The Mighty Scimitar: Deadliest Sword From the Orient


The word scimitar comes from the word “shamshir”, which means “lion’s claw” in Persian language.

A scimitar can either be a one-handed type or a two-handed type scimitar. The main physical attribute of a scimitar is that it has a curved blade instead of a straight one. 

The Persian shamshir was a popular sword throughout the Middle East, South Asia, and North Africa. The curved blade made it a superior weapon for slashing and cutting as opposed to a stabbing sword. They were first developed and used by the Persian people of modern Iran, and later copied by other cultures.

Scimitars are different from other swords. One of the main differences is the unique way the weapon curves back from the hilt.

The edge of the blade is much sharper than the one of a regular sword as it is designed for slicing and dicing. Also, it is thicker and more heavily weighted in the center section. All of these factors combine to give the scimitar a distinct advantage in hand-to-hand combat. A scimitar is sometimes referred to as a “crescent moon” sword.

What Makes a Sword a Scimitar?

Well, the main thing is that it has a curved blade. And, since the curvature of the blade is mostly toward the back of the scimitar, it is sometimes called a “backward curved” or “reverse-curved” blade.

There are many different styles and types of curved blades used in scimitars. Some have a more gradual curve, some have a sharper “bite” to them, and others are almost straight except for the slight backward curve at the very back end of the blade. Regardless of the exact shape of the curve, all of them are designed to do one thing: inflict as much slashing damage as possible on whatever they are used against.

As I said, there are different styles of curves used in scimitars. Sometimes, there is just one kind of curve used throughout the entire length of the sword. But, more often than not, you will find that different kinds of curves are used for different parts of the blade.

For example, if a scimitar has a fairly uniform, straight-down-the-middle curve, the cutting edge of the blade will be more or less the same as the part that is used to strike an opponent. But, if the scimitar has a more pronounced curve near the hilt, this portion of the blade will have a very different sort of curve.

Here you can find the Scimitar Fighting Style Explained

What this means is that, when a skilled fighter swings this type of sword, the part that hits an opponent (the cutting edge) will be doing most of the slashing damage, while the more gently-curved section of the blade that strikes the opponent will have a much lesser effect.

This is why a scimitar is sometimes referred to as a “double-edged” sword. It has a very effective cutting edge, and it also has a section that has a different sort of curve, which causes the weapon to slice into the opponent, but with less force and less penetration.

What does a scimitar symbolize?

As previously stated, the scimitar is a curved, single-edged sword that originated in the Middle East.

The blade of the scimitar is traditionally thought to represent the crescent moon, symbolizing Islam. Scimitars can be found in many Islamic artworks and are often seen as symbols of Muslim power. Yet, scimitars have been used by people of many faiths and not exclusively by Muslim people alone.

For example, the Spanish and Portuguese were great scimitar users, as were the French during the time of Napoleon.

Many European swordsmen considered scimitars to be one of the best swords and it is said they would train with them for hours on end.

Many scimitars from this period have ornate hilt designs and are extremely well-crafted. 

What is the Difference Between a Falchion and a Scimitar?

A falchion is a one-handed, single-sided cutting sword with a bit of a curve to it but not much.

A scimitar is similar to a falchion but it has more of a curve and usually widens near the tip.

The falchion is often considered the ancestor of the modern machete and it even looks like it. And on top of that, there’s all kinds of different falchions for all sorts of tasks like a “cleaver” falchion used for cleaving. 

In general, a curved sword is best suited for slashing and hacking and a straight sword for chopping and thrusting.

Which of these two swords would you most like to have? It depends on what you want to do with it.

A scimitar is easier and quicker to use in a fight, but a falchion is much more versatile. If you are going to fight on foot, a falchion will give you a fighting chance against just about any opponent. However, if you are going to fight from horseback, a scimitar will be the sword of choice.

Why is the Scimitar Curved?

The curved shape of a scimitar allows it to be swung in a wide arc, but also has the ability to cut with great effectiveness across the entire length of the blade.

This is useful for several reasons:

Firstly, a scimitar is normally used against lightly armored opponents like foot soldiers or cavalry.

Secondly, a scimitar is effective as both a slashing and a hacking weapon.

Thirdly, a scimitar can be used to cut through cloth like a hot knife through butter.

The curved nature of the scimitar’s blade allows the user better leverage to strike them in the side or back than a straight sword while riding a horse. It is also easier to maintain your balance with a scimitar because it does not have as much of a tendency to force you to lean forward like a straight sword.

This is why many people prefer the scimitar over a straight sword when horseback riding.

Pros of the Scimitar Curved Blade

A scimitar is slightly shorter than an average sword, sometimes the difference in length is inconspicuous, but is slightly wider in diameter.

This gives it a larger cutting surface area than a straight sword due to its aerodynamics and weight which is usually concentrated in the middle of the blade. This means that it has a very high rate of swing speed.

All of these factors combine to make the scimitar a deadly slashing weapon.

The scimitar is a good choice for warriors who prefer to fight on the offensive, and who do not wish to sacrifice speed for power.

The curved blade also makes it easier to use against multiple opponents. A person wearing plate armor will still be able to deflect your blows, but an opponent wearing light chainmail or even leather armor will find it much harder to defend themselves against a scimitar attack.

Are Scimitars Short Swords?

Basically, there’s too minimal and negligible a difference if we compare both in terms of their length.

However, there is an enormous difference when we compare both in terms of cutting ability.

A scimitar is a long, curved sword that has a very distinctive curved blade shape that makes it extremely deadly against an opponent at close quarters.

A short sword, on the other hand, is much more useful for fighting at a given distance. It has a shorter, straighter blade shape which enables it to be used as a stabbing weapon more than a slashing weapon.

Scimitars should not be classified as “just” short swords. They are functionally and physically different from short swords and are best identified as a separate class.

Short swords are categorized as “cut-and-thrust” swords. What this means is that they were designed for use in hand-to-hand combat and not for a war where there would be a lot of hacking and slashing, where the scimitars would excel. 

Jordan Rosolenne

Hi, I’m Jordan Rosolenne, the founder of I’ve been a sword enthusiast all my life and I consider it a serious hobby of mine. I love everything about Swords, Katanas, Medieval Weapons, Anime, and much much more!

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