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Illustrations in SAMAK-E ʿAYYĀR or

Kitāb-i-Samak 'Iyār (part 3)
by Ibn Abī al-Qāsim Shīrāzī, Ṣadaqah.

Injuid, Shiraz, c.1330. Bodleian Library, Oxford, MS. Ouseley 381.
A Persian Novel

003a Soldiers attacking a man lying outside a castle.

013b Farrukhruz weeping at the sight of Gulru.

019b A man and woman riding camels.

031b The King of Chin's men trying to capture Samak, Mah Pari and her maidservant.

039b Battle between Jamshid and Khurshidshah.

Detail image of armoured horse.

046a Samak in disguise dancing before the king and queen.

053a Deathbed scene of Khurshidshah surrounded by courtiers.

061a Ilkhanid Battle scene.

Detail image.

068b Ilkhanid Battle scene.

Large image.

080b Capture of a man in a tent, with soldiers attending outside.

089a Qatus and Khurshidshah in single combat.

Large image.

094b Farrukhrus and Shirwan-bashan brought captive before Gharib Shah.

106a Farrukhrus rescued from Gharib by Samak.

114a Samak's stratagem: a blacksmith heating tongs while a prisoner is held bound on the floor.

121a Battle between Farrukhruz and Mardan-dukht.

134a Searching for Mardandukht, Samak finds two human-headed birds.

140a Marriage of Farrukhruz to Gulbuy, Shirwanbashan, Giti Numay, and Jakalmah.

148a Samak captive before Qabut Bari.

159a Khurshidshah and Mah Pari (?) emerging from the city gate.

166b Two men swimming in a river while angels converse.

180b Two archers shooting an ox while four angels look on from above.

189a Bahlan brought captive before Samak.

191b Mourners before the head of Khurshidshah.

201a The marriage of Mardan-dukht.

221b An old woman denounces a captive.

226a The Wazir reading a document to Farrukhruz.

234b Ilkhanid Battle scene.

241a Battle of Mardan-dukht and her veiled women warriors against Qabus.

251a Captive flogged before Qabus, who is addressed angrily by Mardan-dukht.

261a Ilkhanid Battle scene.

268b Samak conversing with Mahus on a throne placed beside a river.

276a Battle between Mardan-dukht and Lal.

283b Taj-dukht killing Gulbuy, Shirwan-bashan, Giti Numay, and Jakalmah.

288a Taj-dukht captive and hanged in chains.

302a Crushing of the witch Tighu under a rock.

311a Ilkhanid Battle scene.

321b Meeting of two kings under a tree, with princess.

327b Two men finding a man in a tent decapitated.

331a Women offer food and drinks to hairy man.
The Kitab-i Samak 'Ayyar is what may be described as a popular romance and, in the same sense that this expression retains today, it was written for a popular audience. It was collected by Faramarz ibn Khudadadh al-Arrajani in the 12th century and written down by Sadaqa b. Abu'l-Qasim Shirazi. This type of literature, although not unusual for its literary type, was seldom illustrated, and the Oxford manuscript of Kitab-i Samak 'Ayyar is the only Persian illustrated novel of the period.
Shelfmark: MS. Ouseley 381
Description: Ms. codex
Title: Kitāb-i-Samak 'Iyār (pt.3)
Type of Object: manuscript
Number of leaves: 335 leaves
Dimensions: 295 x 195 (written area 250 x 152, frame-ruled) mm.
Date of Origin: 14th century, first half, c. 1330
Author: Ibn Abī al-Qāsim Shīrāzī, Ṣadaqah.
Class: Persian
Class: illuminated manuscripts
Language: Persian
Source: The Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, MS. Ouseley 381
Reference: Encyclopaedia Iranica

The story narrates the adventures of a prince who is born in response to the prayers of his old father. At the age of sixteen, he falls in love with the princess of Čin, and that is the starting point of his journey to join his beloved. Meanwhile, he receives help from a group of ʿayyārān. These ʿayyārān are introduced as a group of ordinary people who enjoy a free life, have independent power, possess some special skills, and do not obey the king's orders blindly.
The manuscript contains a total of 785 folios in three volumes and is illustrated with 80 images:
Ouseley 379: 229 folios and 20 images
Ouseley 380: 221 folios and 21 images
Ouseley 381: 335 folios and 39 images
Source: The Persian Romance of Samak-e ʿayyār, Analysis of an illustrated Inju Manuscript by Roxana Zenhari, 2014, Verlag für Orientkunde.

Referenced as figure 641 in The military technology of classical Islam by D Nicolle
641. Manuscript, Kitāb-i Samak ʿAyyār. early 14th century AD, west Iranian, Bodleian lib., Ms. Ous. 381, ff. 3r, 31v, 39v, 121r, 180v, 221v, 268v, 276v, 283v, 61r, 68v, 109r, 159v, 251, 302r, 307v, 311r and 368r, Oxford (Elg).
[Some figures are from Parts 1 or 2 rather than part 3.]

Click on a figure to see the source:

p.174 Lamellar armour may also have been used in Byzantium in the pre-Islamic era39 (Figs. 90, 91 and 556) but its more widespread adoption after the 7th century clearly reflected Muslim military pressure40 (Figs. 212, 220A, 314, 630 and 637). A smaller but equally common kabadion lamellar cuirass was seen in Byzantium from the 10th century41 (Figs. 227, 242, 249, 314, 414 and 608). This could reflect the changing fashions of eastern Islam, where the lamellar kamaband may have been developed in the 10th century, or it could have been the Byzantine original that stimulated the adoption of this latter Iranian form of armour (Figs. 209, 241, 292, 294, 306, 347, 354, 376, 377, 385, 390, 392, 422, 446, 447 and 641).

39. Haldon, "Some Aspects of Byzantine Military Technology from the 6th to the 10th centuries," p. 20.
40. Ibid., pp. 25-26,29 and 46.
41. Ibid., p 36.

Parts 1 & 2 of Kitāb-i-Samak 'Iyār by Ibn Abī al-Qāsim Shīrāzī, Ṣadaqah.

See also Illustrations of Ilkhanid Mongols and Injuid and Jalayrid Successors in 14th Century Persia and surrounds
Persian Cavalryman c1320 Persian Cavalrymen c.1335 Persian Cavalrymen c.1335 in Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 2 by Ian Heath
Persian Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers
Index of Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers

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