Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: 2008-2010 Bali, 1998-2008 USA
The Hussar regiments are the quintessential and most famous bearer of the European curved sword, they are the horse mounted cavalry troops preserving the spiritual values inspired by the medieval knights while his fashion was much different, a motley attire inspired by that of the Oriental potentates including the weaponry, hence its curved saber complete with most expensive large feathers (stork, eagle or heron) predator furs (lion, leopard, bear, tiger, wolf) and most exotic and expensive feathers (stork, eagle or heron) they can obtain (photo 7). They existed in other Eastern European countries under different names like calarasi (raiders) in Walachia (photo 8- not available now) or Greek-Albanian stradioti (photo 9).
On the other hand, Poland, in very late 14th, early 15th century, allies with Lithuania and subdues the vast Ukraine, who was also home of the Cossacks and the “Golden Horde” of Crimean Tartars and tremendous interaction in weaponry started and we can observe in the Polish Commonwealth a fantastic variety array of saber montures and blade types inspired by neighboring nations as far as Persia but those are only influences and Hungary & Poland emerged and should be granted as being the main stable ground for the innovations and the emergence of the modern European fencing and saber.
All these changes at the time when the rest of mainstream Europe was still using medieval straight swords, or other types like “schiavonna” (ironically another eastern European weapon) based broad swords for battle.
A solid link in the consolidation of the Hungarian/Polish armamentarium happened when Transylvanian ruler Stephen Báthory (1533-1586) became king of Poland and reformed the Polish cavalry, mainly the famous “winged hussars” (photo 10) and the boot hilt (photo 11) became standard and started being known as the “Hungarian-Polish style” saber.