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Jonah Marlow




Location: united states
Joined: 09 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Thu 17 Nov, 2011 6:35 pm    Post subject: Resources on medieval Islamic swords         Reply with quote

Greetings, I was curious if anybody had any information on Islamic swords from the Middle Ages. From their earliest conquests from Arabia to Spain, through the Crusades, right up to the fall of Constantinople. Through the little information I have been able to find, I have discovered that they had straight blades with curved hilts but that really is about it. I have always had a rather large curiosty on what Islamic swords look like, most of the stuff I've seen on the internet is mainly European, Japanese, and Chinese swords. Lately with the release of Assassin's Creed Revelations (which takes place in Ottoman controled, early 16th century Constantinople or Istanbul as its called now) my curiosty has grown considrbly.
Jonah Marlow
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Jess Rozek




Location: Burlington, VT
Joined: 23 Mar 2010

Posts: 30

PostPosted: Thu 17 Nov, 2011 8:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

How about:

Hoyland, Robert G., and Brian Gilmour
2006 Medieval Islamic Swords and Swordmaking: Kindi's Treatise 'On swords and their kinds'. London: Gibb Memorial Trust.

Great book - informative on many many aspects of Islamic swords and swordmaking. Here's a link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Medieval-Islamic-Swords...amp;sr=1-1

Mrgh, when I bought this book two years ago, it certainly was not over $100. Hopefully you can find it elsewhere for much less.
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Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

Posts: 580

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov, 2011 9:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've been researching the first crusade for some time now, and period writings that i've come across have reflected that during the first crusade - islamic swords were of a straight bladed design. there's only one illumination that i know of that depicts these straight blades. its a glass painting on the abby of st denis paris showing the battle of antioch. i don't know how accurate this painting is because art usually illustrates the artist current time period.
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Michael Curl




Location: Northern California, US
Joined: 06 Jan 2008

Posts: 486

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov, 2011 10:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Arms and armor from Iran : the Bronze Age to the end of the Qajar period /
By Moshtagh Khorasani, Manouchehr.

ISSN/ISBN 3932942221

This book has tons of stuff on swords in Iran, however the armour coverage is limited to like 12 pages (I was disappointed to say the least).

E Pluribus Unum
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

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PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov, 2011 1:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Curl wrote:
Arms and armor from Iran : the Bronze Age to the end of the Qajar period /
By Moshtagh Khorasani, Manouchehr.

ISSN/ISBN 3932942221

This book has tons of stuff on swords in Iran, however the armour coverage is limited to like 12 pages (I was disappointed to say the least).

I was hoping for more on armour too. Though it made my editing job easier Happy Agreed that it is the definitive work on Persian weapons.
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Tim Mathews




Location: St Paul MN
Joined: 02 Oct 2004

Posts: 164

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov, 2011 1:15 pm    Post subject: Islamic Sword Reference         Reply with quote

Michael Curl wrote:
Arms and armor from Iran : the Bronze Age to the end of the Qajar period /
By Moshtagh Khorasani, Manouchehr.

ISSN/ISBN 3932942221

This book has tons of stuff on swords in Iran, however the armour coverage is limited to like 12 pages (I was disappointed to say the least).


My wife gave me a copy of this book as a present ... I am not a huge student of Islamic/Middle Eastern weaponry but this is a wonderful book and great resource
Best
Tim

Tim Mathews
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Michael Curl




Location: Northern California, US
Joined: 06 Jan 2008

Posts: 486

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov, 2011 8:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ya Dan, it broke my heart because I got it for the armour in 'arms and armour'. However I just loaned it so I can't complain about loss of funds. However for swords you can't complain. (Though I also felt it lacked much in the way of non-swords, though I may be miss-remembering.)
E Pluribus Unum
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Len Parker





Joined: 15 Apr 2011

Posts: 277

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov, 2011 8:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sword of the Sultan of Granada, late 15thc. http://www.tforum.info/forum/index.php?showtopic=24997
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Jonah Marlow




Location: united states
Joined: 09 Aug 2010
Likes: 42 pages

Posts: 26

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov, 2011 10:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the replys, definetly gotta check out those books one of these days. One more quick question; when exactly did the Muslims start using curved blades?
Jonah Marlow
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,436

PostPosted: Sat 19 Nov, 2011 12:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

im no expert by any means, but the turkic tribes living around the black sea, like the pechengs, were using sabres around the early 11th century. these arnt islamic neccesarily but they are of turkic ethnicity.

i think the turks and seljuks adopted the sabre abit earlier than the egyptians did. id guess around the 11th century?? but i might be way off.
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov, 2011 4:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonah Marlow wrote:
One more quick question; when exactly did the Muslims start using curved blades?


It depends on how you define "Muslim" and "curved blades." Central Asian Turkic peoples were already using curved blades (though the curve was usually much gentler than later types) by the 9th century or so at the latest, by which time many of them hadn't yet been converted to Islam (which happened in a gradual process that wasn't complete until at least the 12th century or so). Many of these Turks--Muslims and otherwise--were hired as mercenaries or brought as allies by the more "civilised" Muslim principalities to the south (i.e. in what is now Iraq, Syria, etc.), and some of their methods were adopted for the training of the elite Mamluk cavalry (along with Byzantine and Persian influences), but by and large they did not mix with the native troops. Even the Mamluks, being locally equipped, predominantly had straight swords despite the fact that many of their recruits were born in Caucasia or the western end of Central Asia. The "civilised" non-Turkic peoples only began to seriously adopt curved swords after they were conquered by a dynasty of Muslim Turks (the Ottomans) in the 15th and 16th centuries--quite late in the day, and far too late for any of the Crusades.

So, to put it in simplistic terms, during the Crusades you would have had the "civilised" Muslims in the south carrying straight swords while the "barbarian" Turks in the north (notwithstanding the fact that some of the Turks--like the Seljuks--were already settling down and adopting Byzantine and Muslim civilised amenities) had curved swords. In the 15th and 16th centuries the situation changed as the Ottomans swept over the whole area and led a change in fashion (among their southern subjects) towards a more universal preference for curved swords.
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Christopher Treichel




Location: Metro D.C.
Joined: 14 Jan 2010

Posts: 268

PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov, 2011 7:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You might try posting something over on Sword Forum, Manoucher regularily posts in the Middle Eastern Weapons section.
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Bennison N




Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Joined: 06 Feb 2008
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Posts: 416

PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov, 2011 4:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi all.

I've actually found Manouchehr to be friendly and responsive to PMs over at Swordforum.

My queries were all to do with Persian Swordsmanship, rather than the swords themselves, but he's a real wealth of knowledge.

If you can't get his book, I'd suggest giving him a PM.

"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance" - Confucius

अजयखड्गधारी
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