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Old 9th October 2005, 05:37 PM   #1
Miyamoto
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Default black sea yataghan

Hi to everyone!

I've found that forum just today and I'm impressed.
I'm from Slovenia (central Europe) and I'm a collector of mostly japanese blades, but I like also all other quality blades... Unfortuantelly I'm not (yet) an expert on the other that field of collecting.

Personally I think that the Black sea style blade is the most sugestible and why not, the most beautiful shape of blade ever created (well exept nihonto blades, naturally)
Do you agree?
Have any in your collection?
If so, I'd really appreciate to see the fotos!

I have just that one. What do you think about it?
I'd like to buy another of thoose, so I like to have a pair to cross them over the wall. What are approximately the value for such pieces nowadays?
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Old 9th October 2005, 08:04 PM   #2
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Hello and welcome to this Forum . We all are impressed of knowledge you can find here.

I can't say anything about yataghans, Ariel is one of the members with great knowledge about these weapons, but here you can find some old threads with discussions about them


http://www.vikingsword.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/002118.html
http://www.vikingsword.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/001960.html
http://www.vikingsword.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/002445.html
http://www.vikingsword.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/002445.html

Link 5

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Old 10th October 2005, 08:52 AM   #3
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Hi Wolviex,

Thanks a lot!

WOW! Tha was some interensting reading... Great discussion!
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Old 10th October 2005, 02:32 PM   #4
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Hi Miyamoto,

Welcome! I'm surprised that the moderators haven't said anything, but we don't give appraisals here.

Otherwise, the black sea yataghans have been a topic of much discussion, as you've found out. It will be interesting to see what Ariel has to say.

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Old 12th October 2005, 02:58 AM   #5
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Well, it's nice to enjoy the status of the "authority in the field", even though my only contribution to it was a short visit to the Askeri Muze in Istanbul and posting here what the local people knew for a long, long time.....
This is a strange weapon. It is so decorative that it is almost useless as a fighting implement. It reminds me of African swords: too artistic to be of real use. Not for nothing did Lazes use large kindjals as well.
Lazes are descendants of the Byzanthinians who established the Trabzon Empire in 1241 under the leadership of the grandsons of Andronicus I and were (and still are!) called Romei. They were conquered by the Ottomans in 1461 and were converted to Islam (likely, voluntarily, since the Ottoman Turks were remarkably liberal about religious beliefs of their subjects). Nevertheless, Lazes did not enjoy great reputation.
I'd like to cite some info from the book of G.E. Vvedensky "The Janissaries" (St. Petersburg, 2003). In it he cites a book "The history of the Janissaries corps" published in Moscow in 1987 (it was translated, but he never mentioned the original). To be fully politically correct, I would like to say that I do not want to insult anybody. Please, do not kill the messenger.

" It was against the law to recruit Trabzonians into the Janissari units.This is why: not only the depravity of Trabzonians exceeds anything imaginable, not a single Zaim or Sipakhi among them ever exhibited any bravery or gallantry. They committed only deception and evil".
Sultan Selim I ruled in Trabzon between 1512 to 1520 and, according to his own experience, ordered to recruit them into the Janissari units as informers to prevent rebellions.
" The Trabzonians are evil people,deceivers by nature. As soon as one of them enters, it becomes impossible for 4-5 janissaries to get together. With time, their lying nature became obvious and well known and the very name Laz caused just laughter"
As a matter of fact, people who could swindle the entire Ottoman Empire must have been a fine breed: kind of Good Soldier Svejk with luxurious moustaches and a fez. Next time I go to Turkey, I shall do my best to go to Trabzon and have a glass of Yeni Raki with a local smuggler!
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Old 12th October 2005, 03:52 AM   #6
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Gentlemen,

