Scimitars

From: Svechin@cs.com
Date: Wed 12 Apr 2000 - 20:30:41 EEST


Me:
: Saying that, the scimitar _would_ be good for looser order troops, as it
: is a slashing weapon with great weight at the end of the swing and
: could easily penetrate light armour or dislocate shoulders etc. Given
: its terrible balance (its awefully top heavy), it makes a poor parrying
: weapon, so usually it would be used with shield, unless one had wrist
: like Conan.

Mikko
>Excuse me? I wonder if you are thinking of late cavalry sabers.

Nope.

>There are several types of sword with a curving blade that can be called a
>scimitar.

Yes, they are distinctly categorised because of their curve and style but
they have evolved over time too.

>I've always tought the Lunar/Yanafal Tarnils scimitar to be a
>light infantry weapon, not a cavalry sabre that handles like an axe.

The scimitar was an infantry weapon as well as a cavalry one but only the
heavier versions, which evolved over time. The lighter ones are excellent
for cavalry work, the heavier ones would be poor for cavalry work, too
difficult on the backstroke due to weight.

>A good scimitar is lighter than a broadsword and has very good
>balance.

Some scimitars were much heavier than a "broadsword" whatever one of those is.

>It's fast to strike and parry with and having just one edge it's
>sturdier than a double edged sword, or rather can be made lighter.

I think you are thinking of the light scimitar which was originally a cavalry
weapon. It makes a terrible battle sword as it is too light. The heavier
scimitar was a development to allow its use for infantry. The heavy cutting
end was an armour cutter.

>I think you were thinking of cavalry sabers or persian tulwars (which have
>a heavy tip and which yet again handle like an axe)

Not at all, you seem to be arguing that the scimitar would be a light weapon,
yet historically it was its very lightness that made it a poor infantry
weapon. Perhaps for dueling it was fine, but otherwise against armoured
opponents, it was too light. Hence the evolution to a heavier end. So the
cavalry scimitar is a light weapon, the foot scimitar is a heavy weapon.
Very different purposes.

Martin Laurie

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