Shroff, Hoshang B. (2007). Arms and Armor from Iran. Reviewed by Hoshang B. shroff,-Vancouver, Canada. FEZANA Journal, vol. 21, No 2, Summer 2007, pp. 110-111.

 

Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani comes with impeccable qualifications both of mind and body, a very rare combination indeed. He has majored in English and Business Administration and minored in Spanish from the University of Giessen (Germany), University of Wisconsin (USA), and the Universidad de Salamanca. (Spain). He also is an instructor in Iaido and Kenjutsu. He holds a black belt in full contact karate and a black belt in Nam Wa Pai.

 

Please refer to Khorasani’s excellent article in an equally excellent issue of Summer 2006 of the Fezana Journal under the title “Arms and Armor of Achaemenians and Sassanians”. The article reproduced many of the illustrations in the book under review. In fact, the front cover has a beautiful picture of a bronze sword with “Ohrmazd” engraved in Old Persian. The sword dates back to about 1000 B.C. and is housed in the National Museum of Iran. Apart from the very beautiful reproductions of arms and armor, the book contains various historic pictures: for example, the statue of King Darius originally placed at the entrance of the royal palace in Susa now kept in the National Museum of Iran. The picture shows Darius wearing an akenakes under his belt. The akenakes is a short double-edged sword.
Iran has been affected by several conquests of its territory throughout his history.

 

- The Assyrians, who resided in today’s Iraq, perpetually invaded Iran’s western frontiers starting about 900 B.C., destroying cities and continuing their raids until theAchaemenian period.

 

- In 350 B.C., Alexander attacked Iran and destroyed Persepolis.

 

- In 450 A.D., the Huns and Ephthalities invaded Iran from the north, penetrating to the heart of Iran and causing significant destruction.

 

- In 650 A.D., the Arabs conquered Iran, and for 200 years Iranians were subjected to Arab domination.

 

- In 1250 A.D., the Mongols attacked and conquered Iran destroying many cities.This attack was followed by the attack and conquest of Iran by Timur.

 

- In 1714 A.D., the Afghans attacked Iran and overthrew the last king of the Safavids.

 

Small wonder that over the period of years Iran developed a warrior tradition. What is noteworthy is that despite all of these incursions, Iran retained its national identity and culture, particularly its language. This is in stark contrast with advanced civilizations such as Egypt and Syria which both adopted Arabic as their national language.

 

In his review of Paul Kriwaczek's "In Search Zarathustra" Jehangir Pocha stated:

 

The simple purity of Islam could not completelyy stamp out the cultural richness of Persian culture. “Iran was a Zoroastrian country 2000 years before it became Islamic. Zoroastrianism is still ingrained in the Iranian psyche even though it goes by different labels these days,” Kriwaczek said to me when I called him in London to discuss his book [“In Search Zarathustra”]. “When you walk into gift stores in Tehran you don’t see little replicas of mosques like you see in Pakistan or Egypt. What you see are carvings of Farohars and other Zoroastrian themes. As one Iranian proudly said to me “When the Arabs went to Egypt they Arabized Egypt, but when they got to Persia, they got Persianized”.

 

Kriwaczek speculates on how and why Zoroastrianism continues to underpin so much of Iranian life: "New converts don't just give up their spiritual and ethical world-view; they usually bring them along, transferring the old wine into the new bottle."While Persians accepted Islam as their new faith they found ways to preserve their heritage and distinctness from the conquering Arabs.

 

“Just as in Europe the Holy Roman Empire – ’neither holy, nor Roman, nor or an empire,’ as Voltaire said – was actually a way for baptized German warlords to repackage their pagan traditions, so Iranian Islam came to incorporate Iranian national consciousness, Iranian national pride and, yes Iranian Zoroastrian beliefs, “Kriwaczek writes.

 

In other words, both Khorasani and Kriwaczek assert the same proposition, that despite all of the conquests, Iran has retained its national identity and culture, including its language and religious beliefs.

