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Portable castles
 Moderated by: DrDeb  
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David Genadek

Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
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 Posted: Thu Mar 29th, 2018 07:58 pm
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Deb, I listened to a book named Destiny Disrupted
A History of the World through Islamic Eyes by Tamim Ansary.
In the book he described how the Parthians had armored riders they called portable castles. They would be followed by the light armored type warriors of the Parthian shot fame. I am having trouble finding any visual representation of the portable castles. Have you come across anything on this?

Last edited on Thu Mar 29th, 2018 07:58 pm by David Genadek

Super Moderator

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Posts: 3307
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 Posted: Thu Mar 29th, 2018 11:16 pm
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Dave, I suppose that the reference is a metaphor; a kind of poetic allusion to the fact that the riders called 'portable castles' were so heavily armored as to be practically impregnable, like castles. Hence they're just the same heavy-armored Persian cataphracts discussed in "Conquerors", and of which you yourself took some photos when you were at the Royal Armory Museum in Leeds. Sounds like a very interesting audio book.

By the way, I hope you & everybody else is getting ready to read the next section of my history series in Equus Magazine. We took a kind of side-trip in order to do the "CSI" stuff on the skeletons of Ethan Allen, Rolf the Przewalski Horse, Black Hawk, and Lexington -- that was an outgrowth and culmination of the foregoing series on the Morgan. Now it's time to begin the Quarter Horse, a huge undertaking because this is such a large and popular breed, and also because it has a much longer history than most people realize. I've had a good deal of fun putting this material together, because no kidding, there are some real Wild West stories to tell, and guess what, they occurred in Kentucky and Missouri for the most part and not Texas.

Part and parcel of preparing this, I invented a technique in Photoshop -- Photoshop is SUCH powerful software with so many many possibilities -- for taking really crummy old photos and bumping them up, not only changing them from B/W to color, but also greatly clarifying the content. With the Morgan, Thoroughbred, and Arab, the historical photos were in reasonably decent shape, so after a little clean-up they were quite presentable and printable. However, most of the old QH photos that are available come from scans taken out of badly-printed books or magazines and they lack sufficient contrast -- just gray outlines, essentially. But Photoshop lets you pull detail out of the image you might not have imagined was even there, so you will now be able to see famous foundational animals like Traveller, Old Dan Tucker, and Little Joe as beautiful color renditions. Stay tuned, folks....Dr. Deb

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