia ralher th;11l ('aslel"lI Irall as
r: lit T had dOl l' an I 111' hal" I thl" warlike'
attitudes orhi. '[ suhjlTLs, YeL Iugh
Beg wa" IlO! a ';lIl' ,'ssf'u! warrior. hC'ing' h :t
rcnll'mb 'l"l' I [(II" hi inlt'I'('sL ill aSI nlllOlll) an 1(f l' a
huge OhS'l"\'alury lhat hI' 1 uilt al ,':llllarqand,
Timurid 1 -line gT'W \\'ors,' ;II'IC,' "Iugh Beg",
de III and \" '11 hi TlC " dYe 'Ii\'{' Abu
,'aiel, sulll:red a :erioll: ddi::ll at lit' hands Ill' thl
.\q U) nlllu \\ ho ha I in lurn rt'pla ('d the artl
YUltiu in \\c" tem Iran, Fragn ('lItalioll rea h I
\irtual <lllarchy the lall' ':lh n'l1l11ry: yet \' 'II
110\\ llH'n: \\ 'l"l'Tinlllri I ruin:> who coull 'Iaim a
II:. > ill histl ry, Th, hmllw, wa, Bah. 1', \\ 1m
ruled eilsllTIl ,\fg-hilllisl'lII <I!'ler dri\ en ["rom
Tr;lIlsoxania b) Llw Ull 111..b 'gs, H \V'1ll
( 11 to 'I' 'al ' th . I( Ilg-li\TcI J\ IOAld Eml ire in Illdia,
YeL the mUSl alll"al'li\ . or 1Ill'SC' lasL Tiilllll'ids w, s
Hu,arn Bayqara, ",b) h ,II KlllIl'aStlI Ii'om q!1(
ulIlil hi, leallt in I.I( " 't elate' \\ hi -It <LLo nltlrkl' 1
LI c cllc Ii," en I ol"lhe Tilllurid
H IS;IYII begall ,'ar '1'1 as a 11ll'I'Ct'I1-
ar) ill 'l'illllll"i I ri\il wal' ..\11\'1" rul r 01'
HCl"at alld an 111' d('\,(,lnpl'd illlll a lIotable
P ll"on I' till' tins, hill Ill' slill In I to llJ.{hl to
maintain hi: pr'l'arilll' llll'U11l'. Ba)q.ra
alse remained snnll'lhillg- Ill' '( "plll"l"IIl:lll 'lJlel a
kl' II hUlll 'I', a I Ita ra lnistil' \\ hi h ,u '0 c n u. -
m'1I1 amollg lhl' l'Ili'll' ,1I;,ltll'l'<tI') ur LIlt' lale
Timurirl world. To Ih - \('1'\ lasl thc" <ll'i.lu ral.
-C-r onstTuct d Icv.lIion cion and plan of wall of
Merv, arly '5th . Th wer ere led for Shahrukh. D-H-
fortification oCBukhara which, thou h datin f.rom the 16th
C., continue 'lyle' developed in the TiJnurid p riod- F-
elevation plan and section of Shaykh jaJaJ gat ; G-H-
elevation and 'ection ofa neighbouring wall.
H
G
F
[
__
.4Il_'
B
E
A
o
i;\'ClrtH:d lhe hooriiih trihal Uzhl:g"s whu Wl"l"l' SHon
10 uverwhdlll lhem, On lin: olher hand Husayn
Bayqar;l\ ;d)ility tu hold his drink \\'011 !tim lhl'
Uzheg"s' respecl alld tlll'y ulicll suppurted him in
ljuarn:b wllh uthl'r ll11'tnIXTS of lhl' Timurid
tiUll iIy.
TIll' forces which lilll,l{hi filr Tinlllr's SW'('l'ssors
n;llurally had llluch in common wilh Timur's own
'(ct tllI:rc wen: changl:s- during" tht 151h
ccnlury, Turks alld TUl'('ilild t\long"nls 1't.'lIlainl:d
the most impurtanl lroops am] callle under lhe
command ofa IIWfdi dinlll; or liirk dil'tllli, a kind or
Rcneral stair which 1(lrllled pan of" lhe council of"
Siall', Shahrukh g\'llerally Il'Ii milit:w)" nnairs l(l
these senior ul1iens, <lnd although Ulugh Beg kept
slriner cOlltrol over arlllY disciplinc declilll:c1
by the mid-151h Ccnlury, Troops ofJa.!-\atai 1\1011-
glll origin retaincd t!ttlr distinct idenlily CVi,:n in
and the riSi' or til{' <..lara ,lIld t\q
Qoyunlll Tun:OrlUllS 10 lhe weSI led to an increase
in military illllut,tlce ill latcr Timurid
Nn'e"lht'!ess the "ital importance
Heral, ''''I.ila.1 of Shahrukh and !llrongesl eity of Ihe 151h C.
Timurid En."ire. A-Ciu.dr:.l showing u"per and lower "arl!!
of forlre""j B-rcconsiruclion of up"er Citadel a" "c...n from
wall .... lw.,"n u"per and lowcr sCelions; C-"I"n ofTimurid
H"rII' sllOwin!: r"c'angular city "Ian with .hfl' Citad... I"gain".
norlhun wall, (Aflcr Allen, Bruno and p.,rbellini)
warEtre ensured it cOl1tinuinK Ira11iall military
influcnec, This is clearly seen in lhc decoralion 01"
Shahrukh's huge Citadel at Herat which was
restorcd by 7,000 labout'crs aftcr being: virtllall)
demolished by Timur. Siege lcclltliques changcd
lillk, as when Sbahrllkh bl(J('kaded EI7,injan with
a circle of fonillcatiollS just as the had
surrounded Bnghdad with a ringorwalls in 12,"18,
Thc importancc of fOl'lifwd \Owns in later
Titllllrid dcfensivc poliC) led S01111: rulers 10 giVl'
larklulII OJ' tax-exempl 'hel'o' status to cntire filii'S.
Large lorces wcrc also staliolHXI along the vull\er-
"bll' northern li'otlli\'r whicb f;lccd 1I0111ad attack,
Therc arc rc/i.'renccs In bclc<lp;uercd lowns being
rcsupplied wilh convoys of" grain while rebds or
invaders controlled the surroullding counlryside,
and parallels with recenl milit:try 0pl'l'alions it!
f\ Ighnnista n ;l 1'\' qII itc.: st ri ki nR. The I" tel' TimLl rids
wcre. !lown'l'r, !orced 10 withdraw isolated gill'
risons rrom their Central Asian frontier although
to the very cnd Husa)'11 BaYIJ:!r:! relied 011 Ihe
static delcnee of rons to keq) the Uzhegs al ha},
Yt.:1 lroops of"l1omadic origin con-
tinucd to hatc lo\,'ns and large lIul1lbns aban-
donc.:d Ihe luter'l'illlurids, l-IusaYII
Bayqara 101' the Aq QO),llulll army.
'!+
Tran 0 nia, mid-14th
1: .l363
2: Jagatai tribe man
3: Thjik p a ant infantryman
3
B
3
Timur' f, , Iran & Iraq, lal 14lh
1: Jalayrid heavy cavalryman
2: Thr 'oman tribal warrior
3: Iraqi Arab auxiliary
Timur's cavalry, c.1400:
1: Cavalry offi r
2: Thrkhan 'hero'
3: tandard-b ar r
3
2
o
E
En mie of tbe Timurid ,15th
I: Thrcoman tribesman, 2nd balf 15th
2: Thrcoman cavalryman, mid15tb
3: Georgian ca alryman, late 15th
2 3
The Later Timurid :
1: ultan Husa)'n Bayqara, 2nd half 15th
2: Timurid guard man, mid 15th
3: HUD man, mid 15th C
3
The IWl of the TimIUrici"
1: Uzbeg rior,laie mtb
2: Timurld warrior. late 1Itb
3,4: Timurld lady and child, late 15th C
:c
An il1(Tcascd Wit: ofelephallls was probably lhe
1110st obviolls eh;lIIgc in 15lh celUury Timurid
tactics. Shnluuklt scnclitlg great numberli against
lhe Qara Qoyulllu, They 1I0W formed a shock torce
ahead of cnch baliaHon, much as they had long
done in India. In I;lel elephants proved quite
particularly ill Ibe lhree-day baltic of
j\lashgird in 14'11. Shahrukh's <lrtlly was
recorded driving herds oreamcls or oxen ahead of'
them as tltey attackcd a stalic foe. presllmably so
thai these fi'ightCllcd beasts would disrupt the
enemy's defensive army. In open baltic it was still
110rmal for a right wing to form the most importallt
olTcllsive formation, the left adopling a primarily
defensive role. II' ddcC\ted in bnulc a Titllurid
army would often ret real into the mountains,
Ica\'inggarrisolls to hold the fortifications until tht"
main arlllY could counter-attack.
Cavalry still dominated warbre even in the
mounlains, a Tilllurid force bc.il1g defeated by a
similarly mounted Uzbcg army in rough Kilzakb-
stall tetTaill in 1+27. Ulugh B<:g's army of 1,000
hOrSeml'1l plus :20 scoUlS had rou Icd Jaga tai horsc-
men high ill Ihe Tit'n Shan Mountains lWO years
earlier. During this campaign Ulugh Beg's men
had erected at least one ob(l or watch-tower onaose
rubble as lhey marched in search or their foes.
Elsewhere they Ilad thrown up a complete fonificd
elleampment because thc encmy held snrrounding
heights, and they also lit numerous additional
camp fires 10 enhance their apparent llumbers as
Tirnur had done, Sudden surprise attacks. even
against the Mongols who were ex pen in stich
warfare, could swillg vic wry in of' a smaller
force, Latcr Timurid armies still used Central
Asian lf'ITOr tactics b)1 massncring a nomadic foc's
menfolk and slaughtcrillg hcrds so as to weaken a
tribc's military pOlential. Having defcated an
enemy in baltle Timurid armies also tended to
withdraw elite units hack to their own heartland,
leaving auxiliary troops to complete a conquest or
mop up a scattered fo(,.
roes oft/Ie Til1zltrids
The most powerful lut's thaI TinlLlr l:u;t:d, the
OttOmans aud the iVI;lInluks, arc cO"crcd in other
i\!clhll-Anns titles (sec Ilr/llil'':' ofl/Il' OIl(J1111111 Turk.:.