 

It is interesting to note that the Avesta contains many accounts of arms and armor testifying to the long warrior tradition of Iran. A very popular martial art in Iran over the centuries has been wrestling which played an important role in preparing the warriors. The art of wrestling is so deeply rooted in Iran that its origins reach back to the beginning of Zoroastrian religion. The kusti, which a Zoroastrian child wears after formal initiation into the religion, was called kustic in Pahlavi but in Farsi Dari was called kusti. The term kusti which was later called koshti was the belt used by wrestlers and grabbed during wrestling matches. The book devotes an entire chapter to koshti wrestling.

 

This book reminds me of the good books by Mark Kurlansky, “Salt: A World History” and “the Cod’s Tale”. Although Kurlansky subjects are salt and cod, the reader acquires a unique understanding of several countries in which cod and salt played important roles. In the same way, Khorsani, whilst writing on the subject of arms and armor of Iran enlightens the reader by scanning different periods of Iranian history.

 

A totally unintended benefit of this book for me with my Gujarati language background has been the reference to many words from Farsi.As a person fond of words and their origin, I found some of the words very intriguing.Most Zarathushtis of the subcontinent will understand the word khoshti (wrestling), kaman (bow), or tir (arrow).Some of our readers may also understand the idiomatic expression in Parsi Gujarati "Mari kaman chhtakse" meaning "I'll get mad at you".The Parsi Gujarati also uses the word "mawali", meaning an eccentric person.According to the author Khorasani, the word mawali was used to refer to the Iranians who converted to Islam, meaning "the slaves" who had no right to obtain any state or military positions.It intrigues me how a word originally refeering to slaves, when used by the Zarathushtis in the subcontinent, lost its original meaning in entirety.

 

The reader will acquire a valuable insight in the history of our original madar vatan (motherland) by reading this book.

Downs, Jonathan (2007). Review of Arms and Armor from Iran by Jonathan Downs, Editor-in-Chief, Classic Arms and Militaria, XIV Issue 5, p. 59.

 

One of the foremost authorities on Persian and Iranian weapons in the world. Manouchehr Khorasani has compiled what is doubtless the most comprehensive study of Iranian arms and armour in existence.

 

His book, which encompasses not only the holdings of some 10 different museums but also private collections, is an extremely impressive volume, some three inches thick, fully illustrated throughout. Not only is the book a photographic catalogue of the variety of Iranian arms heritage, it examines the origins and development in a historical context. The scope of the book is in itself colossal and embraces pieces from the 3rd millennium BC to the end of the Qajar Period in the 20th century.

 

The table of contents alone spans four full-size pages, with headings such as „The Iranian Culture Influence in the Region and Iranian Search for Independence“. „Median and Achaemenian Daggers and Swords“, „Parthian Swords and Daggers“ and „The Influence and Meaning of Swords in Iran after the Muslim Conquest“. The first 371 pages provide the narrative history of Iranian weapons with copious references to the world’s most respected historical authorities, listed at the back in some 14 pages along with numerous illustrations. The second half of the book, comprising a further 373 pages, is devoted to colour imges of the weapons themselves, daggers, swords, spears, axes, shields, armour and mail, meticulously captioned, annotated and enumerated, all in sumptuous detail on a dark blue background, enhancing the gleaming golden surfaces of many of these extraordinary pieces.

 

Without question this will remain a reference work for the foreseeable future, an absolute requisite for any museum or collector of Persian weaponry. That being said, it is also the sort of book that should be on the shelf of any serious military historian, writer or enthusiast of Middle eastern weaponry, and is more than worth the reasonable sum being asked for such exhaustive research.



Dohrenwend, Robert (2007). Arms and Armor from Iran: The Bronze Age to the end of the Qajar Period. Reviewed by Dr. Robert Dohrenwend, Ph.D. Syracuse University, Journal of Asian Martial Arts, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 80-81.

 



Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani has combined his extensive research with a thorough knowledge of the literature and the editorial assistance of numerous authorities in the field to produce a book that will remain the definitive work of Iranian (Persian) edged weapons and armor for a very long time. In addition, the book is beautifully made and an impressive work of art in its own right. Virtually half the book is devoted to a section of magnificent color photographs cataloging and profusely illustrating the weapons  discussed in the text. These photographs alone are worth the price of the book.

