The gladius, the primary weapon of the Roman legionaries from the 3rd c. BC to the 3rd c. AD, was used in many variations over the centuries. Primarily designed as a thrusting/stabbing weapon, it was also quite effective at cutting or slashing. Eventually, this highly feared short sword was gradually superseded by the longer spatha during the mid/late Roman Empire.
Although the Roman shortsword we offer here is not a one-to-one replica of an actual archaeological piece, it is patterned after the gladii used by the Roman legions during the first half of the 1st c. AD. The broad, double-edged blade with flat diamond cross-section is forged out of EN45 spring steel (not tempered, not hardened). With its parallel, straight edges and long, sharply pointed tip, it corresponds to a classically styled Fulham or Mainz-Fulham type gladius, believed to be a transitional type between the Mainz and the later Pompeii types (or a mere variation within the Mainz group). The edges are not sharpened and the blade's full tang is screwed to the pommel (brass top nut). The grip is made of bone, the guard and pommel of wood. The guard features an inset brass plate.
The brown wood-and-leather scabbard of this one-handed Roman gladius features elaborate brass fittings (a pierced locket, crossbands with suspension rings and a frame or side gutters extending top to bottom and terminating in a button finial). The throat plate on the observe side is adorned with a geometric, sun-shaped openwork motif, and the V-shaped chape area with a symmetrical pattern of stylized curls topped with a palmette. The scabbard mounts are inspired by period finds, most notably on the remains of a sword sheath from the 1st c. Porto Novo shipwreck near Porto Vecchio (Corsica), which was also identified as a transitional type due to its shape, size and ornaments.
Please note that this sword is not a battle ready weapon. It is designed as a collector's or decoration/display piece and is not suited for combat reenactment. Besides its quality as a collectible, it is also perfectly suited as a prop, e.g. to complete your costume.
- Material:EN45 spring steel blade (high carbon steel, not stainless), bone grip, wooden guard and pommel with brass pommel nut and guard inlay.
- Overall length: approx. 72 cm.
- Blade length: approx. 52 cm.
- Blade thickness: approx. 3.8 mm / 2.8 mm (cutting edges approx. 1 mm).
- Hilt length: approx. 20 cm (grip approx. 9.5 cm).
- Max. blade width: approx. 5.3 cm.
- Point of balance: approx. 10 cm from the guard.
- Incl. wooden scabbard with genuine leather cover and brass fittings.
- Weight without scabbard: approx. 0.65 kg.
- Weight with scabbard: approx. 1.1 kg.
Shipping time: 7 to 14 Days.