The Sicarii (one of the most fanatical black ops organizations of the ancient world). The Sicarii operated in the shadows of the ancient world. In Latin, Sicarii is the plural form of Sicarius meaning “dagger-man” or “dagger-wielder”.

The Sicarii were deeply motivated by their beliefs in God, Freedom and the independence of their country. These beliefs turned them into fearless assassins.

In order to be effective in their operations, the Sicarii relied on the few advantages that they possessed; Their knowledge of the local streets, their ability to mingle with the native people and blend in and speak the local language. They knew the distances to and from most places to include shortcuts and escape routes. For a small elite group such as the Sicarii, these advantages are force multipliers.

The Sicarii subjected themselves to intense training regimens to become masters of the blade and to psychologically prepare themselves for the close quarters battle. They didn’t have the technology then, so they had to rely on personal skill. In other words, the person was the weapon. The knife they chose was just the right tool for the job at hand.

The Sicarii’s chosen weapon is a curved knife. It was a perfect design for stealth and sneak attacks. The distinct upswept blade made it easier to get around the sides of an opponent’s shield. These were also extremely easy to conceal. No one would know you had a weapon on you, which is what the Sicarii wanted. Once the kill was made, they would disappear back into the crowd as if nothing happened. They would conceal these edged weapons underneath their cloaks, inside their robes or inside a fruit basket.

They needed a blade that could both accommodate both stabbing and slashing. The Persian design did just that.

The Sicarii Assassins and the Emerson Persian Tactical Knife Design

Enter the Emerson Knives P-TAC (An American made knife with a Persian design). The original design was a fixed blade design at the request of an “international agency” doing work in Bosnia and Kosovo in the mid 90’s. Since then they had designed a folding version which is what we are taking a look at in this article. The Emerson PTAC has also been a favorite among those working in hostile environments where they need to keep a “low vis” profile and can only carry a minimal set of gear.

The Sicarii Assassins and the Emerson Persian Tactical Knife Design

The Tactical Persian Folder was previously available only in a fixed blade version from the Emerson Handmade Custom line. I made quite a number of the fixed blade versions as personal protection tools for use in Bosnia. I had always wanted to do more with that model and have had the design around since the mid-nineties. I finally decided to make the folder available to the general public and we figured it would be a perfect complement to our tactical line. It is a bit of a “specialized” knife but it works so well in the hand that once you handle it you immediately understand its mobility and function.” – Emerson Knives


  • Overall Length: 9.6″
  • Blade Length: 4.1″
  • Handle Length: 5.5″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.125″
  • Hardness: 57-59 RC
  • Weight: 5.9 oz.
  • Made in the USA

Unfortunately, these are hard to get ahold of today. Your best bet is to join either the Emerson Knife Owners Group or Emerson Operators group and keep your eyes out for one. That’s how I got mine. One suggestion I would make is to purchase a Monster Thumb Disk from Gray Precision. This will allow you to more easily manipulate the knife under duress or with gloves on.

Photos courtesy of