Home

City plans of Kalhu (Nimrud), Assyrian metropolis

Leave a comment

04

Plan of the northwestern palace of Kalhu (Nimrud), one of the ancient Assyrian capitals.


More

TIMUR (TAMERLANE) (part IΙ)

4 Comments

Turcoman-Iran mail and plate armor1450

Turcoman-Iranian mail and plate armor of rider and horse of the Timurid Era (Metropolitan Museum of Art.)
.
By Periklis Deligiannis
.
CONTINUED FROM PART I
.
In 1386, Timur invaded the area of Luristan (in western Iran) and then defeated and expelled the Jalayrids from Tabriz, most important city of Azerbaijan. Immediately after that, his army stormed Tiflis (Tbilisi), the capital of Georgia which was also annexed to his realm, thus preventing Tokhtamysh’s expansion in southern Caucasia. In 1387 the latter reacted by invading Azerbaijan, but he was defeated by Miranshah, son of Timur who had sent him to repel the invasion.

More

TIMUR (TAMERLANE) (part I)

9 Comments

TimurTimur’s facial reconstruction from his skull, by Soviet anthropologists.
.

By Periklis Deligiannis

.
Timur, wrongly quoted in Western literature as “Tamerlane” or “Tamburlaine”, was born around 1336 in Kesh, near Samarkand in Transoxiana (corresponding roughly to modern Uzbekistan). The name “Tamerlane” comes from the Greek-Latin version of Timur’s Persian address as “Timur Lenk’, meaning “Timur the lame”. Timur was a member of the Mongol Barlas tribe (or Barulas) which had been Turkified after settling in Transoxiana in the 13th century AD, following Chagatai (the son of Genghis Khan) in Central Asia. The Barlas with their headquarters at Kesh, had always been allied to Chagatai and his Chagataid successors. During the distribution of the sub-khanates of the Mongol Empire (the Great Khanate) among the Genghisids, namely the descendants of Genghis Khan, Chagatai became the Khagan (Khan) of the Mongol Khanate in Central Asia. The Khanate of Chagatai soon became a Moslem state. Its rulers and their Turco-Mongol followers and fighting men (and ancestors of Timur) embraced Islam in order to tie in religion with the populace of their khanate.

More

TURANIC ARMS AND ARMOUR (part II)

2 Comments

09

Full armor of rider and horse of an Ottoman qapikulu (heavy cavalryman of the “court slaves”, similar to the Mamluks). He also has a metal kalkan shield (Museo Stibbert Florence).

More

TURANIC ARMS AND ARMOUR (part I)

5 Comments

10

An Ottoman full armor of rider and horse (Museum of Islamic Art, Doha Port Doha, Qatar.).

.
By Periklis Deligiannis
.

In the following images, I present an indicative collection of arms and armour of the Turanic empires and peoples of the late Middle Ages and the Early Modern Era (according to European chronology) which witnessed the greatest extent of the Turanic realms. They are arms and armour for men and horses, coming from the Sultanate of Delhi, the Mughal Empire in India, the Tatars of the Golden Horde, the Ottoman Empire, the Mamluk Sultanate, the Turkoman-controlled Empires of Iran, the Central Asian Turanic tribes and elsewhere.
The images are taken from museums and organizations such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Furusiyya Art Foundation, Topkapi Palace Museum (Constantinople), Museum of Kulikovo Battlefield (representations by M. Gorelik whom I sincerely congratulate for his lifetime work), Museo Stibbert in Florence, Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar, the Royal Academy of Arts (London) and others. If I do not know the museum of origin of an image, I mention that in its caption.

More

ON THE MILITARY ARCHITECTURE OF BABYLON during Nebuchadnezzar’s reign (6th c BC)

Leave a comment

babylon_map

Α diagram of Babylon in Nebuchadnezzar’s reign.
.
By Periklis Deligiannis
.
Babylon was one of the most splendid and renowned cities in world History, being a real metropolis of the Near East and the political centre of a large kingdom and occasionally an empire which lasted more than a thousand years (18th-6th centuries BC), sometimes under foreign dynasties. The Babylonian kingdom remained nominally an independent political entity even when it was conquered by invaders such as the Kassites (Kossaioi) or the Assyrians. Even after Babylon’s capture by the Persians, she remained a very important city under the rule of the Achaemenids, of Alexander the Great who had chosen her as his capital, and of the Seleucids. Babylon’s gradual decline starts in the Late Seleucid and the Parthian Age and goes on more densely during the Sassanid Persian period.
The first appearance of Babylon in the historical-archaeological records possibly belongs to the 23th century BC, as a town of the Akkadian kingdom. However it is possible that the town pre-existed as a Sumerian settlement. Its inhabitants at that time seem to have been Akkadian Semite newcomers who had already started to replace the Sumerians as the main population of South Mesopotamia. I believe that a part of Babylon’s original population was Sumerian. In this phase, there is no urban planning and Babylon was in fact a Sumerian-type village or town because of the strong cultural influence of the indigenous people on the Akkadians (some scholars believe that the Akkadians were also indigenous of southern Mesopotamia, but I do not share this view).

02

A representation of the city of Babylon; view from the Gate of Ishtar. Note in the front level the double wall of the inner defensive system, and the heavy fortifications of the Gate of Ishtar (painted blue). In the deeper level, note the Etemenanki Ziggurat and behind it, the Esagila (Temple of Marduk).

More