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7th century to 6th century BC, As a most rare and incredibly valuable piece of weaponry this wonderful sword would likely have been used and held by warriors of nobility for several hundred years.
A complete sword, of both blade and hilt, with leaf-shaped iron blade, double-waisted grip with transverse collar, the pommel formed as two crescentic iron spayed lobes, the hilt clad with bronze. Approx 640 grams, 19.25 inches. Fine condition. Approximately 2500 years old, Achaemenid Empire era, [550 bc to 330 bc] From the the Greco-Persian War, such as includes the iconic battles of Marathon, Thermopylae and Plataea, up to the time of Alexander the Great. This wonderful antiquity, from one of the most eventful and ground breaking periods of classical history, is in amazing condition and beautifully decorated 6th-4th century BC. A bronze long dagger with narrow lentoid-section blade, collared grip with crescentic ears to the pommel. By the 7th century BC, the Persians had settled in the south-western portion of the Iranian Plateau in the region of Persis, which came to be their heartland. From this region, Cyrus the Great advanced to defeat the Medes, Lydia, and the Neo-Babylonian Empire, establishing the Achaemenid Empire. The Ionian [Greek] Revolt in 499 BC, and associated revolts in Aeolis, Doris, Cyprus and Caria, were military rebellions by several regions of Asia Minor against Persian rule, lasting from 499 to 493 BC. At the heart of the rebellion was the dissatisfaction of the Greek cities of Asia Minor with the tyrants appointed by Persia to rule them, along with the individual actions of two Milesian tyrants, Histiaeus and Aristagoras. In 499 BC, the then tyrant of Miletus, Aristagoras, launched a joint expedition with the Persian satrap Artaphernes to conquer Naxos, in an attempt to bolster his position in Miletus (both financially and in terms of prestige). The mission was a debacle, and sensing his imminent removal as tyrant, Aristagoras chose to incite the whole of Ionia into rebellion against the Persian king Darius the Great. In 490 BC the Persian forces were defeated by the Athenians at the Battle of Marathon and Darius would die before having the chance to launch an invasion of Greece. The Battle of Marathon took place in 490 BC, during the first Persian invasion of Greece. It was fought between the citizens of Athens, aided by Plataea, and a Persian force commanded by Datis and Artaphernes. The battle was the culmination of the first attempt by Persia, under King Darius I, to subjugate Greece. The Greek army decisively defeated the more numerous Persians, marking a turning point in the Greco-Persian Wars. Xerxes I (485–465 BC, "Hero Among Kings"), son of Darius I, vowed to complete the job. He organized a massive invasion aiming to conquer Greece. His army entered Greece from the north, meeting little or no resistance through Macedonia and Thessaly, but was delayed by a small Greek force for three days at Thermopylae. A simultaneous naval battle at Artemisium was tactically indecisive as large storms destroyed ships from both sides. The battle was stopped prematurely when the Greeks received news of the defeat at Thermopylae and retreated. The battle was a strategic victory for the Persians, giving them uncontested control of Artemisium and the Aegean Sea.
Following his victory at the Battle of Thermopylae, Xerxes sacked the evacuated city of Athens and prepared to meet the Greeks at the strategic Isthmus of Corinth and the Saronic Gulf. In 480 BC the Greeks won a decisive victory over the Persian fleet at the Battle of Salamis and forced Xerxes to retire to Sardis. The land army which he left in Greece under Mardonius retook Athens but was eventually destroyed in 479 BC at the Battle of Plataea. The final defeat of the Persians at Mycale encouraged the Greek cities of Asia to revolt, and the Persians lost all of their territories in Europe; Macedonia once again became independent. Alexander the Great, an avid admirer of Cyrus the Great, conquered most of the empire by 330 BC. Upon Alexander's death, most of the empire's former territory came under the rule of the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Seleucid Empire, in addition to other minor territories which gained independence at that time. The Iranian elites of the central plateau reclaimed power by the second century BC under the Parthian Empire
Formerly Ex Abelita family collection, acquired from the 1970’s.
See Khorasani, M.M., Arms and Armour from Iran. The Bronze Age to the End of the Qajar Period, Tübingen, 2006, p.384, no.20, for similar.
11th-12th century AD. A Norman four-plate iron helmet constructed from curved sections of triangular form, converging at the apex; the bowl contoured so that the back and front plates overlap the side-plates by 1/2 to 1 inch, with iron rivets passing through each overlap to secure them in position; the rivets worked flat into the surface of the helmet, almost invisible from the outside but detectable on the inner surface; the plate-junction at the apex supplied with a small hole, allowing a plume or horsehair streamer to be inserted through a ring; mounted on a custom-made stand. Photographs and details to be added after the weekend.
