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Beatrice F. Manz

« Nomad and Settled in the Timurid Military », in : Reuven Amitai & Michal Biran, eds., Mongols, Turks, and Others: Eurasian Nomads and the Sedentary World. Leiden, Brill, 2005, pp. 425-457.

Compte-rendu réalisé par Colin Mitchell

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Reuven Amitai, Michal Biran
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1The division of elite society (ḫavāṣ) into two broad spheres – men of the pen (arbāb-i qalam) and men of the sword (arbāb-i sayf) – has long been a standard feature of model schemas of Muslim societies in political advice manuals, chronicles, and other court-produced sources. Of course, the relative dearth of material about plebeians and laypeople in medieval Islamic society has been the bane of social historians. Nonetheless, scholarly initiatives as of late point to a growing willingness to flush out some sense of agency on the part of these groups and their relationships with the military and bureaucratic elite; most recently, Iranian Studies used a 2005-issue to feature a symposium with Jurgen Paul, Deborah Tor, Ahmed Abdelsalam, and David Durand-Guédy and their respective treatments of local militias and privatized warfare in medieval Iran. Beatrice Manz has expanded this debate with her examination of a number of 15th century, Timurid-era cities, and the degree to which they were dominated by the Turco-Mongol military elite. By focusing on the political and administrative narratives of cities like Isfahan, Yazd, Shiraz, and Herat against the larger backdrop of Timurid familial strife and the seemingly endless provincial campaigns among the feuding successors of Timur, Manz argues that Persian urbanites seized upon these opportunities to participate actively in military decisions regarding city defenses, siege tactics, and strategies by local militia forces. Admitting that historical material regarding the training, armament, and general effectiveness of city populations as military units is indeed scant, Manz presents the meat of her argument through those ‘religious bureaucrats’ who boasted military appointments and commands: men like Ḫwāja Maḥmūd Ḥaydar, Šayḫ Muḥibb al-Dīn Abū’l-Ḫayr Jazarī, and Ġiyāṯ al-Dīn Ḥāfiẓ Rāzī of Shiraz. Her one substantial example of a plebeian phenomenon is Ḥusayn Šarbatdār of Shiraz who had organized an urban resistance against attacks by rebellious Timurid princes, Iskandar Sulṭān and later Sulṭān Muḥammad, in the early 15th century.

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Colin Mitchell. Beatrice F. Manz, « « Nomad and Settled in the Timurid Military », in : Reuven Amitai & Michal Biran, eds., Mongols, Turks, and Others: Eurasian Nomads and the Sedentary World. Leiden, Brill, 2005, pp. 425-457. », Abstracta Iranica [En ligne], Volume 28 | 2007, document 159, mis en ligne le 18 septembre 2007, consulté le 16 octobre 2019. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/abstractairanica/17462

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