By the mid-17th century, the Republic of Venice controlled the northeast of the Italian Peninsula and lands beyond including much of the Adriatic coast of the Balkan Peninsula. It stood as the barrier to Ottoman control in the Northeastern Mediterranean, with a navy of 3000 ships. Its armies were manned in part, by Slavic mercenaries armed with the traditional sword, the schiavona which was so effective that its use was embraced by the Venetians including the guard of the Doge’s Palace. This example dates to the latter part of the century and accords with Oakeshott Type 2. The double edged blade relies on the form which had proved itself, with small variation responding to the evolution of armor, for centuries. This example mounts a broad double fullered 27 3/4" blade for combat on foot. The forte bears marks of opposing double band half circles flanked by pellets. As it was specifically intended to fight the Muslim Ottomans, the similarity to the crescent cannot be ignored. It was either intended as a tribute to their prowess or an insult to their religious belief. The former is most likely, as depiction of Muslim warriors and the crescent grew to be common on European sword blades in the 18th century.