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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Scimitar - A Study

Scimitar - A Study for FireHeart Novel

A scimitar is a sword with a curved blade of a design finding its origins in western Asia (Middle East). The name can be used to refer to almost any Arabian sword with a curved blade. The term "scimitar" is so nebulous that no single "historic sword" can epitomize it. The word "scimitar" is most likely a derivative from the Persian shamshir. One may refer to that article for more information on the Shamshir. "Scimitar" has become a catch-all term for all swords with curved blades.
Scimitars in historyApparently the scimitar started playing a sometimes significant role in Middle Eastern warfare more than two millennia before the advent of Islam. Famed scholar Zahi Hawass asserts that the Ancient Egyptians of the 18th Dynasty (circa 1600 B.C.) used new weapons technologies borrowed from the Hyksos, including "the scimitar" as important tools in fostering Egypt's regional domination which characterized much of the New Kingdom period (p 21-22). Some might judge the Hawass' use of the term anachronistic but nonetheless this provides evidence for the use of something akin to the scimitar in well before the development of the Persian shamshir. Many islamic traditions adopted scimitars, as attested by their symbolic occurrence, e.g. on the Coat of arms of Saudi Arabia or the traditional surik in the Coat of arms of East Timor.
The scimitar in fiction and popular culture

Arabs with scimitars from Boulanger's painting A Tale of 1001 Nights.In fiction, warriors of Middle Eastern or Asian cultures often use scimitars, for example the character Yellow Robe in ''Journey to the West. Scimitars are also commonly used when the inclusion of a fairly exotic weapon is desired by authors of fantasy fiction and role-playing games. The Calormen warriors and royalty fight with scimitars in C. S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia, as does Prince Borric, the main character in Raymond E. Feist's The Prince of Blood. Fantasy author R.A. Salvatore's dark elf protagonist Drizzt Do'Urden wields a pair of enchanted scimitars. Additionally, the scimitar has been a fairly popular namesake employed by comic book and science fiction writers. A wrestler, a minor Marvel Comics villain, and space craft in both the Star Trek and Wing Commander universes have all been named after the scimitar.


BJ Vadis also wants to say "Merry Christmas 2006 & Happy New Year 2007"
to all my loyal readers and fellow FireHearters! May God always be with you!

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