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Old 3rd July 2020, 04:53 PM   #1
Milogow360
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Default Curved Swords In India Before The Talwar, 2nd Century BC, India

Chandraketugarh, Sunga Empire, 2nd Century BC, India

Curved swords show up in the three main successors of the Maurya Empire. Sungas, Kalingas, and Satavahanas. The design is spread a part in several directions in India. The backward curved swords probably goes back to the Mahajanapadas, but unfortunately for most of the Maurya and before the Maurya period art was constructed in wood. So nothing much survives.

This design begins to fade in art work after 1st century AD, but a unrelated design would of course be reintroduced by the Islamic C. Asian invasions into the subcontinent eventually forming the Talwar.

Below are examples from Sunga art in East India. I will post South East Kalingan and South-Deccan Satavahana saber examples as well.
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Last edited by Milogow360 : 4th July 2020 at 07:31 AM.
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Old 4th July 2020, 05:17 AM   #2
Ian
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Exclamation Moderators comment: Uploaded pictures required ...

Please see my edit of your post. Ian
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Old 4th July 2020, 06:35 AM   #3
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I will post similar images for classical Indian broadswords - ancestors of the Khanda, etc. And forward curved swords which most likely were influenced by the Greek Kopis. Both of these types were used all over India in various shapes like the talwar would in medieval India.

Unlike the backward curved blades shown here the long broad swords and forward curved blades have artistic line, and a lineage right from the Maurya, post Maurya period, right to modern times with Sikhs, Marathas, Gorkhas, etc. and everything inbetween. Including many of you Indian arms collectors.

A interesting thing I noted is no matter the hilt design, the design of the sword(forward curved, sickle, leaf blade, long sword round tip, etc.), Indian doctrine preferred a short, tight handle. This is the case even after the Islamic C. Asian invasions and it has been the case since surviving Indian art.

Last edited by Milogow360 : 4th July 2020 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 4th July 2020, 06:50 AM   #4
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What is the source of those images?
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Old 4th July 2020, 06:58 AM   #5
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Deccan Satavahanas - One of the successors of the Mauryas.

You can see the swordmen has a curved saber.

Bhaja Caves, 2nd Century BC.
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Old 4th July 2020, 07:04 AM   #6
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Kalingas - One of the successors of the Mauryas.

One of the main enemies of the Mauryas. You can say they have a relationship like the Mughals-Marathas had much later on.

Udayagiri Caves, 2nd-1st Century BC.

On a side note -- When it comes to classical India, you will commonly see female warriors. This is mentioned by the Greek ambassador to the Maurya court Megasthenes and supported by artistic evidence.
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Old 4th July 2020, 03:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
What is the source of those images?


https://www.sylph-ocular.com/t49#12

https://www.sylph-ocular.com/ck

There a lot of terracotta and ivory works showing daily village, court, etc. life. It's a interesting look into ancient India. Militaristic images are very rare though.

The mounted examples

Chandraketugarh, Sunga Empire, 2nd Century BC, India


The dwarf with a backward curved dagger

Nagarjunakonda, Deccan Ikshvaku, 3rdľ4th-century AD
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Old 4th July 2020, 03:46 PM   #8
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Thanks a lot!
Extremely interesting!
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Old 4th July 2020, 04:46 PM   #9
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As to the swordsman in your post #5: because of the state of preservation, I cannot see the curvature:-(

But what I find even more interesting, his sword seems to have a D-guard ( my imagination?).
We believe that D-guards came to India with Europeans. But Elgood, in his Hindu book, shows stone carvings of warriors carrying D-guarded swords allegedly dated to the 11th century( p.79). One image( 8.1) shows a slightly curved blade. Elgood, being an extremely careful professional, wanted additional confirmation, preferably actual examples before correcting the history.

Last edited by ariel : 4th July 2020 at 05:13 PM.
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