Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: 2008-2010 Bali, 1998-2008 USA
Curved swords have existed in the Old World previously to the migratory invasions like the Greek kopis, Thracian machaira or Dacian sica and others but most of them curved outward and none of them part of scimitar family until the Ottomans and Indo-Persians.
The curved saber indubitably has reached Europe from the Asian steppes and the Caucasian plateau somewhere around 9th century via migratory nations likely the Magyars, perhaps under Alanic influences (photo 1). This type, with few differences, mainly in decoration is present in Caucasus (Turkoman nations) and the eastern steppes of Ukraine (Mongol-Tartaric nations) known as “Tcherkesso-Tartar scimitar” (photo 2) and it directly influenced the later “ormianka” (photo 3) and “karabella” (photo 4) sabers, cousins of the Ottoman “kilij”. The blade design interfered with previous European medieval straight sword (photo 5) which inspired longer quillions and larger blades.
Starting 13thcentury the Turko-Mongols were constantly raiding via the steppes of Ukraine in all Poland, Hungary and neighboring countries carrying their “Tartar scimitars”.
In the following century, it was the Ottoman Empire that started their quest for expansion in Europe and after the failure of the lame crusades, like Nicopolis (1396), the observant Transylvanian ruler John Hunyadi (Janos Hunyadi/Hungarian, Ioan de Hunedoara/Romanian) realizes how unfit and inept the heavy full clad armor cavalry charges is and starts enlists groups of lightly armored troops styled and equipped much after his enemies as many eastern Europeans were in the service of the Ottoman Empire or in direct contact with the Tartars and already adopted their equipment being inspired by the Ottomans like Turkish sipahi or deli troops and so, the reformed “militia portalis” of John Hunyadi evolves in the famous "Black Army" (Hung. - fekete sereg) of his son, king Mathias Corvinus, incorporating for the first time the "Hussars" and ethnic wise, the first ones seem to be the Serbo-Croatians, apprehendedly named racowie (transl. n. :Serbs from the Ras province) (photo 6a & 6b ) and they served in both kingdoms of Hungary and Poland ; perhaps even the very word "hussar" in origins, disputably, comes from the Serbian word "gusar" meaning n. "brigand, rogue" .