On 14 October 1066, Harold II fought William's army at the Battle of Hastings
The English army, led by King Harold, took up their position on Senlac Hill near Hastings on the morning of the 14th October 1066. Harold’s exhausted and depleted Saxon troops had been forced to march southwards following the bitter, bloody battle to capture Stamford Bridge in Yorkshire only days earlier.
William attacked with cavalry as well as infantry; in the classic English manner, Harold’s well trained troops all fought on foot behind their mighty shield wall.
The fighting continued for most of the day with the shield wall unbroken. It is said that it was the sight of retreating Normans which finally lured the English away from their defensive positions as they broke ranks in pursuit of the enemy.
Once their carefully organised formation was broken, the English were vulnerable to cavalry attack. King Harold was struck in the eye by a chance Norman arrow and was killed, but the battle raged on until all of Harold’s loyal bodyguard were slain.
This battle changed the entire course of not just English, but European history. England would henceforth be ruled by an oppressive foreign aristocracy, which in turn would influence the entire ecclesiastical and political institutions of Christendom.
William was crowned king of England on Christmas Day 1066, but it took years more fighting to conquer the whole country. His cruellest campaign was the 'Harrying of the North' in 1069, where he slaughtered the inhabitants of the north-east and destroyed their food stores so that even the survivors starved to death.
The Norman Conquest changed the face of England forever. William ruled as unquestioned conqueror and the Saxons became merely an unpaid workforce for their new lords.
The Norman Conquest also changed the history of Europe – adding the wealth of England to the military might of Normandy made the joint-kingdom a European super-power.
In warfare, it was the start of the age of the knight-on-horseback.
See Curtis, H.M., 2,500 Years of European Helmets, North Hollywood, 1978; Denny, N. & Filmer-Sankey, J., The Bayeux Tapestry, London, 1966; Kirpicnikow, A. N., Russische Helme aus dem Frühen Mittelalter, Waffen- und Kostamkunde, 3rd Series, vol.15, pt.2, 1973; Nicolle, D., Byzantine and Islamic arms and armour; evidence for mutual influence, in: Warriors and their weapons around the time of the Crusades, relationship between Byzantium, the West and the Islamic world, Padstow, 2002, pp.299-325; Menghin, W., The Merovingian Period - Europe Without Borders, Berlin, 2007, pp.326-7, item I.34.4.; D’Amato, R., ‘Old and new evidence on East-Roman helmets from the 9th to the 12th centuries,’ in Acta Militaria Medievalia, 2015, XI, pp.27-157, fig.23, nn.1-2 and pl.1.2.6 kg total, 47cm including stand, helmet: 16cm (18 3/4”"). Helmets of this general profile and form are a long-lived military fashion in the Black Sea region, as evidenced by elements of a 7th-8th century Khazar saddle from the Shilovskiy grave field (Samara region"). A similar helmet is housed in the St. Petersburg Museum (inventory reference PA72), for which D’Amato (2015, pp. 65ff.) proposed an Eastern-Roman origin, based on the interchange of Roman and Khazar military technology. Based on a similar 7th century helmet found with a coin of Heraclius, D’Amato proposed that these helmets were a product of the introduction of Steppe technology in Byzantium. This form of helmet is certainly evident in the iconography of 9th-12th century Eastern-Roman helmets. Fair condition, some restoration. accompanied by an archaeological report by military specialist Dr D'Amato University Ferrara
10th-early 11th century AD
A double-edged cutting sword of Wheeler Type III and Petersen Type S variant with long tapering blade, cutting edges with edge to edge combat marks, shallow tapering fullers and traces of copper inlay to the blade; boat-shaped lower guard and upper guard with silver inlaid decoration, massive three-lobed pommel with similar decoration, the lobes separated by inlaid silver bands on traditional Viking artwork pattern between the distinctive period between the Mammen and the Urnes Style, with gilt traces to blade suggests that it was probably inscribed. Approx 1.5kg, 36” long overall. Fine condition.
