Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Nothern Mexico
But it must be also noted that North Africa experimented a development in the production of arms and armour, as Nicolle and McBride write about this production in the 10th-11th Centuries:
“These centuries also witnessed a huge expansion in Noth African metallurgy, far beyond what had been seen in the Roman period; but although arms and horse-harness were made locally there was little exportation of finished goods”.
David Nicolle & Angus McBride, The Moors. The Islamic West 7th-15th Centuries AD, Osprey Military, Col. Men-at-Arms, No.348. 2001, UK, p.18.
In other words, the problem with North Africa and probably the Iberic Peninsula was not the quality of their weapons, but the capability to produce in mass with a more or less uniform quality, a feature which conditioned the need of imports into the Muslim world from elsewhere, including India and Europe, especially under the constraining needs extant in times of war. And the west North Africa and the Iberic Peninsula were always in recurrent times of war, more or less like Europe. This is a feature which will characterize many areas of the East, since their producing capabilities were not equilibrated with their military needs, as their more traditional crafts were not so “pre-industrial”, possibly with a less efficient labor division and technology, a feature which would be more developed under the pre-capitalist and capitalist European economy. It was already noted in other thread that the Indian swords produced in Deccan were superior to the English, at least until the 17th Century (R. Elgood, “Swords in the Deccan in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries”, pp.223, and 224), but still existed the need to import European blades, as they also imported the Persian blades, even made with Indian steel.