13m 1774 MAA and Till' i\!(llIIllIh lonheorn-
ing), Among others who kit tlie full weight of
Tilllur's attacks were till' arlllies uf a I"ragnlellted
I rail, The tradilional Islamic mililnry system or
slave-recruited profl:ssinl1al or /II(jm/lik sol-
diers had revived in I+tll ct'lllury Iran as Mongol
nUlhorit)' wns repbccd h)' a series of local dyn-
aSlies, Urban militias, mallY hased upon SII); or
'mystical' Islamic: brutherhoods, also played a
major role. Among Ilwlll tlw wrbal!afs (sct' above)
wcre the mosl dlcctin', Warlikr ;llld other
mounlain peoples, most of" whom had ;1 long-
infantry tradition, fOl'n1l'd lhe garrisuns (Jf many
cities in areas ruled by tll(' Karts. In Iraq and
W(':-I('1"I1 Iran tilt' l\longol.Jala)rrids still held swny
but their nnnies set'lll to have consisted of slavc-
rcnuilcd prolCssionals rathn than Turkish or
Turco*i\longoltribeslnen,
III the Illounlnins rol" AIJ;ltolia Kllrdisll and
Turcomall tribal put tip the most persist-
('III resistall(T to Tilllur's illvnsiolls. The Armeni-
ailS bad by nnw lust their indepcllClence and were
caught hel\\'l:cn Til11ur and the Ql1'" Qoyulliu
The Z,.farnfiJl.m,.h i51,,' ideatised aceounl ofThnur'" life and in
thi" cnp)' made in Shiraz, '436 AD, I.he conqueror is hunling
wilh a hawk. NOle the parllsol carr;"d by a mounl"d IIl1end_
anI and the Iypieally Tin.urid hal wilh an up-lurned brim,
(Zafarnamah, localion unknown)
33
Ann", armour and hor"".arnlOur shown in thi" manuscript
from II".... " <:.1440 AD, include more 1.. 0..,11.... than "pp"a.." in
piclu""" fro", we"l"rn Ir.. n. Thi"could ;ml;e.l.. thai w""pon_
ry ...ali more old_fashioned or ren\ain..... ond".. !llrnng Central
A"i.. n u.flu"nc" in Afghan,islan and e.. Slern Iran. (510..10_
0 .......10, Royal A"iat;cSod."y, Mli. "39> L<Z06v, London)
Turcomans, whill' Ih(local Kurds mo.,t or
all. Gt'orgia \\as dC\':tslt'd in a snit's ufTimurid
Im'asiOns aml graduaJl) , .. nk illt(. anarchy.
1'('1\\1'1.:11 lilt: Gc'ufl4iatl!; and i\rmC:lliaIIS
dCq)CllCd although both wcre Chrisliall. Georgia
\\ as. howc\'t'I', able In mal n t ai 11 clw:w III il i1:1 ry 1i 11 ks
willi lht' Byzantin.... 'Empire' ur Tl'ahzoll {)11 the
Black Sea whieh remaincd a bUI
important Slatl', It i:. alsfl worth noling lhat
of Istanhul (BY7.alllilll' Comlantinopll') to th('
Olwman Turks ill I caused Its.'> ora stir ill tht.:
East tllan in Ellrope" i'.kallwhih lhl'
i\ I onWl1 Cfil,kn Hnrde SIlIT;w"d Ti mII .. 's i nV:l",iollS
and, though weakened, was slill able to (Tush
attemplS h) of ils Russiall vassals 10 rebel.
III teresti Itgl Ycllough the Russin n pri necs ,({("Ilera II y
remaiucd loyal to their Colelt'n I-Iorelc l)vtTlords
rat Iter than sidill,l.{ with Timur's invaders, mati)' of
their fighting in \'Iongol armies, The mili-
tary organisatiOtI of tht' Coldcn Horde remailwd
essClit i;\II)' Lhe sa me as Iha t orca rl I('r !\ Iwig-ol St ate,;
thollgh lht'rc was au illcn:asillg use of infantt'y ill
some areas, particul:lrJr ill Ihe Crimca, where
h:l I Idgu liS \\ l'rc: r('pMt cd by 1493.
[n the IOllg nlll the mOSI imponanl and best
doculllented or the Titllurids' locs \'/('["(' the (1'1r01
alld Aq Qoyunlu Turcomall$ of AZ<ll'ba)jan and
caSlt"rIl Allalolia, Tla:y emcl',l.{cd uut orllte ("(llbpsc
or J'\'longol authority in IIwse an'as and, aftt'l"
Entire banle-5cencOi became C:onlmOn in Timurid arl, rival
arn.i"", lHing arranged in ca .."rully compolled !",oup5, Here,
in a manuscripl or '475/6 AD, ",a5seli or liny ngur,," includ..
armoured cavalry",,,n, n.u"icians on hor".. or c.. n.c1_baclt,
Oag", I"andard", para"ols and a rul .... On an el ..phant. (An-
th%lP' or .....i',. Poems, Toplo"pi Lib., M,," II,.". 76..,
l"lanbul)
'I'itllllr"s d(,<It1J. d('\,l'lllj>('d illtll majllr rq.:iullal
'l'llt' Q(lyunlll \\'Ct'(' 1)\'(['tllroWll II)'
Iheir Aq (.29yunlll ri,"als hdilre Ila') could ,1('hi('\'I'
much, hutllu: Aq Qoyulliu WI'Ill 011 tIl (',,,'\'(" out:l
state tltat Strttc!Jnl almost from till: l\lt'ditl't"-
rallcan 10 (he Arabian Tlwy dominaled the
ridl track rOlllCS, Illa;lllaillCcI
polilical rdatjOll:' \\'ilh :.1;ll("S in India and
clllti,"au,d an alliance wilh Veil ice. as hoth lhe Aq
Q.o) Lllllll and the Vellctialls lea red the f:lst I-{t'ow-
illg Otlum;lIl Turkish Empire. Tltl' i\q (."?!JYllillu
also lht"ir Iwed [(II" tllodl'rll firearms,
Sillt'!' tIll' O,I(llll:lll.S \\'('n' aln'ady li.ll' Illeir
.L(l1tl1ll'l") , :\n <l1l('1ll1" was nlack to ohl<lln anillny
from \'elli,(" in 1+71, \'ia lhe small Anato[iall
('miratt: 01" Karamall which rcan:d Ouomall
.,.
'. ,
,
-,I'; i!:(\.;
--

of 0
-.

-
Ankara


. ---........\
Mamluks ,/ .


" ..'
".'
.-'
(
\ Arab tribes
\.
".
The Timurids &their
neighbours c.1475
f
a cording to on
W I' both
, as w re th ir
stilJ in u'
a
I a oull b g th'r dIn ath th rul r"
bann r.
n almost uniqu r ord of an q oyunlu
militar r' iw h Id in southern Iran in J476
survives to pI' vi 1 a detailed aunt rjust ne
pro in ial Turcoman arm at th height or q
OJ yunlu p w r. Thi. Ird-nama" drib' a I'
wlli h in lud d ur m n plu a small I' numb r
of Kurd and LuI'S. Eis wh r rab ar known to
ha I'm d an imp nant pan 0 the q OJ yunlu
tat. A y ar arli'r n ti n amI . ad r
I' port d th pres n of many fi t, Idiers in an
q Q yunlu arm , m st appal" nlly bing P 1'-
siaos. In the revi w d . rib din h Ard-namah Lh
troop were in thr rade,: th pll.lzall-dar wh
wor full armour the rdinar tirka. h-band hal' -
arch r h r rm dtlle bulk fth army and th
or '. ervants' whosf' role n:mains un lear.
Th' r>vi w it ,If last'd S'V ral day' tf op
ha ing b n 'umm I d [I' m th surrounding
distri t . Prc d n wa giv n to r ligiou 1 ad rs
and 7. 'alots who (()ught onl (or the glory [thcir
I" ligi n; the, ljk the alii T , h dlh il"own Aag.
bann I' and drums. Th parade start d at sunrise
Makram
'. ...... i..-L
., .... /a- \/ .,;:;
'c:-. '.,
C

\ -.;;., i 9
I
3
Th.. la ... Timurid pC!riod ...a" a 8...ld..n .g.. (or Isl.mi.,
mini.tur.. pa.inlin8' Subj...,u b.. me incr...... ingly ..omanl;.,
bu. illulitMltion.. o( r .nd .,.rna",...... r .. nil! C",n.mOn.
H.. r,", in .. n...lh tll .,.. n.. pain.ed .round '493 AD, lur_
bllnC!d infanlry ar ddC!d .... Ih.. normal armourC!d ca...alry,
drun""..r" and .r."nl'r."r". (Ilri.i .. h Lib., Mli. 2,;900> f.1l3''',
London)
011 a Til 1I rsda} , pa,si H)4 ill rrolll ur tilL" ruler II ho sa l
upon a jewt'l,slllddnl Ihnmt: wt "n :1 c:lstl,'
bah-lin y. :\ I'( III Ilcl II in I SHJU(I hi:; "I'my com III anders.
milil:I!'y ,tall' alld 1l1l1.,ici;l1\s. Ivith a mounted
herald 011 lbe .I{rnuml beilHI n'ady tu intrlxluct'
dignital'il'S and ullit't'rs aC('l)l"ding to their rank.
