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Sultana Ahu of Sultanat Misr Al-Sarraviyah (Egypt) by Gambargin Sultana Ahu of Sultanat Misr Al-Sarraviyah (Egypt) by Gambargin
A rough Concept Drawing for the Egyptian Mameluke/Mamluk (actually, it's mix of Arabic, Tatar-Persian) Women Warrior in the Historically Wrong Sketch Series - Medieval Revisited, which is roughly based on the Middle ages covering 800s AD to 1400s AD. Sultanat Misr Al-Sarraviyah (The name is technically wrong, Arabic letters does not have V) is a made up name which translates roughly as the Egyptian Sultanate of Sarravids, a name that represents the Egyptian in the historically wrong sketch series, closely related to the Mameluke Sultanate of Egypt.

Inspired by the music: Arcana - Wings of Gabriel


INTRODUCTION

Egypt has long been the source of wealth and awe in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern World. This is attributed to the fact that the rich fertile soil of Nile delta, as well as the Nile river itself, made it a very important source of food and commerce. In the middle ages, the region was prized by the two of the greatest post-classical empire, the Byzantines and the Persians. With the rise of Islam and its subsequent expansion, Egypt became one of the most important center of agriculture, trade, science and military powerhouse, contributing greatly to the Islamic Golden Age. The era also saw the employment of the so called "Slave Soldiers", like Ghulams and Mamlukes that became a dominant military force in the region. Over the centuries, the Mamelukes gradually gained power withing the ruling class, and when the local Arabic dynasties were weaken by succession crisis, the Mamelukes took over the rule and established their own Mameluke sultanates that continued to prosper and maintained their military dominance over the Arab World until their subjugation under the Ottomans in the 16th century.


ABOUT THE ISLAMIC WORLD DURING THE MIDDLE AGES

Our general understanding of the Islamic World during the middle ages is divided between those who viewed it in a begrudging manner, those who viewed it romantically, and those who tried to see it from a much more neutral perspective. Nevertheless, It is without doubt that the Great Islamic Expansion from the early 7th century till the mid 8th century, has created a remarkable empire that stretched from the heartland of Iberia in Spain, North Africa, Persia and even as far as Indus in such a short period of time. Indeed, the early days of the Islamic Expansion was often carried out by small armies that destroyed one of the world's greatest empire, the Persian Sassanids and humbled another, the Eastern Roman Empire, popularly known as the Byzantines. Such achievement in such short period of time does rank as one of the most magnificent chapter in the History of Mankind.

With the great expansion, also came along the religion that was brought by the Muslim Armies. It is important to note that the conversion of people to Islam in the heartland of the Islamic World during the middle ages was largely a peaceful process since it was a separate process from the Muslim military conquest. The examples set by the early Muslim Rulers, it's preachers, merchants and missionaries, as well as the desire for political, cultural and material advantages by the new ruling dynasties of both local and foreign origins, contributed largely to the conversion of the local populace. This is somewhat rarely understood by the non-muslims, especially in the western world where Islam has always been perceived as a religion that was spread by force.

Despite the romanticism often associated with the Islamic world of the middle ages, its history was not without wars and conflict. Even after the death of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the subsequent appointment of the Rashidun (Rightly Guided) Caliphate and its successors, the Ummayads and the Abbasids, internal tensions, civil wars and rebellions had plagued the Caliphate where rival dynasties contested each others for power. On the other hand, the division within the Islamic Faith, primarily between the Sunni and Shiite also contributed to the disunity between the Muslim world. Later on, with the arrival of the newly converted Turks, they began their conquest which bourght half of the Islamic world under their rule, only to be superseded by the Mongols and it's successors, especially the Timurid, where millions of Muslim lives have been killed that would make the massacres done during the Crusades look pale in comparison.

All in all, we must understand that, like the rest of the medieval world, underneath the vibrant, peaceful and piousness of the "Islamic Realm", lies a violent and often turbulent history, filled with the greed and ambitions of its rulers.


DRAWING COMMENTARIES

Lets just say, this was my valentine's gift last year to someone special that i wanted to share with you guys (actually, not really a gift but something that will lead there i guess =P). Since I did this in a hurry in so little time, based on the original sketch of Ahu Durquba in FFW Stock Challenge - Ahu Durquba of Dayr Al-Zawr, the overall composition may not be that great :(.

As for the lady in the picture, she is Ahu Durquba, A Turko/Tatar woman dressed in a very very anachronistic middle eastern armor. She wears chainmail shirt on top of her kaftan, with the addition of stylized mirror plate. Her headdress is a stylized Tatar or Turkestani headresss, with decorations and ornaments to add a bit of femininity to her.  Behind her, are foot soldiers dressed in mixed attires taken from different period of the Egyptian Sultanates, from the time of the Fatimid to the late medieval Mameluke state.

