chapter  XIX
1 Pages

Concerning solitaries and their equipment and administration

I There should be kept at the court two hundred men called solitaries, men chosen for good appearance and stature as well as for great manliness and bravery. A hundred of them should be Khurasani and a hundred from Dailam and their duty is to be in constant attendance upon the king both at home and abroad. They are permanently attached to the court and must be finely attired. Two hundred sets of weapons are to be kept ready for them and issued to them when duty commences and withdrawn when they are dismissed. Of those weapons twenty swordbelts and twenty shields should be [decorated] with gold, and a hundred and eighty belts and shields with silver, together with pikestaffs. l They should be paid suitably high clothing allowances in addition to their regular pay. There should be a sergeant to every fifty men and his job is to know all about his men and to give them their orders. They must all be good horsemen and be provided with the necessary trappings, so that upon all important occasions they will not fail to perform their special functions.