Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Gladius

The gladius got its start in the Punic Wars, it was an amalgamation of two Iberian swords, the falcata and the espasa. Though Sprague writes, “the espasa was adopted by the Romans and resembled their double-edged straight short sword, also called the gladius hispanicus, or Spanish sword” (p.230, Sprague) Sprague shows the espasa is what influenced the Romans more than the falcata. 

These blades were the best the Romans had come across in their travels. Polybius said of these swords (both the falcata and espasa) that they had “a point that was as effective for wounding an enemy combatatant as was the edge.” (p.229, Sprague). By the end of the second Punic War, the Roman in effect used the Spanish sword to defeat the Carthaginians and push them out of Spain and put down the Iberians (the Spanish).

More at What song the Sirens sang

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