Nielo Swords Battle Ready
Roman Long-Bladed Gladius - NS014

Roman Long-Bladed Gladius

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Overall Length: 30 1/4'' Blade: 22 1/8''

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Weight: 2 lb 3.6 oz
Edge:  Sharp
P.O.B.: 4 3/8''
Thickness: 6.2 mm - 3.5 mm
Width: 49.2 mm
Grip Length: 4''
Pommel: Peened

The Roman Army often receives deserved praise as an early example of military professionalism and was more akin to a modern army in organizational thought than most of their contemporaries and certainly more professionalized than the entirety of Medieval forces until the Renaissance. Many parallels can be drawn to the Roman Army and a modern military force, but sometimes these parallels can be taken too far. Namely the belief that Roman military equipment was standardized, organized and issued like the arms of modern militaries. The truth is that in a vast empire such as Rome, the standard equipment issued to Legion varied by local tastes, available material and time period.

The Gladius, for example was never a completely ‘’standardized’’ sword, at least not to the strictures demanded of modern equipment. Length and style of blade varied with some manufacturing centers preferring a style over another. A common debate among Roman historians is just when did the Roman Army give up the short Gladius for the longer Spatha sword? The question is made especially difficult when one considers that the longest Gladius swords have a greater blade length than the shorter examples of the Spatha. Clearly there is no definitive ‘’end of pattern’’ date that would be found among modern military arms, rather, there was a slow and geographically uneven progression toward a longer sword for the Roman infantryman. Whether this was done due to a change in tactics or the increased use of foreign auxiliaries and ‘’barbarian’’ legionary recruits ( or both) is a debatable topic among historians and enthusiasts.

Although it is useful to a degree to categorize all Roman short swords as Gladius and all longer swords as Spatha this initially helpful and generic categorization overlooks many examples of both types that do not neatly fit into defined categories. As mentioned earlier, the size and lengths of both could vary considerably. Notable among these outliers are the Gladius swords of the ‘’Lauriacum / Hromowka’’ style - essentially a longer, ‘’beefier’’ Gladius, these cross into the sizes of the Spatha, but their styling and blade profile appear to have retained many of the elements of the Gladius. These swords largely date from the late 2nd and early 3rd Century AD.

Although it may or may not have been the craftsman’s intention, this replica Gladius could be said to be somewhat representative of the ‘’Lauriacum / Hromowka’’ style - in the fact that it is essentially a long-bladed ‘’beefier’’ Gladius. Although the blade is not as wide as the the ‘’Lauriacum / Hromowka’’ types, the sharply tapered, triangular tip is more representative of the Gladius than the more gradually tapered Spatha. The hilt is also in the form of the classic Gladius, though the grip is noticeably longer than a typical Gladius.

ITEM INFO - This long-bladed Gladius was hand-crafted in the Czech Republic by Nielo Swords. The blade is of sharp, high carbon steel and the hilt is of carved wood. The guard and pommel plates are of steel.

These are handmade items and all measurements may vary slightly.

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