of the Koran entitled 'Iron,' it is written: 'We formerly sent our apostles with evident miracles and arguments; and we sent down with them the scriptures, and the balance, that men might observe justice; and we sent them down iron, wherein is mighty strength for war, and various advantages unto mankind, that God may know who assisted him and his apostles in secret.'
Sale explains the sentence, 'And we sent them down iron,' as follows: 'that is, he taught them how to dig the same from mines. Al Zamakhshari adds, that Adam is said to have brought down with him from paradise five things made of iron, viz. an anvil, a pair of tongs, two hammers (a greater and a lesser), and a needle.
In the chapter on 'Horses' we are also led to infer that shoeing was known. 'By the war-horses which run swiftly to the battle, with a panting noise; and by those which strike fire, by dashing their hoofs against the stones; and by those which make a sudden incursion on the enemy early in the morning,' etc. Unshod hoofs, one would be inclined to think, could not strike fire against the stones.
Heusinger quotes the names of several authorities who were of opinion that the art of shoeing was carried to Constantinople by the Germans. Certain it is, as has been already noticed, that the 'Tactita' of the emperor Leo VI., written at Constantinople in the ninth century, is the first writing in which modern shoes and nails are mentioned. The Byzantine emperors had a guard of honour composed of Saxons from a very early period of the empire.
- Sale. Koran, vol. ii. p. 365.
- Ibid. p. 440.
- Op.cit., vol. i, p. 9.