The Inlay is a Scandinavian animal style from the late 10th century and the 11th century, which evolved out of the earlier Mammen Style. It has received its name from a group of runestones with animal and plant motifs in the district north of Oslo. The most common motifs are lions, birds, band-shaped animals and spirals. Some elements appear for the first time in Scandinavian art, such as different types of crosses, palmettes and pretzel-shaped nooses that tie together two motifs. Most of the motifs have counterparts in Anglo-Saxon art and Ottonian art. Original Viking swords so rarely appear that we are only fortunate enough to acquire such a beautiful example probably only two or three per decade. It is said that the Viking sword occupied the highest rank of esteem in the forms of weaponry in the Viking age. It was certainly not a common weapon for the regular Viking warrior. Only the Viking earls, clan chiefs and kings normally carried such fine swords, for only Vikings of such status could afford the finest craftsmanship found in the Viking sword. The more usual weapons in the Viking warrior community were axes and spears. Circa 900 ad. Amazingly with a considerable amount of its original silver inlay in the reverse and the obverse sides of the pommel and crossguard. This pommel style was actually of Anglo-Saxon design, but it’s beauty was recognised by the Vikings and thus emulated in their swords. The Viking’s sword was a highly expensive weapon and therefore much effort was put into decorating its handle. The pommel, which acted as a counterweight to the blade, so that the sword balanced, could display inlays of precious metals or intricate patterns. The blade itself often had so called “blood grooves” or fullers, and this sword has a single fuller running along its middle. These fullers saved valuable metal and made the sword lighter. The Vikings placed such status on to their swords they often named them, due to the belief of theIr supposed magical qualities, heritage, and creator of remarkable events. Such evocative names as;
Gramr: Fierce. This was the name of the sword that hero Sigurd used to kill the dragon Fafnir
Gunnlogi: Battle Flame, War Flame
Leggbir: Leg bitter
Swords that had names were a treasure not only for their monetary value but also for the honour for the family and the clan.
This fabulous sword is in amazing condition and considering its great age is remarkably sound indeed, and feels just as a fine top quality sword should, even today. It is 10th century, and likely used up to, and into, the 11th century 'Battle of Hastings' of 1066, known as the the Norman invasion period. This wonderful museum piece is part of a significant collection of fine museum quality swords we are adding to our site for sale this week. This fabulous, historical Viking sword, has the highly iconic, and typical trilobite fashion, pommel of three distinct lobes, inlaid with silver. A double-edged broad sword of Petersen Type S variant with a tapering blade, shallow fullers, possible traces of pattern-welding to the blade, it has superb battle nicks to both cutting edges, the massive Viking pommel with is with three distinct lobes. In fine condition.
Accompanied by an academic report by military specialist Dr. D’Amato.
See Petersen, J., De Norske Vikingsverd, Oslo, 1919; Peirce, I., Swords of the Viking Age, Suffolk, 2002; Hiardar K. and Vike, V., Vikings at war, Oxford-Philadelphia, 2016; the sword has good parallels with similar Viking age specimens published by Peirce (2002, pp.102-105), one in the British Museum and the other at the Universitetets Oldsaksamling, Oslo.
Viking swords of Type S are commonly found in Nordic countries and Eastern Europe, with a number found in Western Europe. Although this sword would be classified as a Type S, the trilobate form of the pommel recalls the swords of type L, having Anglo-Saxon influences. The style of the hilt on the S swords are often very different: so were the swords, that can combine elements of different types. In the gallery we will show an original medieval painting of 11th century King Harald in combat at Stamford Bridge in 1066, and note the knight behind is using the very same type of lobed pommelled Viking broadsword. Illustration by Matthew Paris from "The Life of King Edward the Confessor", 13th century. A most similar sword but in much poorer condition is known as the Roselund Sword. In the Church of Rønninge stands a rune stone bearing the text: “Sóti placed this stone in memory or Eileifr, his brother, Ásgautr Red-shield’s son”. Nearby lies the Rosenlund grave containing weapons and riding equipment, perhaps it was Ásgautr’s grave. We are familiar with Viking swords from various burials, which mainly date to the early Viking period. It was most often people of high status who were buried with swords in the Viking Age. Not all Viking warriors had a sword; they were prestige weapons. Swords were highly valued objects and could be handed down from generation to generation. They were also given as gifts to people of high status in order to stay on good terms with them.
Viking swords were also used in another way. This was the tradition of sacrificing the valuable swords in lakes and bogs. Many swords, spears and lances from the Viking and early medieval periods have also been found near fords crossing rivers and in wetlands. Perhaps the weapons were left at such locations as an offering, or else they were simply dropped and lost during the attempt to cross the water. One picture in the gallery is an early painting of the Anglo Saxon King Offa of Mercia on horseback, he is holding a near identical sword with the same triple lobed pommel as this Viking sword has. Almost every weapon that has survived today from this era is now in a fully russetted condition, as is this one, because only the swords of kings, that have been preserved in national or Royal collections are today still in a good state and condition.