:-"Iilitary unils paraded (Ill lht sl'clmd day, L";lch
being summoned in turTl b) /1lI'f1ji5 or statl'ofJicers
who otht'r\1 be f'i1l'Il\L"d:l MIn orCI-IQ. On tIle righl
\\ing \\;h all dill' or ht'a\') ,lrmOLlI't'd Iroopcrs
full} armoured hors(" ;lIld led b} a \Ihite
banner. i\'i ('ach unit 1\;1' in'pcctc'd it.. onicer
prilp:d upon hi ... pra)t'r mat and Ihen olfcred girh
10 t ht' Iiall. '1llt left \\ i \\ "re rc\ il'\\ cd !lex I. an
elite annnurt'd Ihoug:h Ihere no llH'ntion
of hOI"S('arnuHlr. Ihe hulk or Iroops again lX"inl;"
simple ,\nnoll]"('c1 hea\") I-;I\'all'}
seem. in raCl. 10 h;\\'IliJlmt'd around:!5 per n'lll of
lTIOtlllll'd II1C1l. ii, rill'lII,l1iolh lhl')
\\'ere li\\ a"!J pt'r CellI.
Scnior mcn at thl' 5iUllan ... coun had their m\ n
Tltl' Wl'\;ll1h. r.llIc:in.c:
from lalcOllers. 1lU'S....l'll,c:trs ;lInl In
kitdU'lI lion knpt'I'" .llId ,c:uarch.
Ill;! 11) 01 hcr ('xul it' fUIIC"liOlI,lri('., .11,(1 paraclt-d
ill rull Illililar) t;t:tr. The lHilit.lf\ clIc:illt:tl... or
.)almn \\ CI't: included I he>;t :.(.'na -. On I ht
,hiI'd dOl) Ihe ('lIlire dn'\1 tip in ha"l("
rormalion 10 I>t" b) Ih(' sultall \\ IH' 110\\
pUI 011 his armour and rllck .110111{ Ihe ranks
bellcalll a para....ol \\llilt- Ihe ... 1.llIdard or
Ja"jaq f1ullcrcd behind.
Tht hurclt's Ol"t'<llIIp Ii .11, .\\ I"'" \\ IIlI .n l Illllp.lllitd
_\q annit \\1'1'1' (1";11'1\ ck...ni',..d b}
\i\ritlt\... \Il\tli<lll \ i ilul..... Barharu ... I.ltt'll 11t"1 llll'
h.1(1 h_otHI It'Ilt.... .!11.OoII 1.1\<111"\ Iml"t', or
\\hUIIl !.OOO \\I'n' .lrmoul"ld, 1!.lIO(J .I.....ol'lld hal-{-
anilllal .... .!';.IHHI IlOr"'IIllI'II. :S_'XlfJ
mO'i1 bdll)4 arehcl..... \\lIllIt'll .lnd 11.00l./
dlildnll. '1 Ill' C-.llIlp.li.llllmt'r-. i'ltludl'd Iflbhle...,.
>;;tddl(,rs. flttdlt''''' ..t ......orll,d \ il'llIall(...... and
"pIll htT.. ril'..... olllt'r mili 1:1 dUI if'''' I hOI I 1'('11
to tilt' .\'1 1I1llu a Ii"r ,Ill'i, IOllfpH... ' 111"'011 I hlTIl
Iraq \\.h llit ur .111 ;1111111,,1 //"/01'
Illslim Pi IC;l'i .1('1'0""'" till' dC ...CTh (.l" \ ra hia to
Th...rl ...(Tu...,......n "'''81..ro Iran and o;...m ....
wh., cr..d", mililary ..o; bc:in", wilh lillie
...a ..; .. ly in Ih.. ir eq.. ipmenl. In ,hio; manuo;cr;pl ...r "., ..80 AD
.11 ......r A.. II hdmclli, lH:nd".nf .....A"pli, <n.il".'rnt.. ;I.....""r
Ih.. ir o;hould....... nd rda.i".. ly plain In "ddilion 10 a
"lightly cur,,"" ,;ab.... 0"" ...arrior .. 1>;0 hold,; a largl! wing"d
m." (Kh....... rn.. m .. h. M.. .. un. ur Dr.,orali".. Arl,;. f.<t."
T ..h n}
:\1 I'IT' I 'Illel ,\Inlin<l. (;j,'cn Iht' ananhi(' (r
('('111 ral .\rabia .It this time and (h huge
or pilgrim,> '\ Itu gill hl'r' I li'om all 0\ IT Ihl' 'a.'(('rn
hl.ll1 iI' \\orld, lhi.. \\'<J!> a major Illililar ' rc:-p)l1-
sihilil', A plTllapS unl'xp(' t'd rbi- Ihal r II lO
'I'llI'(' lIll.IllS ,"\0 had risCIl t I PO\\('I' in lht' III )lIll-
Ihe,ea, ,\a:l0l{arri' II
li,l'l. along till'. rabian 'ull' oa.llo frll llh'
ridl Ira links \lilll Inrlia, ,\q oylll1ll1'Tsseis
plied ,111'11 '\ 'lll'r", bUI ,-\ It Ilwr any eoulcl I '
I'('l!;ar I('d as \lan:hips 10 UI PITS, the en It:lli
piraq (Irth ;ulfi. ag-. in unkno\l n.. \n inl n .. tillg
ael filion III 'I'llI' oman milil<trr Inininl{ wa' pra '-
liel' rllll-:ized cia} III J(!cl I'I'phanl' in
<II liripalioll (,rlarillg [h I:e in Sf llruklJ': army.
ArJ11 alltlAI71l0Ur
Th I I II all I I -Ill . '1I1ulir, W(T' '1 lime or
trallsilil/II ill IsLlmi \\ea\ Ollr} .ill.l a:-. L1wy w 'I" in
Europe, Thl'l'l' had IX"n a gn'al in rcase in
Iralliall arm,' produl'lioll ciuring lh" I..flh ntul'\
<Ill I \\1"lPOll:-. \\1'1" bl-illg 111, -
lUred on an almosl produ ti n-lil1l' ha,i.. lh
nonh, hl/\\I" cr. Ill' nomadic p('l/lle: of'lb Eura-
:-;ian :[('1 Ill' slill 1 cOlllr'lcliet r} n for
pa:tul'(" which l'llldd Ill' ((lllnd in l1w gra<,,-
lann', alld iron whirll Illostly 'am (j.( I'll til
l(ln's(I'c1 1l101lfItaill:. 'I'll(' :t'nlnl .\:ian lril
\\ /lui I. in lill'l, a s('ri U.!ih rtf go' uril'( II ill III
I 5' II ( (' lillii'} .
Tl'dllSnxalli:1 Il'lti 011 'l' b' 'II I as tht'
<1I'1ll0LlI') "rthe ea. I whil tit' mountain: or : ntral
Asia had hlTl1 ,"r il1ll OrLanl 11 ininj.{ ('1111' ':-, )
Tilllllr': (illlC'. how'vn, lh' < rca had he l m
soml'lhillg' of a I aekwatel' ill terms or pro I leli III
;\Ild , This. roupl d ",illt [II(' immense
ckn an Is of hi: an I "\ ,II 'quipped' rmy,
('n Tilllllr 10 Ink kil1(' arm ur r, fi' m
1111' Il'l'l'iloril'.<' Ill' rc I1qul'r 'd buck I) his I'"q ital ,r
S:ulJarqand, 'I'll . or Dam'ls u. \\ IT
Reeo.. tru tiOnJi of late 11th ..... tury Turco-lranialt arnJour
m d by Dr. . Gorelik altd Mr. L. A. Paru nikov of the
Acade.rn of aCltce, 0 cow lLttd "OW in the Kulikovo
B ttl 11 Id Mu unt. uch wouJd have beeD worn ill
th Golden Hord lLttd by Timur' troops. A-front and ',de of
a embled artnour, tb {rODt view aJ 0 owillg a tDaiJ birt
worn b neath; B-O-exterior au.d interior view of rear (B)
frollt ( ) au.d houlder (0) piece of e oud nnOur.
th ' b 11, IlUl thl'} an' llnlikd)" lu huvl' be-n
f 101 I' inti - t'nlargr I arlll( III rn, . (J lIane-r Iha t grnv
lip IlI'ar Tilllllr's I alan', Tilt Ira\' -lin
:1, \ ijo \\ iln 'S -d Tilllur in p 'Cling' WI':11 nr'
rna Ie \ 1"1' the, I' ,illu: 'aI', ill 'Iu lill IH Ie:.
lltall 3, on 111"\ armCHl1 ,( Ilwl' , 1'111' ". n' Ilf r I
h} slIhj '('I rlll'r,', ;l' r!l<I b famed r r
........
. 1
37
excel! 11 t mail. or th su.
Nl ulltain Ih nand 0 rband
had I ng- b n lamen [or am s produ tion and
would serve the q unlu a. a vital 'our (' or
weap nr during til 15th elltur. n a pur I.
tc hnolugi al ba is, ho v'r Iraq may ha >b n
m r . dvan d lhan Ir nian and th r n nh rn
enlr s.
impl Jow-d m d helmet' wer the most am-
mon rorm in imur s da but bulb us. - all d
o em S
L.---I
8
'LUrban h 1m ' had alread appear d ill na-
t lia by lh mid-14th ntur. hi. di.tin ti e
5t I was n t as ism tim s b>li>vcd, a amJuk
r: hi n bUI may ha e ri inal d ill Tur man
a tern nat lia < nd th au a5US. urban h 1-
m ts Jat r spread t Iran in th th enturyand
ntinu d t b mmon in tl e tt man En pir
but I 01 in mJuk ria r . g pI. La ij
d s rib d the helmets in Timur' rmoury as
'r un I and high turnin I a k t point,
whit in rr nt pi om down t ~ a r d th fa
and nos -whi h i a plat, two fi. ger' br ad
r aching the I v 10rLh hin b I w. Thi pi n
b rais d 1'1 v cr d at will and it s rv to ward oW
a ide 'trok b a sword.' H 1m ts with anthro-
p m rphic ra -ma k vi r ar mar ora pr bl Ill.
