1st Century AD Swords

Previous  Up  Next 

Swords History - 1st Century AD

Roman Sword - The first Roman sword was known as Gladius Hispaniensis meaning "Hispanic Sword". This sword was heavily influenced by the Celtic sword (La Tene and Hallstat periods) design that was common among the Celts living in the Iberian Peninsula area. Roman swords differed in designs because they were influenced by the swords common to the lands Rome conquered. Gladius Hispaniensis with time evolved into three primary types of Gladius swords such as Mainz gladius, Fulham gladius and Pompeii gladius. The names of all three are derived from the places the swords were recovered from during archeological digs. All types of Gladius were suitable for cutting, chopping and thrusting. The differences between the swords were subtle. The most peculiar of the Gladius swords was the original one, Gladius Hispanensis as it was heavily influenced by Celtic sword which had a leaf-shaped blade. This sword was the biggest and the heaviest of all the types. The length of the sword varied between 30 to 33 inches. The Mainz type Gladius was used on the frontier. The sword still had some curvature of the earlier version but the blade was shorter and wider and ended with triangular point. The sword's length varied between 25 to 30 inches. The Fulham Gladius was used during the conquest of Britain. The name Fulham is derived from the name Fulham which is one of the boroughs of London near the river Thames. The blade of the Fulham Gladius is narrower than the blade of the Mainz type and it features elongated triangular tip. The sword's length was about the same length as Mainz type. The Pompei Gladius was the shortest of them all. It was also the most popular one. The sword featured a blade with parallel cutting edges and a characteristic triangular tip. The sword measured between 23.6 to 25.6 inches in length. Later the Pompeii Gladius evolved and become longer. These type of swords are referred to as semi-sphata.

Roman Spatha Sword
- The Roman Spathat was a double-edged, straight sword that featured a rounded tip of the blade compared with Roman Gladius sword which had acute triangular tip. The sword measured between 30 to 39 inches in length. The Roman Spatha sword originated from the Celtic sword and it was first used in 1st Century in Germanic auxiliary forces becoming the standard sword of Roman heavy infantry. At the same time, the Roman gladius sword was used by the Roman light infantry.

Sword History | Sword Origin Timeline

Protected by Copyscape Plagiarism Checker - Do not copy content from this page.