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Old 4th July 2022, 01:08 PM   #31
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Ariel needs your help now. And it's true - he needs help.
I always appreciate constructive help. That’s the main reason I come to this site.
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Old 4th July 2022, 04:31 PM   #32
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Going back to the original topic of discussion: any consructive thoughts about potential Chinese influence on the construction of the “ quillon”?
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Old 5th July 2022, 12:34 AM   #33
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I immediately rejected the version of the direct borrowing of Chinese design with the help of Zheng He's flotilla. This version is so weak that it is not worth wasting time even explaining the reasons for its weakness.

Even a quick review of the overland part of the Great Silk Road gave much more promising results. Although this line of contacts operated continuously for more than 2500 years, the nature and intensity of the interaction changed significantly over different periods of time.
The most interesting for me are the 14th-16th centuries, when the state of Moghulistan existed on the territory including modern Xinjiang, the southeastern part of Kazakhstan and part of Kyrgyzstan. This state had outstanding opportunities for interaction with China, Mongolia, Tibet, the states of Central Asia, Afghanistan, India, using its geographical position, the unique composition of the population and the dynastic ties of its sovereigns.

It is especially important for us that the mother of Babur, the founder of the Mughal dynasty, was the daughter of the sovereign of Moghulistan, and many relatives on the maternal side became associates of Babur. They were the descendants of the Mongols who converted to Islam and the Turkic language, but at the same time retained a significant part of the ties with Mongolia.

Very little is known about the Mongolian weapons traditions of the 14th-16th centuries. But thanks to the excellent research of Donald LaRocca, we know that the conservative traditions of Tibet have preserved much of the common heritage of the Mongols, Tibetans, Chinese and Manchus.
Therefore, I once again looked at the historical weapons of Tibet and, in order not to waste more words, I have prepared for you a small overview of the most characteristic items.
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Old 5th July 2022, 12:37 AM   #34
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And also some Tibetan weapon accessories
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Old 5th July 2022, 08:24 AM   #35
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Beautiful .
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Old 5th July 2022, 11:45 AM   #36
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Sorry, another double:-(((((

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Old 5th July 2022, 12:00 PM   #37
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Ren Ren,
I am a bit flabbergasted by your comments.
First, I never claimed that Zheng He's trips were the source of Chinese swords entering India. It was simply in response to Mercenary's assertion that China had no direct contacts with India till at least 16 century. This was patently incorrect and maps of Zheng He's travels confirm it. As a matter of fact ZH died in Kozhikode ( Calicut in European sources). The categorical assertion that "This version is so weak that it is not worth wasting time even explaining the reasons for its weakness" is a bit too glib: had it not been so evasive and supercilious, I might have even been insulted. But I was not, so do not worry about it.

Then, you find fault with me using the term " Normans", even though I explicitly mentioned that several names were used in different sources, from Normans, Norsemen, Rus, Vikings, Varyags. It is not how we call them, but where they were from: Scandinavia.

After that you invoke some conclusions from maritime archeology to assert that ZH's fleet did not carry weapons as gifts. This was not supported by any references, locations, dates, sufficient number of shipwrecks examined etc.

And now you totally reject the possibility ( not even probability!) of maritime exchange between China and India. Please pay attention that I explicitly mentioned common land borders between the two as a potential point of contact. But the existence of early maritime contacts is also irrefutable. Interestingly, you yourself mention that " Moghulistan" in the 14th century had trade relations with India.

Your hypothesis that Tibetan Kirthimukha was the inspiration for some Indian quillons is intriguing. But please realize that these motives were used on the swords that Emperor Yungle ( the very same who sent ZH on his journeys !) and even his predecessors gifted to Tibetan monasteries (see book of La Rocca). Thus, it might not be impossible that some of those swords reached India very early on either by land or ( potentially!) as ZH's gifts to Indian nobility.

