The term "scimitar" is derived from the Italian scimitarra, a word used to refer to a curved, Middle Eastern Sword. The term refers to a curved, typically single-edged sword used in the Middle East and parts of Southeast and South Asia. While its is possible to thrust with a scimitar, the weapon is primarily designed for slashing attacks. The term may actually refer to several styles of curved sword.

  • A shamshir.
  • A kilij.
  • A talwar.
  • Turko-Mongol saber.
  • A Shotel


The saif is an Arabian curved sword distinctive for its L-shaped grip. The weapon was used from about the 9th century onwards.



The shamshir is a Persian sword similar to the Saif, but with a much greater curve. The design of the shamshir first imported to Persia around the 12th century from Central Asia, replacing older straight swords similar to the Indian khanda. The shamshir had a narrow, highly curved blade, a long crossguard, and no pommel, making the weapon great for slashing, but difficult to thrust with accurately due to the extreme curvature


The kilij is a Turkish sword based on older Central Asian weapons used since. The kilij first appeared sometime in the late Middle Ages, and was definitely in use by the time of the late 1400s. The weapon has a slightly curved blade made of high carbon steel, with a reinforced point that is significantly wider than the rest of the blade with a false edge. This gave the kilij formidable cutting ability. The kilij often had a hook-shaped pommel. The kilij was used not only by the Turks, but also in parts of Eastern Europe that had contact with the Ottoman Empire.


Turko-Mongol SabreEdit

The Turko-Mongol Sabre was the primary melee weapon of the Mongols, who brought the weapon through central Asia with their conquests. The sword was about three feet long, with slightly curved blade from slashing from horseback, though it could be used for thrusting attacks as well.



The Talwar is an Indian curved sword known for its disc-shaped pommel and a knucklebow attached to the grip. The weapon was capable of making powerful slashing attacks with its single-edged curved blade, but was limited in it effectiveness for making thrusting attacks. The weapon was used by both infantry and cavalry. A similar sword, the pulwar, was used in Afghanistan.



The Shotel is an Ethiopian curved sword shaped similarly to a sickle. The weapon has a curved blade a meter in length, which can be used as a hook for dismounted cavalry, disarming enemies, and even thrusting over shields.