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32
votes
7answers
4k views

When were swords last used in European warfare?

Specifically, I'm interested in the last documented occurrence of swords (of any sort) being used as a primary weapon by infantrymen or cavalrymen in Western warfare. That is, when did any European or ...
20
votes
1answer
479 views

When did the Romans begin using the sword, as opposed to the axe, for decapitation?

According to this article, the Romans first used the axe for decapitation, and then moved to using the sword later. The article states: [B]eheading, a mode of executing capital punishment by which ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

In the Medieval period, how long would an average swordsmith need to forge an average sword?

Based on this question over in RPG, I'm trying to figure out how long it took to forge a sword in the Medieval/Renaissance smith to make swords. I am recalling a figure of about 9-12 months per ...
15
votes
1answer
618 views

How were small swords worn in the 18th century?

Quick summary: How was the small sword (or dress sword) fastened to the body? What are the different ways of wearing it? Looking at many drawings from this period, a good bunch of them depicts men ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

How do Tamahagane, Damascus, and Toledo Steel compare?

Has a comparison been made of the qualities of Samurai (Tamahagane), Damascus and Toledo steel (rather than the swords)? I've seen claims for each being better than the others. If it's on topic, I'm ...
12
votes
1answer
353 views

Are the swords in the Oath of Horatii all Roman?

In looking at the Oath of Horatii image I can see three swords in the hand of the father, I see what looks to be a gladius in the center, but the two swords on either side of it do not look to be ...
7
votes
1answer
268 views

Evidence of cross contamination between Japanese and Western sword fighting styles?

Are there any documented cases of cross pollination between western sword fighting techniques and Japanese ones? Such cross contamination could have happened during the Sengoku-jidai. This period ...
5
votes
1answer
279 views

When did blade fuller appear?

A fuller is the rounded or beveled groove or slot in the flat side of a blade which make the blade lighter -- not as some suggest a blood groove. When did the practice start? I suspect it was a ...
4
votes
2answers
237 views

Which came first, the shield or the sword? [closed]

According to the history stated in Wikipedia: The oldest form of shield was a protection device designed to block attacks by hand weapons, such as swords, axes and maces, or ranged weapon ...
3
votes
1answer
66 views

Master title for fencing

When and where did the practice of calling either a fencing teacher or a great swordsman "master" originates from? I am interested mainly in European primary sources, the older the better.