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Old 9th October 2019, 12:32 PM   #12
Jim McDougall
Arms Historian
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
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Thank you Ariel for this extremely well honed insight into the 'climate' in which these ceremonial type swords were used in these performance events. I had often heard of these referred to as 'passion plays' , but never fully understood the manner in which these weapons were used (as well illustrated by Dima), nor the political circumstances of Iran during these times described as you have explained.

Actually I was not disagreeing with what Marius said, simply the way he said it. Ironically, by analogy, his comment ('how would you know?)personally directed toward the observation by Mforde pretty much proved my point, that even a blunt instrument(weapon, or comment) can produce potentially harmful result. As I was pointing out, and in accord with your comment on the use of virtually many objects as weapons of opportunity, even a combatively inert weapon could well be used 'in the moment'. While I am sure Marius probably did not mean the words to come across the way I perceived, the initial effect seemed pertinent.

I think Mforde's riposte well qualifies his observation, and elaborates on the most obvious condition in discussing this interesting sword, that each item in this category must be evaluated on its own merits. Naturally hands on examination provides the necessary character and facts typically denied by photos unless highly detailed closeups, but here we can offer only assessments presumed without such physical examination.

Thank you Ibrahiim for the additional insights into the Sudanese thuluth covered weapons which I had mentioned in analogy. These weapons have certain parallels to the sword pictured in the OP in that they are covered in similar calligraphic script, and are often debated as to whether they were actually used in combat.
As I had mentioned, while many of these kaskara were indeed blunt and likely used by certain key individuals in the field in as yet unclear manner, I have seen examples with sharply honed and flexible blades which certainly could have been combatively used. The accounts describing these found strewn on the battlefield among other weapons suggests they may well have been.

Again, this mention of the Sudanese swords is intended only as an analogy toward the use of ceremonial or symbolically imbued weapons in an actual combative situation.
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