Viking art is usually divided into a sequence of roughly chronological styles, although outside Scandinavia itself local influences are often strong, and the development of styles can be less clear.
See Petersen, J., De Norske Vikingsverd, Oslo, 1919; Oakeshott, R.E., The Archaeology of the weapons, London, 1960; Peirce, I., Swords of the Viking Age, Suffolk, 2002; Marek, L., Early Medieval Swords from Central and Eastern Europe: Dilemmas of an Archaeologist and a Student of Arms, Wrocław, 2005; the sword has good parallels in various similar Viking age specimens, like the sword from Mixnam’s pit, Chertsey, today at the Chertsey Museum (Peirce, 2002, pp.98ff.).
The Type S was often characterised by splendid decoration achieved with silver and copper inlays. It was usually made by using silver wire, which was wound around copper wire and then hammered into place upon base metal, which had been prepared with a scored surface to secure the overlay. The design was then bordered by fine copper wires. Although this sword would be classified as a type S, the slight curvature of the lower guard makes it a variant of the classical form of this typology, possibly even showing Anglo-Saxon influence from type L.
Some of the most fascinating objects in British museum collections come from many far flung places all over the world. They arrived in their collections due to the explorers and travellers gathering trinkets and objects of curios during the 19th century. One such object is this Pounamu Toki or the Greenstone Axe from New Zealand. These axes were used as a tool for daily work as well as being employed in ceremonial form.
We have had several over the past 50 years but unfortunately, none of them have ever had their handles remaining. They retain considerable meaning for the Maori, as Greenstone is known as the God Stone, and to the Europeans, Jade. They are imbibed with mysticism and sacred power to the Maori. Greenstone is a sacred material and most rare. It occurs naturally in the South island of New Zealand and is found in several areas and has been discovered in rivers as boulders or pebbles or washed up on the coast.
Maori myth and legend is attached to the greenstone and its origins. The Ngati Waewae tribe tells of a legend about a fearsome Taniwha (sea monster) and a beautiful princess kidnapped by the Taniwha. The princess eventually gets turned to greenstone on the riverbed. This myth tells how the greenstone was created. 6.25 inches long x 3.5 inches wide.
You simply do not often see such rare and iconic original ancient swords used by the most famed protagonists of the Carthaginian Wars, against the might of Rome during the period of one of the greatest eras in classical history, let alone have the opportunity to own one. The falcata is one of the most distinctive swords of classical history, with its inverted curve and powerful blade it can be seen depicted in the earliest decoration of Hellenistic attic vases and early pottery from ancient Greece, paintings from great historical battles in early art work of the medieval period and into the Renaissance, and in allegorical art of the Georgian and Victorian era.
In 219 B.C., Hannibal of Carthage led an attack on Saguntum, an independent city allied with Rome, which sparked the outbreak of the Second Punic War. He then marched his massive army across the Pyrenees and Alps into central Italy in what would be remembered as one of the most famous campaigns in history. After a string of victories, the most notable coming at Cannae in 216 B.C., Hannibal had gained a foothold in southern Italy, but declined to mount an attack on Rome itself. The Romans rebounded, however, driving the Carthaginians out of Spain and launching an invasion of North Africa. In 203 B.C., Hannibal abandoned the struggle in Italy to defend North Africa, and he suffered a devastating defeat at the hands of Publius Cornelius Scipio at Zama the following year. Though the treaty concluding the Second Punic War put an end to Carthage’s status as an imperial power, Hannibal continued to pursue his lifelong dream of destroying Rome up until his death in 183 B.C. This is simply a stunning and rare original Iberian single -edged Falcata of the 3rd-2nd century BC and later. A single-edged machaira sword of falcata type, with curved hilt of regular geometric shape, lateral iron guard (later addition); grooves on one side of the upper part of blade; three circular rivets of circular section which fastened the organic handle to the hilt. Weighing approx 630 grams , almost 22 inches long, and in nice condition for age.
See Quesada Sanz, F.,El armamento Ibérico, Madrid, 1991; Quesada Sanz, F., Arma y símbolo: la falcata Ibérica, Alicante, 1992; Quesada Sanz, F., ‘Patterns of interaction, Celtic and Iberian weapons in Iron Age Spain’ in Celtic connections, volume 2, papers from the Tenth International Congress of Celtic Studies, Edinburgh, 1995, Edinburgh, 2005; a similar specimen with a near identical hilt is the Iberian Falcata from Cerro Muriano (Córdoba, Spain) which is preserved in the Copper Museum of Córdoba (III-II century BC).
