Roman sword "Gladius": history and description of weapons
History is aware of the high level of training,perfection of logistics and tactics of legionaries of the Roman Empire. Of no small importance in achieving the success of many military campaigns of ancient Rome was the quality of equipment of his army. One of the most common types of weapons at that time, which manned its personnel, was a Roman sword.
Roman sword, in comparison with a similarCeltic, is considered more durable. During the forging, all the rules of blacksmithing were observed: the composite steel was homogenized with the help of multilayer punching and hardening. Blacksmiths also used the leave procedure.
Ancient masters engaged in productiona variety of piercing-cutting weapons, had a clear idea of what should be a quality Roman sword. In their opinion, this type of weapon must have a soft core and be as hard as possible from the outside. For this, the blacksmiths of the Roman Empire used composite steel: it consisted of soft and hard varieties. Cleverly collecting various steel strips and alternating them in softness and hardness, the craftsmen eventually created a very high-quality Roman sword. The photo below represents the process of manufacturing ancient weapons in our days.
What were the shortcomings in the production of offensive weapons?
In the blacksmithing of the Roman Empire was absentsystematic. This is because the masters did not possess the necessary knowledge and were guided mainly by empirical observations. The forging process at the beginning of our era did not include elements of engineering.
And yet, despite the large numberrejected goods, blacksmiths of ancient Rome made very high-quality sword patterns. After the fall of the empire, the technology used to create the Roman sword was borrowed by other nations and used for a long time.
"Gladius" is the famous infantry sword of Emperor Tiberius. To use the soldiers of the Roman Empire sword became in the III. BC. e.
Sometimes it is also called "Gladius from Mainz" (a city in Germany, the birthplace of this weapon).
Conclusions about how the Roman sword looks like allowed to do archaeological work, conducted in this area.
In the nineteenth century on the territory of Mainzlaying of the railway. During the work it became clear that the rails were laid on the territory hidden in the land of the ancient Roman military bases. During the excavations, a rusty sword was found in expensive scabbards.
Let's get acquainted with the main characteristics of this weapon:
- the length of the blade is 57.5 cm;
- width - 7 cm;
- thickness - 40 mm;
- the size of the sword is 70 cm;
- weight - 8 kg.
What does the Roman sword look like?
The photo below shows the features of the external design of offensive weapons.
This product is equipped with a double-edged sword andreinforced with a stiffener. Closer to the point there is a gradual narrowing of the blade. The handle has a rib form and contains special notches under the fingers, which provides a convenient and reliable retention of the weapon during the fight. A massive ball-shaped pommel, located on the handle, is used by the warrior as a support when pulling the blade out of the opponent's body.
Half-spherical flattened from the sides of the guardprevents possible slippage of the hand when piercing strokes are applied. The "Gladius" sword is centered in such a way that the entire weight is located near the handle. This made it possible for legionaries to easily manage it during fencing. "Gladius" - a very effective weapon when stabbing and chopping strikes.
What is sheathed?
Historians suggest that "Gladius" isaward sword. The owner of this weapon is one of the commanders of legionnaires, and not Tiberius himself. But the name of the product was attached to it because of its scabbards, which depicted the founder of Rome sitting on the throne - the emperor Octavianus Augustus and Tiberius clothed in armor. In addition to the rulers of the Roman Empire, the sheath depicts the god of war Mars and the goddess of Victory Victoria, who in Greek mythology had the name of Nick. In the middle of the sheath, in the form of an ornament, was a round plate with a portrait of Tiberius. Under it is a skillfully executed shackle in the form of a laurel wreath.
How were swords used in the Roman Empire?
For the wearing of swords, the scabbard was equipped with specialrings, which were attached to the beautiful fittings in the form of laurel branches, imitating a wreath. Roman swords from the legionnaires were attached to the right, while the elite and military commanders were on their left side.
Since 1866, the Roman sword "Gladius" is kept in the British Museum.