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Slave soldiers in India

Reader comment on item: Military Slaves: A Uniquely Muslim Phenomenon

Submitted by Shishir (United Arab Emirates), Mar 7, 2022 at 09:05

Slave soldiers in north stopped when the Turkic dynasties such as Khilji and Aibaks collapsed giving way to Mughals. In the south the Bahmanis very soon used paid mercenaries from not just Africa but also Arab regions, Pushtuns, the Caucasus , Iran (though most "Iranians" were Turks in Iran)

The rule of thumb is that the more the Muslim rulers had roots in the local community the less they relied on slave soldiers or later even foreign soldiers.

Foreign Turkic soldiers of fortune were used even by Hindu kingdoms such as Vijayanagar in order to man their artillery and provide cavalry. Southern Indian climate and vegetation was not conducive to horses , hence the cavalry was monopolized by Turks and the sale of which were dominated by Arabs.


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Daniel Pipes replies:

I agree with your rule of thumb.

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