There is no need to digress into long descriptions of things that do not bear any relations to the topic of current discussion ( such as genealogy of Babur's mother etc). And some attention to the comments that are the targets of your critique as well as some thinking about your responses might also be beneficial.
With best wishes,
Ariel
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Old 5th July 2022, 03:17 PM   #38
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Quote:
"According to Simon Digby, the evidence given by Fakr-i-Mudabbir in Delhi in the early thirteenth century suggests "a trade in arms extending through the medieval Islamic world from Europe to China" with European blades usually being considered sharper and better than Indian ones" (с)
In real:
Quote:
the author of the manuscript calls Indian swords the best of all kind of swords

Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel View Post
It was simply in response to Mercenary's assertion that China had no direct contacts with India till at least 16 century.

In real:
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There was no direct influence of Chinese culture to Indian one in the 16th century, only indirectly through Iran and Central Asia. If something of Chinese appeared in the Deccan, it first had to appeared in Iran.
And how much we were told about the scientific discourse and the rules of academic activity.
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Old 5th July 2022, 09:28 PM   #39
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Huurra! I was lucky and I found a photo of the original Mongolian helmets! Attention to the visor!
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Old 5th July 2022, 11:10 PM   #40
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Mercenary,
You are correct: I used a stenographic style to cite your text, and just wrote about simply contacts vs. cultural influence. Can you support your assertion with some evidence? IMHO, it would be difficult to assert that ZH’s 300+ vessel flotilla visiting India with a specific goal to bring multiple gifts to the local “rich and famous” did not bring about at least some cultural novelties.

You might be too young to remember, but a single International Youth Festival in Moscow in 1956 had changed Russian youth’s way of dressing, their haircuts all over the country etc. Not even mentioning a large number of newborn children who did not look Slavic at all :-) Soviet satyrical journals have noticed it immediately with a flurry of caricatures and newspapers published one article after another about “poisonous influence of Western culture “.
And I am not even talking about “MickeyD”, i.e. Mc Donalds.


That is how cultural changes penetrate: local elites with access to the novelties adopts them first and then they trickle down to the lower social strata.
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Old 6th July 2022, 03:23 PM   #41
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Tom Nichols. The Death of Expertise:
"All things are knowable and every opinion on any subject is as good as any other".

The non-expert knowledge is constructed fragmentarily and linearly. Separate, fragmentary facts just put on a straight time line and a conclusion is made at the end. For example:
1. The Chinese fleet reached India in the 15th century.
2. There is a sword similar to the Chinese in the Deccan in the 16th century.
3. Local elites with access to the novelties adopt them first and then they trickle down to the lower social strata.
4. So, somewhere after the 16th century, the peasants in the Deccan have been armed with Chinese weapons (we know that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence).

Another example. In an album with illustrations of Indian weapons, the author in a stenographic style refers to the image of Yogini in a secondary source ("Yoga: The Art of Transformation", very scientific ) and proves that the Indian axe "bhuj" was existed in India already in the 10th century. Here is the image on the museum website:
https://collections.artsmia.org/art/...th-a-jar-india
Any expert in the field of Indian culture knows that the images of the Yogini always follow the canon and she can only hold a mace or a sword, but not an axe. If you look at the image from a different angle, it becomes clear why the author misled (perhaps he did not have the Internet):
https://images.artsmia.org/wp-conten...a_60074381.jpg

An expert in the field of Deccan culture of the 16th century knows how strong Iranian cultural influence was in this region during this period. Noblemen, scientists, atist and Sufis were invited from Iran and Central Asia. The elite was represented by Shia Muslims, Indians and even Africans. It was the leading cultural center of that time, influencing the whole of India. Rather, the weapons of the Deccan would have got to China than vice versa. But there was the influence of Chinese culture through Iran due to the "porcelain way". But it was a more complex phenomenon and this is not for discussing here.

I am with Jim:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall View Post
However, the 'langet' shape in the hilt structure of this without the expected quillons seems to align more with the khanjhar daggers of which many are attributed to Deccan
And it will be better to discuss item posted by werecow
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showpo...49&postcount=3
because your item from the auction raises questions.

