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Danny Grigg





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PostPosted: Thu 05 May, 2005 2:11 am    Post subject: Saracen weapons from Kingdom of Heaven         Reply with quote

Are the Saracen weapons from the movie Kingdom of Heaven historically accurate / authentic or are they pure fantasy? See attached picture.

If they are authentic does anyone have any information regarding them including their actual Islamic / Arabic / Saracen NAMES?

Anyone have any other pictures, illustrations etc?

Thanks
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David R. Glier





Joined: 01 Mar 2004

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PostPosted: Thu 05 May, 2005 3:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The elephant warhammer and the middle mace are very much period weapons. Persian, found in Iran IIRC. You can find repros of them all over the net, long before KoH.
I can't speak for the lion-headed mace, but it looks plausable. The axe is probably from the wrong place and period to be featured at the end of the second crusade, but it's no doubt based on an original example from an appropriate people, anyway.


Ridley Scott's films are famous for getting the feel right, getting a lot of details right, but being a little sloppy when it comes to mixing times and places together when he oughtn't.
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Daniel Staberg




Location: Gothenburg/Sweden
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PostPosted: Thu 05 May, 2005 4:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The lioheaded mace looks very similar, almost identical to a drawing of a 12-13th Century Iranian mace head shown in "Saladin and the Saracens" by David Nicolle (Osprey Publishing)
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Benjamin McCracken





Joined: 26 Feb 2004

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PostPosted: Thu 05 May, 2005 4:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Paging Alina Boyden to forum. Alina Boyden to the forum please. Big Grin See this discussion, just like Ragu, it's in there.
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=3673


Ben

"Your sword is your shield!"
Christian Henry Tobler
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Chris Lampe




Location: United States
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PostPosted: Thu 05 May, 2005 4:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Osprey book "Armies of the Crusades" shows a photo of an almost identical axe:

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Danny Grigg





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PostPosted: Thu 05 May, 2005 6:01 am    Post subject: Tabars         Reply with quote

Chris

In the book The Complete Encyclopedia of Arms and Weapons Edited by Leonid Tarassuk & Claude Blair there's 2 pictures of Tabars and they don't look like the pic you posted. (see the pics below).

I'm guessing that Tabars came in lots of shapes and sizes? If that is the case did they all have different names or is Tabar just a generic name for axes like the name "Battle Axe"?
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Danny Grigg





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PostPosted: Thu 05 May, 2005 6:07 am    Post subject: 2nd tabar         Reply with quote

2nd tabar below
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Alina Boyden





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PostPosted: Thu 05 May, 2005 9:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

haha. I've covered this in detail. The saracen weapons are pretty dead on (except saladin's sword). The axes are too late by about 3 centuries. However, interestingly enough, the so-called crusader axe is actually a mamluk axe that I have photocopies of. As, Benjamin said, check out that thread where I went through posting examples of everything. I'd say more but I have a latin exam in a couple of hours.
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Alina Boyden





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PostPosted: Thu 05 May, 2005 9:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Okay I lied...

Last edited by Alina Boyden on Thu 05 May, 2005 4:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Chris Lampe




Location: United States
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PostPosted: Thu 05 May, 2005 11:01 am    Post subject: Re: Tabars         Reply with quote

Danny Grigg wrote:
Chris

In the book The Complete Encyclopedia of Arms and Weapons Edited by Leonid Tarassuk & Claude Blair there's 2 pictures of Tabars and they don't look like the pic you posted. (see the pics below).

I'm guessing that Tabars came in lots of shapes and sizes? If that is the case did they all have different names or is Tabar just a generic name for axes like the name "Battle Axe"?


Danny,

That is the first time I've seen the word Tabar used so I'm not sure if it's a generic term for axe or the proper name of a specific type of axe. I did a quick google search for tabar and axe and the got many hits where the two are used together but none of the few I clicked on gave a definitive definition of tabar.

