What is Damascus Steel?

The term "damascus steel" is derived from the Arabic word "Damas", meaning floating or aqueous. Thus, the Syrian city of Damascus was not eponymous, the two terms rather share the same Arabic origin.

Damascus steel is a quite modern expression for welded steel that was established in the past 150 years. Due to its structure, in the Early Middle Ages a different term translating into "worm-colored" steel was commonly used. Nevertheless, there is another relation to Damascus. It is highly likely that around 1400 the city actually was a stronghold of damascus steel manufacturing or at least an important trading centre thereof.