Just for curiosity. A composite style:
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Last edited by Mercenary; 6th July 2022 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 6th July 2022, 03:37 PM   #42
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I am with Jim:
More examples:
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Old 6th July 2022, 04:13 PM   #43
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Re. Your penultimate post.
In the list on top of it, points 1,2,and 3 are correct.
But to call Qutb Quli Shah a “ peasant” would be a slight exaggeration.
Overall, this list is ‘true, true and not related”. All cultural novelties trickle down to a certain socio-economic level and stop there. There are still countries where significant portions of population have no indoor toilets, would you believe?

As to the example from werecow, wouldn’t you agree that its rudimentary quillons look suspiciously like Chinese “chi”?

The item from the auction I have shown indeed raises questions. That is exactly why I asked one:-)

The intricacies of the rest of your message are well above my level of interest. As they say, “What was the middle part?”
Although i know some “ yoginis” who should not be allowed to carry not only axes, but even manicure tweezers:-)

Last edited by ariel; 6th July 2022 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 6th July 2022, 05:07 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ren Ren View Post
Very little is known about the Mongolian weapons traditions of the 14th-16th centuries. But thanks to the excellent research of Donald LaRocca, we know that the conservative traditions of Tibet have preserved much of the common heritage of the Mongols, Tibetans, Chinese and Manchus.
Therefore, I once again looked at the historical weapons of Tibet and, in order not to waste more words, I have prepared for you a small overview of the most characteristic items.
Interesting discussion gentlemen. I find cross cultural influence and exchange of technology, ideas, and genes to be one of the most fascinating subjects ever.

Ren Ren, the Tibetan swords you show seem to have a Kala on them? Would you say that is a Tibetan addition that fits conveniently into the space or is it an implied motif on the Chinese and Indian examples also? I.e. time and death devouring all. The visors of the Mongolian helmets state this as well or just share a silhouette? Seeing that pattern repeat was a very good catch.

Mercenary, Where is the example in post #41 from?

Last edited by Interested Party; 6th July 2022 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 6th July 2022, 06:58 PM   #45
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Mercenary, Where is the example in post #41 from?
The State Hermitage Museum (Petersburg, Russia)
Iran, XV-XVI, when Chinese motifs were popular in the art of the Timurid state and the early Safavids. At a later time, the heads of dragons and birds were removed.

inscription: "From the desire to have a sun-like dagger, every bone in my body side became a dagger".
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Old 6th July 2022, 09:16 PM   #46
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The State Hermitage Museum (Petersburg, Russia)
Iran, XV-XVI, when Chinese motifs were popular in the art of the Timurid state and the early Safavids. At a later time, the heads of dragons and birds were removed.

inscription: "From the desire to have a sun-like dagger, every bone in my body side became a dagger".
Thank you. I am glad to see my eyes didn't lie. It looked like Chinese motifs on an Iranian or Caucasian blade. decorated with Turkish style turquoises, and eared (or is that an optical illusion?). For some reason it made me think of the sword of Charlemagne". To which other than hybridization this dagger has nothing to do with. I then picked up Rivkin's "History of the Eastern Sword" and skimmed a few a few chapters covering the concept of transmission of styles across Asia and Europe. Which does seem related to our current topic, but I did not find an appropriate quote.

So, do you think it was made for Shiites and then owned by Sunnis who removed the animals heads?
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Old 6th July 2022, 09:53 PM   #47
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Don’t we exaggerate the anti-iconic customs of Shia and Sunni?

Both Turkish Sultans and Persian Shahs invited European artists to have their portrais painted , Iranians had their khanjars with ivory handles carved with human figures, Sunni Mughals had books with rich collections of miniatures showing multiple personalities, Deccani Sultans had the same , Shia Tipu Sultan had a life-size statue of a tiger devouring a Brit… etc.
And I am not talking miniatures depicting copulating couples in great detail ( talk about modesty):-)

Moreover, any comparison between religious anti-iconic fervor of Sunni vs. Shia doesn’t seem to hold water.