Th yar g nerall r gard d as T rt r' (Tur
Ion I) st Ie but had been een in east 'm Islami
art sin e 1300 - though 'urviving 'xampl s
ar mu h latr. Helm I g n rail ,gr w m re
pointed in the 15th entur some mpl being
xtra agantly tall.
B d arm ur am in diller I1t t le5, and
difTi r nt am unt ould b worn depending upon
ir urn. tan es. R Lativ I light armour wouJd r r
. ampl ,b u d in du Is b t\ een hampions.
On e again Javijo pr id'$ a d tailed d ripti n
ofsom typi al t lethi j parti ularlyint rct-
in a. b mp r th m to well-known European
armOUl' o[ early 15th ntur pain. Th y w re
h aid f th rt tit hed n a ba king or r d
anva . To our thinking lhi. app ar d r. well
wr ught x pt that th plat s ar n t thi k
enough and th y do nth r know pr p rI to
t mp r th t I. ... Th suit ors -aJ arm ur are
mp 'd cr mu h a i th us tom with us In
pain but they wear a 1 ng . kirt mad r a
III t riaJ th r than that whi h is ale-arm ur d
nd this am down so as to appear b 10 a
mi ht b with u a j rkin. lavij wa obviou I
Aru10ur of the TilDurid period. A-CraglDe,nts of mail-and-
plate cuirass from Kuban area between the Golden Horde
and Tirnur's Empir", late l-ith-early 15th C. (Stat" Historical
MuseUID, mv. no. 34., Moscow); B-lDaiI-and-plate dizcek
thigh and knee protection, Tirnurid late '4th-early 15th C.
The construction oCthe knee defe,nc" iB similar to a European
poleyn of the a.rne period (Military Mu eUID, mv. 413,
I tanbul); e-H-fragtnents of l-ith cent'W'y Turco-Mongol
armour of scale (e), lamellar (D, G and H) and DUlil-and.plat"
(E and F) constructi.on ("x-Derevyanko and Natsazgdorzh); 1-
artDour of <nail-and-plat" probably belonging to Sultan
Ya'qub ofthe Aq Q.oyunlu, '478-1490 AD. (Military Museum,
mv. , 6 4 6 ~ ItaabuJ)
comparing Timurid arm{IUI"S 10 tlw
brigt/1/dilll'f of \\'eliterll Europe:. a form of armOlll'
lhal itsclfhavc had Eastcrn origins.
Lamellar armOur di1>:lppenrcd from th(' j\ riddle
East during lhc !ruer 151h CCllIury though it
survived in C('lI1ral Asia and Russia, Instead il was
replaccd by a 1>pc(ifically Islamit, lorm of lnnil-
and-plale arll10ur which was probably invcnLed ill
Iraq, Herc smOlll iron platt's were linked to 0Ilt'
OllltHhcl' and to sh('cts of mail. This ingcninus
systcm gav(' fkxibilit)', cxc.:c1lcllt proleclion and
avoidt'd lilt, prcvious lIt'('d to wenr two OlrmClurs of
lamtllar and mail. t\lail-and-plille slyles con-
tinucd 10 evoke lhe 1"lh ('cntm'y, hUI the
c!Wf-fl;lI(/ ('four mirrors'). in which four
linkt'd pieccsofirnn protccted dH,'st and Olbdolm:n.
did nOI appear unlillhe eady 16th century.
Velletian accoulltli describe the Aq QOYllnlu as
wearillK various sons or armour; 'SOIll": WCr('
covert:d Wilh sirong thick hides lproh,d)l} bulf
Jcathcr('(KUS like lhose used by dll" l'.longolsl ahk
to s<I\'e lhe wearer from any III:<I\'Y bluw,
Wcrt clolhed in finl' silk with doublets quiltt:d so
thickly that could not be pierced \\itb ;:\lTO\\'S
Lcilhcr tht' old Islnmic kazaghand lined with mail,
or a form orsoft annour], Olhcl"s had gill cuirasses
and t"Oall, of mail with so Illany weapons of'oncllcc
and defcnce thai it was a marvel LO behold how
well and skilfully they bore themselves in arms.'
!\Iail was morc popular ill I raq than in Irail, where
vuious forms of padded or quilted 'soli armour'
rcmaincd in us(' wdl illio Ihe late 15th century,
Limb clelcncl's such as simple greavcs and
tIl' iron were k'lown li'olll the Inid I+111
century aile! Illay have' bc('n used by the Golden
'-larch' ('\,Cll in the later t3th, Ne\\' and more
types of plated limb proteelions
appe;\r to have been dn'e1oped in the Caucasus
and nonh-weslern Irall in lhe 15th ceiliury and
may hOl\'t' nwnl somcthinl{ 10 European influence.
Complicated lllnil-and-pIOltc leg defences ap-
pcared cady in the 15th cemur)', but hand-
extcnsions to the Vtlmbrace wert'
gn'atly ."ill1pli(ied during the samc period. Ltg
armour was, howt'\Tr. aballdullt:d in mnll) pans of
Irall and Transoxania by Ihe late 15th cenlury,
armour was widespr(,Old Olncl had. of
COUl"St', bet'\] used thrvughoLll tilt' Islamlt- era,
On,(' "gain, orth(' most dClailccl dcsnipliolls
l1tough lilyLisNl, arl ofTurc;oman Iran c;ould ai_
d.. la;led. Thill ma.. u"cripl in enan in '''94 AU show..
ca"alry wholl" pruumably mllil or m"il.and_plale body
armour i.. u.... Iheir lunic". Th.. hidinfl; o(armour
bc.olPlllh Olh.. r dOlhiug was a long...... lablish..d Middle EaSl-
ern .,.adition and lIpp..arll 10 ha".. bren normal among Ih..
I C. Ollon.an Turk" and Egyptian Mamluk.. Its w..U." the
Turcoman Aq Q.oyunlu, (Sh"hnllmlilb,IO<:1lI;On unkno_)
come frOIll Vcnclian visilurs, Jos('ph Bilrbal'O
slatetithat, ortbc :.!,ouo al'llloured cavalry IllOUlltS
al Olll Aq Qoyunlu review in 1474, sOllle were
'('ov('red wilh cel'l;\in arlllour of'iron made in liltk
squares and \\ with gold anti silv('r, la('ked
together with slllall mail which hanged down in
III aIII ItT 10 the ground, nlld under the gold it had a
li'inp;e, The I't'SI \\'Cl'(' C(lVt'red with some leathel'
:tIkI' our lVcllclian! mOlIIIl('l', somc wilh silk and
sumc with quilled work so thick thaI an arrow
('ould nOI havc passed through il.' Such horse-
armour was apparclllly made in the Caucasus
rq.:-inn of Kubachi,
\ \','a llOII' \\ ('re :.tand;ll'd isc,l, llJOug'11 orIhe
ditt' could he highl) d""orated, Cjll:lIHitit's 01"
l\I'phl'itt' jadt' \\tTI' hrougln lJal'k LO Trallsoxania
b} L'lllKh Ikg's army lollowing: its expedition
a!-;aiml lhe .Ja/.\atai t\losl for lhe
decuralion ofTilllur', lumb, bUI il is inlt'rl'siing 10
lIuh' th;lt malty splendid n'llIur}' Tram-
39
'I i"'OliriI,,,,,k
St. Pelc1"obun;:

t:-
y-

\-
1t
,

"'
The .. amn orr.,.., ... 1!IIla ica";",'. II...... lO.u'vived, b.n
., the dOH or th.. Tirnurid riod 0"" sreal _e is
preHrvt<d. Bill1ad .... 0... wilJo Lhe world'. 6nnt fNlu.ters .nd
alllI_,h M i. r"'lnternbered (or i .. trod"cia."e.., ... bjecu
auch as &",uine poru.. il.. he .1_ p..it>lM lradiLioGat
,.c",n. Uue die .u.rd" or on" or d... 11 Ti... urid.. S..h ....
H...."" Ba"q.. ra, aU"Dd their ruler whue he cons.,lIs ..
h.,rmil. No...... armoured Midi",.. ha" themail "elJl.uo(h.is
h..I...M hooked up 0....... hi. n,,,I. (Briti"h Lib.. a-h. Or. 61110,
LondOd)
,:tlJI'C:t had alld ill1pr:tclical jade
quillo!l'. Timur him,df \\iddcd ;, bullhcadt-'tl
mace. a pal'liall} ,} rnbulil' \\l'nptlll u!t(.'d b) Turk-
j..h lrallian chicrwim. for nHtl'} A
Iarg(' lIumber thmnh.rinKs h:Hl' been
lound in ;wel olllt'r I"lamic .HCilS of
tlli:. period. Tile L1H' 01' sui'll thumh-rill).(s \\as,
hO\\l'\'el'. l"(',l{arded ;h a of \\t'"knl':'s though
tht) \\en: useful shooting, Tllllmh
rings rarely appear in flt:rsinll manuscript paint-
ing; hut an apparellt 'Icapal'd's lail' wrapped
:,round lht' arrQWS in SUlIlI' quiw'rs dots becoll1e
C-OlllnlOlI in the 15th ,'t'I1I11l'y, Itma) han' been to
'tvaralt' diflerCllt kinds ol'al'l'ow." 01' could
have held (hc aITO\\S steady \\hcn riding, Thc
(II' :uTI,\\-guitk was \"t'd in Celltl'al .\sia as
laiC as tht' ('nd orttU' tf}lh ('('IIlUl') in d<.'lt:lIcc ofa
,asllt', Then' is al'l' tilt' inlen'<,ting possibilit)' of
cros.<;I)()\\<; hdllg u,ed ill dcfcn('t' of fortified po-
SiliollS .It this lillle, :\II',Itl\,hik lht' j:\\'c1ill sur-
\ i\'oo, 1:11'1."(:1) at- a hunt i 11K \\l',1 pOll.
