Full Version: Gladius or Spatha
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What do you think ?
What er where / which one !?

Nice collection of items, but as usual no picture of the rear of the muscled cuirass !
sorry ..13th from last :oops:
I'd assume that it was a mix. The blade seems to be a little wider than many of the spatha that I've seen, so I can see why someone would assume it might be a Mainz style gladius. It does look like the blade could be more than 19 or 20 inches or so...if there was a date for the estimated age of the sword that might be helpful in identifying the type. It seems like a longer Mainz gladius.

Just a thought!

I am of the opinion that it is a gladius. Just by looking at it, it does not appear to be long enough and not even narrow enough to be a spatha.

It does not appear to be wasped waisted enough to be a Mainz pattern gladius. The point sems to be a bit more tappered than a Pompeii pattern gladius, so with out exact measurements, by guess is that it is a Fulham pattern gladius.


I agree a date would be helpful but it looked mightily Hispaniensis to me.

Its the taper to the point and the blade length which is reminicient of the Moures Hispaniensis.
The hilt is too advanced for a Gladius Hispaniensis. Moreover, the blade rather tapers, instead of being just slightly waisted... :?
I'd rather go with the Museum tag and put the spatha in a 3rd AD context, if not 4th...
More opinions?


The Moures sword is straight sided and tapers in the same way.

3rd AD. That surprises me. It just looks earlier to me. Its something about the hilt which doesn't look late to me. The small pommel and the apparent width of the blade dont make it look Spatha-y to me.

Its a shame I dont have a better pikky of teh blade as it looks ribbed to me.
IMHO, the copper-alloy and ivory hilt is very similar to some 3rd century ones recovered at Thorsberg.
A midrib?, well it depends on how do you look at it.. I'd say that the cross-section is an 'exaggerated' lozenge Tongue


I cant find any illustrations from Thorsberg any handy ?

I did find a Vomose drawing with a ribbed blade of similar shape so thanks for pointing me in that direction Big Grin

You're welcome, Conal! Big Grin
Unfortunately, I havent got images of the Thorsberg hilts at hand to post here! Sad
I'd rather go for a Straubing/Nydam type of spatha (not on the High Imperial sense) :?

My initial reaction was a gladius hispaniensis. Perhaps it's a transition type from hispaniensis to Mainz? That also looks like a midrib running the length of the blade, to me.
Quote:Unfortunately, I havent got images of the Thorsberg hilts at hand to post here! Sad

Anything in HERE?
Robert, nothing, after a quick glance... Sad Lots of swords but all of them having the typical Germanic 'hourglass' hilts!
Beautiful site, full of pics, many thanks! Big Grin

Quote:Lots of swords but all of them having the typical Germanic 'hourglass' hilts!
How about the first images (left) here: Iron Age artifacts (circa 500BC-800AD), or this one from Temporary exhibition: Sejrens Triumph (stone age to late Roman Iron age)?