Armies of the Muslim Conquest (Men-at-Arms 255) by David Nicolle

By David Nicolle

The dramatic eruption of the Arab peoples from Arabia after their adoption of the Muslim religion within the seventh century is still probably the most awesome occasions in international background. through the tip of that century they governed a country that stretched from the Atlantic to India, from southern Arabia to crucial Asia, protecting a space a ways more than that of the Roman Empire. consequently conflict, at the least one of the nomadic bedouin, was once a regular element of lifestyles. Complemented by means of a variety of illustrations, together with 8 complete web page color plates via Angus McBride, this unique textual content by means of David Nicolle tells the true tale of the armies of the Muslim conquest.

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L\lleanwhile even soldiers of free origin tended to come from marginal pro,"inces, including Yemenis from southern Arabia and Daylamites from the mountains of northern Iran. The very nature of Abbasid armies smrted to change, and military developments helped in this process. For example, the defeat of a huge army recruited in Iraq by a Khurasani army in 81 I probably spelled the end of huge infantry armies, at least in the cast of Islam. The Khurasani force which· captured Baghdad two years later included many heavily armoured horsearchers, troops who would dominate Middle Eastern warfare for the next seven centuries.

H. Lammens, Le Cali/al de Yazid J er, 5 vols. (Beirut [9 IO - 2 [). H. Lammens, Eludes sur Ie Reglle du Cali/e Omaiyade MoamI)'" ler (Paris 1908). J. Lassner, The Shapillg oJ 'Abba sid Rule (Princeton [9 80). B. Lewis, Islam ;i'0111 Ihe Prophet Muhammad 10 the Caplure ar CallStaulillople, vol. {: Politics alld War (New York 1974); anthology of translated useful original sources. M. Lings, Muhammad, his life based 011 the earliesl sources (London [983); by far the best account. I/ley. The archer lI'C

The equipment of the ordinary their tactics were unsuited to the marshes and densely Some Abbasid guard units may already have been Turkish troops rose in number to 70-80,000. Most were horse-archers, and they formed half of the Caliph's total guard-corps, the term 'Turk' gradually coming to mean men from beyond the Muslim frontier. The Arab eye-witness and scholar al Jahiz wrote various books to legitimize the presence of these foreigners within the Abbasid state structure, and as a result we know a great deal about them.

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