Table of Contents

  • ARMOR ii. In Eastern Iran

    Boris A. Litvinsky

    By the 6th, or even 7th, century BCE, the Scythian and Northern Caucasian nomads had formed a complete complex of defensive armor.

  • ARMY

    Multiple Authors

    a survey from early pre-Islamic times to the mid-20th century.

  • ARMY i. Pre-Islamic Iran

    A. Sh. Shahbazi

    materials for a study of pre-Islamic Iranian military concerns fall into four categories: textual evidence; archeological finds; documentary representations (on monuments and objects of art); and philological deductions. 

  • ARMY ii. Islamic, to the Mongol period

    C. E. Bosworth

    Arab armies which overran Sasanian Iraq and Iran in the middle decades of the 7th century A.D. comprised essentially the levée en masse of the male, free Muslim Arab cavalrymen.

  • ARMY iii. Safavid Period

    M. Haneda

    Shah Esmaʿil's army was comprised of tribal units, the majority of which were Turkmen, the remainder Kurds and Čaḡatāy.

  • ARMY iv. Afšar and Zand Periods

    J. R. Perry

    Nāder Shah grew up a raider, made his early reputation as a mercenary, and came to power as commander-in-chief of a fugitive Safavid claimant in Afghan-occupied Iran; by force of arms he drove out the Afghans and intimidated the Ottoman Turks and Russians who had sought to partition Iran.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.
  • ARMY v. Qajar Period

    Stephanie Cronin

    at the end of the 18th century, the military forces of the first Qajar ruler Āḡā Moḥammad Khan (r. 1789-97) resembled those of preceding dynasties.

  • ARMY vi. Pahlavi Period

    M. J. Sheikh-ol-Islami

    While few foreign officers were employed, many cadets were sent abroad, mainly to French military academies. Consequently, the nascent military institutions were highly influenced by the style and organization which were prevalent in France.

    This Article Has Images/Tables.
  • ARMY vii. In Afghanistan from 1919

    L. Dupree

    Using Turkish advisers, Amānallāh Khan (r. 1919-29)  unsuccessfully tried to create a nationalist-oriented army.


    A. Sh. Shahbazi

    one of the mythical king Jamšēd’s sisters.