History of Persian swords. Persian swords. Shamshir. Sword history.
In the first millennium BC the Persian armies used a sword that was originally of Scythian design called the Akinaka. However, the great conquests of the Persians made the sword more famous as a Persian weapon, to the extent that the true nature of the weapon has been lost somewhat as the name Akinaka has been used to refer to whichever form of sword the Persian army favoured at the time.
It is widely believed that the original Akinaka was a 14 to 18 inch double-edged longsword. The design was not uniform and in fact identification is made more on the nature of the scabbard than the weapon itself; the scabbard usually has a large, decorative mount allowing it to be suspended from a belt on the wearer’s right side. Because of this, it is assumed that the sword was intended to be drawn with the blade pointing downwards ready for surprise stabbing attacks.
With the expansion of the Turkish people to the shores of the Mediterranean, the curved scimitar design became more prevalent and the Akinaka was replaced with the much longer Shamshir. This weapon had only a single cutting edge and was curved to such a degree that, though the tip was pointed, actually thrusting with the weapon was wildly inaccurate. The adoption of the Shamshir demonstrated a shift in warfare from infantry formations to swift cavalry charges, where the scimitar design was greatly advantageous.