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Szabla (; plural: szable) is the Polish word for sabre. It specifically refers to a Eastern European one-edged sabre-like mêlée weapon with a curved blade and, in most cases, a two-bladed tip called a feather (pióro). Initially used by light cavalry, with time it also evolved into a variety of arms used both for martial and ceremonial purposes. Until 19th century it also served as one of the symbols of the Polish, Lithuanian, and Ukrainian nobility (szlachta), who considered it to be one of the most important pieces of men's traditional attire.


The Polish word szabla "sword, saber", may derive from the Hungarian word szablya "saber", literally "tool to cut with", from szabni "to cut."


Various types of sabre-like arms were first brought to Eastern Europe by the nomads as early as the 6th century. However, it was not until the 14th and 15th centuries that a curved sword was adopted in European warfare. Initially the sabres used in Hungary and Kievan Rus were but local copies of their eastern predecessors used by the Turkic and Arabic peoples: the kilij, pulwar, talwar, saif, shamshir or scimitar. It is often assumed that all of these were in turn descendants of the ubiquitous parent sword, the Turko-Mongol saber used by the nomadic tribes of Asia and then brought to the Middle East during their migration out of Central Asia.Although by early 16th century such weapons were used both in...
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