Thread: Elephant swords
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Old 3rd December 2018, 05:36 AM   #6
ariel's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
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Max Fasner’s dictionary: “ According to Prokopius, Kentar equaled 100 liters, and from the end of XVI century to 2 1/2 poods. A.K.Kazambek defines kentar as a unit of weight between 1 1/2 to 10 1/2 poods”,
Pood ( Russian пуд) as a unit of weight unofficially equals 40 pounds i.e. 18,1 kg , but was officially defined in 1899 as equal to 38.05 pounds, i.e.17.2 kg.

The hooker is which pound?
The very word funt came to Russia after English word pound.

Classical British pound is 453 gram, but official Russian pound ( funt) is only 405 gram, and Russian pharmacy pound ( funt) is 354 gram.

Thus, we really do not know the actual weight Nikitin referred to. Obviously, he could not use 2 1/2 poods as a kentar, since this was defined about 100 years after his death and we do not know precisely what kentar meant in the XV century. Was it 100 kg ( 100 liters) or 1.5 poods i.e. around 24 kg?

I am leaning to much lower numbers: from the practical point of view there is no need to create a super heavy cutting blade. It should be just massive enough to sustain any mechanical stress. Second, and most important, Fernando’s quote of 5 such swords on each tusk ( I.e. 100 up to 500 kg) would likely break it.

Richard’s info of actual presence of these implements in Indian museums gives the best way to figure it out: just weigh them:-)))
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