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"Fatimid, Seljuq and Syrian infantry of the 12th century..." Topic


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795 hits since 10 Mar 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Paskal Supporting Member of TMP10 Mar 2018 3:32 a.m. PST

Hello everyone,

Always in the continuation of my crusading armies – given my keen interest in the appearance of the Sergeant Military Orders on other topics on this forum – here I am in front of the last obstacle, namely, the appearance of the infantry of the Fatimid, Seljuq and Syrian armies in the first half of the twelfth century.

I bought the 4 references of Muslim infantry of Old Glory in 25mm Figures range – Crusaders & Saracens -, for the Sudanese no problem, but for the references DAC 16 and 17, if some figurines are recognizable – notably the Seljuq and Turcomans infantrymen – in the WRG book on the Crusades by Ian Heath – the others are not, they certainly represent Arabs or other ethnic groups, but from which category of troops ?

This being important for the bases of the figurines which can be different according to the types of troops.

I'm waiting for help so that someone can describe me the appearance of the Kurds infantryman, the appearance of the egyptian spearmen, the appearance of the spearmen and glaivemen of the Andath militia, the appearance of the archers of the Andath militia, the appearance of the Ghazis, the appearance of the Muttawwia, the appearance of Al-Ashair and the appearance of the Jabaliyya in the first half of the twelfth century.

Thank you

Paskal

Perris070710 Mar 2018 7:33 p.m. PST

If I were you I would Google "Medieval Arab Infantry" or "medieval Muslim infantry". You should get LOTS of reference material. link

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP11 Mar 2018 3:20 a.m. PST

Yes Bravo and and my question is always, who are the the spearmen and glaivemen of the Andath militia,the archers of the Andath militia, the Ghazis, the Muttawwia, the Al-Ashair and the Jabaliyya ?

Druzhina11 Mar 2018 4:25 a.m. PST
Druzhina11 Mar 2018 3:06 p.m. PST

glaivemen of the Andath militia

I have added David Nicolle's drawings of the above. The weapon of 128C (which I have rotated) looks more glaive like than the original may suggest.

See an extract for 'Pole-Arms for cut and thrust' by David Nicolle

Druzhina
12th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP12 Mar 2018 1:20 a.m. PST

Thank you, but it is not clear, I asked the person who carved the figurines I'm talking about, we'll see, he should know what sources he used.

Each of these types of troops had to be recognizable by their clothes, haircuts, etc.

shurite712 Mar 2018 11:43 p.m. PST

It is difficult to come up with an "accurate" display of how the foot soldiers were armed let alone what they looked like. The terms are also challenging because the Arab sources don't really differentiate between infantry types. A naptha thrower, crossbow shooter, spearman, were essentially all the same – foot soldiers.

The ahdath were a city militia for siege defense and police force, perhaps better stated would be to enforce/uphold, if needed, the emir's rule within the walls. They were equipped with whatever the city ruler could afford. Therefore they will be slightly different from one city to the next. Ahdath means youth (those who were recruited), not any particular infantry unit.

Muttawwia in Arabic refers to civic duty, especially volunteer. These were the people who were dislodged by the Franks and later the Tatars (Mongols) and chose to fight. They were armed with whatever they could get their hands on. They could be a overzealous (see Baha al-din) and enthusiastically joined the call for jihad. Again, they were not any type of military unit, simply a group of volunteers who banded together.

Ghazzi, like the two terms above, is not a military unit. It simply means one who fights the infidel, at least in the era of the Crusades. Therefore, anyone who fought the infidel was a ghazzi. The Seljuqs, as newly religious converts, are a good example of this. They were "encouraged" to go westwards to the realm of dar al-harb (abode of war) because they were not supposed to fight in the realm of dar al-islam (abode of Islam). To the west were the Byzantines and Armenians, and more significantly the Shia' rulers in Egypt. What is interesting is the Arab sources lack using the term ghazzi for those who fought against the Franks (crusaders) and later the Mongols. Instead, jihad was invoked.

It is even more difficult to come up with an accurate portrayal (military attire, weapons, fighting style if there was a distinguishable type) of the various ethnic groups, Qurdish, Armenian, Turkish, Bedouin, Arabic, and Sudanese soldiers. In many regards their military weapons would have been similar, but their clothing attire, to a degree, and banners, to a greater degree, reflected their regional identity. Latin sources also referred to this.

I find the terms al-ashair and jadaliyya a bit dubious. I see these terms used by computer gamers. Other terms, such as al-harāmīya, irregulars or brigands who come out of the city to fight, or rajjalah, local infantry troops, are used, however, they do not represent any particular type of unit other than soldiers who fought on foot.

Arabic sources from the 12th and 13th centuries, such as Imad al-din, quite often referred to various forces by their region, such as the Egyptian army/forces (askar misr), Frankish army/forces (askar fransie/fanj). Some forces were simply called by the city from which they came from such as the army of Homs, Allepo, Damascus, and so forth. The Ayyubids and later the Mamluks used additional terms for different mounted troops.

