RomanArmyTalk

Full Version: Mystery Sword
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
This sword was found several years ago in Egypt, dated to roughly the first century B.C. It is long, with a 773 mm long blade. The shape strikes me as a cousin of the hispaniensis. The pommel is a Celtic style knob shape, but made of Ebony. It also has a hilt of a simple red linen wrapping. No guard remains, though that isn't to say there wasn't one. Very little info on it in the archaeological field, but even that is speculation.
So speculate a little more my friends, what is this sword?
If I remember correctly, the excavators of this sword were in fact quite hesitant to call it a gladius hispaniensis style sword. I have fewer compunctions. I would say that it was a long gladius, possibly designed for cavalry use. It may have been in Ptolemaic, rather than Roman service. It joins the Jericho gladius and the Fayum scutum as evidence for Roman weapon designs in the Late Hellenistic East.
I would agree with you Michael that it is undoubtedly a gladius of sorts however do to the range of dates given for this particular sword (1st century BC-1st century AD) it is hard to know if it was Roman used. It makes me wonder about the usage of particular sword types in the late Hellenistic era, given there are ao few actual finds
FYI here is the publication by Guy Steibel of the Jericho gladius, another long, Roman style sword, but in either a Seleucid or Hasmonean context:

https://www.academia.edu/644700/_A_Helle...m_Jericho_
Thanks for the link. Do you know of anywhere I could see a picture or some report of the Defenna Egypt sword that is continuously referred to?
I have not seen a picture of this. I believe it is in the Petrie Museum in London. Perhaps someone on the forum knows more.
Thanks, both, for interesting posts. I shall have to go to the Petrie Museum next time I'm in London.

Here's an image of the Defenna sword.
The Defenna sword was bought rather then found "the seller stated that it came from defenna"... see here, Tools and Weapons Petrie:

text:
http://dlib.nyu.edu/awdl/books/toolsweap...u00petr/33

photo of blade with parts of a handle:
http://dlib.nyu.edu/awdl/books/toolsweap...00petr/197

There is also another very similar sword from Memphis in "Meydum and Memphis (III)" found on site and at the time thought to be a Persian weapon but that was a long time ago....
The Defenna report can be found here, includes some parts of swords and armour...
text:
Tanis, part 2

illustrations of swords and armour

although this doesn't include the previously mentioned sword said to be from this site..... it does include part of another No17 .... there seems to be some link between the Hellenistic pottery, remains of armour and iron working found on this site...