Legat-Verlag Arms and Armor from Iran


Many ancient Iranian images continued to be used into the Qajar period. One of the most famous that appears as a decorative motif on some arms is the fighting scene between a lion and a bull. The meaning of this emblem is
investigated and based on references, an explanation of its significance is presented. The emblem appears on the forte of double-edged, curved daggers (khanjar). A number of Iranian khanjar with carved ivory handles are also illustrated. The carved images show an interesting variety of ancient heroes such as Shahname, Sassanian kings, and some Europeanized images (farangisazi). Other types of Iranian small arms, such as the kard (knife) and pishqabz (a dagger with a single-edged, double-curved blade), are shown, and the different styles of these weapons are discussed. Included are discussions of other types of weapons, such as maces (gorz), axes (tabar), spears (neyze), and shields (separ). The developmental chronology of each weapon is analyzed from the bronze era up to the end of the Qajar era. For example, the significance of the bull-headed mace is considered. Similar examples from Marlik are shown and the general relevance of the cow and bull in Zoroastrianism are examined. One chapter is dedicated to the martial arts and warrior training in Iran. Included in this chapter is the training of ancient warriors, traces of which are still evident in varzesh bastani (the ancient sport) that is practiced in zurkhane (house of strength). Based on historical manuals and chronicles, some techniques of Persian swordsmanship are also discussed.

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