Furlher reading
[)e<;pilt' 'l'arnt'rl:IIlI"" notori(,.\ alld hi<; rolt' in such
litcnlry ma'tt'rpic('t,<; a<; C]rrisloplrt'r
'I (/Illurdfli"r II" (;"(11. Tallll'r1atlt' ha.s t't'(Ti\\d
relati\'d) liltlt' st'dOll'; atlt'llIiun frolll \\'I"tl'fTl
His dl'srcndallu, the 'l'ilJ1urid
ane! tht'ir 11:1\(' 1)('('11 1'\('11 111(11'\'
<;tr\'cd. hd()\\ al't" l('lll.'ral hi"toril's \\ hii'll
dcal \\illl till' Timurid periud nne! 'Ollle mor!..
sp('('iali"I'd \\(Irk.. , h;l\in,l{ llrit.::inall} Ix'ell
\\ rillell in R (":n'" ;It.:0.
:\1.:\1. Alcxandrc'oCuDer..ca,I.A1 'I imur
l'll,ltlfltoli,(I-I02) Lundon 1977
T, :\11('11, Timllrul Hl'mt Wi(',bad('l1 l!tH:J
\'. \ '. Ibnhold, I-'Ollr Slut/If\ M/ II" IInllJ':,r fl!Crnlml
,I.,i(l, 1'01. III 'lu,I?,II-Br,1?, I'('prillt Ll,i(h'1l Igh3
\'. \", Harthold. Hij/f)lrr ,1,1 7urn n,lnr Cmlmll'
treprint Philadclphi.l 1977
HriOIl, I., .\/imoriul tltj Si;r!o: XII' IIrdl', /,j
lumlm'J, Ttlmtr/m/ 1!',lris I(l03
.\. BrullO & C. Perhdlini. 'La F(Jf!I'ua di Heral in
. ill .1rd,,',II'1((1 I-'orl!firoltl, .11I/ til'l I
(;OI/J?ftjJO IR.1I
,\Iar::,o 1916 htitulll II.dian" <It-i Ca.,tdli, Romc
197
8
F-B, Charmo). I';,/",Iillllll ,Ir
(1 am"lml) Co"lr, rOlflmlllrkr
1835, reprint. \1TI<;u'rclalll 19i5
Cla\ijo (Iran", (:,1,(, Stl';lIIl."((,l, In Ttlma-
ItIIUI,I')j '-Iu6(L,jndon
"C)'cfopnlitl oj hl,wl ('<IiLl: l'ntrit, in Ill('
volumes so (;1 r puhl ineluell-: 'i-\ 10. UIII u',
"HlisaYII '''ara "O)Ulrill', 'al-
"urdj (Georgia)'
H, Honkham, TII!/lhurfai", Iftr (;olll/Ilmil (Loudon
Ig62)
H. H, H0\\'011'1 h, IIhIOl)' ofIftl' ,\ IQI/.l:0/\ .{r/)m 1/11' !Jlft 10
lIlt 191ft (I'IIII/ril'f, l'a,l /I '1 ftl' J(1-ftIl1rtl I!!
Rlwi" fIIlfl (;l'IIlml .hia (London dlRo, I'l")ll'illt
New York n.d,)
Ibn 'i\rabshah (11';lns. .J. II. S:llIdtnq. 'I tllllflllIIl' III'
Till/lIf, Iftr (;,,,,1 ,Imir (London 1 I
P. & L. Lockhal't editJ..I,
lIirlolJ' i!llr(lll: l'lJl. (j 'rltr 7 ill/urit/ (II/(I ,\(lfm'id
P,riodJ Igfi&
B, F, :\Iallz, Tkr /lisr (/1/(1 HilI, q{ 7 fUllrllmll'
f fOrllH'Olll ing I
\", :\Iinorsky, '.-\ Ci\'il ane! Re\ it'\\ in Fars
in 881/1.176', 81111,lill 1/1t Shool ofOritnl/11 Slut/itS
XII (1939), PI' I.p 178
F. Nc\' '. 'Exp s' ds ;u rr' de Tam rlan 'I d
, hah-l nkh', Jlwwires courol/llfJ . par
I' .Jmtlhnil' 'QI'all' . , . tit' Bdgiqlll' Xl ( 18Go)
J. ]',,1. "mith, Thl' q! the arbndar
1"36" 1381. f D, and SOllrces (Th Hag-u 'Pari
I 70)
.J. E. Woud' The :lqql{]llllllu: :/all. :l}/ifedemtiun.
Ell/phe I 7 1
Ti,e Plate
1: TrallJ(}\auia, mid-Lith CClltl/1J':
.1 I: Tilllllr-i-l.fllh. c. 1363
yuung' n Iller r i. h WI1 \i 'al'll1g th light
armour ( l"a Tlirki. h prince. His h Imet is a simpl
segmrnlc I IYI l' wilh hardrlH'1 leallwr rar naps
Helmet ofthe (4th and (5th C. showing the variety of styles
used by I'h inlUrid. nd their rivaJs. Th yare ofba . ally
one-piece onstru rion and indicate the high standard of
metallurgy a bievcd in Islam at this tim '. A-'4th C. Turco-
iberian (ex-Gorclik); B-'4th C.lranian (ex-Gorelik); C-'4th
C, Turco-West Siberian (ex- olovyev); D-'4th C. Iranian
(WaweJ Colle rion, Cracow)' E-Iate '4th-carly 15th C.
Iranian (HerD1itage, Le.ningrad); F-helmet of 'turban' type
inscribed with the naJDe of SuJlan Va qub of the Aq Q.oyunJu,
8
1//\
wOrt 0\' ran ail i\"Clllail. His liras.' and arm
flaps ar' a" s al -lin d con,'lruclion cov r d with
I 'curalive I t1. H lias n) lh r del" n apan
from his hic:ld. whil . hi h <Iv)' WO 11 n 1 Ihk-
br coal and soft I ather riding' loots <lrc
tYI i (I I1tl"l1 l\siall Turkish .'lunw. Th(,
q ui\'cr is I. 0 in tht: c: '11 lral Ai 'In r:.nh or than
liddlc 'astern tradition :15 iL ully Il los's lhe
"rr w. <11 d hn.'; a /lap tn kecp 0 II the W(" tl, r, Th .
hor 'uri bricll , h()\\ '\' T, i.' ill Iranian :t}'1
( lain sour e: i.alated gc from .Shah-IIall/lllt ill
r(/lilt .f/blllll , Tal riz \'.1 Topkapi Lib., C\Js.
Haz I 3I1'.:2'.!1> ' 10'21>. btanblll) .
.,12: ]a,!Z(/tlii T"I'co-.\!I/IIJ:u/lribl'lI/l/Il1.lI/id-I.f.11t Cl'/ltU()1
[n COlltra L l() Timllr this Illan , ",rs no arm ur
and ha th simpl c101h 's and riding' IlIipmt'1110f
a lrit alii r. -ar'h r." 1 II I>asi allir(' had hardly
'478-'4.90 AD (M t. Museu<T1 of Art Ro' r' Fund 04,],21',
New York)' G-Iate Isth-early 16th C. Iranian, 'howing
relnalns of inJaid de oration (Kremlin Museum, inv. 4739,
Mos ow); H-'Sth C. Iranian, r -us d by Oitoman (Tower
Arntourie, London)' I-late (5th . Iranian (National
Mu cum, Cope.nJ1agen); J-'Sth C. en rr:lVed and silvered
helmet with a f ce-m k in Tartar' tyJe. The use of such
visored h 1m IS remain a In. Her of debate. (Kremlin
Mu eum, Moscow)
changed ovcr the but his poinled
boots and flaHoppL't1 fur-lined hat wcre a later
f;'lshiol! (1\laill sour-t'es: frOIll unknown
malluscripl in "'(llilt .lIblll//l, or Azar-
hayjan, late 14th C., Tupkapi Lib.. Hat..
rr.23\', 65r & 82\', Istanbul),
.'13: TranJomllUlII mid-t-llh
unlu,)'
The Tajik or I rani:tn-speal..ing: majority of Trans-
wor(' diOi'n'lll 1>t) It'S of clothing 10 those
H
M
f'
worn by their llomadil" or Turcl)-
i\longol ruins. These I1lshiutls had mon in l:um-
mOil Wilh the dress ol'the i\liddle East, lhoug-h this
man's tall felt hat and tIlt: sh;t\d around his
shoulders mark him as all Inlllian rather thall:lll
Arab, Substantial 'bearded' .Ippcar to ha\"C
been widespread as infantry \\eapullS thmug-hout
much uf the \\ol'ld in the 11th aod 15th
c{"llturk'S sour,es: frum 1I1Iklll)\\1l
manusnipl in "'tllih .l/h//IIIJ. Trallsllxania or A,.'lr-
ba)'jan, latc I ph C., Topkapi Lib.. 11.11. .1 153
If.3\' .t-r & nr; A"I/{lImfl b) Xitami, Baqhdad
(" .1385, British Lib., Or. 1:1297 f. I hr. Londoll).
B: T;mu,'s fOts. Ira" & Iraq, lal, 1-Ilk
B1: ]flla)',id lat, 14th
L.. mellar ;lrmour W;lS out (If 11M' in tlH"
i\liddle East thou(o;h it retaillcd fOI' horses. Ii
\\ as sulx .......ded b) mail-;lIldpl.lte. an
('ar!) form of \\ hich i, ,hm\ n here \\ urll h) a
warrior of th(' Baghdad-based J.t1ayrid d)
His armour is very sophiSlic.uoo. including a onc-
picce decorated helmct \\ ith sliding' nasal. hillgcd
vambrac('s to protect his arllls and an ('ar!) type of
mail-and-plat(' protcction lor hi.s legs. The large
medallion-likc plate 011 his cht'St i.s a rdic from
previous longol styles while his holY is prot('("It-d
by a fulllamdiar bard suurt'c: Th,u .\/rI1;r
ROlI/aT/UJ by Khwaju Kirrmll1i, ('.1396.