I take strong exception to the preceding response. Due perhaps to a lack of actual knowledge, it completely diverges from the discussion of a little-known type of weapon, and instead revels in the banalities of ethnic slurs-- despite disclaimers to the contrary, it is not in the slightest germane to the question, nor is it appropriate to this forum, particularly in response to the earnest query of a new member. I think Ariel owes the Forum, and its multiethnic membership, an apology.
The Black Sea yatagan is a fine piece of design work which is entirely effective for its purpose-- i.e., a close-range cutting weapon. It's popularity shows a distinctly high correlation among warlike peoples who, for a variety of reasons, tended to do battle on foot rather than horseback.
It is eminently suited to the drawcut, for which the saber was used extensively in the Iranian and Ottoman empires by mounted troops; here we have the next degree of development: a simpler weapon to produce than a saber, the compactness and curvature of which required a far shorter arc to swing. This was capable of delivering blows with devastating effect-- even on foot. This should be apparent to anyone who has had the opportunity to swing one of these swords (rather than attempting to thrust with it.) Further, its thickness allowed it to cut through even the heavy goathair cloaks worn throughout Eastern Anatolia and the Caucasus.
Regarding raki: a forum member once said, de gustibus non est disputandum... a phrase which in this case is best translated as "there is no accounting for taste"-- IMHO if one hasn't tried Tekir Dag, one hasn't truly had raki.

Sincerely,

Ham

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Old 12th October 2005, 05:03 AM   #7
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I did not intend to offend anybody and just cited some information from a respectable book dedicated to the history of the Ottoman military system. The accounts of the ancient travellers and the local lore are germane to our discussions with full understanding that some may be just prejuduces and slurs. If anybody got offended by these quotations, I readily and immediately apologize although I was not their author.
Black Sea Yataghan (or Laz Bicagi) is one of my favourites, but it is far too fancy for real fights: its point is too thin and bendable, its curvature makes no sense (except from purely esthetic point of view) and requires incredibly bulky scabbard, its balance is atrocious (second only to Flyssa), and its pommel does not allow for wrist movements. It is neither a cavalry weapon nor a close encounter infantry blade. No swordsman in his right mind would choose it if a Kindjal or Shashka were available. But... it is beautiful, no doubt about it!
As to raki.... Ham, sorry to disappoint you, but no Turkish Raki or its Greek equvalent, Ouzo, can compare to Lebanese Arak from Zahle.
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Old 12th October 2005, 10:15 AM   #8
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..?
I mean, how thin is "too thin"? 1-2mm at the foible is absolutely enough (in my experience, at least) for cleaving through meat and thinner bones without bending... and if you do a little calculation, you'll see that most european cutting blades (sorry for always using them as examples) have a thickness at about that at the foible, even as they were needed to face rigid plate defense. After all, why would it be called "foible"?
Balance: I didn't have a chance to wield one so far, but I don't think that it'd have a worse balance than my training swords... 50cm from the quillon for a 110cm "blade", overall weight being 12 kg... It strenghtens the wrist quite well... after that, anything lighter or better balanced will feel like feathers. And I think that a more forward balance point will do better for slashes, just as in the case of machetes.
When I was practising in a gladiator school as a dimacheris (two-sworder), I used almost exactly the same blade shape, with forward balance... They were good for me.

Pommel: A question has arised in me. Isn't it possible that they used the same "thumb grip" as the europeans? I mean, there are a few cuts (zwerchau and krumphau) where you "turn" the hilt with 90 in your hands, so the long edge is to the left, while the short is to the right.
In the case of yataghans, it would place the point to the "outside" and the edge to the "inside".
The question came from the posted picture. It looks like that the hilt is wider in the "wrong" direction... so it would be comfortable if you grip it in the thumb grip... so with extended arms the blade would be paralell to the ground. This way, you could use it either for cutting or thursting... try doing a few zwerchauen with it... it would make descending cuts more difficult, but not impossible, while making ascending cuts easier and faster, and making it possible to use the zwerch, which can instantly stop a descending cut while killing the opponent...
And you could use it for bashing thrusts aside. Imagine a low or central straight thrust coming towards you for sake of simplicity. If you make a wipe with the blade, you'll have the point at about the groin of the attacker. A little upward wrist move... Btw, this is almost the krumphau. And you can take out most strikes with it.

Sorry for the long post, I could tell you the same in about 2-3 sentences in my native language... If you can't understand, I can shot a few videos showing my idea. Or if I'm talking absolute idiotisms, or something that is well-known already, tell me, and shoot me down.
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Old 12th October 2005, 05:04 PM   #9
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Dear All,

I have no objections to Ariel's citations - indeed when reading ancient and not so ancient sources one finds rather generalized depictions of nations. I'm not the most very sensitive man. There are two points I would like to emphasize here. Laz is a western georgian subethnicity. Laz language is very similar to megrelian (margali). As all western georgian kingdoms, Trabzon empire was founded under the heavy influence and colonization of greeks. During its existance it declared its origins to be the roman empire, and therefore was often called the same way everyone from Greece to Anatolia was called now and then - awlad-al Rum, Rumla etc.