 

Although the text deals mainly with swords and other hilted weapons, other weapons and armor are given considerable space. The sword types are arranged chronologically by historical period with emphasis on the weapons themselves, their provenance, their features, their manufacture, and the materials from which they are made. These descriptions are seasoned with comments on their history and use. The chapters are logically  organized, and they are all well illustrated with clear references to the weapons portrayed in the color catalog section. The detailed table of contents and indexes (both name and subject) make the book easy to use as a research tool. The bibliography contains a large number of useful sources for additional research.

 

At the outset the author makes the points that Persia occupies a pivotal position in weapons history, and that in  this field, it is important to treat Persia seperately from the rest of the Islamic world. He supports these contentions by providing a brief overview of Persian history to place Iranian weapons in their proper context. This survey is very useful to western readers, who are mostly unfamiliar with that history.

 

The next four chapters cover the development of swords from the Bronze Age to the Muslim conquest of Sassanian Persian (ca. 651 CE). A general chapter on sword classification and metallurgy in Iranian culture after 651 CE then interrupts this historical seuqence. The fascinating and detailed description of "watered steel" (Damascus) metallurgy used in producing the steel used for shamshir and other blades, is unfortunately marred by a minor error on page 101.In the discussion of watered steel, Feuerbach is quoted as stating that the word for water in Arabic is damas.Feuerbach is wrong.The word is maa' sometimes pronounced mai.The author's treatment of metallurgy is followed by an introduction to various sword classifications, starting with Al-Khindi's. This chapter, although quite valuable in its own right, also prepares the reader for the following chapter on the shamshir, the heart of the book.

 

The justly famous Iranian shamshir is described in great detail, and the reader might find it useful first to skip to page 145 in this chapter to acquaint himself with the terminology, measurements and construction of the shamshir before reading the rest of the chapter. The chapter begins with an interesting discussion of the shamshir’s origins and those of the curved blade saber. The issue of saber origins and spread is still obscure, but the author does shed some light on it. Raising the possibility that slightly curved sabers may have been produced in Iran at least as early as the late 9th century CE. The comments in the previous chapter (page 117 ff.) referring to curved khisrawani swords are of particular interest.

 

The shamshir chapter is followed by several shorter chapters describing other Iranian hilted weapons (straight swords, European military swords, qame, qaddare, khanjar, kard and pishqabz; a very fine chapter on Iranian archery tackle; and chapters on shields and defensive armor, spears, and other arms used during the periods covered by this book. Although relatively short, these chapters are exremely informative and the constant reference to specific weapons ensures a high standard of historical accuracy.

 

The book concludes with several brief chapters on aspects of Iranian culture strongly influenced by their national weapons, including chapters on symbology and on Iranian military treatises. Although interesting, the single chapter on Iranian martial arts is mostly an all-inclusive historical survey of those martial arts, stressing Iranian wrestling and providing some anecdotal accounts of the use of the various weapons. A more detailed technical treatment of training and fighting with the weapons cataloged would have been helpful, especially on the mechanics of draw cutting with the shamshir and the tactics of fighting with shamshir and shield. But frankly the description of fighting technique is not the purpose of the book.

 

The author quite rightly states that more books need to be written on this subject, but this book has not only set the standard for all future work in the field , that work will have to use it as a starting point. Unfortunately, the book’s impressive size and somewhat daunting price ensure that few expect for a relatively small number of specialists will ever really read it. But that in no way detracts from its exceptional value as a reference work and research tool.

 

This review necessarily provides only a superficial coverage of a massive book dealing with a vast subject. The important thing ist that Arms and Armor from Iran : The Bronze Age to the End of the Qajar Period is an indispensable source for anyone interested in hopoligy and the history of human warfare. If you are seriously involved in the study of edged weapons, you should make every effort to acquire a copy of this book while it is still in print. You cannot afford to be without it.

