The scimitar is an originally oriental sword, very light and sharp and with a curved edge. Its length oscillates between 55cm and 1 meter and is finished off at the opposite end to the edge with a handle. To get an idea, it can be defined as a "sword turned sickle-shaped."
The scimitars were exceptionally hard and strong and absorbed the blows easily due to the material with which it was made, such as the so-called "Damascus steel", which had a high carbon content, specifically from 1.5 to 2%, which gave it this hardness and a unique beauty with wavy marks on the edge. Damascus steel was admired throughout the West and they tried to imitate them but with little success. In the Iberian Peninsula developed a metal with characteristics similar to that of Damascus, is the renowned "Toledo steel".
The scimitar had a perfect design to attack from the saddle of the horse because after the enviste, the blade was not embedded in the opponent which allowed the warrior to move forward. It is said that he cut the enemy's body from the shoulder from the waist, in the same way that he cut a silk handkerchief in half.
The name comes from the Persian word "shamsir", that derived in the Italian word "scimitar". The geographical and chronological origin of the scimitar is very much discussed today. As for the origin there are those who place it in ancient Persia, although it spread throughout the Middle East from India to the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea.
Regarding the date, the moment of greatest diffusion of this sword was during the Middle Ages. In fact, it is the most characteristic weapon of the medieval Arab world, associated on many occasions with crusades between Christians and Muslims. It is at this moment that it already appears in pictorial representations like that of the lower image.
The sword was not a mere weapon used in war, but was surrounded by a very prominent symbolism in both Christian and Muslim tradition. For the kings and nobles of Christianity who fought against the Muslim, the sword symbolized the cross of Christ (crossing the hilt with the edge). While for the Muslims it is said that the semicircular shape of their sabers represented the crescent moon, and that therefore the sword itself symbolized the sacred weapon of Islam: the weapon of Allah.
The most outstanding historical figure with whom the scimitar is associated is Salaheddîn Eyûbîen or better known in the Western world as Saladin. This character born in what is now Iraq was the most important Muslim general in the Middle East in the second half of the twelfth century. He was protagonist of the wars of religion between Christians and Muslims for the dominion in the Holy Land, highlighting his victory against the Christians in the Battle of Hattin, a fact that opened the doors for the conquest of Jerusalem. After being known the fact by the Christians, the man who was at the head of the Church at that time, Pope Urban III called all the Christian kings to a new campaign against the Muslims, the third crusade. It was at this time when the figure of Richard of England, who later would be nicknamed "Heart of Lion", took center stage.
The scimitar is a legendary sword that, in addition to Saladin, has been associated with other characters such as Sandokan, a pirate originally from Southeast Asia and the protagonist of innumerable adventures against the British. Sinbad the sailor also always used his scimitar sword