Anti-iconism was and still is very strong only in the Salafi and Wahhabi communities. But streets of Karachi and Teheran are covered in gigantic portraits of their political and religious leaders ( never been in either, thank G-d, just saw Internet photos)
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Old 6th July 2022, 11:09 PM   #48
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Ren Ren, the Tibetan swords you show seem to have a Kala on them? Would you say that is a Tibetan addition that fits conveniently into the space or is it an implied motif on the Chinese and Indian examples also? I.e. time and death devouring all.
Donald LaRocca uses the Tibetan name "tsi pa ta" in his book, which is exactly the same as the Sanskrit "kirttimukha". I do not know if the kirttimukha mask is used in the decoration of Indian weapons. China has its own symbol - the mask of Tao Tie 饕餮 (you can translate it as "Terrible Glutton"). This is a very ancient symbol, it has been known since at least 1300 BC. Later, it partially united with the kirttimukha symbol, which brought Buddhism from India.
Quote:
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The visors of the Mongolian helmets state this as well or just share a silhouette? Seeing that pattern repeat was a very good catch.
I suppose that if you wish, you can find parallels between the silhouette of the visor of the Mongolian helmets and Buddhist religious objects, such as the headdresses of monks and priests. But this is hardly connected directly with the symbol tsi pa ta/kirttimukha.
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Old 6th July 2022, 11:27 PM   #49
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Tom Nichols. The Death of Expertise:
"All things are knowable and every opinion on any subject is as good as any other".
Some time ago, I already recommended to one of the participants in this thread to pay attention to this wonderful book. Now my intuition tells me that I will have to do this more than once
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Old 9th July 2022, 04:54 AM   #50
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Expertise by definition requires full-time involvement, professional education, vast knowledge, experience and stellar track record. Anything less than that defines an amateur.
Neither I nor you ( at least I hope so) would like to be operated by a part-time medical assistant.
I am an expert in neuroendocrinology, but happily refer patients with metabolic bone disease to a bone/calcium expert even though theoretically I am certified to take care of them, and my diabetes colleagues send their patients with pituitary disease to me from all over the US. Family or criminal lawyers would never take a case of medical malpractice or maritime law. As a rule, real professionals take the issue of “expertise” seriously.

I am perfectly happy considering myself a dilettante and listening to the opinions of people like Robert Elgood, Denis Toichkin, David Alexander, Don LaRocca and (regretfully late) Leonid Tarassyuk.

Regretfully, this is not always the case within the antique weapons community. There, as the old Russian saying goes, “[almost] every gofer considers itself an agronomist”.
There are very few examples of people lacking first two qualification of an ‘“expert” ( see above) who nevertheless added a lot to our knowledge of weapons. Ronald Ewart Oakeshott created the established classification of medieval swords, Jens Nordlunde is a world authority on Indian katars, Kirill Rivkin wrote an almost Darwinian book of history and evolution of a saber and , of course, the incredible “ private researcher from Kutaisi ( Georgia)” Levan Dvalishvili who moved the history of shashka back to 17th century and destroyed a myth that it was an ersatz weapon of poor people, meticulously found actual documents of the best known Georgian armourer Geurk Elisarashvili and his sons, immediately proving that many swords proudly exhibited in major museums and private collections were posthumously marked with his spurious signatures, and an astonishing paper about weapons of Southwest Georgia.

I know little to nothing about other ethnic areas such as SE Asia, Indonesia and Philippines, Japan and China, but am sure that there are other “private researchers” whose names were omitted by me out of sheer ignorance. To all of them, my sincere apologies.
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Old 9th July 2022, 08:58 AM   #51
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Exclamation Dangerous waters (again...)

Gentlemen (you know who you are):

These less than amicable exchanges are getting very tedious to everyone but yourselves! If I need to issue permanent bans to get rid of this constant bickering, then I will. Some of you have been warned already. Nevertheless, my actions will be all encompassing, whether you have been warned previously or not.

Sarcasm is an ugly instrument. By definition, it means to tear the flesh of someone like a wild animal.

I have edited several comments recently to remove offensive materials. The next time I have to edit out argumentative, abusive, or sarcastic comments will earn the author a permaban.

Enough!

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