Persian manuscripts on warfare

Resāle-ye Kamāndāri [Archery Manuscript]: Another Persian archery manuscript titled Resāle-ye Kamāndāri [Archery Manuscript] that was published in Majjale-ye Barrasihāye Tārixi [Journal of Historical Research] (1968/1347:75-88) offers lots of interesting information on archery techniques.  This manuscript was among ten manuscripts, each with a different handwriting and one is called "The Selection of the Archery Manuscript written by Kapur Čand"[1] which was obviously collected in India[2].


[1]Entexāb-e Resāle-ye Qŏsiye Tasnif-e Kapur Čandﺍﻧﺘﺨﺎﺏﺮﺴﺎﻠﻪﻗﻮﺴﻴﻪﺘﺼﻧﻳﻑﻜﭘﻮﺭﭼﻨﺪ.

[2]This collection was given as a present [gift] by Mr. Hasan Ali Qaffāri (Mo'āvenoldolleh) to the Central Library of the University of Tehrān.  MORE

Nŏruznāme [The Book of Nŏruz]: A 11th century manuscript on archery: A chapter of the book Nŏruznāme [The Book of Nŏruz] attributed to Omar ben Ebrāhim Xayyām-e Neyšāburi deals with archery.  Above all, the poems, and also the scientific achievements, of Omar ben Ebrāhim Xayyām-e Neyšāburi are praised in Iran.  It is not very well-known that Omar ben Ebrāhim Xayyām-e Neyšāburi also talks about the archery in this manuscript titled Nŏruznāme.  Omar ben Ebrāhim Xayyām-e Neyšāburi was born in Neyšābur in 1048 C.E. and died in the same city in 1131 CE.  MORE

The manuscript of the Tumār-e Puryā-ye Vali (Scroll of Puryā-ye Vali)

Another Persian manuscript dedicated to the descriptions of wrestling techniques is the Tumār-e Puryā-ye Vali (Scroll of Puryā-ye Vali) that is probably from the Safavid period (1502-1722 C.E.).  Puryā-ye Vali was an Iranian champion who was not only famed for his wrestling capabilities but also for following the principles of javānmardi (chivalry).  There are many accounts describing how the champions helped the poor, the elderly and the children.  This scroll is most probably from the Safavid period, has a length of three and half meters and a width of seventeen centimeters.  The beginning of the scroll is missing.  Part of the text contains the genealogy of Puryā-ye Vali that seems to be incomplete.  Unfortunately, the manuscript mentions only the names of wrestling techniques and does not describe the application of those wrestling moves.  In the manuscript the term xiz is used to refer to the wrestling student.  Note that one distinguishes between pasxiz (the student who wrestles at the end) and pišxiz (the student who wrestles as the first).  The author of the text made some mistakes in different parts of the text.  There are forty seven wrestling techniques mentioned in the text, but in fact they comprise only forty six techniques as the technique gorg is mentioned twice in the text.  The author also makes mistakes in numbering the wrestling students: MORE

Masnavi-ye Golkošti-ye Mirnejāt was written by Mirnejāt at the end of the period of Šāh Soleymān Safavid (1666-1694 C.E.) or at the beginning of the era of the period of Šāh Soltān Hosseyn Safavid (1694-1722 C.E.). This manuscript is a poetic form called masnavi (verses that rhyme).  The author was Mir Abodola'āl, who was also called Mirnejāt. His father was a famed accountant in the period of Šāh Soleymān Safavid.  Mirnejāt was a writer and accountant of the royal office, who was appointed a royal librarian during the period of Šāh Soltān Hosseyn Safavid.  Mirnejāt presented his poems in front of Šāh Soleymān and won many prizes. A characteristic of Mir Nejāt’s poems is the fact that they show a clear mastery and understanding of the wrestling terms used in that period. The Masnavi-ye Golkošti-ye Mirnejāt contains 268 rhyming couplets.  It is evident that Mirnejāt practiced wrestling and knew the techniques (Beyzāi Kāšāni, 2003/1382:393-394, 396 and Abbāsi, 1995/1374:169).  Very often in places the poem of Masnavi-ye Golkošti by Mirnejāt looks like a love poem.  In this respect, this poem resembles the chants of a moršed in the zurxāne.  Regarding the love relationship between God and man in classical Iranian poetry,Luijendijk (2006:19) points out that the name of God is seldom mentioned and it is often substituted by the expression "the beloved one".  More

Jāme al-Hadāyat fi Elm al-Romāyat [Complete Guide concerning the Science of Archery] by Nezāmeldin Ahmad ibn Mohammad ben Ahmad Šojāeldin Dorudbāši Beyhaqi

Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani

This manuscript consist of 42 pages and is kept the Central Library of the University of Tehran.  The author of the manuscript calls himself Hosseyn Nezāmeldin al-Qoreši Sāveji.  Apparently, he was the father of Nezāmeldin Mohammad ben Kamālodin Hosseyn ben Nezāmeldin al-Qoreši Sāveji, and one of the friends of Šeyx Bahā’i, and he gave his son to Šeyx Bahā’i [for educational purposes].  The son was very well educated by his instructor and accompanied his master during different travels.  After the death of Šeyx Bahā’i, he was one of the respected scholars in the court of Šāh Abbās.  His son wrote the book Nezām al-Afvāl fi Ahvāl al-Rajāl in 1021-1022 Hegira (1612-1613 C.E.), and also completed the comprehensive book Abbāsi of his master in 1032 Hegira (1622 C.E.).  Shortly after the death of Šāh Abbās in 1038 Hegira (1629 C.E.), the son died at the age of forty (Dānešpaǰuh, 1975/1354:277).  There is no more information about the author of the book himself. More

Manuscript on archery, spear & lancefighting, swords and wrestling by Sharif Mohammad ibn Ahmad Mehdi Hosseyni: This manuscript stems from the period of Shāh Esmā'il Safavid (1502-1524 C.E.) that deals with fighting with weapons such as bows, lances, spears, swords and wrestling.  A copy of this manuscript is kept in the National Library of Malek in Tehran.  The chapter 13 (which consists of 49 handwritten pages) deals with the topic of archery, wrestling, lance/spear combat, riding horses and swords and similar topics.  The whole manuscript is translated and annotated in the book: Persian Archery and Swordsmanship: Historical Martial Arts of Iran. In the following some parts of the manuscript in original script and annotated translation as shown in the book Persian Archery and Swordsmanship: Historical Martial Arts of Iran are shown. For the complete translation consult the book above: More