Sword from the Arsenal of Alexandria


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 373

The Arabic inscription engraved on the blade of this sword indicates that it was part of the large group of European arms and armor once stored in the Mamluk arsenal in Alexandria, Egypt. Many of those pieces were taken as booty in the battles between Muslim and Christian armies in the Near East and Aegean regions; others were sent to the sultan as tribute, possibly by the king of Cyprus.

The inscription reads in translation: "Donation of al-Mālik al Mu`ayyad Abū al-Nasr Shaykh to the armory in the frontier city of Alexandria [in the] year 822 [A.D. 1419]."

Sword from the Arsenal of Alexandria, Steel, wood, European

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