© M.Khorasani Consulting

Dillmann-Gräsing, Beate (2007). Review of Arms and Armor from Iran by Beate Dillmann-Gräsing, Dillmanns Publikationsservice.

 

Welch ein opulentes Werk! Auf 776 Seiten stellt der Autor iranische Waffen und Rüstungen vom 3. Jahrtausend v. Chr. bis in das 20. Jahrhundert der Gegenwart vor. In achtjähriger Forschungsarbeit katalogisierte er insgesamt 505 Exponate aus iranischen Museen sowie europäischen und amerikanischen Privatsammlungen, bearbeitete und beurteilte sie. Von allen Stücken fertigte er Umzeichnungen und/ oder Fotografien an, um sein Werk mit 439 SW-Abbildungen und rund 2800 farbigen Gesamt- und Detailaufnahmen zu illustrieren. Viele der Stücke, die in diesem Buch gezeigt werden, waren bislang unpubliziert und der Öffentlichkeit nicht zugänglich. Deshalb ist es auch nur von geringer Bedeutung, dass einige wenige der farbigen Bilder technisch nicht unbedingt perfekt sind.

Wenngleich das Gewicht dieses Bandes mit etwa 4,5 kg beileibe kein handliches Buch ist, so ist der Inhalt doch weit davon entfernt, „schwere Kost“ zu sein, denn, abgesehen davon, dass es die Handhabung beim Arbeiten mit dem Buch erheblich erleichtert hätte, wenn der Katalogteil separat gebunden worden wäre, ist der Inhalt beispielhaft übersichtlich gegliedert. Das ermöglicht dem Nutzer dieses umfangreichen Handbuches, sich schnell zurechtzufinden und sich sowohl gezielt als auch umfassend über ein Thema zu informieren. Neben einer Zeittafel sowie einer Karte am Anfang des Buches, erleichtern die am Ende untergebrachten Sach- und Namensindices und eine ausführliche Bibliographie ebenso die Orientierung wie die am Ende der dazugehörigen Textspalten angefügten Fußnoten.

Denselben Zweck erfüllt auch der systematische inhaltliche Aufbau. Der Autor beginnt mit einem knappen geschichtlichen Überblick, in dem er die metallurgische Entwicklung iranischer Waffen und Rüstungen in ihrem historischen und kulturellen Umfeld beleuchtet, Einflüsse und Auswirkungen auf andere Völker sowie die Wechselwirkung mit anderen Kunstgattungen aufzeigt. Es folgen nach Fundgattungen sortierte Kapitel, in denen anhand real existierender Funde, aber auch anhand von Darstellungen auf Reliefs und Statuen, Beschreibungen in zeitgenössischen Schriftquellen oder literarischen Erzeugnissen, die Herstellung, Verwendung, Herkunft, Tradition und Bedeutung der einzelnen Waffentypen vorgestellt werden. Dabei kommt sowohl den Produktionstechniken als auch der Ikonographie und Symbolik eine besondere Bedeutung zu. Dem Text sind zur Veranschaulichung zahlreiche SW-Abbildungen und Tabellen beigegeben. Gut die Hälfte des gesamten Bandes nimmt der Katalogteil des Werkes ein. Hier werden, in chronologischer Folge geordnet, die insgesamt 505 aufgenommenen Artefakte detailliert beschrieben: Maße, Technik, Herkunft, Datierung, Aufbewahrungsort und Inventarnummer sind ebenso aufgeführt wie Schmiedemarken und Inschriften in Umschrift und Übersetzung. Schade in diesem Zusammenhang ist die nicht konsequent durchgehaltene Umschreibung arabischer bzw. persischer Texte.

