New Gladius Sword
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- A fully-equipped Roman soldier would have been armed with a shield (scutum), several javelins (pila), a sword (gladius), probably a dagger (pugio) and perhaps a number of darts (plumbatae). Conventionally, the javelins would be thrown before engaging the enemy, at which point the gladius would be drawn. The soldier generally led with his shield and thrust with his sword. Contrary to popular belief, all types of gladius appear to have also been suitable for cutting and chopping motions as well as for thrusting.
The word gladius acquired a general meaning as any type of sword. This use appears as early as the 1st century AD in the Biography of Alexander the Great by Quintus Curtius Rufus. The republican authors, however, appear to mean a specific type of sword, which is now known from archaeology to have had variants.
Gladii were two-edged for cutting and had a tapered point for stabbing during thrusting. A solid grip was provided by a knobbed hilt added on, possibly with ridges for the fingers. Blade strength was achieved by welding together strips, in which case the sword had a channel down the center, or by fashioning a single piece of high-carbon steel, rhomboidal in cross-section. The owner's name was often engraved or punched on the blade.
Stabbing was a very efficient technique as stabbing wounds, especially in the abdominal area, were almost always deadly (see the quotation from Vegetius under pugio). However, the gladius in some circumstances was used for cutting or slashing, as is indicated by Livy's account of the Macedonian Wars, wherein the Macedonian soldiers were horrified to see dismembered bodies.
Though the primary infantry attack was thrusting at stomach height, they were trained to take any advantage, such as slashing at kneecaps beneath the shield wall.
The gladius was sheathed in a scabbard mounted on a belt or shoulder strap, some say on the right, some say on the left (refer to the articles cited in the notes). Some say the soldier reached across his body to draw it, and others affirm that the position of the shield made this method of drawing impossible. A centurion wore it on the opposite side as a mark of distinction.
Towards the end of the second century A.D. the spatha took the place of the gladius in the Roman legions.
This beautiful well balanced sword is sure to be an asset to your collection. Like so many empires in the past, the imperium copied certain aspects of ancient Rome with this gladius sword. Comes with a hard black scabbard which compliments this sword beautifully.
▪ Overall Length: 40"
▪ Blade Length: 31"
▪ Blade Material: 440 Stainless Steel
▪ Handle Material: Black Leather Wrapped
▪ Includes: Hard Black Scabbard with shoulder strap.
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