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"Renaissance India armies in the 16th century ..." Topic

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Paskal Supporting Member of TMP21 Jul 2018 9:53 a.m. PST

Hello or good evening everyone,

Where to find uniform and organisation documentations with illustrations on the army of Ibrahim Lodi, the last leader of the Delhi Sultanate, on the armies of the Rajputs in the 16th century, on the army of the Hindu empire called Vijayanagar in the 16th century and on those of the Indian states of Golconda , Ahmadnagar, Berar, Bijapur and Bidar, Calcutta and Orissa in the 16th century …

Thanks to those who will help me.


pikeman66621 Jul 2018 11:51 a.m. PST

I recall that the elite Rajput cavalry favored yellow garments. The household troops would have a moderate level of color in their dress, although not uniform.
Levy or low-class troops would look like poor people. Dirty and unkempt.

RJT200322 Jul 2018 8:55 a.m. PST

Info from the old George Gush book can be found here.
There's an Osprey on the Moghuls, the bibliography in that might start pointing you to other sources.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP23 Jul 2018 10:58 a.m. PST

Thank you guys but I have this documentation there since last century, there is a little also in the 'Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 2 of Ian Heath, it is incredible that there is nothing!

Druzhina24 Jul 2018 9:44 p.m. PST

Illustrations of Sultanate of Delhi soldiers of 1450
Very little Islamic book painting has been preserved from the sultanate period before the advent of the Mughals in 1526. These miniatures come from a manuscript made by an artist who was highly influenced by Jain art from western India. Both the intense palette and the depiction of figures differ from those found in other Islamic painting.

Rustam Kills the Turanian Hero Alkus with his Lance
Gushtasp Slays the Dragon
Rustam Grieving for His Son
Siyavash faces Afrasiyab across the Jihun River
Siyavash is Pulled from His Bed and Killed

Mirror site
Rustam Kills the Turanian Hero Alkus with his Lance
Gushtasp Slays the Dragon
Rustam Grieving for His Son
Siyavash faces Afrasiyab across the Jihun River
Siyavash is Pulled from His Bed and Killed

Indian Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP24 Jul 2018 11:51 p.m. PST

Ah thank you Druzhina,if you did not exist it would have to invent you.

This fills a part of my gaps, but it's still weird that I do not find a modern book on all Indian and Mughal armies of the sixteenth century.

ocollens26 Jul 2018 5:15 a.m. PST

Hi Paskal,

There is a modern book on the Mughuls Jos Gommans Mughal Warfare (Routledge 2002). Unfortunately from your point of view a good deal of the information is on the seventeenth century.

Druzhina27 Jul 2018 9:40 p.m. PST

I once borrowed a book by Irvine The Army of the Indian Moghuls. I thought I had some photocopies, but the name is all I have found.

Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers

Father Grigori28 Jul 2018 6:09 a.m. PST

I.H. Qureshi The Administration of the Sultanate of Delhi

Ali Athar Military technology and warfare in the Sultanate of Delhi

Jackson The Sultanate of Delhi: a political and military history

Simon Digby War horse and elephant in the Delhi Sultanante

The book 'Timur and the Princely Vision' has some good period illustrations, although they are more Persian than northern Indian. There's also a exhibition catalogue produced by the Victoria and Albert Museum (I think – that or the British Museum) of a display of Mughal miniatures. A little later, but there's overlap with the Surid period.

Jos Gommans also edited a book on Indian warfare, which includes chapters on pre-Mughal warfare. There is stuff out there, but it's not the easiest to source, especially with regard to illustrations.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP29 Jul 2018 2:24 a.m. PST

ocollens, Druzhina and Father Grigori, thanks for your info, but which are the most useful for what I want to do?

Because I only have M.A.A. 263 and the 222 which is useful too, there is a little informations also in the 'Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 2 of Ian Heath.

And the books sold by wargames foundry on the indes? Someone saw what's inside?

it is incredible that there is nothing! …

@ Druzhina
Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers is excellent when you take the time to stay on it.

Father Grigori31 Jul 2018 3:25 a.m. PST

For organisation, the book by Qureshi is probably best. The Gommans book 'Warfare and Weaponry in South Asia, 1000 – 1800' is kind of academic, but it does cover a broad range of subjects, including the earlier Ghaznavids and a chapter on armed religious ascetics. Most of the information available seems to be academic in tone; relatively little on uniforms (if any) or tactics, but plenty on the 'what was warfare?' approach. The V&A catalogue was 'The Adventures of Hamza'. It's later C16th Mughal art, but might still be useful. Hope this is useful.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP31 Jul 2018 12:03 p.m. PST

In your opinion, all the Hindu Indians have the same kind of armor and dress, whatever the kingdom or the denomination and the period sixteenth or seventeenth centuries -?

For example, marathes of the seventeenth century for rajpouts of the sixteenth century ect …

Also in Indian figurines for native armies of colonial wars of the nineteenth century, there may be things to recover, right?

Because I find also that the figures of ghorchurra fauj sihks of the nineteenth would pass well to make the light or medium Muslim cavalry in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries of the india.

Father Grigori02 Aug 2018 2:20 a.m. PST

One more reference, I forgot before. H. Russell Robinson's "Oriental Armour" has a chapter on Indian armours, and also sets them in context with Persian.

I.H. Khan, "Gunpowder and Firearms: warfare in Mediaeval India" has illustrations of Hindu matchlockmen. They are almost naked, much the same as levy archers or spearmen, except that they carry bullet pouches and powder flasks.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP03 Aug 2018 1:59 a.m. PST

Do you think that there are 25/28/30 mm figurines of Afghans or Indians of a colonial range of the nineteenth century (whatever their religion) that can be used for the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

If so why ?

Thank you


Druzhina03 Aug 2018 10:22 p.m. PST
Paskal Supporting Member of TMP05 Aug 2018 9:53 a.m. PST

Alas, the book " Indian Court Painting", 16Th-19th Century is temporarily out of stock.

Druzhina08 Aug 2018 11:13 p.m. PST

Alas, the book " Indian Court Painting", 16Th-19th Century is temporarily out of stock.

Download the pdf from the metmuseum link on the pages above. Not as good as having the original, but, useful.

Moghul Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP14 Aug 2018 3:00 a.m. PST

Download the pdf from the metmuseum link ? what link is it?

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