Abgesehen von dem immensen Wert, den eine derart detaillierte Zusammenstellung einer solchen Vielzahl zum Teil unpublizierter Waffen sowohl für die Forschung als auch den Sammler darstellt, ist das Werk auch wissenschaftlich eine echte Fundgrube. Da der Autor die Fundstücke nicht isoliert betrachtet, sondern sie in ihren globalen und regionalen kulturhistorischen Zusammenhang stellt, kommt er zu Ergebnissen, die der gängigen Lehrmeinung gelegentlich widersprechen und bislang als sicher geglaubte Erkenntnisse in Frage stellen. Dabei bewahrt er sich jedoch eine vergleichsweise objektive Sichtweise, denn er bringt auch kontroverse Standpunkte zu Gehör und belegt sie mit dem entsprechenden Literaturzitat, sodass der Leser in der Lage ist, die Argumentation nachzuvollziehen und sich selbst eine eigene Meinungen zu bilden. Alles in Allem handelt es sich deshalb um ein sowohl überaus nützliches als auch ästhetisch ansprechendes Werk, das die Herzen jedes Wissenschaftlers und Sammlers antiker Waffen höher schlagen lässt. Für ein solches Buch ist deshalb der Preis von 149,80 Euro mehr als gerechtfertigt.

Beate Dillmann-Gräsing arbeitet als freie Fachbuchlektorin und Übersetzerin in den Bereichen der Archäologie, der Kunst- und Kulturgeschichte, der Orientalistik, sowie der Ägyptologie.



Gordon, M. (2007). Arms and Armor from Iran: The Bronze Age to the end of the Qajar Period. Reviewed by M. Gordon, DWJ: Das Deutsche Waffen-Journal, 08/07, p. 11.

 

Das 4,5kg schwere Buch in englischer Sprache nimmt schon formal eine Sonderstellung ein, im Bücherregal wie auch von seinem Inhalt. Behandelt wird ein Zeitraum von mehreren tausend Jahren, von der Bronzezeit bis 1925, in einer streng begrenzten Gegend, dem heutigen Iran.

Das zweigeteilte Buch behandelt zunächst auf höchst fachlichem Niveau die Entwicklung der Blankwaffe in dieser Gegend und der das Land prägenden Völker und Stämme im Verlauf der Zeiten. Ausführlich werden die Gussmethoden von Bronzewaffen behandelt, so besonders Luristan, aber auch in uns weniger bekannten Entwicklungräumen. Völker wie die Meder, Parther Sassaniden und die Einwanderung indo-europäischer Stämme nehmen Einfluss auf die Formgebung von Waffen. Die islamische Eroberung des Iran wie auch die mongolische Invasion in Iran haben Spuren hinterlassen.

Ein langes Kapitel beschäftigt sich ausschließlich mit der Entwicklung des Shamshir und seinen Varianten. Ebenso werden Kandshar, Kard und Pishqabz behandelt. Weitere Kapitel behandeln die Stangenwaffen, Schlagwaffen, den Harnisch und auch den Bogen. Ausführlich werden durchgehend  die Materialien (Damast besonders) besprochen, aber auch ausführlich Sinnbilder wie der Löwe, die Sonne und andere nur mit Hilfe zu erschließende Abbildungen. Der zweite Teil des Buches ist ein Katalog von 500 Farbabbildungen, in dem nun zusätzlich zum stark bebilderten Textteil nochmals alle Waffen dargestellt werden. Das Buch zeigt viele Waffen erstmals, da dem Autor sowohl unbekannte Privatsammlungen als auch alle zehn königlichen/ staatlichen Sammlungen zur Verfügung stehen, sodass hier alleine von den Abbildungen her alle uns bisher bekannte Literatur in den Schatten gestellt wird.

Das außerordentlich sorgfältige und klug gegliederte Literaturverzeichnis rundet das Buch perfekt ab. Für jeden Sammler dieser Waffen, aber auch für jeden, der an dieser Entwicklung der Blankwaffe interessiert ist, ein unentbehrliches Buch, das nur von einem Autor aus diesem Land erstellt werden konnte; einem Iraner, der an deutschen, spanischen und amerikanischen Universitäten studiert hat. Die englische Sprache sollte niemanden von der Anschaffung abhalten, er wird gewiss seinen Nutzen aus dem Buch ziehen. Der Preis ist hoch, aber gerechtfertigt – ein neues Standardwerk.

Zalesky, Mark (2007). Arms and Armor from Iran: The Bronze Age to the End of the Qajar-Period. Reviewed by Mark Zalesky, Knife World, vol. 33, no. 12, p. 13.