British Lib.. Add. t81 I3, I \. London).
B:!: Tit/COli/till II iba' /('(Irr;o/'. rlHlt'f11 . Illalfllm.IlIlr f -Ilh

The ahulId;IIICl' or mail and lack 01" lamellar or
platc armour worn by thili \\'atTior fi'om tlte (.lara
(lI' Aq Qoyulllu Iribal t'olltl:derOltiun$ suggt'sls
Arab, i\lal1'1luk or OW.!lllall inlluCII("t:.
hclllll't is ora ralher oltlt;lshi()lltd tt,rm Wilh 1''11'-
Tu.rco-In.nian daggerll and Turco-Mongol ceramic 'Greek
Fire' lIlre...dea. Such obje<:u repre.."nl the e.. I.... n'e.. or
dee.ralM .nd dilfpoble weapona;n Titnu..id ... mou..)'. A-
1.le ISlh C. Tu..co-Ir.n;.n ... ilh SHded .nd t:n_
lIl....,ed Iron JI ..lp. Exe....led .1 Olflt:rrode ;n Pruni., II
p..obabl), ..e.ched Europedur;"s _ T.n.r ;n....lon or ,,,.oA.o
I
Oslerrod.. Musewn, Ea.1 Gertn.u.y); 8-e.rt)' 'Sth C.l",ni.n
tl.i..lo..ische. Museum, D.... adt:a); C-I.'e '51h C. w;lh sildM
51",1 snp lind ah"'llh mO_i. (fl.,rtni .... lII:e Mus.... m, Len;n_
" d); D-t.le ISlh C. lran;"n with .IH.I Itrip (fnrmerly in
T 5.. ry. Topk.pi P.laeo: Muaeutn. I.t...bul}; E-F-
'3Ib-'5th C. rrnm Wuny u...irk. T ....kul...; G-H-131b-1..1h
Co. p..n..ftI.a.... 101 .......0.....; J-"tb-15Ih c., p..o.........,," un
known; K-'3Ih-'5Ih C. (rom Toktn.k u..:o.;rk, Turk....t...;
L-M-I.. t.h-15th C. (..om We",)' 8e:r..irk_ (All Itr.....d_ ;",
N.llollii.tori.,.. Mustllm, M01IC':Ow)
flaps and 1\1:: still has the medallion on his chest, but
his plated arm v;tmbran."s have an additional flap
to protect the back of the hand (i\lain source:
Gursluuj)-lIall/tlll. western I ran c. I398, British Lib..
Or. '278o, f.213\', London).
1J3: Irafl; Arab allxiliary.lall' 1.1111
The bedouin Arabs played a vital milit:H)' though
minor politic;)1 role in Lhe i\liddle EaSL during
Timur's invasions, fighting as auxiliaril'S in both
.)alayrid :l1ld l\lalllluk armies. Their costume had
changed liltle since Lhc 12th century and they still
pn:ferrcd to fight in relatively light armour.
of mail. In lact this man's curn:d sabre seems to be
his only concession LO IICW military styles
iVlongnJ origin (Main source: Tllru Alelrir ROlllflflet5
by Khwnju Kirmani. Baghdad c.1396, British Lib.
Arid. IH113, t'.S6v, London).
c: Timur's Army-Ille ((wolf)', r. I'll)() II D:
C,: C(ll'(lfry officer
There seems to ha\'e been a Chinese influenCI' on
CCrlai" aspccts of arms. armour alld military
costU!l1e in Transoxania durin/{ the early part of
the 15th century. This might be reflected in some
stranKe paintings in the Ft/lill Albums (sec ahon.').
Here a splendidly attired warrior is almost
tainly an ofliccr or larklulI/ hero'. His lamellar
body armour is covercd with embroidered strips of
clOlh and is worn oycr a mail hauberk cut away ill
1111: rcar for easl.' when riding. His tall helmet is
dearly in Asian style and appears to be of
segmcnled construction, while his sword is straight
and double-edged rather than being a curW'd
sabre. Other\\'ise his weapons are typically Turco-
(i\lain sources: miniatures from unidCllti-
fied manllsnipt in Falili Alblllll.l. Transoxallia Qr
Ai'.arhayjan, late 14th early 15th C.. Topkapi
Lib., i\ls. Ha/.. 2153, f.13Bv. & Ms. 1-l:lz. 2160,
f.ij8r, bwnblll).
C2: TarklwTI'llf'ro'
This man has heen given the fullest armour seen in
latc l,ph ami early 15th cenLury Iranian eastern
Islamic SOUIY!'S. He is obviously prcpared fOl' dose
combal lhough he still carries archery equipmellt.
TIll' lamellar IwCk-gU,ll'd worn OVCI" a mail avcn
tail is of i\longol derivalion while lhe anthropo-
morphic \'isor is in a soc,lIlcd 'Tartar' style. H(,
Bihuod'II influer":e ill ..lIIO vi"ihle in Ihi,. magnificenl huoting
"cen" painled in H"... t in '496/7 AD. Th" anin>ats ar"
IIurrounded by .. rioS of bouemen while olher riders cuI
Ihr:rn down wilh arrow", Or a ma"" and tnen on fOOl carry
away the carca"""... (Anthol06Y of Poems by Mashadi, Top-
kapi Lib., Hao:. 676, hlanbul)
hns a cuirass o\'er a mail haubcrk and
his arm. hand, leg and fcet defences arc \'cry
elaborate. The horsc's a,'l1l1lur is. by contrast. in a
SI ylc seen 1hroughou t CCIlI ra I for ('"t'llturies
(Main sources: millialllrc from a Slwlim/l//llh,
bayjan, latC 14-Lh C.. in Flltilt AI/)1I1II5. Topkapi Lib..
i\'1s. Ha'/.. 2153, n:35a, 52b 5:lrl & IO:la, Istnnbul).
C3: Sfmulal'd-bmrer
This man's equipmcnt based upon C\'ic\CIlCl:
from the Golden I-torde but there is lillie reason tu
doubt thai comparable arms and armour were
used by Turco-i\lnng-ol ('lcnlt:llts ill Tilllur's arm).
His helmet is an early form of Turkish (liic!wk
\\'hich \\Ins in tllm tilt :lllt'cstor of 17lh C('IlI11l")"
European 'Cromw('lIiall' The only booy
annuli" is a slee\'eless scale-lined cuirass with
substanti<ll l1Imill<llcd Ihigh and groin prlltccling"
tassets (Main sour': i\1. V. Corclik. MctliilWI
li/ollgol;m/ II rll/S. UInn Ba lor I 97H, & in Tlte }lllllir oj
I,'/llikof/tl in llir {/luI Cllfl/lft of OIl( ,V(llirlll,
. .
i\losc(lw Ig83}.
/): Till/Iff'$ 11/1' ;11!i1/l11)'. (. f.l0t.) AD:
/) 1: II r//lollml
Timur's later successcs in siegt: ",arfart' sllgg-esl
that his infantry must hnve been good. They
appeal' in a number of piclOrial SOUrt'CS, Lhough
few wear armour. This man's hal ur helmct finds
few parallels in the i\liddlc East though there "I"(:
'f3
,
,
, I
I
...
\"
8ihl1ad and mlln)' of hi,; follower8 werC Iran"......'.,.. 10
wutern Iran after the f,,11 of tb" Timurids, There Bihl1lld
produced ,hi" porlrail of his prev;o.. " rna"le.., Sullan I-Itlliayn
BlIY'I"rlII. It ...all mad" in .he fin;! y"arll of the ,6,h C. and
sho...s ,he cultured Ti.nlurid pri..c" w;lh .. daggcr and Iwo
pen" in hi,. b"lt. ("".t'. H.. Marlin Coli., preli,.nl ... h",reabou'"
.... known)
ill Chilla. His mixed lamellar amI mail
arrnOll r is Sll"ll(,( u rail) simi!:l r tIl I ha I of tIle (::1 val ry
(Plate ell IIJOll!-{1t lbe brg-c c.:irClllar pit:cc of
appal'Cll1 lanwllar rOl1Slruclioll which prO(Tts his
bat;k is a verr strang" ill'lll (lfarnlOUr; it is !ilStel1cd
by hooh and short pieces ol\'haill to a similar piece
on his chest. NOle lhal lhe archery equipmellt ofa
1001 soldier diners li'om Ihal ora horseman. He has
no bowcase alld his quiver is a diflcrelll furm
SOUfCl'S: Illinialun:s from unicknlifi"d
IJ1allust..-ipb ill Ffllilt :1/111(//1\. Transoxania or Azaf-
l)ayjan, laiC I'ady 15th C., 'j"opkapi Lib., 1\ls.
J-1az, 2153, rl31.h' & Ms, J-1az. 2160, r,aBr,

/):1: l..'lIarmQllud /mllull-lulifer
1\IOSI inlhlilry had becn llnarnwur('"d Ihroughoul
Islamic mililary history. The only which
dislinguish Ihis man arC' his lop-knot hair slyle. his
unusual tunic Wilh a raiscd semi-still" coll:Jr, his
ol}\'iollSly Cenlral Asian fur hal and his sword,
which a,l.{ain bClrays Chilll:sc inf1uenct' (i\lain
sources; minillillres li'olll llnidclilificd ll1allUScripls
ill Fu{ih A/bl/II/f. Trallsoxania or Azarbayjall, laiC
I,ph ('ady 15,h C., Topkapi Lib., l\h. I-Iaz, 21Y3,
11:3\' 2gV. 771' & Haz.:.! 160, CH8r. Istanbul;
of Fine Arts. i\ls. 14.5.1'2. Boston).