She one of the earliest Woman Warrior I have drawn in the series, dating back to my early days in DA. Perhaps, out of all the women warriors I have drawn so far, she's probably the one that remain special to this days because her design are more of a product of imagination, rather than historical references :D


REFERENCES and OTHER RELATED MEDIA

May come in conflict with these other women warriors:

The Turks Beylerbayan Apek of Orhanli Beylerbeylik (Turkish) by Gambargin, The Mongols Batuyisu Gonji Mangedei of Nodai-in Ulus (Mongol) by Gambargin, The Byzantines Basilissa Sotirisa of Basileia Rhiomanion (Greek) by Gambargin, and the Persians Shahdokht Roshanara of Bahramiyan Eranshahr by Gambargin



A Part of the Historically Wrong Sketch Series: Medieval Revisited - You can find more on the various faction on the map here:

HWS Medieval Revisited - Faction Map v.1.30 by Gambargin


HISTORICAL COMMENTARIES

(History of Medieval Egypt is under Construction)
Add a Comment:
 
:icongrassa48:
grassa48 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Beautifully drawn.
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:iconaristi1982:
aristi1982 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2015  Hobbyist
beautiful!
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:iconnishlanin:
nishlanin Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2015
Gambargin, do you know if there is a specific name for the type of mirror armour she is wearing? I'm trying to find some details on this type to possibly build a set for myself and was hoping to see reference photos. So far all I got is your drawings and another page with a drawing of a Russian man wearing similar armour. Can you give me some pointers?
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2015
Hi buddy! Well. Unfortunately I have no name for it at the moment, though It's somewhat based on the following image , used by the Mamluks in the late 15th century. Mirror plate armor is more common with the Indo-Persian and Ottomans in 16th - 17th century, and you can find plenty of references in regards to that. For Example, the Mughals, or the Persian

Please let me know if I can help further :)
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:iconnishlanin:
nishlanin Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2015
You have helped alot, actually. It looked like a separate cuirass initially. I can tell you that the reference armour for Ahu looks like a 'yushman'. (see link.

www.myarmoury.com/talk/viewtop…

(suit featured the most)

Thanks once again for posting the drawings.
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2015
That's nice! let me know how you go with the armor, I'm curious to see your creativity in that :)
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:iconnishlanin:
nishlanin Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2015
We'll see.
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:iconnadiadibaj:
NadiaDibaj Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2015  Student General Artist
Nice work and beautiful details! OwO
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2015
Thank you for the compliments friend :)
Reply
:iconnadiadibaj:
NadiaDibaj Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2015  Student General Artist
No problem :hug:
Reply
:iconwolfberry-j:
Wolfberry-J Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2014
Exquisite detail on the armor and headdress! Nice work as always. :-)
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2014
Ah yes, this one was the tricky one, not historically accurate but I'm glad you like it :D
Reply
:iconwraithsith:
wraithsith Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2014
There has been some recent debate about the contrast between the european and the arabic empires. For one by looking at the archaelogical record, we now think that the dark ages was not as dark as it was once supposed, and the post-roman decline of europe may have been due to the economic warfare of the arabs( which was a form of warfare superior to that of the europeans.) During this time period- water was crucial, it was 25 times cheaper to transport something by water than it was by land. The europeans during this time called the mediterranean- "the islamic lake" due to the muslim dominance over the sea. As the muslims had control over the sea, the economy of europe was crippled.
Reply
:iconshinzhon:
Shinzhon Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I gave up drawing on paper for a while but I think I'll just take my old sketch block back right after finishing watching your gallery, the details are so awesome. Her eyes does remind me a little of Eva Green :)
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:iconjackgiesen:
JackGiesen Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2014  Professional General Artist
Got sent here from Twitter. Love love LOVE the atypical representations of warrior women. So awesome. 
Reply
:iconwraithsith:
wraithsith Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014
Do you know what's interesting? the Quaran does not actually mention either mecca or medina, and it describes the area where Muhummad was living in as a place of palm trees and grapes-which is found in the Levant( Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, etc) but nowhere in Saudi Arabia. The arabs of Saudi Arabia did not have access to learn about monotheistic faiths or for that matter-really any information at all-but in the Levant you had access to both the learnings of Christians& Jews-of which Islam has heavy religious accomodation towards( in other words- Muhummad knew his stuff). Early mosques pointed towards somewhere in Iraq( whereas all mosques now point towards Mecca- as well you know), and the Quaran wasn't written until two centuries after muhummad had died. This makes you wonder.... 

    *excuse my grammar, I don't have any spell check on this lap-top so I'm writing blindly here.
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014
That's interesting, I wonder where you got the information from :).

The Quran, though I have not dwell on it in detail, does not mention the origins of Muhammad at all, although it did mentioned him 4 times, which describes him as the apostle of God. I would like to know which verses you are referring to?  On the other hand, historians, both from the traditional Muslim source and Western Scholars pointed out his Origins from the city of Mecca, belonging to the tribe of Banu Hashim in the year 570, before he migrated to Medina.