 

 Normally, books on arms and armor seem to escape notice in the world of collectible edged weaponry – and justifiably so, for few titles that deal with arms and armor allocate more than cursory coverage to swords, daggers, and knives. Not so with this massive new book, for here the tables have been turned in the favor of those who admire the historical edged weapons of the world.

Arms & Armor From Iran contains 776 oversized (10-1/4” x 11-3/4”) pages nicely printed on heavy coated paper stock, the majority devoted to Iran’s historic swords, knives and daggers. Often overlooked here in the West in favor of Japan’s famed swords, the edged weapons of the Middle East bear an equally fascinating history and tradition. The khanjarkard, and peshqabz (also pesh kabz) are each covered here in their own detailed chapters, along with the qame and qaddare (which favor the Russian kindjal). Iranian straight swords and the famed shamshir sabres are likewise dealt with in their countless variations. Earlier forms originating as early as the bronze age are covered as well, in similar detail.

Not only is there plenty of detail on the evolution and variations of each form of edged weapon, but things are taken a step further with coverage of crucible (wootz) and pattern welded damascus steel (including the identification and classification thereof), the many decorative techniques employed such as gold inlaying, overlaying, and gilding; the symbolism of decoration, blade inscriptions, and known makers and signatures. Likewise, the mace, bow & arrow, spear and javelin, and the armor we’d expect to see in a book of this nature are addressed, but the space devoted to swords, knives and daggers is impressive indeed.

Amazingly, the above represents only a quick overview of the book’s first half: the second half is devoted entirely to full-color illustrations of the weaponry discussed in the first half of the book. Generally speaking, the overall photographs of each object have been made relatively small so as to accommodate several closeup images emphasizing features such wootz steel, inlays, signatures, etc. – a move that is sure to be appreciated by most collectors. Finally, the book concludes with end notes, an index, and a very extensive bibliography.

The hefty price tag may scare away those with only a token interest, but at almost 11 pounds (!) Arms & Armor From Iran is a very hefty book – and clearly the definitive text on Iranian edged weaponry to date.

Farrokh, Kaveh (2006). An exceptionally great book by: Manouchehr Khorasani. Review of Arms and Armor from Iran by Dr. Kaveh Farrokh, Rozaneh.

 

Review by: Dr. Kaveh Farrokh
-
I would like to take the opportunity to introduce a book that stands among the premier works if scholarship in Iranian studies and history. This is Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani’s book;

This book stands amongst the greatest books ever produced in its field; it is veritably at the caliber of the late Professor Roman Ghirschman. This scholarly book examines the development of metalwork technology and associated developments in arms and armor from the ealiest Aryan arrivals onto the Iranian plateau. What is significant is that Khorasani fully acknowledges the role of regions such as Marlik and Lursitan in the development of technology in Iran. However, Khorasani has not confined his work to metalworks, technology and armaments. He fully acknowledges the role of the arts in the context of these developments. This breathtaking book is contains 2500 color photos never before seen in western academia nor even in much of Iran itself. This book will be a MAJOR reference source of scholars for years to come.

It was in pre-Achaemenid era (especially the Mede era) where much of the basis of the “Persepolis Arts” was first laid. Iranian Zoroastrian motifs began to appear in earnest in the metalworks of places such as Lursitan. Examples include mythological bird-beasts appearing on equestrian equipment (e.g. horse bits), daggers, and other metalworks. These motifs were to exert a profound influence on later European and Far eastern arts. These include the lion motif seen in the Achaemenid Akenakes dagger:

The lion motif continues to be a potent symbol of collective Iranian identity. It is motif that has exerted a powerful legacy in Europe as outlined by the late Roman Ghirschman. The development of technology in Iran was to exert a lasting legacy on world history. While Achaemenid Persia did fail to conquer Greece and Alexander conquered the Persian Empire of Darius III, technological developments in Persia continued to proceed. Khorasani fully expostulated upon those developments, especially in the context of archery equipment, swords and blade weapons, and other weapons such as lances, spears and javelins. These weapons however also exhibit the development of the arts of Iran, motifs that trace their developments back to the early Aryan, Mede and Achaemenid eras.