The Fatamids reflect a Byzantine influence. William Hamblin wrote a dissertation on the Fatamid army. You can find a pdf version of it online.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP13 Mar 2018 2:35 a.m. PST

shurite7 Felicitations and thank you.

So it's good on the outfits of these figurines of these references DAC16 and DAC 17 that I must concentrate to discover (what the sculptor wanted to do) their ethnic identities.

First, I did my little investigation, it is not the excellent Russ Dunaway who carved the masters of the figurines of the refereces DAC16 and DAC 17 so he (the excellent Russ Dunaway) does not know types and ethnicities of infantry are represented by the figures of these references.

Last chance, if anyone has these figs and can recognize them …
Let him give us his opinion on what they are …

As for me, I'll go back to Ian Heath's WRG excellent book on the Crusades and tell you what I'm sure of …

Druzhina17 Mar 2018 8:24 p.m. PST

Plate H3: Frontier warrior from Malatya, late 10th century in 'The Armies of Islam 7th-11th Centuries' by David Nicolle & Angus McBride

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Many Islamic military fashions appear in the art of the Christian side of the Taurus frontier and we must rely on this for most information about the Muslim side. Here a warrior wears heavy felt armour, including greaves, and has a Byzantine-style single-edged sword. (Fresco in ‘Dovecote Church', Cavusin, Turkey; Byzantine ivory panels, Cathedral Treasury, Sens and Victoria and Albert Museum, London.)

The sources are:
Byzantine military saints in ‘Dovecote' Church in Cavusin, mid 10th century AD
Ivory reliquary, David and Goliath. 10th century AD, Byzantine, Cathedral Treasury, Sens. Drawing by David Nicolle.
Two Warriors on Horseback on a Casket Lid, Byzantine, mid 11th century, Victoria & Albert Museum No: A.542:1-1910
or possibly Top of a Byzantine Ivory Casket, early 11th Century, Victoria and Albert Museum 247:1, 2-1865

But there are illustrations from eastern sources.

From Vol. 2 p.388, 'The military technology of classical Islam' by David Nicolle
During the Crusades, Muttawi'ah volunteers came from Egypt, as they did from other parts of Salah al Din's empire.{14} (Figs. 150 and 156), although by contrast many Egyptian cities unlike those of Syria, do not appear to have had their own ahdath.{15}

14. Gibb, "The Armies of Saladin," loc. cit.
15. Ibn al Athir, "Al Kamil fi ‘l Ta'rikh," in Arab Historians of the Crusades, F. Gabrieli trans., (London 1969), p, 259

150. Ceramic fragment, 10th-11th centuries AD (?), Fāṭimid, Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo (Mos).
156. Ivory panels, 11th-12th centuries AD, Fāṭimid Museum für Islamische Kunst no. 1.6375, West Berlin (Bris).

More Fatimid illustrations of Soldiers and Hunters
Ayyubid illustrations of Soldiers and Hunters
Seljuk illustrations of Soldiers and Hunters

The artists do not caption their work with labels that wargamers would like.

Druzhina
12th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP26 Mar 2018 12:00 a.m. PST

Thank you again Druzhina,

Yes the artists do not caption their work with labels that wargamers would like.

Yes that's right, so to save time, is there anyone who can describe the DAC 16 and 17 figurines of these OLd Glory references (I can not find the time for that) thank you.

In these references some figures are recognizable in the WRG book on the Crusades by Ian Heath – notably the Seljuq and Turcomans infantrymen – the others are not, they certainly represent Arabs or other ethnic groups, but from which category of troops?

Druzhina26 Mar 2018 11:01 p.m. PST

David Nicolle thinks Figs. 150 & 156 might represent Muttawi'ah.

Druzhina
Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP25 May 2018 6:36 a.m. PST

Here I finally find time to review the figures of the Old Glory references:

DAC-016: Muslim Infantry Militia of the 25mm Medieval / Crusaders / Crusaders range…

DAC-017: Muslim Infantry Archers of the 25mm Medieval / Crusaders / Crusaders range…

DAC-010: Turkoman Horse Archers of the 25mm Medieval / Crusaders / Crusaders range…

In the reference DAC-016: Muslim Infantry Militia we find:

2 seljuk infantrymen as those depicted on the drawing No. 49 of the book WRG "Armies and Enemies of the Crusades 1096-1291" by Ian Heath of the 1978 edition.

3 turcoman infantrymen as those represented on the drawing No. 50 of the book WRG "Armies and Enemies of the Crusades 1096-1291" by Ian Heath of the 1978 edition.

3 other seljuk infantrymen who are not represented in the WRG book "Armies and Enemies of the Crusades 1096-1291" by Ian Heath of the 1978 edition, but who are identifiable as seljuk because they wear their hair, very long and capped in long mats.

There are 4 figures ( dont un musicien) with mustaches and beards, wearing tunics stopping at the knees and wearing turbans that must be arabs of an ahdath, like those represented on the drawing No. 44 of the book WRG "Armies and Enemies from the crusades 1096-1291 "by Ian Heath from the 1978 edition.

