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Selected illustrations in SAMAK-E ʿAYYĀR or

Kitāb-i-Samak 'Iyār (parts 1 & 2)
by Ibn Abī al-Qāsim Shīrāzī, Ṣadaqah.

Injuid, Shiraz, c.1330. Bodleian Library, Oxford, MSS. Ouseley 379 & 380.
A Persian Novel

Part 1, Ouseley 379

109a Battle scene, with clouds of dust rising.

159b Battle of Surkh between Kafur and Sanjaq.

196b Man fleeing from a battle in the mountains.

Part 2, Ouseley 380

243b Fight between horsemen.

307b Personage asleep in tent, which a man is stealthily leaving.

368a Family: man, women and children walking.

397b An Ilkhanid battle scene.

To Kitāb-i-Samak 'Iyār Part 3, Ouseley 381

The Kitab-i Samak 'Ayyar is what may be described as a popular romance and, in the same sense that this expression retains today, it was written for a popular audience. It was collected by Faramarz ibn Khudadadh al-Arrajani in the 12th century and written down by Sadaqa b. Abu'l-Qasim Shirazi. This type of literature, although not unusual for its literary type, was seldom illustrated, and the Oxford manuscript of Kitab-i Samak 'Ayyar is the only Persian illustrated novel of the period.
Shelfmark: Bodleian Library MS. Ouseley 379
Title: Kitāb-i-Samak 'Iyār (pt.1)
Creator: Ibn Abī al-Qāsim Shīrāzī, Ṣadaqah. [author]
Date of Origin: 14th century, c. 1330
Language: Persian
Description: Ms. codex | Hand: Naskh | Extent: 229 leaves
Source: The Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, MS. Ouseley 379 and MS. Ouseley 380
Reference: Encyclopaedia Iranica



The story narrates the adventures of a prince who is born in response to the prayers of his old father. At the age of sixteen, he falls in love with the princess of Čin, and that is the starting point of his journey to join his beloved. Meanwhile, he receives help from a group of ʿayyārān. These ʿayyārān are introduced as a group of ordinary people who enjoy a free life, have independent power, possess some special skills, and do not obey the king's orders blindly.
...
The manuscript contains a total of 785 folios in three volumes and is illustrated with 80 images:
Ouseley 379: 229 folios and 20 images
Ouseley 380: 221 folios and 21 images
Ouseley 381: 335 folios and 39 images
Source: The Persian Romance of Samak-e ʿayyār, Analysis of an illustrated Inju Manuscript by Roxana Zenhari, 2014, Verlag für Orientkunde.



Referenced as figure 641 in The military technology of classical Islam by D Nicolle
641. Manuscript, Kitāb-i Samak ʿAyyār. early 14th century AD, west Iranian, Bodleian lib., Ms. Ous. 381, ff. 3r, 31v, 39v, 121r, 180v, 221v, 268v, 276v, 283v, 61r, 68v, 109r, 159v, 251, 302r, 307v, 311r and 368r, Oxford (Elg).
[Some figures are from Parts 1 or 2 rather than part 3.]

Click on a figure to see the source:


p.174 Lamellar armour may also have been used in Byzantium in the pre-Islamic era39 (Figs. 90, 91 and 556) but its more widespread adoption after the 7th century clearly reflected Muslim military pressure40 (Figs. 212, 220A, 314, 630 and 637). A smaller but equally common kabadion lamellar cuirass was seen in Byzantium from the 10th century41 (Figs. 227, 242, 249, 314, 414 and 608). This could reflect the changing fashions of eastern Islam, where the lamellar kamaband may have been developed in the 10th century, or it could have been the Byzantine original that stimulated the adoption of this latter Iranian form of armour (Figs. 209, 241, 292, 294, 306, 347, 354, 376, 377, 385, 390, 392, 422, 446, 447 and 641).

39. Haldon, "Some Aspects of Byzantine Military Technology from the 6th to the 10th centuries," p. 20.
40. Ibid., pp. 25-26,29 and 46.
41. Ibid., p 36.



See also Illustrations of Ilkhanid Mongols and Injuid and Jalayrid Successors in 14th Century Persia and surrounds
Persian Cavalryman c1320 Persian Cavalrymen c.1335 Persian Cavalrymen c.1335 in Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 2 by Ian Heath
Persian Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers
Index of Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers