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

[23 based on a Shah-Namah by Ferdawsi, Tabriz or Shiraz. c. 1320. (Formerly in W. Schulz Collection)]
[23a based on Conquest of Baghdad by the Mongols, in the Diez album of Jami' al-Tawarikh by Rashid al-Din]

23.      PERSIAN CAVALRYMAN c.1320

Although there were, from time to time, some subtle variations in style from province to province, it is apparent that on the whole virtually identical armour was worn throughout all the Iranian lands during this period, and regardless of their true provenance most of the figures depicted in the following sequence could, subject to their dates of origin, equally well be Ilkhanids, Jalayrids, Black Sheep or White Sheep Turks or Timurids.

This figure wears armour of traditional Iranian style such as continued to survive with some modifications well into the 14th century in such parts of Persia as remained under native dynasties. Elsewhere Mongol equipment soon came to predominate, though native styles of shield in particular disappeared more slowly. That carried here is of painted leather or leather-covered wood (the old Arab daraqa or turs); it was probably from these that the characteristic Persian small leather (later metal) shield with 4 bosses evolved, this first appearing in the late-13th century and surviving until as late as the 19th century. 23a and b depict examples of the other native Iranian shield-type still to be found in occasional use until the 1370s. 23b is actually from an Ilkhanid ms., Raschid al-Din's 'Jami al-Tawarikh'.

Next: 24 & 25. PERSIAN CAVALRYMEN c.1335, by Ian Heath