4 other figures (one kneeling that seems to represent a injured ) that I can not identify and are not represented in the book WRG "Armies and Enemies of the Crusades 1096-1291" by Ian Heath of the 1978 edition, bareheaded wearing short hair, mustaches and beards, wearing tunics stopping at the knees.

2 figures that I can not identify because they are not represented in the 1978 edition of WRG "Armies and Enemies of the Crusades 1096-1291" by Ian Heath, wearing short hair, mustaches and beards, wearing tunics stopping at the knees and wearing a hairdress that I do not know, that I'm never seen anywhere …

Still 3 figures that I can not identify and that they too are not represented in the book WRG "Armies and Enemies of the Crusades 1096-1291" by Ian Heath of the 1978 edition, bareheaded wearing short hair, mustaches and beards, wearing very long tunics stopping at the ankles.

1 Figure wearing a turban, mustaches and beards, armed with a mass and wearing also a very long tunic stopping at the ankles. It's a Bedouin ?

There are 3 figures with mustaches and beards, wearing tunics stopping at the knees and wearing turbans , attacking with saber, may be arabs of an ahdath, like those represented on the drawing No. 44 of the book WRG "Armies and Enemies of the Crusades 1096-1291" by Ian Heath of the 1978 edition.

There are 5 figures (including two standard bearers) with mustaches and beards, wearing loincloths on a chainmail stopping at the knees. They are wearing turbans and attacking the saber, perhaps the LHI version of the arabs of an ahdath, like those represented on drawing No. 44 of the book WRG "Armies and Enemies of the Crusades 1096-1291" by Ian Heath of the 1978 edition.

There are 2 figures with mustaches and beards, wearing a cotton armor over a tunics stopping at the ankles, wearing turbans and attacking with saber, perhaps the LMI version of the arabs of an ahdath, like those represented on the drawing No. 44 of the book WRG " Armies and Enemies of the Crusades 1096-1291 "by Ian Heath of the 1978 edition.

In the reference DAC-017: Muslim Infantry Archers we find:

There are 7 different outfits for the ten figures of this reference …

8 turbaned figurines (in two variants) with re-covered cheeks wearing tunics ending at the knees … Arabs of an ahdath?

3 turbaned figurines wearing tunics ending at the knees … Arabs of an ahdath?

3 turbaned figures with re-covered cheeks wearing helmets and tunics ending at the knees and attacking with sword in the right hand … Arabs of an ahdath?

2 turbaned figurines (in two variants) with re-covered cheeks wearing tunics ending at the ankles … Arabs of an ahdath or bedouin ?

7 figures that I can not identify, bareheaded, short hair, beards and mustaches and tunic stopping at the knees.

3 figurines that I can not identify, with the fez as headdresses, short hair, beards and mustaches and tunic stopping at the knees.

3 figurines that I can not identify, with a turban as headdresses, a turban as those depicted on drawing No. 40 of represented in the WRG book "Armies and Enemies of the Crusades 1096-1291" by Ian Heath of the 1978 edition and short hair, beards and mustaches and tunic stopping at the knees.

In the reference DAC-010: Turkoman Horse Archers, only 1 figure is a Turkoman!

It is exactly as those depicted on drawing No. 52 represented in the WRG book "Armies and Enemies of the Crusades 1096-1291" by Ian Heath of the 1978

There are 4 others figures exactly depicted on drawing No. 41 represented in the WRG book "Armies and Enemies of the Crusades 1096-1291" by Ian Heath of the 1978.

These are not turcomans but Seljuk turkish leaders from the Jazira, Mosul, Raqqa and Diyar Bekr …

They wear the traditional longish topcoat with a right – over left flap (the Muqallab) at the front…

They are wearing the sharbush, of turkish origin and seems to have been worn only by amirs and chieftains as an indication of rank,even saladin being recovered to have worn oe (concealing a mail cap beneath).

It was worn under both the Ayyubid and Bahriyyah dynasties but was ater abolished by the Circassian Mamluks.

Its appears in illustrations only from the late-12th century but had probably been in use somewhat earlier, the illustrations themselves being principally of Rumi,Jazian , Iraqi and Azerbaijani origin.

And they wear also the traditional turkish hairstyle, which is their hair, very long and capped in long mats.

There are 2 figurines dressed like the four described above (Longish topcoat with a right – over left flap(the Muqallab) at the front), except that they are bareheaded and they wear the traditional turkish hairstyle, which is their hair, very long and capped in long mats.

There are 2 figurines dressed like the six described above (Longish topcoat with a right – over left flap(the Muqallab) at the front), except they wear a small cap with a turban wrapped round it but they also wear the traditional Turkish hairstyle, which is their hair, very long and capped in long mats.

The last is dressed as the eight described above (Longish topcoat with a right – over left flap (the Muqallab) at the front), except they wear a small turban and he does not wear the traditional Turkish hairstyle, his hair is short.

In conclusion to have real turcomans of the mark "Old Glory" as in demand by dozens certain lists of armies, it is necessary to buy ten figurines to have one!

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