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An extract from Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 2
by Ian Heath

[Based on Jami‘ al-Tawarikh by Rashid al-Din]


This figure from Raschid al-Din’s ‘World History’ of c. 1306-15, probably copied from a native source, is fairly certainly an Afghan tribesman. He wears a Tartar-style coat with a cross-over flap, plus puttees (Hindi patti), and is armed with a long thrusting spear. Others were archers, armed with composite bows. Afghan cavalry were similarly equipped, though the chieftains and some of their retinues wore mail and lamellar armour that was of Persian design and, often, manufacture.

From the late-14th century until 1506 Afghanistan was held by the Timurids, specifically the dynasty that Tamerlane’s son Shah Rukh had established in Herat. As a result many Afghans began to move down from the hills into the territory of the sultanate of Delhi, which the Afghan Lodi dynasty, founded by Bahlul Lodi of the Shahu Khel clan, seized in 1451. Thereafter Afghan troops predominated in the sultanate until its conquest by Babur in 1526, as they did again under Sher Khan and Islamshah in 1539-53.

Next: 37. HINDU INDIAN MAHOUT in Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 2 by Ian Heath

Vijayanagar Illustrations and Articles
Mughal Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers

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