A drawing of a 13th Century Ghulam
from the Seljuq Dynasty. The Ghilman trace their origins back to the Abbasid Caliphate and were introduced during the reign of al-Mu'tasim, who favored them as his personal guard. The Ghilman were slave-soldiers comprised mainly of Turks, who were usually taken from conquered lands or frontier regions. A Ghulam would be trained and educated at his master's expense, sometimes earning his freedom through years of devoted service. These soldiers were required to marry Turkish slave-women chosen by their masters, but many seem to have also lived a life of celibacy.
Although the Ghilman initially served as caliph's personal guard, they were quickly promoted to high military command. These soldiers would eventually go on to hold great political power and influence. By the end of Abbasid reign the Ghilman had been grouped into whole armies and often served as elite cavalrymen, demanding high pay for their services.
These Turkic soldiers would later go on to serve the Fatimids, Seljuqs, Persians, Mughals, and Ottomans as well as starting a dynasty of their own, the Ghaznavid's of Afghanistan.
So I guess this is the first time I've attempted to draw chain-mail, I hope you guys like the job I did. Btw, the thing with the shoulders was done on purpose and doesn't need to be pointed out.
Art © Myself
Ghilman/Ghulam © (Nobody owns History!)Made with Copics!