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Greg Griggs




Location: Houston, TX
Joined: 31 Aug 2005

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Posts: 214

PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2007 8:32 am    Post subject: Question about Saracen weapons during the Crusades         Reply with quote

As a number of fictional and supposedly historical books have come out in recent years about the Crusades, and the fact that this is the timeline I'm most interested in at the moment, I would like to know if anyone has any historically accurate descriptions of the weapons used by the Muslim/Saracen nations during the years from 1095-1291. Did they use pole arms, blunts, axes, and what style of bows? What type of swords did they use? Straight blade, curved blade, single-edged, etc? I know the term "scimitar" is a Victorian Anglo term for a curved blade used in the Mid-East, but my understanding is those blades didn't come about until the 17th-18th century (not sure of exact time). Any help would be appreciated, especially if it can be backed up with historical references. Something other than the typical Osprey books. I have those. Yes, a part of this is not only for my own edification, but also because I am in contact with a writer who has written a couple of best sellers on the subject and we are wanting to settle a "disagreement." Wink

Thanks!

-Greg

Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.
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Hisham Gaballa





Joined: 27 Jan 2005
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 508

PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2007 11:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi,

Check out this thread on another forum which I contributed to a while back:
http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread.php?t=54732

Mind you it was so long ago and some of the pictures have disappeared.

There are quite a few books out there too. Check my reading list. One book that isn't in my reading list, and that is quite pricey and hard to find is Unsal Yucel's "Islamic swords and Swordmiths", which has black and white photos and descriptions of some very early Islamic swords which are now in the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul.

These threads refer mainly to armour and weapons of the 15th-17th centuries, but there is still some useful info there:
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=4427
http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread.php?t=77206
http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread.php?t=71813
http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread.php?t=72695

Hisham


Last edited by Hisham Gaballa on Thu 03 May, 2007 12:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Greg Griggs




Location: Houston, TX
Joined: 31 Aug 2005

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 214

PostPosted: Thu 03 May, 2007 12:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hisham,
Thank you for the links. The SFI discussion has enough pictures left to give a good impression. Interesting that the blades were straight but a lot of hilts had some curve. Was a little surprised that there were some curved sabres, but then again the poster mentions that they were not in wide use until much later. Take care, good Sir.

-Greg

Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.
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Hisham Gaballa





Joined: 27 Jan 2005
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 508

PostPosted: Thu 03 May, 2007 12:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greg Griggs wrote:
Hisham,
Thank you for the links. The SFI discussion has enough pictures left to give a good impression. Interesting that the blades were straight but a lot of hilts had some curve. Was a little surprised that there were some curved sabres, but then again the poster mentions that they were not in wide use until much later. Take care, good Sir.-Greg


You're welcome. Happy

Curved sabres were used in Central Asia since at least the 10th century BC if not much earlier. They were not used in large numbers in the Middle East until after the Seljuq invasions of the 11th century.

With regards to hilts, most of the hilts you see in the photos are 15th and 16th century Mamluk and Ottoman replacements. Arab pictorial evidence (in the form of depictions on brass objects and miniature paintings) from the 12th-13th century suggests that Middle Eastern straight swords had hilts with a straight grip, down turned quillons and a spherical pommel.
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