A Pseudo Persian Sword…

You gotta love Hollywood. They have a knack for employing liberal creative license with anything and everything that suits their fancy. Especially with weapons. I recently encountered another weapon from the movie 300. The sword of the Immortals. The esteemed weapons of the Elite soldiers of the Persian Army:

Sword of the Immortals

300 - Sword of the Immortals
[view full size]

Now the average movie viewer may not realize this, but this is not a traditional Persian sword by any stretch of the imagination. Traditional Persian swords were usually scimitars. Commonly called Shamshirs. Long, deeply swept or curving blades with simple cross guards. Very effective for melee combat. And these most certainly do not fit that description. Sure, Immortals could have used different swords, but how different? Would they have adopted, lets say, a Japanese sword? I don’t think so.

Whoa. Did I say a Japanese sword? Yep. I did. A Japanese sword. What we have here, ladies and germs, is a Japanese sword. Closest in form to what is called a Wakizashi. More so than any Persian sword I have run into. Hmmm? Of what am I babbling, you say? Need proof, you say? I’m all too happy to oblige. This is a persian sword:

The Shamshir – A Traditional Persian Sword

A Shamshir
[click to view full size]

Notice the deep curve of the blade. See also the simple cross guard, and simple blade design (i.e. no complex tempering). Now this is the blade of the sword of immortals:

300 – Sword of The Immortals – Blade

300 - Sword Of Immortals - Blade
[view full size]

Look closely. I’ll grant you that the handle is devoid of the traditional Japanese fittings. But the pattern… Hmmm. Vaguely Japanese. And look at everything else. Look at that blade. It has a shallow curve, just like a Japanese sword. It has a hamon (differential temper line) just like a Japanese sword. And it has no cross guard, but rather a habaki to keep the sword in it’s scabbard. Totally Japanese. Speaking of which, lets look at the Scabbard:

300 – Sword of the Immortals – Scabbard & Fittings

300 Sword of the Immortals - Scabbard
[view full size]

Look at that! It’s a black laquered scabbard, wrapped with nylon braid, just like, you guessed it! A Japanese saya (sheath/scabbard). Like I was saying. Japanese. Massive creative license taking FTW! Which is humorous, because I don’t think the Persians were Japanese.

But when all is said and done, I ain’t hatin’. It is a beautiful weapon. Regardless of whether it came from Persia or Japan. Or is a some form of mutant weapon heretofore never seen by man… Stranger things have happened…

300 – Sword of the Immortals – [True Swords]


11 Responses to “A Pseudo Persian Sword…”

  1. 1 ladyofspiders
    September 26, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    Quite intresting. You have a very unique and intresting blog, I will look forward to following it and fruther reading more posts by you. As it does strike a cord with one of my own many interests

  2. September 27, 2007 at 12:53 am

    I suppose this is not a common hobby, but I find it interesting. I’m glad you are enjoying it. Thanks!

  3. 3 ladyofspiders
    September 27, 2007 at 10:07 am

    I sort of collect Midevail weapons, and have always been intrested in historcial weapontory

  4. 4 Al
    December 12, 2007 at 11:59 am

    Great info about the Persian shamshir. I have one that I believe is about 400 years old, maybe older. Your info may add value to my sword. The fasteners that hold the handle together appear to be hand made; the blade is thinner in areas along the length, evidently it was hand forged. I have pictures of it. If anyone is interested, I’m looking to auction it off or sell it; my email is: IdeasinInk@gmail.com

  5. December 12, 2007 at 4:02 pm

    Hey Al, thanks for posting. I’d like to get a couple of pictures of your shamshir for my blog if you don’t mind. I have yet to write anything specific about shamshirs and I think your blade would be a perfect candidate…

  6. 6 Al
    December 12, 2007 at 11:07 pm

    How do I send the pictures of my shamshir? I don’t see an email address on your blog. You can email me and I’ll reply.

  7. 8 ChroniclerLoki
    October 17, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    *medieval* woah, who let him out of his cage? but still, we should slap hollywood for their presumption to place mutant weapons into the movies when historically accurate ones would do just nicely

  8. October 20, 2008 at 12:05 am

    And to which mutant weapons do you refer?

  9. 10 ChroniclerLoki
    November 5, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    I’d rather not go there, they are too moronic to think about.

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