Typically these days there are so many versions and classifications and names for swords its hard to really understand where they are stand. I have put together a very simple breakdown for you and hope you learn something before
purchasing your next sword.
First and foremost, are the ASIAN SWORDS. These are probably the most common and well known type of sword around the globe. Martial artists all over the world have used Asian swords for centuries. These swords include straight, double edged and single edged and other weapons like Sais and Tantos. The most impressive of this group is the Japanese sword or katana. A katana is a single edged, slight curved sword able to slice a person in half with one clean swing.
The next step in our online sword tour is the EGYPTIAN SWORD. The Egyptian people were notorious for their bronze daggers and dirks. They favored longer ranged weapons like spears and pikes and the bow and arrow so if they were to use their swords, it was
definitely a life or death situation. The most famous of the Egyptian swords is the sickle, called a Khopesh, because it was used to completely cut the head off of their enemies.
Continuing with our sword education is the RAPIER. Also called a foil, rapiers have been around since the 16th century. Rapiers are long and have slender blades with a very sharp point. They were used to duel their opponents using a thrusting action to stab their enemy. Today, rapiers or foils are mostly used for the sport of fencing which was invented in the late 16th century after rapiers were made for civilians.
As we move up the list, the swords also get larger which leads us to the 2 Handed Swords and Claymores. You may also see these large 2 handers referred to as a Flamberge, named by German officers in the 1600's. By the mid 1500's sword fighting was becoming the dominate way to do battle. The Claymore, or great sword was the primary weapon of choice for the Scottish Highlanders. The only difference between the Claymore and Flamberge is the serrated edges bestowed upon the Flamberge. The German officers believed the serrated edges would not only slow down an opponents sword but also leave a nastier wound on their counterpart.
We now start to get to some of my favorite swords which are the BASTARD AND LONGSWORDS. The classic war sword usually measures about 4 feet tall and have a double edged blade. There is also usually nothing special about the hilt as most Longswords have a simple cross section hit and guard. The Bastard sword, or "hand and half" is very
similar but slightly longer. The extra length on the handle was meant to get extra power in the swing.
Lets now move on to the SABERS AND SCIMITARS. These are some of my personal favorites because these swords are unique. Measuring around 3-4 feet long, these were extremely popular with the military and
Calvary soldiers. These swords were also adapted by Pirates and medieval peasants. The biggest reason these swords were so abundant is because the wider curved point of the Saber were effective against the heavier armors of the times.
That leaves us with the most popular SHORT SWORDS. The short sword was adopted by the legions of Rome. They are only about 2 feet long but they were meant to be used with a medieval shield. There are many variations of the short sword including the Spartan sword, Gladius swords, Celtic swords and more. These swords are typically lighter weight and perfect for home decoration.
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