The Tabarzin: Persian Battle Axe

4 minute read

Talk about an imposing, intimidating yet beautiful tool: meet the Tabarzin, the Battle Axe of Persia.

Origins: Persia, India and Pakistan

Originating from Persia (Iran) in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Tabarzin was also used by warriors on horseback by armies in what is now modern-day Pakistan and India. Horseback warriors wielded (mostly) plain versions of the Tabarzin, while other Tabarzin were also created in much more ornate fashions for those in higher-up roles, and even police chiefs. It's also believed to have been used as a symbolic weapon by wanderers.

The name "Tabarzin" (or Tabar) comes from Persian and modern Turkish, meaning "Saddle Axe" - hence it was mostly used by horse-mounted riders. 

Long, Slender And Powerful

The Tabarzin has one or two blades in the shape of a crescent, depending on the item. Two forms of Tabarzin have been found -- a longer form of about 7 feet (2.13 metres), and a shorter version of about 3 feet (.91 metres).

What makes it especially unique is the long, slender, thin handle, rendering the weapon extremely light. The handles are always metallic, and sometimes contain a tang for extra support.

Some Tabarzin have been discovered with a square plate (for hammering) on the opposite side of the blade, as well as secret compartments within the handles to harbour an additional small, thin knife when unscrewed.

Tabarzin head

The Tabar (zin) was featured on the TV Show "Forged In Fire", where bladesmiths forged several variations of the Tabar and had them perform various tests of strength and agility:

Image credit: One, two

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