Since the 5th-4th century BC, the Iberian warriors armed themselves with round shields and single edged swords (falcatas) that were the Etruscan version of the Greek machaira. The latter type of sword was duly transformed into a completely new type, with a different size, shape and function, the falcata, already in use in the Iberian area by c. 490 BC. This type of curved, slashing, single-edged sword is generally accepted by the scholars as the 'national' weapon of the Iberians, and was commonly used in the Iberian Peninsula, worn by the warriors usually suspended on the left side in a scabbard to which was often attached a short knife. It was a terrifying cut-and-thrust sword, with an average blade length of 45cm. General Commander-in-Chief of the Carthaginian army, Hannibal was a Carthaginian general and statesman who commanded Carthage's main forces against the Roman Republic during the Second Punic War. He is widely considered one of the greatest military commanders in human history. His father, Hamilcar Barca, was a leading Carthaginian commander during the First Punic War. His younger brothers were Mago and Hasdrubal, and he was brother-in-law to Hasdrubal the Fair, who also commanded Carthaginian armies. Hannibal lived during a period of great tension in the western Mediterranean Basin, triggered by the emergence of the Roman Republic as a great power after it had established its supremacy over Italy. Although Rome had won the First Punic War, revanchism prevailed in Carthage, symbolised by the alleged pledge that Hannibal made to his father never to be a friend of Rome. The Second Punic War broke out in 218 BC after Hannibal's attack on Saguntum, an ally of Rome in Hispania. He then made his famous military exploit of carrying war to Italy by crossing the Alps with his North African war elephants. In his first few years in Italy, he won a succession of dramatic victories at the Trebia, Lake Trasimene, and Cannae. He distinguished himself for his ability to determine his and his opponent's respective strengths and weaknesses, and to plan battles accordingly. Hannibal's well-planned strategies allowed him to conquer several Italian cities allied to Rome. Hannibal occupied most of southern Italy for 15 years, but could not win a decisive victory, as the Romans led by Fabius Maximus avoided confrontation with him, instead waging a war of attrition. A counter-invasion of North Africa led by Scipio Africanus forced him to return to Carthage. Scipio eventually defeated Hannibal at the Battle of Zama, having previously driven Hannibal's brother Hasdrubal out of the Iberian Peninsula.
From the time of the Emperors, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero. A double-edged iron sword of with the typology ‘Pompeii’ with parallel cutting edges sharply graduating towards the triangular point, battle nicks to the edges, shallow fuller and long tang. The Pompeii gladius was named by modern historians after the Roman town of Pompeii. This type of gladius was by far the most popular one. Four instances of the sword type were found in Pompeii, with others turning up elsewhere. 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 centre, 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.
This kind of sword was much more suitable than the earlier Mainz typology for the fight against the Germanic tribes, allowing the legionary to deliver equally successful blows by stabbing and chopping. The specimen in question presents a very elongated blade and it is possible that it was used as weapon from horseback, representing a sort of transitional type between the short gladius and the long cavalry spatha. Similar long Pompeii blades specimens have been found in the Barbaricum and in a military camp of Germania Inferior. After Caesar's preliminary low-scale invasions of Britain, the Romans invaded in force in 43 AD, forcing their way inland through several battles against British tribes, including the Battle of the Medway, the Battle of the Thames, the Battle of Caer Caradoc and the Battle of Mona. Following a general uprising in which the Britons sacked Colchester, St Albans and London the Romans suppressed the rebellion in the Battle of Watling Street and went on to push as far north as central Scotland in the Battle of Mons Graupius. Tribes in modern-day Scotland and Northern England repeatedly rebelled against Roman rule and two military bases were established in Britannia to protect against rebellion and incursions from the north, from which Roman troops built and manned Hadrian's Wall
On the continent, the extension of the Empire's borders beyond the Rhine hung in the balance for some time, with the emperor Caligula apparently poised to invade Germania in 39 AD, and Cnaeus Domitius Corbulo crossing the Rhine in 47 AD and marching into the territory of the Frisii and Chauci. Caligula's successor, Claudius, ordered the suspension of further attacks across the Rhine, setting what was to become the permanent limit of the Empire's expansion in this direction.
