My blog is going to primarily focus on the Persian archer himself. For example, the qualities he needs to have, the characteristics and attributes that would benefit him, and the type of armor he would wear when going into battle. This information was found in an article that was based off of a Persian archery manuscript called Resāleye Kamāndāri, which was discovered in 1968. It goes through many different aspects of archery, including the qualities that it was thought that the archer should have. It summarizes those qualities in ten points which are further grouped into moral, temperamental and physical characteristics. The moral requirements are to be pure of heart and grateful to one’s master, to not be greedy and to lead a pure life, and to keep promises and to do good deeds. Temperamentally, the archer needs to be in a good mood and stand tall, and be able to cope with suffering and be chivalrous. The physical features are having an open chest, wide shoulders, and long arms. The archer also needed to have the knowledge and skills of how to properly use the bow. It was not a weapon you could just take and use immediately, it required thought and preparation along with calmness and self-control (Dwyer et al 2).
The archer’s attire was made up of a tunic and trousers, which were loose fitting and usually had an elaborate woven decoration to them. There was also a cap that they wore along with a combined quiver and bow-case (Iranian Archer- Soldier Profile). Many times, the foot soldier carried a short sword (acinaces), a spear with wooden shaft and metal head and butt, a quiver full of arrows of reed with bronze or iron heads, and a bow about one meter long with ends formed in animals’ heads, and a case which combined the bow-case and quiver-holder (Shahbazi).
An Achaemenid Archer with a Long Bow. The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies. Web. http://www.cais-soas.com/CAIS/Images2/Achaemenid/Military/Achaemenid_Archer.gif
DWYER, Bede, and Manouchehr MOSHTAGH KHORASANI. “An Analysis of A Persian Archery Manuscript Written By Kapur Čand.” Revista De Artes Marciales Asiaticas 8.1 (2013): 1-12. Academic Search Premier. Web. 28 Jan. 2014.
Iranian Archer- Soldier Profile. 10 November 2010. Web. 9 Feburary 2014.
Shahbazi, Sh., A. Achaemenid Army. n.d. Web. 9 Feburary 2014.
Wikipedia contributors. “Trousers.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 22 Jan. 2014. Web. 28 Jan. 2014.
2 responses to “The Persian Archer”
The vase painting shows a Greek representation of a Persian (recognisable by the “collapsed” flap of his Phrygian cap), but the dress is that of the Scythian “policemen” of Athens, drawn over a naked body (because in actual fact the kaftan of the Scythians was knee-lenght – Persian soldiers wore a knee-length “Median” tunic – and their trousers were very loose-fitting). The action of this archer however, is very realistic – and un-Greek – retreating while fighting. An archer on foot shown in this very attitude is also shown in the 15th century Fatih-Album (see D. Nicolle The Age of Tamerlane p. 21), only he has drawn his sword.
The other drawing, I am sorry to say, is a lot of nonsense, bow much too large, and what on earth is he doing with his left foot? It is very unlikely the poncho’s shown on the Persian palaces were ever used as combat dress.
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