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The Scimitar...the popular middle eastern sword?

Printed From: History Community ~ All Empires
Category: Regional History or Period History
Forum Name: Post-Classical Middle East
Forum Description: SW Asia, the Middle East and Islamic civilizations from 600s - 1900 AD
Moderators: Sparten, Azimuth, es_bih
Printed Date: 21-Jun-2018 at 03:47
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.10 -

Topic: The Scimitar...the popular middle eastern sword?
Posted By: Ponce de Leon
Subject: The Scimitar...the popular middle eastern sword?
Date Posted: 17-Jun-2006 at 19:35
    What was the scimitar's background? Because whenever i hear of arabs, persians, whatever riding on horseback, camel, whatever, i always thing of their weapon of choice is the scimitar.

Is it true? Or is it just hollywood true?

Posted By: Paul
Date Posted: 17-Jun-2006 at 21:28
I believe scimitar is a generic term used to describe a sabre of middle eastern origin.

Light blue touch paper and stand well back - -

Posted By: BigL
Date Posted: 19-Jun-2006 at 19:59
Is it not a Steppe Origin

Posted By: TJK
Date Posted: 20-Jun-2006 at 03:25
Name probaly derived from shamshir  - persian curve sabre (XV-XVI century)

Posted By: Sparten
Date Posted: 27-Jun-2006 at 06:37
Actually if you go to Topkapi and see the Sowrd of Khalid or Umer, then you have very straight "European" looking sowrds.

The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".

Posted By: red clay
Date Posted: 27-Jun-2006 at 17:13
There actually isn't any such thing, historically, as a Scimitar.  The name is derived from the persian word for sword, shamshir. The sword often called a scimitar is a light cavalry saber, usually with a fifteen to 30 degree curve, with the edge on the convex side.  Although usually associated with the middle east, swords in that region were normally straight until after the Islamic era began.
Hussar cavalry saber

Posted By: red clay
Date Posted: 27-Jun-2006 at 18:15
With this topic possibly attracting those interested in Arms and Armor I'll take this opportunity to plug the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  It is a gem right in my own back yard.

Highlights include a late fifteenth-century jousting armor made by the leading armorer of Augsburg for Emperor Maximilian I of Austria; as well as the earliest homogeneous armor in North America; a rare blued, etched, and gilded French Renaissance cuirass; the latest known example of a brigandine armor; two embossed elements of a horse bard for King Henry II of France; and an outstanding English broadsword believed to have belonged to Cromwell.

Many objects on display can be securely traced back to the armories and gunrooms of powerful rulers such as the Holy Roman Emperors, the kings of Spain, the prince electors of Saxony, and the Ottoman and Mamluk sultans. Illustrious provenance is one of the distinguishing characteristics of the Museums arms and armor.

The rich holdings of plate and mail armor include helmets and harnesses for men and boys, as well as horses, with examples that were used in war, various forms of tournament, and processions. Most are of German and Italian origin, as the armorers of these countries were the leading experts in Europe and worked for an international clientele. French, English, Spanish, Hungarian, and Islamic armors, however, are also featured.

Posted By: red clay
Date Posted: 28-Jun-2006 at 07:55
In another thread I had asked for help in understanding why Sword smithing was becoming popular.  Considering the effort and time needed to produce a sword [ not to mention skill and knowledge] it seemed unusual, especially for something that has no practical use in todays world. Below are examples of modern sword smithing.  The first is a Saber
type produced by a man in Massechusetts USA

Posted By: red clay
Date Posted: 28-Jun-2006 at 08:01
These two were made by a smith in Brisbane Aus.

Posted By: azimuth
Date Posted: 28-Jun-2006 at 09:49
the Below picture is of two swords said to be one of the swords of Prophet Mohammed pbuh.
they are in Top Kapi Saray Museum in Turkey.


Posted By: Reginmund
Date Posted: 01-Jul-2006 at 19:16
The term refers to a curved blade, a sabre, yes. This type of sword came into widespread use in the middle east following the Turkic invasions, in earlier times most blades in this region were forged straight.

Hwæt! wē Gār-Dena in geār-dagum,
þeod-cyninga, þrym gefrunon,
hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon.

Posted By: Attila2
Date Posted: 09-Jul-2006 at 17:53
Afaik the first curved swords originated in the steppes,and carried to the mid east (actually transmitted to the Persians)during the conflicts between persians and Turks

Posted By: Ottomans
Date Posted: 06-Oct-2007 at 12:55
these are the swords of Fatih Sultan Mehmet

Posted By: Sparten
Date Posted: 06-Oct-2007 at 14:43
It has far greater slicing capability than a straight sword. Not good for jabbing.
Incidentally while with the curved blade even a nick could cause a wound, cuts were far less likely to kill than a stab, meaning the mortality rate was less.

The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".

Posted By: Lmprs
Date Posted: 06-Oct-2007 at 15:33
Quote Reginmund - The term refers to a curved blade, a sabre, yes. This type of sword came into widespread use in the middle east following the Turkic invasions

I don't think so. Do you have any source for that?

Posted By: Sparten
Date Posted: 07-Oct-2007 at 07:23
Curved swords have been used for thousands of years.

The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".

Posted By: YusakuJon3
Date Posted: 09-Oct-2007 at 00:21
Judging from what I've seen so far, it may be that "Hollywood true" would be more accurate for the most part.  The curved scimitar seems mostly to be associated with the Indians, Turk and Mongols.

"There you go again!"

-- President Ronald W. Reagan (directed towards reporters at a White House press conference, mid-1980s)

Posted By: Tar Szernd
Date Posted: 14-Nov-2007 at 11:48

ottoman sabres: kilidj (with upper edge on the end) and samsir(without).

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