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Danilo J




Location: Pirot, Serbia
Joined: 28 Feb 2018

Posts: 27

PostPosted: Fri 02 Dec, 2022 11:29 am    Post subject: Regarding Balkan sica daggers         Reply with quote

I want to know more about sica than a wikipedia article is going to give me. Im mainly interested to know if they were quench hardened or work hardened. In other words, did they use steel for their edges or wrought iron throughout?
Thickness, distal taper and overall dimensions of these things would also be of much help, but only if you have specific original examples to draw from.
I have seen loads of 'replicas' that frankly dont look anything like the originals, besides having a downwards sweeping blade...
If you in fact know of some proper replicas, please, share 😃

Getting back to that wiki article, it does mention a typology of sorts. I would like to read more about it if there is something more written somewhere on the internet...
Going by what Ive read so far, it seems like all of the pictures Ill be attaching to my post are of the third type. The most 'swordlike' examples.
I dont know how genuine some of the pieces are, but the pair from the Slovenian national museum should definitely be.
Any good quality pictures of those two are most highly appreciated, as well as all the other info one would need to replicate them, at least as 3D models to start with 😅

I did contact the museum, but Im not hopeful for an answer, we'll see how that goes...

Anyways, thanks for reading and thanks for your time and help, cheers!



 Attachment: 34.79 KB
national museum of slovenia (1).jpg



Last edited by Danilo J on Fri 02 Dec, 2022 11:34 am; edited 1 time in total
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Danilo J




Location: Pirot, Serbia
Joined: 28 Feb 2018

Posts: 27

PostPosted: Fri 02 Dec, 2022 11:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I dont seem to know how to add the rest of my pics, but the one I did manage to post is the one from the Slovenian museum, so it will have to do Big Grin
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Barrett Hiebert





Joined: 22 Sep 2006

Posts: 106

PostPosted: Fri 02 Dec, 2022 5:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Danilo,

Give Cristian Iamandi an email! I’m sure he’d be able to help you!

https://www.iamandi.net/en/iamandi-en/

Considering the falx and sica are iconically Dacian.

Best regards,

Barrett Hiebert
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Dan Howard




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

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,622

PostPosted: Fri 02 Dec, 2022 10:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The sica isn't really Dacian. The weapon is associated with the Thracians but it saw widespread use. Jewish zealots liked to use them to assassinate Roman officials. They concealed the weapon in a scabbard under their armpit. The weapon could be drawn through the armhole of the tunic, used on the target, and resheathed before anyone noticed. They were the switchblade of the ancient world.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Danilo J




Location: Pirot, Serbia
Joined: 28 Feb 2018

Posts: 27

PostPosted: Fri 02 Dec, 2022 11:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Barrett Hiebert wrote:
Danilo,

Give Cristian Iamandi an email! I’m sure he’d be able to help you!

https://www.iamandi.net/en/iamandi-en/

Considering the falx and sica are iconically Dacian.

Best regards,

Barrett Hiebert


I am aware of his work, yeah...
And all due respect to the maker for his, no doubt quality craftsmanship, but his pieces simply arent historical enough.
At least theyre not like the pieces Ive seen so far.
Lack of fullers and other 'decorations', blade shape, geometry, handle shape and general assembly of them arent like the originals.
They are evidently more modern looking, more simplistic for sure, and that is simply not what Im after...

Now, it might very well be that he modeled his pieces of some obscure find I dont know about or even his artistic freedom, which I highly suspect is the case, given how similar his designs are to one another and how dissimilar they are to any of the pieces Ive seen so far.

So I doubt he has any of the information Im after.
I can certainly ask, but Im not sure reasonable historical accuracy is his goal Worried
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,447

PostPosted: Sat 03 Dec, 2022 4:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Haven't really studied the sica myself, but I can tell you that most ancient blades were what we would call "steel" at that time, though the carbon content varied dramatically, and steel edges on an iron core were pretty common.

Just how they might have been hardened is a trickier question, though. Almost everything was tried at some point, but quenching doesn't seem to have been common until the post-Roman era, from what I know. Work-hardening was known from the Bronze Age. Sometimes alloys included sulfur or phosphorous, *possibly* due to the ores and smelting/forging processes, but possibly added to give hardness (though they'd add brittleness, too).

Most artifacts don't really get analyzed. In addition, for many years it was common to stabilize and conserve iron artifacts by (I kid you not) heat-treating them. So much of the microscopic evidence for how the weapon was originally made is lost. (Which probably beats having the entire thing flake away, but...) Beyond that, metallurgy is very complex, but it's clear that all ancient iron contained carbon, and the line between "iron" and "steel" is not clear.

