Medieval Scimitar Design and History – Patrick Luo Final Project Blog 3

The Scimitar is associated with the Saracens from Arabia Petraea (Scimitar). It is also commonly associated in the Holy Land as well (land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea in today’s geography). It originated from Arabia while it was in the Roman Kingdom and was popular during the 13th century (Staff). This weapon was commonly used to fight against the Crusaders and against the Crusader Sword. It was a common weapon to use on horseback due to how light it was and its distinct curve (Staff). It was highly effective against armored knights due to the distinct curve, the force generated while on horseback, and how much swifter the blows can be delivered compared to the Medieval Arming Sword (Staff).


The length of the sword was typically 30 to 36 inches (with 3-4 inches being the hilt size and the rest being the blade size) (Scimitar). The Scimitar weighed between 3-4 pounds with a width of 2-3 inches. Its hilt is considered smaller than the Medieval Arming Sword (can be distinguished in the Scimitar picture and from the Medieval Arming Sword picture from the previous blog). This sword wasn’t ideal for stabbing enemies but was considered the gold standard for slash wounds. During the Second Crusade, the Scimitars play a drastic role in the Salahuddin army in the 12th century (Staff). It completely outclassed the Crusader Sword due to the Scimitar’s superior speed, ability to parry blows due to its curve, and effectiveness while on horseback. After the showing of the Scimitar’s lethalness, it was also used by the Mongols, Rajputs, and Sikhs (Staff).

Jean d’Alluye from the Abbey of La Clarte-Dieu based from France depicts the model of an ideal knight. With a long-sleeved and hooded mail shirt, mittens, coif, spurs, a Crusader Sword, and a shield, this was the outfit of a knight of the 12th-13th century (Nickel 123). Although this was the image of a knight, he depicts how a Scimitar from the Islamic world can cause damage to this knight of the 12th-13th century (Nickel 123). However, there aren’t a lot of Scimitars preserved as well as the Crusader Swords or the Medieval Arming Sword. This was most likely due to the hilt being smaller, making it easier to break during battle (Nickel 126).

Works Cited

Primary Source:

“Scimitar.” Life in the Middle Ages, Lords and Ladies,

Secondary Source:

Nickel, Helmut. “A Crusader’s Sword: Concerning the Effigy of Jean D’Alluye.” Metropolitan Museum Journal, vol. 26, 1991, pp. 123–128. JSTOR, JSTOR,

Staff, Editor. “Scimitar.” Medieval Middle Ages, Medieval Middle Ages, 8 Feb. 2013,

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