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Horse & elephant armour /

DK Number:DK-103296
ISBN: 8173200068
Title: Horse & elephant armour /
Author: G. N. Pant.
Imprint: Delhi : Agam Kala Prakashan,
Physical Desc.: xxix, 279 p., [80]. p. of plates : ill. ; 39 cm.
Year: 1997
Price: USD 94.65
Subject Strings: Armor--India.
  Shields--India.
  Armor in art.
  
  
More books by: Pant, G. N. (Gayatri Nath), 1940-
  
  
  More books on topic: Arms and armour
    
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Title Review

India is known to have produced, way back in the 2nd-1st millennium B.C., exclusive treatises on horses and elephants (like, for instance, Ashvashastra and Hastyashastra), describing almost everything about these war animals: their habits, foods, fodders, training, and their diseases, even therapeutic interventions. In the Vedic literature, the horse is seen as a sentinel of the war-cars and flank-guard of elephantry. Says E W Hopkin, describing the chariot-horse of the epic period, "A horse stands on each side of the pole and the two are yoked, guided by a bit, shipra, and reins, while urged by a goad or a whip. The horses had gilded trappings (hemabandha)." The ancient Indian sculptures at Bharhut and Sanchi delineate caparisoned war-horses -- with meticulous attention to the bit, bridle and the stirrups. Likewise, the horses at the southern facade of Konarka temple are exquisitely caparisoned with bosses and bands round their faces, heavy chain armour on the necks, tasselled necklaces, jewelled bracelets on legs, and a tasselled breast-band which keeps the saddle in position. In all historical wars: ancient and medieval, the armoured horse has been nearly indispensable!

Epitomizing Dr Pant''s 36-year-long research effort, this book is the first ever effort to chart the evolution of Indian cavalry and elephantry over the ages -- with superbly illustrated depiction of the horse-and-elephant armour. The author has rummaged through an astonishing mass of sources : ranging from illustrated manuscripts to archival material, from sculptural reliefs to seals and coin legends, to illustrate and weave into his narrative details of the horses''s armour and harness: saddle, stirrups, chanfron, crinet, cuello, crest, flanchard, poitrel and spur; together with the elephant''s protective and ornamental coverings, like the howdah, imari, trunk and tusk shields, chains, ropes and jhulas. The book is supplemented by extensive bibliographic references, a glossary of technical terms, and a number of information-packed appendices.

Professor G N Pant, D. Litt, is Fellow of Royal Asiatic Society (London) and recipient of several prestigious academic awards/honours, currently Director/Pro-Vice-Chancellor, National Museum Institute, New Delhi. He is also President, Museums Association of India.

Contents:

Preface -- Acknowledgements -- List of Plates.

Introduction : Constructional Details -- Cavalry through the ages -- Horse Armour and Harness -- Saddle and Stirrups -- Elephantry Through the ages -- Elephant Armour and Harness -- Arms of the Mounted Warriors.

Appendices : Kautilya on Elephants -- Kautilya on Horses -- Animal Armour from Taxila Excavations -- Elephant-Goad -- Calthrops -- Royal, Kharkhanas of Firuz Tughluq -- Ain-i-Akbari on Horses and Camels -- Ain-i-Akbari on Elephants -- Armoured Horse during Jahangir -- Armoured Elephant during Jahangir.

Glossary -- Bibliography -- Index.

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Related Subjects
1. Military Studies
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3. History And History Of Civilization
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