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J. Scott Moore





Joined: 25 Nov 2008

Posts: 75

PostPosted: Sat 31 Jan, 2009 9:00 pm    Post subject: Which came first, the claymore, or the smallsword?         Reply with quote

Firstly.... **First New Topic Dance!!**... ahem...

ok, if the claymore, or the Claidheam mor, as is its Gaelic name, was what the Scots called the "basket hilt broadsword" (according to Dale Seago of Sword Forum International [not wishing to cast doubt on the honorable Mr. Seago, I merely wish to add credit to my words.]) developed after the small sword? I know the blade was probably first, but what of the 'basket'? mitght it have been developed as a defense to the more agile sword? perhaps simply to better defend the hand against heavy blows from a larger weapon? I would like to know, it would make sense to me, since the gaelic means "big sword" it would make sense to me that it was a later development, if only slightly. I have found searching the internet for clues maddeningly unhelpful and would appreciate any input.
here's the link to the page I found this info on. (credit where credit is due) http://swordforum.com/articles/hes/highlandscots.php

again, any input would be helpful, and appreciated.

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J. Scott Moore





Joined: 25 Nov 2008

Posts: 75

PostPosted: Sat 31 Jan, 2009 9:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

forgot to mention, I tend to be easily distracted, so... I may have missed something glaringly obvious to everyone else... like earliest useage dates... but I still can't find anything myself, either through inattention, or........ *looks away from the screen*shiny*snaps back to reality*......... distraction.
I also have not slept for 48 hours due to the nature of the hours that I work.

"Whoever desires peace, let him prepare for war."
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat 31 Jan, 2009 9:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's not usually possible to date a specific point in time when one type of sword popped onto the scene, as these types of weapons developed over time.

Having said that, the British basket-hilt (I won't call it a "claymore") can be found in the early 16th century. Notable examples of early samples is ix.3615 at the Royal Armouries, Leeds, dating circa 1520. Another is the so-called Mary Rose hilt, c. 1545.

These pre-date any sword that I'd specifically call a smallsword.

You can read what Steve Maly says about the term claymore in his Albion Chieftain Review.

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J. Scott Moore





Joined: 25 Nov 2008

Posts: 75

PostPosted: Sat 31 Jan, 2009 9:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

it seems i may have inadvertantly twisted words.... thank you.
"Whoever desires peace, let him prepare for war."
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat 31 Jan, 2009 9:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A lot of people call, correctly or not, the British basket-hilt a claymore. it's a term with a lot of history behind it. I suppose in many ways, it's our own challenge to decide if the history behind the term is compelling enough for us to continue to use it for this type of sword or not. I find that it is not clear and ends up being more confusing that specific so I don't use it for these types of swords, but mileage varies Happy
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