1J3: IJmilslt or Qp/lIIu/ar
l\lllslim mYSlics apparenlly aecompaninl Tilllur's
armies ill considcrable numbcrs. Those from
Transoxani,l onen retailll:d certain prc-Islamir
'shamanist' praClices. This is rcflerled in Iheir
dress and in the objecls they lile
drum and slilirwilh smaillcallwr I>aKs cOlllaining
("harms. religious stripls and the likc (l\lain
sources: illustl"<ltiulls from unidenlified manu-
snipls in Fali/' Albl/Ills. Transoxania ur !\7-ill'bay-
jail, late l.ph and cal'ly 15th C.. l\ls, J-Jaz. :1153.
rt29v. 3fh- & 1281'. Istanbul),
E.' Till/l/f'SCOIII"I,c.!.J0j.!D:
f:,.' Till/llr liS (1/1 (lid mOil
The blood-lh i rst y conq L1Cl'or rel<1 i llt'd his viguLlr l(l
a great age. Hefc he is shown wcarinv; lhe taller
cap which came inlo rashiull eal'l)" in thl" 15lh
centur)'. Timur is also prepared Illl' hUllting, wilh a
hawkinK glove all his hand and his favourite hird
Oil all t:laborate perch. The lllultiple belts around
bis waist scem to have been all arislocralic
developed from a waiSl suppon used by nomads
who spellt da)'" in the saddle. Timur's eJlurtlluUS
wingcd mace is largt:lr a C;el"el11onial weapon.
while his sword is again straight ralher lhan bcing
a ell rvcd sabre (Mai 11 souret's: ill usl.ra l fi'om
unidcntified manuscripts in FIlIi/, AI/JlII/H, TrallS-
oxania or Azcrba)"jan, latc 14tb carly 151h C..
Topkapi Lib., Ms. Haz. 2153, 0:6,', 471' &
Haz. 2160, r. 511', Istanbul).
2: G'lllll'dslII{/1I
An elite warrior of Timllr's personal guard has
been a mixture' ofC('ntral Asian and Islamic
armuur. TI (' heln ct with its on '-pi ' b \ 'I an I
mail v IHail pulled up \' I' a ,Iiding nasal i
e 't'nliall) Iranian. Th lamjnated upp 1'- I'm
d are lik lh : found in t1l ' lei n H rei
while L!H' 10wer-arl11 vambra 'es gain lslamj .
Th' scal ,-lin('eI uira,' i w rn (V rash rt mail
haul! rkwhil'lh Ihigh, minand Ult kpr t
lions arc <l1l10ng th la:t pi c '. 1flam liar armour
I be \\orn ill . tern 1 Jamie land' ur I?::
pa/{t':> [i'om fra,gm 'nt d, Italtnamah in Falilt
1rail & Iraq laIc I :J.th ., v opkapi Lib" Is. Haz.
15 .731' '. I 2\' . 10 I' I an ul),
Dom illp, ,1!.irl
171') 1'''1' al Timlll"s :ourl ,\'as ex cpliClIl-
l'\lhllirf II _llld hI rc' lillk I'd lioll lO IradiliCJl1il!
lslami \',tlue. 1\lany slyles, in III lhis girl's
hilsi dll1hillg, nln'jollsl. (IV\' llhcirllrig;in: III long-
l':-Iahlis)wcl Irallian '( rival' or han'lll I lit
oth 'l'S the girl':> multi! Ie bell' t nel hcad-
dn'-;.. , S ('Ill I) ha\ be n TurkiJ h (?\lain, Ire's:
illllstrati0l1S rr l11uni knlifi d 11'1. IlU. ripl:> ill FI/lilt
AI/JllIIII, Tr-tll. wnnia ur .\zarl 3) jail. hilt'
Tur o-Mong I archery. A-'ornpo ite bow of lnt form
un trun to how w p n curvin 'harpl forward wben at
re >t; B-bow wben trung and it main part W"ith their
Per'iao nrun Sj C-COUlPO it boW" fully draW"ll ho...mg
much longer pull than wa po sible wiLh a imple European
how; D- on 01' thuuob-draw, h rc u in a rin to protect
Lhumh end indi OIling how Iring can be puJJed baek to much
h rver angle than possible with the editerranean' draw
I t:arl} 1,)111 :.. '('opbpi I.ill" Hal.. :21-:,
11'.:1" .j.r, I I 1\' & Haz, :.. I O. IT, 70\', 77\,
ISlanl ul),
F: EIII'lIlil'\ ,!/Ihl' 7 ilJlllritll, Ijlh 1'1'1/11/1)'.'
FI.' Illflllllfllilrib 111/(11/. IN/lilt! IlId} t?/ 1511t
Fift('t'nth ITnlur) Irani,1I1 and ,\nalolian mal1l1-
TripI. :hol\' lhal infi:II11C} conlillltco LO all
impOl'l;lnl I"J ill \\',HI, 1", panic darly ill th'
mouillainolls n'j{ioll' or \\ h,ll had Iwell .\rm'llia.
:u h troup, \l'hethl'r Il'ib . men ur urban mililia:.
ha I mil h in COl1lmOIl \\ ilh Timur', 1l11') and
lheir lI. IlIn1l'. (bcI 1'\,1\1' \l'cI rc:i I lal Byl:<llllil1f' or
Oltoman innul'lllT. 'rhi, man'. buttoncd
lUllj' Iw an ('xampk, His \\'1':.1])(1111'>, is 11th '1'-
",is t J in'dh Tlirco-Isla'li' though hi:- qlli,' 'I' is
ora rill nO\\l a::>ocialccl Wilh rOOI S ldiers (t\rain
.Il 11'1'1'; ''J'urki:h ",arrillr', P('II Ira\l'i,,!..\". I ran
l, I I'x-I. R. \Iarlill :011. I r{"SI'III ",11('r('-
" bOUIS llllkIHl\\ n),
T/U('(}ll/llll ({/I'll hJ'1lIfill , mid-/j/;' 1'I1//1lI)'
The l" ,. II'} ,IiI' ({',Ill" Tlir-Of11dll arn CJ:ulllu
ed in Europ , E-rClnainB of " probably 14Lh ,leaLb"r
bowe e from we"tern ib ri of type u ed througbout Lhe
ur o-Mongol and most oC Lh 1s.1 JDic worlds ( - olovye );
F-ar ber' bronze tbun>b--ring wiLh P I' ian in CriptiOD
po sibl 0 D (ity u"eUJD lLDd Art Galleries
Birmingham)' G-arcber's bronze thumb-rin [roUl Golden
Hord mid-13tb-early 15th . ( late Hi l. u eum, inv, 78067,
Mo cow)
+
military ralihionli a5 all a .. listie "Iylu or
Tin,urid po::riod eont.inued inlo lint or liUb-
Saravid dyn;Olily. in a .. ;pl or '''9911500
AD, and inranlry lead II and .. ladiu on
a journey. (To).kapi Lib.,l\h. ":n:. 831,lIuanhul)
alld i\q unlll armies "'ppt'al' to ha\'(: becn
equippt:d in a manlier doser 10 thai of dJ{' rising-
Ottomans thai I to lhe' U'oops ofTransoxania. This
mall wears illl carly lorm of stl-C<llkd 'lLlrban
helmet' which lllay havt.: bccn dc\'c1opcd in eastern
i\natolia. I\part from hi, pbted arm vambraees
and ma iI-a nd-pla It: kg r1t:ft:flCCS, lit' iii prOI{Ttcd by
a scait' Ill' mail lillcd tlmit"'. No(' th;\( (he rivcts
holdillg- the illtCrJlal pn,tcclive layl'r do not extend
hdow the wai:-.l. His horl>c's :HmClllr is of ('Ioth-
cf)\'t'rt:d Ia Jll('llar ain StlU rCl'S: SIIfIIII/(I1IWIt, west-
nn Iran mid-15th C., British Lib"
rg.jR JO 9 50 & oS:.!, I.lmdun; SI/(Ill1l1l1l1oll, western
Iran mid-J5th C.. Bfldleiall I.ib., ;\'Is. Add 176,
Oxford; helml'r & leg- armt1l1r. lall' 1:I,h C., Aq
Qo}'unlu. Askt:ri i\lus., l-;tanbuIJ.
F'j: t'1Il'fl{,JII/{lfI./a{r /.')/h
,\It!Jou!-\"h tIll' (;t'or!-\"ialls maintaincd clOliC links
\vith tilt' Byzanline world, their arms, :ll'mour and
modes orcomba I beeame illcrcasi ngl y Turcified in
thc 151h century. This trooper carries typical
horlic-archcr's weaponry and is proteclt:d by a
vcrsion ofmail-:llld-plate cuirass rhat
to dominate armour throughoul the Ottoman
Empire, its Islamic neighbours and cvcn Russia
sources: {'slIller, Georgian, probably 151h
C.. l>.lanllsCTipl Inslilulc, Ms. 1\.1665, 'I'blisi;
Turkish or Russian mail-and-platc cuirass, 15lh
C., Kulikova B:lllleflcld ;vluseum).
(:: Tit/' l,lI{er Timllrids:
(;/: SIlItIIll J-1IlS(I)'1I B(l)'qara of Jlrra{, srcolld of
/.5/h
J-1usayn Bn)'qara wail a succcssful commander as
well as all cnthusiastic huntsl1lan, Here he is shown
in COurl costullle, which had much in common
with that oftllc carly Ottoman cmpire and dcarly
sho\\'cd how CCl\lml Asian fashions had been
ahandoned in r.'lvour of traditional Islamic
Iranianlitylcs. TIll" Sultan is using a pcllct bow, a
weapon reserved {(,I' hunting, and carries a sub-
stamial knife with which to despatch stullllcd
animals acconling to hlamic ritual. His othcr
weapons arc typical of the t5th century easlern
Islamic world source: ponrait or Sultan
Husayn by Bihzad, c.1500, ex-F. R. CoIl..
!In.'sent whereabouts unknown).
