Malozyomova E. I. (2020). Evropejskie cherty v oruzhejnoj kul’ture Irana [European Elements in the Military Culture and Weapon Use in Iran]. Istoricheskoe oruzhievedenie [Weapons History Journal], № 9, pp. 35 — 63.
Abstract: The article is devoted to the contacts between Iran and different European countries in the field of weapon use and warfare. The author traces the presence of European arms and military forces in the armies of Iran starting from the days of the Achaemenids and up until the 19th century. In the ancient times, Greek soldiers, equipped with their native weapons served in the army of Iran. Some of them were granted membership in the Iranian aristocracy. Later, with the beginning of the Muslim era, European military technologies were used in the armies of those who ruled in Iran. It specially included the firearms, which were developed poorly there. Primary sources fix firearms imported from European countries, starting from the 70-ties of the 15th century. However, the strongest European influence in the field of weapons use and warfare in Iran became obvious in the 19th century. In the context of turf war between France and England and increasing interest from Russian Empire in the country, the European presence during all the 19th century was represented by weapon itself and European instructors. These specialists, including the Austro-Hungarian ones, delivered lectures in Dār al-funūn (arab. “the art house”), which was organized in the middle of the 19th century by Amir Kabir, the Grand Vazir of Naser ad-Din shah Qajar, as the first military and technical college in the country. From the late 70-ties of the 19th century, Austro-Hungary became the main supplier of firearms to Iran. Werndl Holub rifle, Krnka rifle, and Martini-Henri rifle were put into service in the Iranian armies. European arms imported to be used by different military units in Iran, finally influenced the Iranian weapon, including the edged ones that were specially made for the rituals. A sample of such a weapon was analyzed in the present research. Initially the saber functioned in the annual mourning ceremonies, devoted to the third Shi’a Imam Hussain, and now it is curated in the State Hermitage museum.
Keywords: Iran, field of weapon use, European arms, artillery, Dār al-funūn, Imam Hussain.