As for the arabs exposure to monotheism, or other knowledge, that was actually pretty common. There were jews already living in Arabia, not exclusive only to the levant region, and the Arabs had plenty of trading with their neighbors, like the egyptians, fellow christian from both the Romans, Arabs, as well as the ethiopians (though the christianity faith in the region at that time was diverse, like miaphysism and nestorian).. If you are referring to the tribal nomadic bedouins, well, they were pretty much on their own, as compared to the arabs who lived in trading cities like Mecca or Madina.

I am no expert in this subject so can't really comment on the other topic.
Reply
:iconwraithsith:
wraithsith Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014
I once had two links that worked 6 months ago- but now unfortunately are both unusable. The source was a  british guy trying to find things out about islam- without using any holy books- which forced him to use other avenues- some of which gave a radically different picture than that presented in the quaran,torah,bible,etc. And yes I was referring to the Beduins. 
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:iconkiuslady:
KiusLady Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Again, totally digging all the crazy detail you put into these pieces :)
Reply
:iconzireael07:
Zireael07 Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
This is amazing!
Reply
:iconmy-sword-is-bigger:
My-Sword-is-Bigger Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awesome yet again! And I'd just like to remark how you did every shield differently :)
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014
Ahahaha! Thanks for that :)!

Man, your avatar is epic. I can't stop smiling every time i see it :D
Reply
:iconmy-sword-is-bigger:
My-Sword-is-Bigger Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No problem! :D

And thanks, I'm glad you like my avatar xD I didn't design it, though. It's from :icontardvsrockplz:
Reply
:iconakitku:
akitku Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very nice! I like her  tough expression! Very good details on the armour as usual. I especially like the design on the bow.
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014
Thank you akitku! If you are interested with the design of the bow, you can find it here www.atarn.org/islamic/patterns…
Reply
:iconakitku:
akitku Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That's really useful! Thanks! :hug:
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:iconbrowncoatmando:
BrowncoatMando Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2014  Hobbyist

She looks tough, Of course I knew that.

Yussef is a lucky guy to have such a fearless, loyal woman at his side. As I wrote her she's also a great mother to his children- so he's doubly lucky.

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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014
Indeed he was. It has been always said that behind every great man, there is a great woman supporting him :)
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:iconexcellencia:
Excellencia Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2014
Splendid work as always. However, given information should be little fixed. Bedouins and settled Arabs are two different people living on same peninsula. So not all Arabs were Bedouins and Muhammad (SAV) certainly were not a Bedouin. In fact, in many Hadith, this difference indicated and mentioned Bedouins as ignorant and more violent people.
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014
Salam and thank you so much for the correction my friend. I was a bit confused with the term Arabic, and maybe mistook the Bedouins as the general Arabs (which is a semitic parental group).
Reply
:iconironsides11:
ironsides11 Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2014
Not only doe she look well protected, but she also looks like a leader. :)

Also, I know the (PBUH) is Peace Be Upon Him, but what does (SAW) mean?
Reply
:iconexcellencia:
Excellencia Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2014
It is abbreviation of PBUH in Arabic.
Reply
:iconuracca:
Uracca Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2014  Hobbyist

Well done<img />! I love this!



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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014
Thanks Uracca! Think you can draw better than this? :D
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:iconboyofart21:
boyofart21 Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
amazing  love it
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014
Thank you :)
Reply
:iconboyofart21:
boyofart21 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
your very welcome 
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:iconjohnraptor:
JohnRaptor Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2014
Love this series. So many great character designs.
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014
Thank you, i really appreciate that you like the series :)
Reply
:iconkatiramoon:
KatiraMoon Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This looks amazing. Great work with the detail. :heart:
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014
I'm really humbled by the comment! But my works is just simple sketches compared to your beautiful drawings :)!!
Reply
:iconkatiramoon:
KatiraMoon Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's so kind of you, thanks. ^^
Reply
:iconcharcoalfeather:
charcoalfeather Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome work on the small details on her armour. It blows me away every time. 
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014
Awhh, the same should go with your work as well! They are jaw dropping as well!

I mean, not only your drawing, but you use quality material for your artwork as well! I was checking the other day, Moleskin Paper are actually quite costly, much more than the ordinary sketch paper i normally used....or the photocopy paper I get from my office =P
Reply
:iconcharcoalfeather:
charcoalfeather Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks! But I don't think it's really possible to see my drawings are done on Moleskine. I think it's the textures I put on the drawing on Photoshop that make it look "expensive," lol.

And yeah, Moleskine is overpriced as hell! I won't be getting more of their notebooks after I finish with the ones I currently have right now. 
Reply
:icongryffgirl:
Gryffgirl Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2014
Interesting woman and the details on her armour are amazing! :wow:
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014
Thanks! I'm really glad you like it :)
Reply
:iconartlovr59:
artlovr59 Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2014   Photographer
Very interested in the armour. Great as usual!
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014
Oh yes! Medieval Oriental Armor (Persian, Turkic), even the Byzantines are much more interesting in my opinion, compared to the western European ones :)
Reply
:iconartlovr59:
artlovr59 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014   Photographer
They certainly don't get much publicity, do they?
Reply
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