Persian Shamshir Sword

What is a Shamshir Sword?

Shamshir sword is one of the most famous sword in history. Shamshir, which means curved like the tiger’s nail, describes the deeply curved and continuously tapering parabolic saber blade typical of Persia, Mughal India and the adjoining Arab world from the middle of the 16th century. Considering that blades of shamshir form, of both Persian and Indian manufacture, were widely traded and interchangeably used with hilts of local manufacture throughout the Near Eastern Islamic world from shortly after their adoption by the Persians until use of the sword declined in the 20th Century.

These deeply curved blades tend to reach their maximum degree of curvature some 50 to 60% of the blade length from the crossguard. The blade is widest where it joins the hilt, from where it tapers, both in width and in thickness, towards the tip, with the degree of taper being greatest distally. The blade is of a Shamshir sword type, so it naturally curves for the final quarter of the length. This example also widens for the last quarter, allowing for a thick false-edge and prominent single fuller.

Features of the Persian Shamshir

The Shamshir is among the swords of the Seljuk empire; it eventually took the name Shamshir, a Persian name, when the piece was first brought to Persia during the twelfth century. Originally, these Persian swords appeared straight with a double edge whereas the scimitar swords that featured curved blades have originated from the Central Asian Turkic Muslims. It is a kind of saber that featured a curve and was considered quite radical for a sword five to fifteen degrees all the way from tip to tip. The name was also derived from the Persian word Shamshir which generally means sword, and under this category of curved swords includes the scimitar, kilij, saber, pulwar, the shamshir sword, and more. All of the mentioned weapons were primarily based on the parent sword called the Turko Mongol saber; as for the shamshir sword, it appeared as a single-handed sword that featured a slim, curved blade that seemed to have no taper until the blade’s very tip.

When carrying the sword, instead of it being wielded upright, it was carried in a horizontal manner where its hilt and tip was pointed up.

Origin of the Shamshir

The first recorded appearance of the Shamshir swords were around the ninth century; there, it was considered as a vital tool of the Turks which was brought in by the Seljuk Khanate. The shamshir’s blade was lightweight and quite easy to wield since it was primarily created to work as a slashing weapon. Its blade was fashioned with an exaggerated arch and had a very sharp curved side; the sharpest point of the sword can be found right at its tip.

The shamshir sword was first introduced by the Turkic Seljuk Khanate to Iran during the twelfth century; it was later popularized in Persia during the early period of the sixteenth century and had so-called relatives in other areas namely in Turkey where they had the kilij, and also in the adjoining Arabian world where they had the sam-sam and the saif.

Since the weapon first originated in Persia, it eventually spread and became popular throughout the previous Ottoman Empire; eventually, its popularity also reached other countries such as India and the Philippines.

Its evidently curved blade was highly popular and was said to be very much ideal for delivering and executing powerful cutting strokes; it was also a highly efficient piece for delivering rising then descending, as well as hooking thrusts which were extremely deadly for the battlefield and duels.

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