Scimitars

Discussion in 'General Weapons & Armour' started by Halsyon of Cyrodiil, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. Halsyon of Cyrodiil

    Halsyon of Cyrodiil Master of The Realms

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    Ok, so I understand that scimitars were used in ancient Arab countries and throughout the middle east, but what about the larger, "fatter" scimitars that you sometimes see in fantasy writings? Do these have any historical relevance? If so, I would greatly appreciate any information that you could possibly give.
     
  2. Kakashi

    Kakashi The Fighters Guide House Member

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    Don't take my word for it, but it's of my belief that there's a type of scimitar which was used on horseback? That could be way off, but that's what I think.
     
  3. Halsyon of Cyrodiil

    Halsyon of Cyrodiil Master of The Realms

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    If that's what you think, what type was for horseback? The larger one that I am asking about, or the more common and slender type?
     
  4. Raraldor

    Raraldor Well-Known Member

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    actually it was my belief that the scimitar was the larger one, and the thinner one was called a shamshir.


    [​IMG]

    ^shamshir


    [​IMG]


    ^scimitar
     
  5. Celticberserker

    Celticberserker New Member

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    The Turko-Mongol Sabre sparked the creation of the Scimitar. Before that Arabs typically used straight bladed swords; the broad bladed scimitar is the Arabic imitation of what is essentially the Turkic/Mongolian dao or broad sword.
     
  6. Greybeard

    Greybeard Geezer

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    Shamshir is the older (Arabic?) word; scimitar (and variant spellings) is the anglicized version. Both apply to the same swords. Both swords pictured above could be called either.
     
  7. Celticberserker

    Celticberserker New Member

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    The Shamshir is the Iranian sabre; so the name is Persian.
     
  8. Greybeard

    Greybeard Geezer

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    You're right. About twenty minutes after posting I was thinking that shamshir was likely Persian.
     
  9. Celticberserker

    Celticberserker New Member

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    Yea, you'll find a surprising number of things in Arab culture are originally Persian or Turkic. Then again the Turks did invade and rule over the middle east for a good while.

    I always like the character of the scimitar, had a nice shape.
     
  10. Greybeard

    Greybeard Geezer

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    Aesthetically, it's just a lovely shape. But for the way it was used, I'm a sucker for a straight, double-edged Western European sword.
     
  11. Kakashi

    Kakashi The Fighters Guide House Member

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    I know you can't trust Wikipedia, but according to them, any Middle-Eastern curved sword could be referred to as a scimitar.
     
  12. Celticberserker

    Celticberserker New Member

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    Oh dun get me wrong, I keep it Celtic style. Dagger, short sword and round shield, with my loco Irish top knot and funny plaid pants.

    And well I honestly wouldn't go with wiki on that one; scimitar, saif, killij, shamshir, yaghatan- There are a lot of curved or oddly shaped swords in the middle east alone.

    Although the Killij is more angular rather than curved...
     
  13. Aatell

    Aatell The one who has two minds

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    well theres a sabre wich is kinda like a scimtar slashes and stuff calvary used them alot during revolutionary war
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009
  14. Aatell

    Aatell The one who has two minds

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    i treid to draw one on my pc
    [​IMG]


    yeah the one on top is what calvary used alot but ive heard it being called sabre not scimatar

    sorry for double posting
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009
  15. Celticberserker

    Celticberserker New Member

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    The term Sabre typically applies to any curve bladed cavalry sword.

    For example in one of my previous posts I refereed to the "Turko-Mongol Sabre", they weren't just exclusive to the post Renaissance era. Europe's military sabers were first copied from Turkish/Ottoman swords by the likes of the Hungarians, Polish, Yugoslav's and other Eastern/Central/Mediterranean Europeans.
     
  16. Rothan

    Rothan New Member

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    The scimitar does hold a similar form to that of the Chinese broadsword or "dao". There is a very large version of the dao called the Pa Kua dao. It's used in the Pa Kua internal art style. You should look it up. It's impressive.

    Rothan
     
  17. Aatell

    Aatell The one who has two minds

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    yeah i just looked up picks it looks alot like a scimtar
     
  18. Aatell

    Aatell The one who has two minds

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    yeah
     
  19. Onimech

    Onimech New Member

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    The scimitar=fat blade Shamshir=thin blade is not quite right.


    The words are both meant to describe the same sword. Shamshir was the far eastern/Persian name typically used while Scimitar was the more general term for sword. Which was believed to have been brought to Europe by the French who began using the same swords in Napoleon's army after the conquest of Egypt. The western Arabic term was Saif.

    However they were both curved thin blades that tapered at the end.

    [​IMG]

    This is a typical western style Arabic Saif/Scimitar, it tapers to a thin point on a curved blade with a one handed normally bone handle.

    [​IMG]

    The Eastern Persian Shamshir had a much more pronounced curve to it. Almost a half circle in some cases. The Indian Talwar was very similar but often had a double edge at the tip while the rest of the blade was single edged.

    Now the fatter blade that appears in fantasy so often was a Turkish sword called a Kilij, sometimes Killic

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The Turkish Kilij had the larger wider blade near the end to give it more weight and aid in cutting from horseback. Reducing the need for a stronger swing from the user, they would rely on the weight of the tip of the blade.
    Now since the Turks had more dealings with the Europeans later in history than the Arabs or Persians, their sword became more famously known as the basic "scimitar." Which again, was just the simple term for sword.


    But the Eastern look of the Kilij has more of a Fantasy type look to it so in a lot of ways it has been adopted as the typical middle eastern sword. Over the more often used Shamshir which has a much more normal not quite so flashy appearance.



    However this design is much closer to the French Falchion than any any middle Eastern blades.
    [​IMG]


    Falchion at the Bottom of pic, 14th Century France

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    I'll have the trusty 2131 please :)
     
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