Although at first sight they seem more similar to later spathae swords of the Roman army, they are examples of the great variety of weaponry existing inside the Armies of Rome, and of the way in which its structure was able to adapt itself to its various military needs. This sword type also present
a noteworthy problem in regards of precise individual dating, because without a precise archaeological context, there use can range from the 1st to the 3rd century AD (such as specimens from Windisch, Zwammerdam). This superb sword is accompanied with an expertise appraisal by military specialist, Dr. D’Amato of Ferrara University. For references on this sword type see; Curle, J., A Roman Frontier Post and its People, the Fort of Newstead in the Parish of Melrose, Glasgow, 1911; Bishop, M. C. & Coulston, J.C.N., Roman military equipment, from the Punic wars to the fall of Rome, London, 1993; Antonucci, C., ‘The Praetorians, the bodyguard of the Emperor Trajan, 2nd cent. AD’, in Ancient Warrior,1, Stockport, 1994, pp.3ff.; Feugère, M., Weapons of the Romans, Port Stroud, 2002; Bishop, M. C. & Coulston, J.C.N., Roman military equipment, from the Punic wars to the fall of Rome, London, 2006; Miks, C., Studien zur Romischen Schwertbewaffnung in der Kaiserzeit, I-II Banden, Rahden, 2007; for very similar specimens see Miks, 2007, n.A792 (Windisch, length 64 cm); A821 (Zwammerdam, length 71cm); A302 (Hofstade Steenberg, length 64cm); A369 (Korytnica, length 76.2cm); A354 (Klein-Winternheim, length 67cm).
In the world of collecting early weaponry a sword is defined as it’s blade, it’s hilt was separate often made of vulnerable woods and materials that do not survive the ravages of time. You simply do not often see such rare and iconic original ancient swords used by one of the most famed empires in the world, during the period of one of the greatest eras in classical history, let alone have the opportunity to own one. This sword is 855 grams, 84cm (32"). Fine condition.
Under one roof, from an Original, Huge, WW2 Shell from A German King Tiger Tank, to an Original Imperial Roman Legionary’s Gladius, to a Museum Quality Samurai Sword by on of the great makers of early Japan. This week we have added and are adding, original, ancient classical edged weapons, from Rome, Carthage, Persia, Greece, and Scandinavia, from fine English collection/s [acquired in the 1990’s or before] including; a 2000 year old gladius from the time of Julius Caesar to Augustus to Nero. A museum grade 1000+ year old Viking chieftain [king] or earl’s [jarl] sword inlaid with knotwork silver inlay. A bronze and iron Archemeanid sword from the time of the Greco-Persian wars of Xerxes the Great against the Spartans at Thermopylae. An Imperial Roman 1st century ring, the type as worn by the Imperial Pretorian Guard with the symbol of a lion, from the time of the Emperors Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero. A superb 3rd to 4th century BC Falcata sword similar to the Greek Kopis, the sword used by Hannibal’s army in the 2nd Punic War and his invasion of Rome across the Alps, and a 3rd Century Imperial Roman Sword, from the time of Emperor Constantine and the Battle of Cibalae. Plus a remarkable 1066 period Original Norman Iron Four Plate Helmet, [as Seen Depicted in the world famous so-called Bayeux Tapestry] & two early Books, one, an original 5th century Roman treatise on Roman warfare, and 18th Century biography on 18th century Warfare.
A double-edged spatha sword of the typology of Illerup Wyhl, with excellently preserved long blade, long tang, with triple fullers along its length, parallel cutting edges tapering down towards its point, Fine condition.
The iconographic sources indicate that Roman swords underwent big changes in the later 2nd and 3rd centuries. Longer swords, more popular within Germanic and Celtic cultures, would have been useful for fighting on horseback, but they were soon spread among the infantrymen and massively produced in the Roman workshops, from which they were brought home by many barbarians after mercenary or auxiliary service in Roman army. This, together with the possibility of war booty, explains why the mass of these swords have been found in the territories of the Barbaricum. The graves and the ritual water deposits of the marshy areas of Illerup Adal, Thorsberg, Vimose and many other localities (Simris) have delivered an amount of swords. Illerup has produced fine well-preserved swords, some with rather unusual patterns. Dr. Miks refers to the spathae of the 'lllerup-Wyhl' type I as to a group of blades which in terms of their proportions, dimensions and shape, are probably a mixture of blades of the more classical 'Straubing-Nydam' and 'Lauriacum-Hromowka' types of long Roman swords. They are one of the most complicated category of Late Roman swords and therefore difficult to clearly identify.
The Spatha was first introduced to the Romans by Celtic Mercenaries during the Second Punic War. The Celts would have used weaponry and armour from their homeland, and one of the Celtic weapons would have been the Spatha. Many believe that the Spatha was adopted by the Romans due to contact with Germania, however this is not true.