Concerning the military capabilities they were recruited into mamluk core, in less numbers than megrels per se, but mostly due to the fact that megrels paid tributes in slaves to surrounding muslim kingdoms and their princes, Dadiani were known for pathological cruelty and slave trade. However, Laz traditionally have been recruited by Ottoman navy.

There are 4 georgian tribes that fell under the rule of islamic - mesh', laz, fedaryn (captives in iran) and parts of adjars. Laz have been the first, and they are the most islamized and assilimilated (turkisized) nation. Today most of them identify themselves as turks.

Concerning "deception and evil". Among some people (in particular eastern georgians), megrels in general are called ... "jews". The perception is that they are smarter than neighbors and traditionally, rather than joining up cavalry units, they act as spies, informants, torturers and assasins. Late Beria was a megrel (even through Stalin preferred Guria), and so were many of middleeastern dictators - Ali-Bey, Ibrahim-Bey, Murad-Bey. Among megrels themselves such depiction oftenly is not considered to be something shameful, despite two other things to which they traditionally tie themselves - mamluk service and the navy.

Concerning Laz I did hear such depictions indeed. I also heard (in masses) anecdotes about Laz in which they were portrayd as a nation of mafia, song-writing and dumbness. Laz themselves, on the contrary, often believe to possess superior bravery and viciousness in comparison with turks.

If you want my personal view, these generalized depictions have really not much to do with the reality, but knowing them in the historical context can be rather interesting, since in old times jobs were given to people based on perception of their race, rather than on individual abilities (and btw this did not change much).
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Old 12th October 2005, 05:39 PM   #10
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I am surprised this has not been brought to attention earlier. This picture is from. "Islamic Weapons, Maghrib to Moghul" by Anthony C Tirri, in this book the weapon is attributed to Algeria/Egypt. I think he is correct as the leatherwork is so clearly North African. Some way from the Black Sea I think? Tim
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Old 12th October 2005, 06:19 PM   #11
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Tim:
This peculiar sword had been variously attributed to N. Africa and even Indonesia (By Hermann Historica, no less!).
However, the Askeri Muze in Istanbul has several of them and the curator there told me that it was a well known Ottoman sword called Laz Bicagi.
Second, look at the picture:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...highlight=black
No doubt what it is!
I agree that the forte looks just like Algerian Flyssa and the leatherwork like a Sudanese Gile, but.... This is a classic example of a mistaken identity; it teaches us that superficial similarities do not establish provenance.
Ahriman:
I handled quite a lot of them. The point is very, very thin, almost needle-like and I saw several with bent points.
The forked pommels break easily (see the original picture in this thread). Also, the horns protrude so much that wrist bending is almost impossible: worse than tulwars with oversized dish pommels. As a former fencer (foil and saber), I could not wield it with ease no matter what kind of grip I used. On the other hand, since these swords were primarily "pirate" type weapons (that's what Lazes did on top of smuggling) they were sure scary! As a psychological warfare these swords were great but technologically they were less than adequate.
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Old 12th October 2005, 06:27 PM   #12
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How right you are. What a shame Mr Tirri should get something like this so wrong. Those pictures show wonderfull plain working weapons, thanks Tim.
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Old 12th October 2005, 08:01 PM   #13
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The first time I saw this guy I thought "what a weird manding/sudanese sabre"
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Old 12th October 2005, 08:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Simmons
How right you are. What a shame Mr Tirri should get something like this so wrong. Those pictures show wonderfull plain working weapons, thanks Tim.


Tony supports his N. African provenance theory with a number of features from a number of pieces, so its not really unsupported in terms or argument (he gave a very interesting talk on it at the EEWRS dinner a couple years back). His position is, as Ariel points out, the subject of debate, and certainly based on empirical observation and deduction rather than historical or local information.

There are some ways to reconcile the two, for example taking into account that Ottoman troops may have brought it with them to places like Egypt during the Ottoman Empire period, or influence going the other way via trade or population movement. I think one unanswered question is how far back the style goes, which is always an interesting question to me, as it can open up possiblities of cross-cultural influence, or exclude others that would have post-dated the earliest appearance of the style (for example in this case, if it predates Ottoman presence in N. Africa).
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Old 12th October 2005, 08:14 PM   #15
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I was told that this weapon is specifically associated with Laz pirates.
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Old 12th October 2005, 08:19 PM   #16
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Exclamation By the way

Please remember that this thread is about the sword, not the history of ethnic groups in Asia Minor.

I am following the thread closely, and be advised that if the Laz "issue" gets out of hand (as it has once before) I am going to drop a hammer on all involved. The editorializing has really reached the limits of permissible discussion here, and bans will be issued if necessary.

The Moderogre
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Old 13th October 2005, 06:40 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ham
..., its thickness allowed it to cut through even the heavy goathair cloaks worn throughout Eastern Anatolia and the Caucasus.


You mean burka ? I was taught that burka was mainly worn as a protection against arrows... It was somewhat effective against cuts due to the fact that burka is usually a few sizes bigger than the one who wears it.

Concerning the use of laz bicaqi I always thought it was basically a maritime, boarding weapon...
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Old 13th October 2005, 07:47 PM   #18
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Gentlemen,

A colleague at the EEWRS meeting kindly lent me the printed material which Mr. Tirri passed out in support of his proposed North African attribution to this type of sword shortly after it took place. It has been a while but as I recall, Tirri's arguments were based upon 2 points: a formal relationship between the Black Sea yatagan and the flyssa (he argued that one was derived from the other, I think it was that the yatagan came from the flyssa), failing to note that both are just provincial developments off the yataghan which likely occurred coevally, one in North Africa and the other in the Transcaucasus. Secondly, he compared the decorative characteristics which generally appear on flyssas with those on a particular Black Sea yatagan in his possession-- the only one I've ever seen with such designs-- it almost certainly was decorated in North Africa. This was a more defensible point that his first, however his conclusion was marred by the fact that he could produce but a single example in support of it. As Mark says however, the range of the Ottoman military was considerable; this type of sword could easily have found its way from Eastern Anatolia to the African Provinces. In any case, Tirri deserves credit for his research as well as for putting forth an original thesis.

Ariel, regarding your observations above:

"I handled quite a lot of them. The point is very, very thin, almost needle-like and I saw several with bent points.
The forked pommels break easily (see the original picture in this thread). Also, the horns protrude so much that wrist bending is almost impossible: worse than tulwars with oversized dish pommels. As a former fencer (foil and saber), I could not wield it with ease no matter what kind of grip I used. On the other hand, since these swords were primarily "pirate" type weapons (that's what Lazes did on top of smuggling) they were sure scary! As a psychological warfare these swords were great but technologically they were less than adequate."

In the simplest terms, you are comparing apples and oranges. If, as you say, your practical experience with edged weapons is limited to fencing-- a sport so highly conventionalized that any beginner knows it is remote even from the use of rapier and smallsword whence it derives, and one designed for use with very specific equipment NOT intended for cutting-- then any pronouncement you make on the use of weapons other than the foil or saber, i.e. the Black Sea yatagan, the tulwar, or for that matter anything designed for use with the drawcut is, regretably, invalid.
Relative rigidity in the wrist was key to the effective use of these weapons, which is why their pommels were prominent in one way or another. The stroke was accomplished primarily with the shoulder and elbow in a quick drawing motion across the body-- Stone mentions this under his entry on shamshirs, pg. 550. Having done much of his research in situ over a century ago, Stone was fortunate enough to witness many of these weapons in actual use-- and while those days have passed, we can benefit from his observations as well as those of others who were able to do so. I often wonder why students and collectors so rarely do.
As far as broken ears and bent tips, who can say whether these come from use or misuse over time? Concrete, little boys, adults after one too many beers, and power tools are the recognized nemeses of old swords, you know.

Rivkin-- Yes, I was referring to the burka, a singularly impermeable and exceptionally warm, if generally odiferous, garment.

Sincerely,

Ham

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Old 13th October 2005, 08:07 PM   #19
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I was just about to write about that "sport" thing Ham mentioned... so now, I won't.
Just one thing. We, hungarians, used mostly sabers, especially after 1500. One of our warrior-poets, Balint Balassi, who died from a leg-removing nice little cannonball, had a gothic gauntlet recordedly. Gothic gauntlets don't really allow much wrist movement, just up and down and rotation. And of course, a bit sideway movement, but very little, especially if worn with vambraces. Later gauntlets allowed even less sideway movement.
And yet, Balassi was a sabre-user, and a good one, if the records are true.

Ham, is there anything worth considering in my crazy theory, or is it just another piece of my idiotism?
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Old 13th October 2005, 10:11 PM   #20
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Ahriman,

Not idiotic at all, sounds quite consistent with the use of the saber in Eastern Europe. Why not experiment a bit in honor of Balassi and let us know. But you'd best hurry, his birthday is next week!

Sincerely,

Ham
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Old 13th October 2005, 10:51 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Bowditch
Tony supports his N. African provenance theory with a number of features from a number of pieces, so its not really unsupported in terms or argument (he gave a very interesting talk on it at the EEWRS dinner a couple years back). His position is, as Ariel points out, the subject of debate, and certainly based on empirical observation and deduction rather than historical or local information.

There are some ways to reconcile the two, for example taking into account that Ottoman troops may have brought it with them to places like Egypt during the Ottoman Empire period, or influence going the other way via trade or population movement. I think one unanswered question is how far back the style goes, which is always an interesting question to me, as it can open up possiblities of cross-cultural influence, or exclude others that would have post-dated the earliest appearance of the style (for example in this case, if it predates Ottoman presence in N. Africa).


This makes sense to me. Many of the best Ottoman troops in the 18th and early 19th century were "irregular" units who used their own traditional weapons and clothing. I wouldn't be surbrised if Laz units were stationed in Egypt or North Africa. After all Muhammad Ali Pasha who was Ottoman Governer of Egypt in the early 19th century and went on to become virtual dictator of Egypt, started his career as an officer in an Albanian "irregular" Unit, and he relied heavily on his fellow "Arna'ut" during his rise to power. On a another completetly unrelated (and slightly daft) side issue, that sword does bear a striking resemblence to the Ancient Egyptian khopesh...
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Old 14th October 2005, 12:05 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqtai
On a another completetly unrelated (and slightly daft) side issue, that sword does bear a striking resemblence to the Ancient Egyptian khopesh...


Actually, I think that very point was raised in an early discussion of black sea yataghans on the old UBB forum. I don't think anyone ran with it, but I do see the similarity (except for the pommel).
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Old 14th October 2005, 01:05 AM   #23
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Ham,
The only thing I can advise you is to get a full-size Laz Bicagi and try to wield it in any way you wish (sa long as it is far from your nose...). After that do the same with kinjal and shashka.
Then you will understand.
BTW, was gauntlet sword (see above) reminescent of Pata?
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Old 14th October 2005, 06:23 PM   #24
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I have an idea, Ariel. Send me pictures, good, close pictures of a simple black sea yataghan with quite exact sizes. As both my ex and current girlfriend, and my best friend, and me myself like the shape, I'll have to make one soon.
So I'll make the sword by the sent parameters soon after receiving them. And sharpen it fully, of course. And do a little test-cutting, both with hacking cuts and with draw cuts on a nice big piece of meat. If I can cut down to the upper area of the bone with the draw-cut, and if I can repeat it three times, we won. If not, then choose any simple, undecorated piece of armour, I'll make it for free. But if we won, I'll hand over the sword to my ex-girlfriend... and if even she can cut down to the bone (not into it, she's rather weak nowadays), we'll get the original sword. Deal?
BTW, test-cutting on meat is a very good thing. It won't dull your blades much, and you'll have an idea of their cutting power. I could almost behead a hog with one strike with my old dopplehander. A dead hog, of course. Mostly dieing from sickness, so it was free prey to our blades.
("Almost" means that I mostly use zornhauen with huge swords... so the lying hog's skull's lower area stopped the cut after travelling several inches in it after getting in from almost the back. The spine was cleaved through anyway.)

BTW, I think it bears more similarity with the greek version. Lighter blade, though. And it's similar to a few acinaces' as well.
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Old 14th October 2005, 11:39 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahriman
ISo I'll make the sword by the sent parameters soon after receiving them. And sharpen it fully, of course. And do a little test-cutting, both with hacking cuts and with draw cuts on a nice big piece of meat. If I can cut down to the upper area of the bone with the draw-cut, and if I can repeat it three times, we won...BTW, test-cutting on meat is a very good thing. It won't dull your blades much, and you'll have an idea of their cutting power. I could almost behead a hog with one strike with my old dopplehander. A dead hog, of course.


A good and thin metal string or lancet will cut meat far better than any hand and a half sword... Does not mean they are good weapons.
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Old 15th October 2005, 03:03 AM   #26
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Ahriman,
Dead hogs do not strike back (ex-girlfriends and, especially, ex-wives, do).
I'll make you another deal: make yourself a copy of Laz Bicagi including the horned pommel; I'll get a shashka and we fence. Whoever wins, takes the opponent to the ER.
Trust me, the range of movements for Laz Bicagi is so limited and awkward, I'll be the driver at the end....
I tried just now to strike a tree branch (very thin, of course) with it . The curvature is so crazy that I couldn't judge the distance and the horned pommel got tangled in my sleeve. It is just not a very good weapon, although it is very show-y and exotic.
If we think about it, there are very few basic forms of fighting blades all over the world. Just from experience people of different cultures ended up with similar ideas: curved for slashing, straight for stabbing ,recurved for extra slashing force and some stabbing etc. Laz Bichagi stands unique and for a good reason.
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Old 18th October 2005, 12:22 PM   #27
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WOOW!

I went out fishing a couple of days and look here what an interesting debate we have!

Thank you guys for sharing information!

Geographikal origin: I think, after reading all that opinions and after seeing all that evidences that it has to be Ottoman Black Sea region, intended for ship boarding.

Power: I'm a kendo and iaido student and I own a black sea yathagan, so I can tell you from the first hand. It is really terrbile to handle, just believe Ariel and me. Not balanced, difficult to draw from scabbard, difficult to yudge the distance, ecc. Give me a katana (or even a Wakizashi) and I'll be able to kill almost instantly the bastard who'd be so stupidly brave to challenge me. Metaforically speaking, I intend.

ORIGINS: It is really unapropried for combat either from horse or ground. I think that it originated from classic yatagan, wich from my point of view is verry unapropriate for close combat in small crowded areas like a ship would be with all that balustrades, railings, cords, masts ecc. They just added a curvature to enhance the rebounding, recoiling action of the weapon against various obsatcles. Just think of a combat in a small corridor... With an ordinary yathagan will stick to the wall and the warrior instantly killed. For fighting in areas full of obstacles a weapon has to have different point compatred to a classic yataghan, so the warrior could make stabbing actions also. Just think for a moment that you are in a middle of combat on sea and tha you have to cut a rope avoidng to hit the mast? With all other longlike weapons would be nearly impossible. All the facts supports the piracy proposal of that weapon. Another fact supporting that teory is that it is a verry rare weapon. Limited usage - limited production. Kinjals I think were to heavy and also the combat style, wich take a lot of space were inapropriate for ship boarding. The shashka being a cavalry rather long sword was also unapropriate.


Another thing: Some of them really could be north african origin. Look, being used by sailors, and beeing so apropriate for naval boardings it makes a perfect weapon for such purpose, wich was maybe copied in shape by local smiths in the ports around the whole meditteranean area. The knopesh (a verry different usage, more like a sickle) and especially the flissa (what it has rally in common???) have really nothing to do with it.

About pommel: The two horned pommel has obviously a purpose. I think that it derives from classic yataghan pommel. Thoose tho horns, from my point of view, is also an extreme close cobat solution for attacking the eyes of an enemy wich has came too close for slashing or stabbing him.

So we have here, what i think, a perfect boarding weapon in all of its aspects. (wich is obviously extremly unapropriate for all other kinds of usage)

Regarding my previous topic: I'd really wanto to buy another one with or without the scabbard. Ariel?
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Old 20th October 2005, 12:19 PM   #28
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Well, that's only my deductions, any comments?
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Old 27th October 2005, 01:21 AM   #29
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The blade geographically closest to Laz Bicagi is Surmene knife (town of Surmene close to Trabzon).
There were two interesting offerings on ebay recently.
First, this one:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...AMEWA%3AIT&rd=1

Please notice swelling of the middle section of the scabbard: just the same idea as Laz Bicagi in the original post

Second, a couple of knives with typical multifullered Surmene blades. The single scabbard is rather neat: just like some Chinese weapons or a pair of Persian swords in Topkapi.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...AMEWA%3AIT&rd=1
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Old 14th August 2006, 06:47 PM   #30
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Hi All,

I brought up this old thread because I might have some new data. I recently bought this lovely Black Sea yataghan from a fellow forumite. It has a Gregorian date of 1888 on it as well as a Islamic date. 1888 converts to the Hijri date of 1305 or 1306. As can be seen the 1 and the 0 are typical Arabic numbers but the 3 and the 5/6 appear unusual. Is this a local variation that might help place its origin?

All the Best
Jeff
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