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Full Version: Caucasian Kindjals
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Anonymous

Greets,<br>
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In respect to the kindjal knife used by Georgians and Armenians, I wonder if anyone has noticed the similarity of the weapon to the gladius? While the hilt has a rather distinctive Semitic/Persian style, the blade itself appears to be modeled after the Roman short sword. Does anyone know if the kindjal is actually patterned after the Legion arm?<br>
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Thanks all<br>
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Anonymous

Salve<br>
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One point to remember if you should ever travel in that part of the world: The Georgians came out with this blade first and called it the Qama. The Cossacks adopted this knife after them and as a result the Georgians were deeply annoyed that their enemies, the Cossacks were allowed to carry their symbol of national identity. So next time you meet a Georgian be careful what you say!<br>
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On closer inspection, there are less similarities between gladii and the kindjal, the construction of the tang and hilt bear more similarity to the pugio, with the tang being shaped to the same profile as the grip. Also the blades are usually fullered, and the better quality ones have incised or stamped Islamic inscriptions in vertical panels, often worked into the groove. The blades of the kindjal can also be curved as well as straight. The straight blades can vary enormously, from something resembling a Pompeii type, to waisted Fulham/Mainz types, to some that are almost stilettos!<br>
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I think these blades emerged in the 17th Century, but I can't be sure. However, I agree with you about the similarity of some of the blades. I was looking for a crappy 20th century one to make into a gladius at one time, but they tend to be too short! I have a few on my desk as I write this, so if you are interested, I can email you a few piccies to give you an idea of what I’m on about.<br>
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There are other Isalmic blades that are similar to western counterparts. The most obvious are the Takouba sword of the Taureg, and the Kaskara sword of the Saharan tribes, which closely resemble western medieval broadswords. In fact, many of them were made using recycled western blades, and you can find some with the Passau and Solingen marks still visible. To confuse matters even more, local blade-smiths then took to copying these symbols onto their own work to try and add an extra 'quality' to them!<br>
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There is also the falcata/kopis used by Alexander the Great's army, and its possible influence on the Turkish yataghan (possible but unlikely) and the Gurka's kukri and khora weapons.<br>
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And it didn't just work one way either. ‘Modern’ curved swords came to the west through the crusades in Spain and the Near East. Our terms 'sabre' and 'scimitar' are just corruptions of the Arabic shamshir (also shamsheer and chimchir).<br>
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Vale<br>
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Celer.<br>
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