The earlier gladius sword was gradually replaced by the spatha from the late 2nd to the 3rd century. From the early 3rd century, legionaries and cavalrymen began to wear their swords on the left side, perhaps because the scutum had been abandoned and the spatha had replaced the gladius.
In the imperial period, the Romans adopted the original Greek term, spáthē (σπάθη), as spatha, which still carried the general meaning of any object considered long and flat. Spatha appears first in Pliny and then Seneca with different meanings: a spatula, a metal-working implement, a palm-leaf and so on. There is no hint of any native Roman sword called a spatha.
Referring to an actual sword, the term first appears in the pages of Tacitus with reference to an incident of the early empire. The British king, Caractacus, having rebelled, found himself trapped on a rocky hill, so that if he turned one way he encountered the gladii of the legionaries, and if the other, the spathae of the auxiliaries. There is no indication in Tacitus that they were cavalry.
The next mention of spathae is in the 5th century, by Vegetius, now as a weapon carried by infantry. The term "Roman Iron Age" refers approximately to the time of the Roman Empire in north Europe, which was outside the jurisdiction of the empire, but, judging from the imported Roman artifacts, was influenced by Roman civilization. One source of artifacts from this period are the bogs of Schleswig, Holstein and Denmark. Objects were deliberately broken and thrown into the bog in the belief that they could go with a deceased chief on his voyage to a better place.
A cache of 90 swords was found at Nydam Mose in Denmark in 1858. They were in the form of the spatha and therefore have been classified as "Roman swords". They are dated to the 3rd to 4th centuries. Many connect the Nydam cache with the sword of Beowulf, who was supposed to be a contemporary. See two photos of these in the gallery. Another photo in the gallery is of a depiction of Roman spartha swords, with hilts fashioned in the shape of eagles' heads, in Roman carved statuary (Portrait of the Four Tetrarchs, c. AD 300) in Venice.
This is the typical sword used to great effect, for example at the Battle of Cibalae
The Battle of Cibalae was fought in 316 between the two Roman emperors Constantine I (r. 306–337) and Licinius (r. 308–324). The site of the battle near the town of Cibalae in the Roman province of Pannonia Secunda, was approximately 350 kilometers within the territory of Licinius. Constantine won a resounding victory, despite being outnumbered.
The opposing armies met on the plain between the rivers Sava and Drava near the town of Cibalae. The battle lasted all day. The battle opened with Constantine's forces arrayed in a defile adjacent to mountain slopes. The army of Licinius was stationed on lower ground nearer the town of Cibalae, Licinius took care to secure his flanks. As the infantry of Constantine needed to move forward through broken ground the cavalry was thrown out ahead, to act as a screen. Constantine moved his formation down on to the more open ground and advanced against the awaiting Licinians. Following a period of skirmishing and intense missile fire at a distance, the opposing main bodies of infantry met in close combat and fierce hand-to-hand fighting ensued. This battle of attrition was ended, late in the day, when Constantine personally led a cavalry charge from the right wing of his army. The charge was decisive, Licinius' ranks were broken. As many as 20,000 of Licinius' troops were killed in the hard-fought battle. The surviving cavalry of the defeated army accompanied Licinius when he fled the field under the cover of darkness.
See Bishop, M.C. & Coulston, J.C.N., Roman military equipment, from the Punic wars to the fall of Rome, London, 1993; Miks, C., Studien zur Romischen Schwertbewaffnung in der Kaiserzeit, I-II Banden, Rahden, 2007; D’Amato, R., Roman army Units in the Western Provinces, Oxford, 2019; for very similar specimens see Miks, 2007, n.A146,36,37,43 (Illerup). Accompanied by an expertise by military specialist Dr. D’Amato of University of Ferrara .Blade weight 1.1 kg, 98.5cm (38 3/4"). In the world of collecting early weaponry a sword is defined as it’s blade, it’s hilt was separate often made of vulnerable woods and materials that do not survive the ravages of time. You simply do not often see such rare and iconic original ancient swords used by one of the most famed empires in the world, during the period of one of the greatest eras in classical history, let alone have the opportunity to own one.