G'2: Tim/lrid gU/lrdSIII/lII, mid-15/1t ulIlllry
This illustration gives a good impression or the
c10thcs worn beneath armour and heavy Turco-
Mongol coats. The man has a broad-brimmed hat
to prOlect him from the sun, carries a bow over his
arm suggesting that much of the time he t:xpeclS to
be on foot, and \\'eal's voluminous tl'ousers over a
shon double-breasted shirt. His weapons arc
otherwise lypical of the 15th celllUry eaSlern
Islamic world (Main sources: 'Huming sccne',
Timul'id C.1460 AD, c.x-imperial Lib., 51. Peters-
burg, present whereabouts unknown; SJlo!tm/1lwlt,
iran mid-15th C., Museum of Art, Ms. 56.10,
Cleveland; Nizami Poems, Hcrat 1415/6 AD, Top-
kapi Lib., 78r, Istanbul).
G3: HUll/smail, mid-15th Wllury
The humble tribesmen who served as bcalers in the
enormous hunts organised by Timul'id rulers arc
yshol\' n wearing tradi tiOllal Ir::ln iaT1 pcasa nt
costume. TIH'Y arc rarely armed with morc than a
d<lggcr though tllis man docs calT)' a herty wooden
cudgel source; 'Hunting scene', Timmid
C.1460 AD, cxlmperi::ll Lib., 51. Pelersburg, pre
sellt wllcrC.lboulS unknown).
1/: Tilt Fall/if'iI/' Timurids:
fj I: l. ':;h/',f!, worrior, lafe 151h (/'111111)'
The Ul.bcg:o were still steppe nomads when they
dron- th(' Timurids li'om Transox<tnia and com
plcted the Turcification of this region. Though few
iliustr:uiOIlS sun'in: from theil' early days, they
;lppeal' to havl' used very traditional equipment
illcl uti illg: la mel Ia r a rmollr a lid segmcllled hel me IS
in tht :\Iongol style (i\hin sources: rvl. V. Gorc1ik,
.lIerlif/wl MallgoliaN :I""s, Ulan Bator 1978; helmet
from Timspolski graves, C.. location un
known; JVi:;allli PotlllS. I ran Illid- 15th C.. Topkapi
Lib., i\1s. Haz. 76:2, IW\llbul).
1/2: 7 ill/llrid w(lrrior.lafe 1.5lh amllll)'
This \\ cll-\:quipped cavalryman has been captured
alld his hand bOllnd to a wooden yoke. as showil in
varioll!> mnnuscripts. The: quality and style of his
helmet. scah' cuimss, platcd V;:1l11 braces and mail
andplalc lcg armour COlllrast stl'ongly with the
old-fa:.hioned armour of his captor (Main sourccs:
;:a./rif-mlllwh. Hf'ral AD, i\lus. of Fine Arts,
Boston; .(a./rlr-1IfIllwh. Herat AD. Pierpollt
i\lorgan Lih. Nc\\' York).
1/3 &.j.' Tilllurid ladJr al/(I (iliM.lale 151h Willi')'
'l'raditional Islamic or Iranian styles of costume
replaced TlIrco-tdongol fashions in wotm:n's
c10lhillKjllSt as th<'y did male costume in the 15th
Century 'l'imurid rcalms. Thus this lady's drcss
conics closer to Islamic ideals of modesty, although
15th <'cn t llry ("astern Isla mic women still wore very
Th.. rise or Ih.. p.. rs;an Sar.. vid... also llpeh doom ror the
Turcom... Aq Q.oyuntu dyna..ty or I ...... and weStern Ira...
H.,r., ,he Turcorna.. Sultan Murad ill .. hown all. prilloner or
Shah '-"mail in '5oa AD, th.. y.... r that th.. Aq Q.oyunlu Were
r. ....Uy d.,r"ated i .. th.. greal battl.. orShurur. (..".F. R. Martin
Coil., pre""nt whereabout." unknown)
COIOmrLlI dOlhcs. Children's clothing, in contrast,
appears almost unchanged for a thousand years
(l\lain sources; i\lihr-1I1\1/1slwri. Transoxania early
16th C.. Freel' Gallery, \Vnshinglon; pen drawings
or COtlrt ladies by Bihzad & his school, Timllrid
laIC 15th cady 16th C.. c.x-F. R. Martin ColI..
present whereabouts UnkIIQWn).
+)
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from btJek rove'
IloCI N.lp Guard l1J

4) Naps German 11)
90 Nap I Ce,man AlhMl))
106 Nap IGetl'Nn NI,es(4)
In NapIGermanAII..... \Sl
." rroops
111 Nap'so.."o;caIArmf
117 N<lIl" Sea Sold'e<'!>
88 Nap', Troops.
116 A,my (I): Infant...,.
181 AUll""n Armf (2)- Clval')'
111 AvW.,,, Spe<:.al'\l Troop';
151 Pruss,an "'lantry
149 Pruss,an ughllntifll')'
192 Prullolan &
161 PrUISl.lnCavalryl792-1807
Hl Pruss,an Cavalry IS07IS
'85 RUSSoan Army (I) "'fantry
189 RUSSIan Anny (2) Civalry
8.
II .. Well,nglon\lnlanlry(l)
II' Well,ngton",ln1antry(2)
151
126 Well,ngt()"', ugnt C...al')'
1)0 Welhngton's Hea")' Cavall')'
10 Well,ngtO'"lS Soe<;",hst
161 T,oopsI8O!l.IS
98 Dutch8elg,olt\
106 HanoverClnA,my 1792 1816
226 The Ame-rlCan Wa,
" Arl,lltry Equ,pmem,
n
78
115 flags of th., Nap W.r<;(31
19TH CENTURY
231 BoI, ...... s.an Mart'"
281 la3l.))
173 AJamo&Tex.a"W.. la3S6
56 Me><""n.Atnef1Wl War 18'l6-8
272 The Me><,can Adventur., 1861,67
61 Amen<:anlrnl,an ... 186().90
170 Am"f'IU,n C..... dWa' Arm'l!S
(I):Conleder.ue
111 (2) Union
179 (3), Sufl.Spooal,m, M.m\lme
190 (<4).Suu.. Troops
201 (Sr Vofunte<er M.I,t,.
n Army 01 Northern Vlrg,noa
]8
252 of the Ameocdfl C,.... ,I War

258 (2): UnlQl1
:65 13r SQt.,8 VOlunteer
In Am..'''a''
186 The Apac.he'l
168 USc.walry
275 The Ta,p.ng Rebellion 165166
241 Russ-an Army 0/ the C"mean War
In Bf,u\.h Army on Campa,gn
I
I); 1616-1653
196 2) TI>.,Cnmea 1854 56
198 (3): IB57BI
201 {<4),1862.1902
212 Vocton'sE"em'..s
(I) Soothe'" Al."a
215 (2): Northern
219 (l)lndoa
224 (<4) Asoa
249 Camp,o,gns 186().70
61 The Indian Mulmy
268 B<'\ISh TI"OOPs In the
Irnlla" MUMy U;l5759
91 BengatC......I')' Reg.menlS
92 Indoan Inf."try Reg,menu
2]] Frend1Army 167Q.71!"
n7 1870-71 2\
217 The W.r Ian
57 The Zulu War
59 IBBI98
no us Army 1B'll).1920
9S The6o>.erRet>eU,,,,,
THE WORLD WARS
80 Army 1914 16
81 TheBrot"hNmyI91<4.IB
245 B"t"hTernlor,aIUM,1914 18
269 TheOttom.rlArmy 1914 la
208 and lhe Ar.b ReVQlIS
182 8"'I"n Banle In"gM'
(I) 191<4.18
187 (2) 1939 <45
1'4 TheSpat>,sl>(,,,dWd'
111 The PoI,sh Army 1939-<45
112 8atl'edre,s 1917 61
110 A11'ed .. oj 'NW2
215 The Royal A.rforce
10 us Army 19-1145
216 Th., Red Army 19<41 <45
246 The Army
210 TheSA 1921 45
24 ..... "ons
166 Allgeme,ne SS
)4 The Wanen SS
119 Luftwaffe 1""'0 D""soons
11<4 German Commande.. 0/ 'W'N2
11) Germ.lnMPUn,ts
1)9 G..rmanA.rbo<neTroopl
1)1 Germany"s[ F'ontAII'l!S
10) Getmdny's5p.l",sh VoIunt<>f!r"l.
1<41 Wl,'h,,,,.,ht tore'gn Voluntl'.....

238 Allied
1<41 1941..015
169 ReSistarn:e Warfare 1940<45
181 4S
170 FIaD oIlhe Th"d Reil:h
(I)Wehrm'lC;ht
174 (2) WatfenSS
171 (3) Party& Poke Units
MODERN WARFARE
In Mdlayan Campdogn 19<48 bO
174 19SO-5J
116 The Spec,.1 A" 5er'v1Ce
156 The Royal 195(,.84
t]) B.nle lor the FallJan<l1
(I)' Land
1)4 (21 Na.... ilI forcel
1)5 ()) A,r Fo<l:es
150 ArgentonefOf"Cel ,n Ihe Fa,ilaods
117 IltaeloArmy I9<4B73
128 ArabArmocs(l) 19'18.73
ArabArmoes(2) 1971-88
165 Arm'e:s,,,LebaflOrll982.B<4
V,elnamW.,.Armoesl%275
10 VoetnamWarArm,es(2j
109 War In Cambodia 1970-15
111 Warm Laos 1%O-7S
181 Modem Afron War"l.
(I) Rt>odesIo1 196500
202 (2) Angola & Moumb>Que
H2 (3), Soulh.We'lt AfrICa
159 Grenada 198]
118 RusSIa'S W.. on Afghan,stan
11I Cenlral Amen(an ..
GENERAL
65 The Royal Na")'
107
108 Bnush Inlanlry. Equ,pts(2}
118 8f,tol;h C......lry Equ,plS
72 The North""!:l! from,,,,
21<4
205 US ArmyCombal Equ.ptl
11<4 German Combal Equ,pt,
157 Flak)ad<ell
In Auw"I",nA"my 18991975
16-4 Ca"ad" Army al w.,
161 Spa"'lh Foreogn Leg>or>
197 Royal Mounled Pol"e
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