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Falchions

Falchions

The Falchion combined the weight and power of an axe with the versatility of a sword. Falchions are found in different forms from around the 11th century up to and including the sixteenth century. In some versions the falchion looks rather like the scramasax and later the sabre, and in some versions the form is irregular or (as is the case in the picture to the right) like a machete with a crossguard.

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Falchions

Falchion

While some propose that encounters with the Islamic shamshir inspired its creation, these "scimitars" of Persia were not developed until long after the falchion. More likely, it was developed from farmer's and butcher's knives of the seax type or in the manner of the larger Messer. The shape concentrates more weight near the end, thus making it more effective for chopping strikes like an axe or cleaver but also makes it slower to wield than a sword with a lighter point or foible.

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