Also, as Dan says, many cultures used curved knives that the Romans called "sica". But there were certainly regional variations, though I'm sure those get confused as artifacts are misidentified.

It looks like I really haven't helped, here, ha! But good luck.

Matthew
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Barrett Hiebert





Joined: 22 Sep 2006

Posts: 106

PostPosted: Sun 04 Dec, 2022 12:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan, thanks for the clarification.

Danilo, you obviously have more expertise and familiarity in this matter. I’ve read his website and from my limited knowledge thought he was legitimate. My mistake. I wish you the best in your search, though it may never hurt to ask Cristian. Just a friendly thought of course.
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Danilo J




Location: Pirot, Serbia
Joined: 28 Feb 2018

Posts: 27

PostPosted: Sun 04 Dec, 2022 2:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew, you did help in other ways, plenty of stuff I didnt know there, so thanks Big Grin


Barrett, I wouldnt say I have more expertise than him. He has been making his blades for quite a while, its just that from what evidence Ive seen so far, he isnt as strict in doing 100% genuine replicas, which is totally fine, it just depends on what youre going for I guess.
Im more interested to know how the blades were done in period, not with modern means or in alternate ways.
One of the biggest things would be the two ferrules on the handle which seem quite a bit more complex than two squished pipes on either end, and then there is the metal chape on the sheath, which is completely absent on his pieces.
Im guessing all of these choices are done for economical reasons, to keep the final cost down for his customers. But since I wont be making more than a couple at best, and probably not gonna sell any of them, Im free reigned to go as in depth as I want and can.
But Im quickly realizing that some stuff I just have to have an original to figure out.
Or somebody in a possession of an original Wink
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Barrett Hiebert





Joined: 22 Sep 2006

Posts: 106

PostPosted: Sun 04 Dec, 2022 8:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew is always a treasure trove of information from his Bronze Age to Roman stuff.

I concur with you Danilo. It’s why I was always hesitant too…I’m a stickler for historical accuracy. Thought he had hands on museum pieces that he took his inspiration from for his sica and falx.
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Danilo J




Location: Pirot, Serbia
Joined: 28 Feb 2018

Posts: 27

PostPosted: Fri 09 Dec, 2022 3:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What were you hesitant about?

Maybe he has seen replicas, but it is very hard to go off pictures through the glass or maybe has chosen to follow his own, simplified designs to cut costs for you average customer. I still think he should have a separate line of exact replicas, at least visually. Not many people around who would be happy with a wrought iron edge Big Grin
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Barrett Hiebert





Joined: 22 Sep 2006

Posts: 106

PostPosted: Wed 21 Dec, 2022 4:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Danilo,

Handles weren’t what I was visually thinking they would be, not in any way like Trajans Column, etc…plus I prefer a historical blade to be made the historical way.

He does put out an excellent product though as can be attested to a few videos from practitioners detailing its use.

Sorry for late reply. Got busy with life.

Best regards,

Barrett Hiebert
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Danilo J




Location: Pirot, Serbia
Joined: 28 Feb 2018

Posts: 27

PostPosted: Thu 22 Dec, 2022 12:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Understandable, no worries Big Grin

Im sharing the a very similar opinion as you. A bit too modern for my taste.
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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
Likes: 32 pages

Posts: 794

PostPosted: Thu 12 Jan, 2023 3:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you want a historical reproduction of a sica, or other Iron age works very authentically made, I can recommend Komakiza (Bezerita Emanuel), a Romanian blacksmith who has had work featured in museums and historical reenactments. He's very knowledgeable and has decent English. He's made me a reproduction of a nicely decorated sica as well as a falx. He certainly has studied hundreds of examples. He's on FB, but if you like I can get his email address.


 Attachment: 91.46 KB
SicaSmall.jpg



Last edited by J. Nicolaysen on Thu 12 Jan, 2023 4:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
Likes: 32 pages

Posts: 794

PostPosted: Thu 12 Jan, 2023 4:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Five years back when he was making me those items, Bezerita sent me a few links and images, but they have been lost. However here's one that has made it.


A typology:

https://www.enciclopedia-dacica.ro/?operatie=subiect&locatie=english&fisier=curved_dagger_of_the_sica_type_from_the_north-danubian_dacian_graves

Oh and here's a pic of the Falx



 Attachment: 138.43 KB
IMG_4070_Small.JPG

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