Historical "Shortsword"? Terçado in Portuguese Chr
I'm reading an academic work called "Dressed to Kill", by Paulo Jorge Simões Agostinho which deals with 15th-century military sources for references of arms and armor in Portuguese Chronicles. Eventually, I came across some written references for a "Terçado". My notes are in parenthesis

"The fourth type of sword found in the chronicles was the Terçado. It refers to a sword, shorter and lighter than the 'belt-sword' (medieval Portuguese name for an arming sword). It's was equivalent to two-thirds of a sword, thus given its name [...]. This weapon is referred only to events in North Africa (starting by 1415/1420), of which indicates a relatively recent sword. Perhaps, African context might have led to a greater search for lighter weapons. "

My question is: can a Terçado be related to any existing shorter sword in Europe? Could it be a Cinquedea? Other European regions actually gave a name for a "two-thirds" sword? I hardly think Terçado means a Falchion, as we have evidence for their use in the Peninsula long before the 15th century.
You might find this old thread on another site interesting.


Essentially it seems like we're looking at a sword that is 'a third' shorter than normal swords. A lot of Central European messer's have a blade round about 60 centimeters in length and some have a somewhat curved tip.

Quite a bit of 15th century art made in the Low Countries such as tapestries and paintings, some of them ordered by Portuguese, tend to show the Moors with short swords that often have a knucklebow. Some later 16th century indigenous works also show such weapons.

For example the Capture of Oran shows both normal swords and shorter ones.

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The depicted Moorish swords might be Nimcha, if those were already around at that time and (bigger) IF the artist has actually ever seen a Moorish soldier.

Nimcha is possible I suppose, but some depictions (as one above) show straight, shortish, presumably two sided blades with knuckle bows. I find it pretty interesting as I haven't personally seen historical examples.

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