Illustration from a furusiyya manuscript, c. 1500
A Mamluk Training with a Lance
David Collection Museum, Denmark


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Miniature from a furusiyya manuscript. “A Mamluk Training with a Lance”
Egypt or Syria; c. 1500
Leaf: 24 × 16.7 cm

The Mamluks were a dynasty of professional slave soldiers for whom the art of war was of the greatest importance. They cultivated a special type of writing, the furusiyya, which primarily dealt with the horse and its use in war, but also infantry drills with the sword, the lance, the bow, and Greek fire. Such writing was often based on earlier Abbasid treatises.

The Mamluk shown here training with his lance is wearing a characteristic violet fur hat (zamt), but otherwise the depiction has limited aesthetic ambitions. It is an illustration for a didactic work, nothing more.

Source: The David Collection Museum, Denmark, Inv. no. 19/2001



Other resources:
Nihayat al-sul-1371 a Mameluke manual of horsemanship and military practice, 1371.
Kitsab al-makhzun jami' al-funun by ibn akhi hizam. A Mamluk manual of military practice and horsemanship, 1470
Kitsab al-makhzun jami` al-funun by ibn akhî hizâm - A Mameluke manual of military practice and horsemanship, Egypt or Syria, 1578.

Egyptian and Syrian Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers
Other 15th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers