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Old 27th January 2014, 09:27 PM   #1
Valjhun
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Default Karabela origin?

Dear Friends.

Here is a karabela aquired by a friend. What do you think about it?
It seems a hungarrian or polish to me, not islamic.
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Old 27th January 2014, 10:46 PM   #2
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The only " european" feature that I am able to tentatively discern here is the broad fuller, and even that is questionable.

Karabelas were popular in Europe from Croatia to Poland, down to the Ukraine and Russia. They all share the commonality of the Ottoman origin, but their insane popularity in the anti-Ottoman camp ( see above) made the European examples numerically more abundant than their Turkish " parent".

Thus, statistically, I agree with you: much more likely to be Central/Easter European than Turkish. But.... they all look the same, with the exception of blades and decorations, and even that is difficult ( at least for me) to be certain about.... Perhaps, the place of acquisition can give the strongest hint.

Beautiful sabers...... Would love to have one....
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Old 27th January 2014, 10:51 PM   #3
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Your friend is a lucky guy Valjhun! This appears to be a good 18th century example of a Polish karabela. The Islamic appearance would be well placed as these sabres evolved from the Siege of Vienna in 1683 where sabres of this form apparently were captured from Turks. The origin of the term has long been debated and one of the more plausible theories claims it derives from Kerbala in Western Turkey.
These became extremely popular with Polish troops and well known in events toward Polish independence in the late 18th century, later revived in the 19th as a patriotically oriented Polish sword used often in parade mounts.

This one appears to have a sound and reasonably early combat blade, nice patination on the guard and the stylized birdhead hilt has a chevron pattern similar to one in Ostrowski ("Polish Sabres:Thier Origins and Evolution" Jan Ostrowski, 1979) which is shown as Lvov made.


Crossed posts with Ariel, he is right that these became remarkably popular throughout Eastern Europe, but in my estimation that chevron feature seems most often associated with Polish examples. Most others have a greater degree of ostentatious motif aligned with the dress and parade status concept.
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Old 28th January 2014, 09:17 PM   #4
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Any way to see more details of the blade?


Thanks
Jeff
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Old 29th January 2014, 01:43 AM   #5
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Hi, tnx for your comments. Here are the pics.
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Old 29th January 2014, 09:24 AM   #6
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argh! now i have to wipe all the drool off my keyboard!



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Old 5th February 2014, 09:29 PM   #7
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Sorry but something is wrong Karabela is not coming from Kerbela and kara is colour name of Black bela means trouble .... as a result of this karabela means black trouble and its pure Türkish not Polish , dont forget history friends Ottoman Empire land is all Balkans from 16th century who learn from Türks this form and if you look carefuly youll see the yalman on the barell...
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Old 6th February 2014, 04:57 AM   #8
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Hi Archer,
Interesting note and indeed there has long been considerable debate on these distinctly hilted sabres, the term by which they are called notwithstanding. In Ostrowski (op.cit.) the author notes several possibilities for the term 'karabela', and it seems generally held that it probably derives as corrupted version of Kerbala, the city in Turkey. While these are also typically regarded as Ottoman sabres (well observed on the yelman), they became profoundly popular in Poland as parade sabres, though they certainly had their share of combat experience.
As you note these did find use in other countries as well

Thank you for posting these observations, and gad to have you here with us on the forum!!!

All very best regards,
Jim
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Old 6th February 2014, 05:09 AM   #9
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Karbala is an Iraqi town that long ago belonged to Persia. That's where some people try to place the source of karabela.
However, karabela ( just a saber with a characteristic handle, no different from a tulwar with "pulwar" handle) is actually Turkish.
IMHO, the origin of the name is not Turkish "kara bela" and not the Italian " cara bella", but just a name of a Turkish town Karabel.
But this is just IMHO, and I am not going to get into a fight because of it :-)
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Old 7th February 2014, 09:12 PM   #10
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Thanks a lot dear friends , there is no possibilty about Karabela this is pure Türkish linguistic and Ker- bela city is now at the Iraq not in Turkey but dont we forget this is Ottoman Empire land at 600 years also Poland we called Lehistan is also Ottoman Empire land too as a result of this karabela form is famous icon at the past
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Old 19th February 2014, 05:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archer burak
Thanks a lot dear friends , there is no possibilty about Karabela this is pure Türkish linguistic and Ker- bela city is now at the Iraq not in Turkey but dont we forget this is Ottoman Empire land at 600 years also Poland we called Lehistan is also Ottoman Empire land too as a result of this karabela form is famous icon at the past
Poland Ottoman Empire Land?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poland
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Old 20th February 2014, 08:17 PM   #12
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Default Mod Comment Re: Socio-Political Debate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylektis
Poland Ottoman Empire Land?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poland
If we are going there (and I am far from convinced we should), let us proceed very carefully and leave any nationalistic or patriotic feelings at the door. Otherwise, there will be consequences.

This is not the place for socio-political debate.
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Old 22nd February 2014, 08:53 PM   #13
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Sorry but this history not politics , or ethnicity ,,,, and one thing more Poland name in Ottoman perriod was Lehistan ...thats history too...
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Old 23rd February 2014, 06:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archer burak
Sorry but this history not politics , or ethnicity ,,,, and one thing more Poland name in Ottoman perriod was Lehistan ...thats history too...
Nonsense. I will not ask again. Leave it alone.
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Old 24th February 2014, 01:43 AM   #15
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The entry of karabela into Polish armamentarium can likely be connected to 2 factors: the Ottoman rule over the Balkans and Hungary ( there are many karabelas in Balkan muzeums) and multiple wars between the Ottomans and Poland ( the Siege of Vienna, anyone? :-) ). Thus, there were plenty of opportunities for the Poles to get acquainted with karabelas. The timing of these events may be dated to ~ 15th century, when karabelas were noted among the arms of Poznan and Kalisz dukedoms . A bit later, the 17th century Polish poet Waclaw Potocki rued the disappearance of "swords, pallashes and kords" in favor of light "karabelas and czeczugas". From Poland, karabela spread to the Ukraine ( then a part of the Polish-Lithuanian kingdom) and to Russia, after Polish-Russian wars.

The funny thing is that Karabela is not a separate novel example of a particular sword ( like Pala or Shashka for example), but rather just a saber with virtually any type of the blade but with a distinct configuration of the pommel. This minute part of the "anatomy" is all that distinguishes karabela from a multitude of other saber-like long-bladed weapons.

Poland nurtured her relations with the Persian Empire as a counterweight to the Ottomans as well as the "sarmatian" connection of Polish aristocracy and loved all things Persian, but the karabela came from their foes, not allies.

An interesting moment is that Poland fought with Crimean Tatars ( vassals of the Ottoman Empire), and had a sizeable Tatar population , so why wouldn't we attribute the entry of Karabela into Poland from the Crimea? Simple: Tatars did not use karabelas, instead they had Circassian "ordynkas" that also entered Polish armamentarium, and were significantly more distinct as a pattern than karabelas.


Trailing weapons' migration is a lot of fun!

Last edited by ariel; 24th February 2014 at 03:12 AM.
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Old 24th February 2014, 05:05 AM   #16
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Ariel that is an absolutely perfect description of the 'karabela' as a form and its diffusion, nicely explained, and entirely objective historically. Well done and thank you!

Best regards,
jim
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Old 24th February 2014, 05:56 AM   #17
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Thank you Ariel for this entry.
Regards,
Martin
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Old 24th February 2014, 03:12 PM   #18
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My pleasure.
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Old 24th February 2014, 04:50 PM   #19
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Nice and interesting debate, gents. Thank you!

Speaking of karabelas, I m proud to announce, that after a year of stalking, this-one is finnaly coming home. 16th century mounted German blade in Polish (?) manner. It has seen better times, certainly, but a nice piece for discussion.

Is the flower on the crossguard a Polish feature?

It would be interesting to hear comments about it!

KARABELE PETER MUNICH
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Old 24th February 2014, 08:23 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew
Nonsense. I will not ask again. Leave it alone.
If one country pay tax every year this became this country is an other countrys land technicly , thats why ı said Poland was Ottoman land ... nonsense realy ...
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Old 25th February 2014, 07:42 AM   #21
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Hi,
I saw simmilar yellow metal floweret on handles of some Afghan pulwars, but it was always smaller (nevertheless placed approx. in the same place)
Martin
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Old 25th February 2014, 02:41 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archer burak
If one country pay tax every year this became this country is an other countrys land technicly , thats why ı said Poland was Ottoman land ... nonsense realy ...
Archer, the "nonsense" comment I made was directed at your specious position that"Sorry but this history not politics , or ethnicity." I was not opining that your information was nonsense (I have no expertise or knowledge of Ottoman history and, thus, have no position.)

As there was clearly a misunderstanding of some sort, I will renew my final request that this portion of the topic be allowed to die without further comment.

In other words--let it go.

Andrew
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Old 25th February 2014, 08:47 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
...

The funny thing is that Karabela is not a separate novel example of a particular sword ( like Pala or Shashka for example), but rather just a saber with virtually any type of the blade but with a distinct configuration of the pommel. This minute part of the "anatomy" is all that distinguishes karabela from a multitude of other saber-like long-bladed weapons.
...
If the distinct "rumi-palmet" form of the "pommel"or head of the handle is what diffirentiates and characterize karabela as a distinct blade(and I agree with you in this matter), then doesn't this makes identification problem for this type of blade very very problematic? I mean this type of pommel form is used in Turco-Mongoland İndo-Persian weaponry for centuries. Almost 1/2 of Turkish knives have this sort of pommels. Even yatagan "eared" form was evolved from this and if you ignore the pronounced ears, this is the basic form of every yatagan pommel. Adding to this, this shape of pommels is very often found in Ottoman kilijs as late as 19th century, right alongside with late period pistol gripped, "armudi"(pear-shaped) form pommeled "pala"s. I mean there is a whole section in İstanbul Military Muıseum for this type of kilijs. Now, how will we identfy these kilijs? Will we call them "Ottoman karabelas" just because they have pommels in a very common form of Turkish blades?Or will we call them just "kilijs?

I find it problematic to identify origin for a blade (especially when it comes to the hot-button issue of what culture or nation does it belong to) reduced only to a one minor aspect of a blade. "For example: It is only a Turkish style kilij if it has a distinct false edge and a pear shaped pommel, otherwise it is a shamshir while Turks used metal pommels for centuries; or no guard equals to shashka ,etc.)

It might be an easy shortcut for classification for us contemporary researchers; but it creates many problems when it is used to cultural identification especially for Western Asian arms and armour because of the complex and interactive multi-cultural structure of the region.

And I don't see a similar approach(there is distinct classification, but not separation) when it comes to western bladeswhich makes me think that this issue has its roots in "orientalism" as in most socio-cultural areas of research in modern social sciences.

My thesis might have sound nationalistic but this is not my intention. I gave examples from my own angle of view but I presume same problem appears for every western Asian or Eastern European researcher whether they are Persian, Arab, Afghan, or Slavic.

I don't have an easy solution for this, but maybe more than pointers when it comes to identification and a more inclusive and non-separative or fluent approach when it comes to classification might help.
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Old 26th February 2014, 10:17 AM   #24
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[QUOTE=Andrew]Archer, the "nonsense" comment I made was directed at your specious position that"Sorry but this history not politics , or ethnicity." I was not opining that your information was nonsense (I have no expertise or knowledge of Ottoman history and, thus, have no position.)

As there was clearly a misunderstanding of some sort, I will renew my final request that this portion of the topic be allowed to die without further comment.

In other words--let it go.

Andrew

As a historian , I hope Next time you'll act less biased to my words ...

Burak
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Old 26th February 2014, 06:19 PM   #25
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[QUOTE=archer burak]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew
Archer, the "nonsense" comment I made was directed at your specious position that"Sorry but this history not politics , or ethnicity." I was not opining that your information was nonsense (I have no expertise or knowledge of Ottoman history and, thus, have no position.)

As there was clearly a misunderstanding of some sort, I will renew my final request that this portion of the topic be allowed to die without further comment.

In other words--let it go.

Andrew

As a historian , I hope Next time you'll act less biased to my words ...

Burak

Gentlemen,
May I please respectfully ask, along with Andrew, please let this texture in this thread go. It is completely counterproductive and I would point out that this entire fray stems from a laconic and deliberately nuanced comment by Sylektis, who has had no stock in this discussion whatsoever. Those few words taken out of the context of Buraks text deliberately and derisively accented had no purpose whatsoever beyond the unfortunate result seen.

This is an outstanding topic, and as Archer has profoundly noted, we here are indeed historians, most of us, and we need not let wording issues cloud our larger scope in discussion. Obviously there are cultural and language differences among us and typically our commonality is gentlemanly interaction despite those matters.

I for one, do not want this thread ended as there have been some brilliant entries which importantly address the conundrums is classifying these, and I am anxious to hit the books myself to see if I can add anything as well.

Let us continue!!!

Best regards
Jim
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Old 26th February 2014, 06:42 PM   #26
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[QUOTE=archer burak]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew
Archer, the "nonsense" comment I made was directed at your specious position that"Sorry but this history not politics , or ethnicity." I was not opining that your information was nonsense (I have no expertise or knowledge of Ottoman history and, thus, have no position.)

As there was clearly a misunderstanding of some sort, I will renew my final request that this portion of the topic be allowed to die without further comment.

In other words--let it go.

Andrew

As a historian , I hope Next time you'll act less biased to my words ...

Burak

You call yourself historian? I am sorry, but I find your Pan-Turkic and Nationalistic drivel obnoxious, pointless and completely unproductive. You are at the wrong place.

It is obvious you will not stop to spew nonsense, so I kindly ask the moderators to put an end to this NOW, with whatever means necessary.

Thank you,

Teodor
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Old 26th February 2014, 07:17 PM   #27
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I am hoping my post (#25) is visible here. As I noted the nonsense is this entire diversion to an unfortunate misunderstanding in which it was simply noted that an alternative name for Poland, Lehistan, was used in Ottoman parlance . What we are talking about is the 'karabela' sabre, and there are the inevitable disputes on the etymology of the term, as well as its application.

Ostrowski (1979, p.232) notes "..the etymology of this strange name remains unexplained" and that"...perhaps the village of Karabel in Turkey comes closer to probability though there is no evidence other than phonetic similarity". Further "...there is no agreement among Polish arms students in the scope of this term, which is often stretched to include all Polish parade sabres having an open hilt".

Again, remaining objective, a skill often in short measure in these discussions, regarding the floral device in the center of the crossguard in the example shown, in Ostrowski (p.233, fig. 22) there is a 'karabela' with a cockle shell device (Louis XVI motif) one of many French rococo designs typical of eclectic tastes of Polish nobility in 18th century. There appear to be other devices used in the same manner.
As noted by Martin, this same application of flora devices is found in some Afghan paluaors and North Indian tulwars, possibly an Ottoman derived affinity however these kind of elements are far too wide in scope to assign any directly supportable influence or connection .

The chevron styling on the grips appear to be an affinity associated with Lvov.
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Old 26th February 2014, 07:24 PM   #28
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[QUOTE=archer burak]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew
Archer, the "nonsense" comment I made was directed at your specious position that"Sorry but this history not politics , or ethnicity." I was not opining that your information was nonsense (I have no expertise or knowledge of Ottoman history and, thus, have no position.)

As there was clearly a misunderstanding of some sort, I will renew my final request that this portion of the topic be allowed to die without further comment.

In other words--let it go.

Andrew

As a historian , I hope Next time you'll act less biased to my words ...

Burak
Archer, I am not biased for or against you or any other forum member. I am here to keep the peace and keep discussion on-topic. The topic of this thread is the origins of the karabela. Not whether Poland was part of the Ottoman Empire.

Andrew
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Old 26th February 2014, 07:26 PM   #29
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[QUOTE=TVV]
Quote:
Originally Posted by archer burak


You call yourself historian? I am sorry, but I find your Pan-Turkic and Nationalistic drivel obnoxious, pointless and completely unproductive. You are at the wrong place.

It is obvious you will not stop to spew nonsense, so I kindly ask the moderators to put an end to this NOW, with whatever means necessary.

Thank you,

Teodor
Teodor, please do not engage in this sort of exchange. Comments like this are pointless and unproductive as well. Let the Staff do our jobs.

Andrew
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Old 26th February 2014, 07:30 PM   #30
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Exclamation Moderator Action

Another Mod has closed this thread out of concern that the off-topic elements of discussion will continue and further derail it. I am re-opening this thread with a request that it stay on-topic and the participants exercise restraint in their postings.

If my request is not respected, the thread will be closed once and for all and bans will, unfortunately, be levied without further notice.

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