With incredible historical provenence, part of the French war souvenirs from Schloss Langenburg, which is the ancestral seat of the Princes Hohenlohe-Langenburg in Southern Germany, and is today the family home of Princess Saskia and Prince Philipp zu Hohenlohe- Langenburg. The historical arms and armour from the Schloss Langenburg armoury were sold some years ago, and included this fabulous French sword, that was formerly with other weapons cap-tured from the military campaigns of Field Marshal Friedrich Karl Wilhelm, Furst zu Hohenlohe, who served the Habsburg Monarchy, and fought in many campaigns against France. This fabulous and rare French sword was used from the revolution, in the Nile campaign and the Napoleonic wars by the Chasseurs a Cheval. It is mounted absolutely correctly with a blade modelled on the 1781 regulation, with characteristic residual ricasso, gilt-brass hilt of the successive issue type, retaining its original leather-covered grip bound with brass single-strand wire, the blade and the knuckle-guard struck with War Administration acceptance marks, a fasces and a cockerel respectively, and the inner face of the guard with the maker's stamped signature 'Liorard' 92 cm; 36? in blade The fasces and cockerel State acceptance marks were introduced by the Comite de Salut Public in 1793, in place of the marks of military inspectors absent within the revolutionary period. Liorard is recorded as a fourbisseur working at 163, rue de la Verrerie, Paris, in the 18th and 19th century. See M. Petard 1999, pp.122-3, figs. 112a & 112b, pp.180-1, figs. 11 & 17. also Armes Blanches Symbolisme Inscriptions Marquages Fourbousseurs Manufactures by Jean Lhoste and Jean-Jacques Buigne. In 1828, there was the marriage at Kensington Palace of Prince Ernst zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg to Princess Anna Feodora zu Leiningen, the half-sister of the future Queen Victoria. In 1896 Princess Feodora's grandson, Ernst II zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg, married Queen Victoria?s granddaughter Princess Alexandra of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Princess Alexandra was the third daughter of H.R.H. Prince Alfred, son of Queen Victoria and H.R.H. The Prince Albert, she was also the grand-daughter of Tsar Alexander II of Russia. The family link between the Windsors? and the Hohenlohe-Langenburgs remains a strong one. H.M. The Queen visited Schloss Langenburg during her German State Visit in 1965, together with H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh and his sister, H.R.H. Princess Margarita. The original Mercedes 600 in which they toured is today preserved in the Car Museum at the castle. In 1792, Field Marshal Friedrich Karl Wilhelm, Furst zu Hohenlohe was initially placed in command of the 50,000 Austrian forces in the Upper Rhine Valley. In August, his forces crossed the Rhine by Mannheim, and participated in the bombardment of Thionville, on the Moselle, in early September. Although the invading forces of the allies readily captured Longwy on 23 August and slowly marched on to Verdun, which was even less defensible than Longwy. The Duke of Brunswick now began his march on Paris and approached the defiles of the Argonne. In combination with the Army of Conde and Hessian troops, a portion of his force, 15,000, covered the left (southern) flank of the Prussian advance on Valmy.
As a seasoned and experienced officer, he had been chosen as a mentor for the young Archduke Charles, and the archduke was assigned to his force; they were not at Valmy, but could hear the cannonade. The Duke of Brunswick's force was to engage the northern flank of the French army, called the Army of the Sedan, while Hohenlohe-Kirchberg's force engaged the southern flank (Army of the Metz).
In December 1792, Hohenlohe-Kirchberg's forces defended Trier from the Army of the Moselle so well that its commander, General of Division Pierre de Ruel, marquis de Beurnonville, was removed from his command by his superiors in Paris. On 31 December, Hohenlohe-Kirchberg was awarded the Grand Cross of Military Order of Maria Theresa for his success at Trier.
In May 1793, his forces played a decisive role in the victory at the Battle of Famars. He was appointed as General Quarter Master and Chief of Staff to the Coalition's main army in Flanders, succeeding General Karl Mack. As part of the Belgian Corps under Field Marshal Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld he played a decisive role in the action at Avesnes-le-Sec and later at the Battle of Fleurus (1794). Subsequently, Hohenlohe-Kirchberg commanded a corps on the upper Rhine and was responsible for the recapture of Speyer from the French on 17 September 1794. His second in command was Friedrich Karl Wilhelm, F?rst (prince) zu Hohenlohe-IngelfingenIn [later Field Marshal]. Ijn 1801, Prince Friedrich Karl Wilhelm was appointed Colonel (Inhaber) of 7th Dragoon Regiment. Prior to the Capitulation of Ulm, he, Karl Philipp, Prince of Schwarzenberg, and Archduke Ferdinand d'Este broke out of the French cordon surrounding the city and escaped to Bohemia, hotly pursued by the French cavalry. On the 5th of November, he commanded an Austrian cavalry column at the Battle of D?renstein and a few weeks later, he commanded the Austrian cavalry at the Allied defeat at the Battle of Austerlitz. This wonderful sword has its original wire binding over the original leather grip, it is in very good condition indeed and has an excellent blade. No scabbard.
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