Selected Passages from Hungarian-Ottoman Wars between 1372-1699


Two “pallos” swords we are talking about now. One of them is in the U.S.A. while the other one is on display in Hungary.

Pallache (sword, in Hungarian “pallos”) with Scabbard
Artist/maker unknown, Hungarian
(in Philadelphia Museum of Art, U.S.A.)
Made in Hungary, Europe
Etched and partially blued and gilded steel (blade); gilded silver, wood, velvet (hilt); wood, velvet, gilded silver (scabbard)

My remark:
This weapon is called “pallos” in Hungarian and it was used from horseback. It has a straight, sometimes double-edged blade, the grip is one-handed and slanted. It was used in the wars of the “Hungaries” (Royal Hungary, Principality of Transylvania and the Ottoman Occupied Lands of Hungary) during the 16th but mainly in the 17th century. Similar weapons were used in the Ottoman Army as well. It was not uncommon that Hungarian warriors used the excellent Eastern blades that they had got from bounty so as to use them in Hungarian fashioned swords.

The Pallos of Thury György:

Thury György, captain of Kanizsa was entrapped by the troops of the surrounding Turkish castles on April 2, 1571.
The head of the invincible duellist, a famous warrior of the Borderland was sent directly to the Sultan. 
The bequest inventory of the deceased captain of Kanizsa was made three weeks after his death, including a very interesting sentence:
‘A broadsword in silver, which is being sent to the emperor.’ This weapon had got to the collection of Archduke Ferdinand II of Tirol in Ambras, and in 1933, to the Hungarian National Museum.

The blade of the Broadsword was made by an Arab bladesmith, Mohammed of Medina and the initial lines of the 48th sura of the Qur’an and the text written on it is about victory. The setup of the Broadsword is Turkish work in gilded silver. It is interesting that the original grip of the Broadsword was changed to a Hungarian saber grip. The weapon, related to Thury is one of the earliest Hungarian ‘horseman’s broadswords’. We know that Thury had 600 duels with the Turks so this sword may have been a trophy of such a fight.
Contemporary drawing of Thury György (in the middle)
The broadsword of the famous warrior of the Borderland embodies the traditions of Arabian Turkish weapon-making, re-assembled with the new type of Hungarian saber grip. The importance of the weapon is great, for its history can be followed authentically from the death of Thury until 1933 when it was given to the Hungarian National Museum.

(Source: Kovács S. Tibor)

Thury’s “pallos” in the museum of Kanizsa, being guarded by Hungarian reenactors

You can read more about Captain Thury here:

If you like my writings, please  feel free to support me with a coffee here:

This article contains Amazon ads. By purchasing through these links, you can help my work at no added cost to you. Thank you!

My work can also be followed and supported on Patreon:

Become a Patron! 



Close Menu