The second picture you posted and two of Alina's pictures share the same overall shape as the first two pictures we posted where your first and Alina's last (both labled tabars) look very similar to each other but different from the first two.
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Alina Boyden





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PostPosted: Thu 05 May, 2005 4:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tabar is the Persian word for "axe." Specifically, the word tabar tends to refer to the larger axes with deeply curved heads. The picture I posted of the finely decorated persian "tabar" would more properly be called a "tabarzin" These are persian saddle axes. So, my label was inappropriate, I apologize for the mix-up but I was nose-deep in Latin.
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Alina Boyden





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PostPosted: Thu 05 May, 2005 5:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here are a couple of warhammer line drawings from the Osprey book "Saladin and the Saracens"


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Alina Boyden





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PostPosted: Thu 05 May, 2005 5:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here are some nice examples of Mamluk axes of the 15th and 16th centuries from David Elgood's book, "Islamic Arms and Armour"
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Chris Lampe




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PostPosted: Thu 05 May, 2005 5:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alina Boyden wrote:
Here are some nice examples of Mamluk axes of the 15th and 16th centuries from David Elgood's book, "Islamic Arms and Armour"


Alina,

Does he discuss the decoration of these axes, specfically the circle and the design within it?. Most of the ceremonial axes seem to have the same decoration.
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Alina Boyden





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PostPosted: Thu 05 May, 2005 6:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chris Lampe wrote:
Alina Boyden wrote:
Here are some nice examples of Mamluk axes of the 15th and 16th centuries from David Elgood's book, "Islamic Arms and Armour"


Alina,

Does he discuss the decoration of these axes, specfically the circle and the design within it?. Most of the ceremonial axes seem to have the same decoration.


Well, those "blazons" are typical of mamluk axes, but are also very reminiscent of the popular cartouche found on Islamic swords. These axes all have koranic phrases inscribed on them in kufi script.
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Alina Boyden





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PostPosted: Thu 05 May, 2005 6:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ok, a couple more.

Last edited by Alina Boyden on Fri 06 May, 2005 5:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Thu 05 May, 2005 6:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alina Boyden wrote:
...I was nose-deep in Latin.

I hope that your Latin exam went well, despite our distractions. My son just finished up his finals for Spring term on Monday, and he is still looks a little like this: Eek! .
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Alina Boyden





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PostPosted: Thu 05 May, 2005 6:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steve Grisetti wrote:
Alina Boyden wrote:
...I was nose-deep in Latin.

I hope that your Latin exam went well, despite our distractions. My son just finished up his finals for Spring term on Monday, and he is still looks a little like this: Eek! .


Well this is week six of the third quarter. So I have until June to go. Ugh. But yeah, the Latin went alright. My teacher just seems to be able to make the test unreasonably hard no matter how well you know the material. Now all I have to do is write a 3 page paper for tomorrow, and then do a 25 page paper for wednesday that was assigned yesterday (sort of). The due date is different for different people and I sort of volunteered to be in group 1 before realizing that meant I had a week to turn in the draft. Wink
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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Thu 05 May, 2005 6:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alina Boyden wrote:
Okay I lied...

Alina,

I'm not quite sure what you lied about. But I have a question about the second axe in this post of yours. Most of the axes have that lovely, (what I think of as) characteristic Islamic decoration. But this particular piece, which you labeled as "Ottoman axe", doesn't have any of that decoration, and seems to me (who knows basically nothing about axes) to be no different from what a European might have used. What makes this Ottoman? Find place? Something different in the form?
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Alina Boyden





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PostPosted: Thu 05 May, 2005 6:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steve Grisetti wrote:
Alina Boyden wrote:
Okay I lied...

Alina,

I'm not quite sure what you lied about. But I have a question about the second axe in this post of yours. Most of the axes have that lovely, (what I think of as) characteristic Islamic decoration. But this particular piece, which you labeled as "Ottoman axe", doesn't have any of that decoration, and seems to me (who knows basically nothing about axes) to be no different from what a European might have used. What makes this Ottoman? Find place? Something different in the form?


I lied about not being able to go into greater depth due to latin.

That's a good point. In fact, this axe looks almost identical to many Byzantine examples. However, I don't have the book with me at the moment and I didn't record the exact provenancing of the piece. It is probably something to do with find location. Something important to remember is that the surviving pieces we have from Islam are the richest and fanciest of the bunch and from the latest periods. That's why they're so heavily decorated.

If you look at medieval islamic swords (12th and 13th centuries) they lack all of that fancy kufi script and cartouche blade design you're so used to seeing on islamic weapons.
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