Armor and metalworks not only continued their developments in the post-Islamic period, but alos experienced a renaissance in the Safavid era (1501-1736). Note the rare photograph of the armor of Shah Ismail (ruled 1501-1524), the founder of the dynasty: The “Spangenhelm” helmets of riveted construction metallic plates, which reached a high level of sophistication in the Sassanian era, gave way to more advanced designs in post-Islamic Iran:

The Zand era is of profound importance to Iranians, however few know of the historical events of the period. It was Karim Khan Zand (1705-1779), the founder of the dynasty who, expelled the Pathan invaders of Iran. Many of Karim Khan Zand’s warriors, included women, mainly the wives and daughters of the Luristan warriors. Their archery equipment was of the highest quality (see below): The Zands may have introduced line firing (alternate volleys fired by succeeding rows). This technique had been known in Persia since the days of the Medes and Achaemenids.

The Qajar period (1781-1925) witnessed the construction of the some the highest quality metalworks (notably in swords and shields). Much of this is unknown as the Qajars are associated with the defeats suffered against imperial Russian expansions in the Caucasus and Central Asia in the late 1700s-early 1800s. Irrespective of the Qajar political leadership which was militarily inept and politically corrupt, the swords, armor and associated artistry were highly advanced. Note the examples below:

Note the color motifs applied to the sowrd handle. These colors (and their combination) are not unlike those seen in the Sassanian era. Note also the manner in which the blade attaches to the handle.

Khorasani has sacrificed much to write this comprehensive text. He conducted in full-time research and travels with his own expense for over a decade – Khorasani conducted this project under his own personal initiative. This is the characteristic of world class scholars whose passion for their research transcends all personal motives in the quest to disseminate knowledge to humanity.

On a final note, I highly recommend this book to those interested to learn about the history of Iran from the Aryan arrivals to the end of the Qajar era, especially with respect to metalwork technology and associated arts.

M.M. (2007). Review of Arms and Armor from Iran by M.W. Visier: Das Internationale Waffen-Magazin, März 3/2007, p. 101.

Freunden der orientalischen Kultur- und Waffengeschichte offenbart das Buch Arm and Armor from Iran: The Bronze Age to the End of the Qajar Period die jahrhundertealte Entwicklungsgeschichte iranischer Blank- und Schutzwaffen. Der von Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani verfasste Prachtband weiß allein schon durch bloße Zahlen zu beeindrucken: Auf 4,5 kg Kunstdruckpapier gibt es zirka 2800 brillante Farbabbildungen zu bestaunen, die sich auf die 776 Seiten verteilen. Der gebürtige Iraner und ausgewiesene Experte für die alten Waffen des Nahen und Mittleren Ostens investierte insgesamt 8 Jahre Forschungsarbeit in das Werk. Entsprechend umfangreich stellt sich sein Inhalt dar: Dieser reicht von den Ausgrabungen der Bronzezeit bis zum Ende der Qajar-Periode im Jahre 1925. Die in dem Buch veröffentlichten Forschungsergebnis stützen sich zu über 60 % auf iranische, bislang nicht zugängliche Quellen. Viele der abgebildeten Waffen stammen aus iranischen Museen und waren vorher noch nirgends anders zu sehen. Daneben finden sich aber auch Stücke aus amerikanischen und europäischen Sammlungen – jedes Exponat mit eigener Beschreibung inklusive den genauen Abmessungen. Die Auseinandersetzung mit den Waffen geschieht stets im Zusammenhang mit der Vergangenheit Persiens und speziell der Militärgeschichte des Landes. Der ausschließlich in englischer Sprache verfügbare Band wendet sich in erster Linie an den Enthusiasten der iranischen Kultur- und Waffenhistorie. Für den Liebhaber und Kenner dieses Themenkreises aber ist das Buch mit einem Preis von 149,80 Euro sicher nicht zu hoch veranschlagt.