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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 24 Aug, 2012 8:39 am    Post subject: Sword of St. Peter         Reply with quote

In Christian tradition, the apostle Peter used a sword to sever the ear of a man in the party sent to arrest Jesus. This sets up the point that Jesus immediately restored and healed the ear of his tormentor, so this act of violence is very important to the story. It is, therefore, prominent in Christian artwork. 15th/16th c. Austrian paintings of the arrest of Jesus and the preceeding night vigil in the garden of Gethsemane typically identify Peter by prominent inclusion of his weapon--typically a messer but sometimes a short sword. I'm intrigued by these little swords, and have long wanted to make one.

My son turns 5 next week, and has often asked for a "real" sword of his own. He's getting one for this milestone! Thinking about the small scale, I took my general inspiration from the various swords of St. Peter and other Austrian/German weapons of the late 15th/early 16th c. The blunted blade is from Atlanta Cutlery. I could have mounted it with steel cross and pommel but I wanted this to feel like a sword, not a dagger. I also wanted the balance to help in keeping the point down for safety reasons. That argued for wooden cross and pommel and also demanded "blackening" of those parts. The balance is a couple of inches below the cross. True to Peter's various utilitarian weapons in the paintings, I wanted to include a toy by-knife and appropriate scabbard and suspension. The result is below. More photos as I'm able to get them.



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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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P. Frank




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PostPosted: Fri 24 Aug, 2012 9:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What a wonderful idea, and what a wonderful sword. I am looking forward to more pictures of it.
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Fri 24 Aug, 2012 9:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What a neat story, and a handsome knife/sword.

Heck, when I was a kid, all I had were freakin' sticks for swords!

I know you son will love it. Happy
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Matthew G.M. Korenkiewicz




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PostPosted: Fri 24 Aug, 2012 12:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

St. Peter had a sword ?
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 24 Aug, 2012 12:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew G.M. Korenkiewicz wrote:
St. Peter had a sword ?


This is interesting:

http://www.loveyourenemies.org/sword.html

But it overlooks the most obvious possibility: That the "swords" in question would have been considered essential not for fighting, but for the rough living Jesus was calling his followers into--requiring butchery of game and other food preparation, campsite preparation, defense against animals, maybe. I would guess that the medieval Austrian depiction of very practical, multi-purpose, medium-size knives for Peter is informed by their better understanding of what men would carry in such conditions.

I should point out that we are, without question, ruling out the kinds of double-edged short swords shown in the medieval artwork. Those that inspired my project are medieval weapons. My post topic refers exclusively to the medieval depictions of St. Peter.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Mick Jarvis




Location: Australia
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PostPosted: Fri 24 Aug, 2012 3:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

dont worry about the swords, why is the guy in all the pictures making out with jesus?
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Ryan S.





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PostPosted: Fri 24 Aug, 2012 3:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Judas is betraying Jesus with a kiss, which was and still is a common greeting among male friends in some cultures.

back to the sword, the love your enemy site is not very scholarly. So would anyone know what type of sword could be meant? Lets leave the theological debate for another forum, but what would a sword of the period look like?
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Scott Woodruff





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PostPosted: Fri 24 Aug, 2012 4:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ryan, the word used most often in the original Greek is "Machaira." This suggests a short, single-edged sword. Such swords are often portrayed in Greek and Roman art in the context of butchering large fish such as tuna, so that would make a lot of sense considering Simon Peter's profession.
Sean, that is a sword any adult would be proud to own, I can only imagine how much your son will appreciate it.
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Michael Harley




Location: Melbourne, Australia
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PostPosted: Fri 24 Aug, 2012 5:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Then there is this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sword_of_Saint_Peter

Of course about as likely as someone finding the 'authentic' Hammer of Thor.



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Information is not knowledge, Knowledge is not wisdom, Wisdom is not truth - Frank Zappa
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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Fri 24 Aug, 2012 6:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If anyone wants some earlier examples for their own sons--

The Taymouth Hours from the second quarter of the 14th century:
http://molcat1.bl.uk/IllImages/BLCD/big/c668/c6681-02.jpg

Bonmont Psalter from c. 1260:
http://www.culture.gouv.fr/Wave/savimage/enlu...3226-p.jpg

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Josh Wilson




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PostPosted: Fri 24 Aug, 2012 6:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew G.M. Korenkiewicz wrote:
St. Peter had a sword ?


Luke 22

"36He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. 37It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’b; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”

38The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.”

“That is enough,” he replied."


"47While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, 48but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

49When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” 50And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.

51But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him."
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 24 Aug, 2012 7:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

thanks for the kind words and extra info! love the tuna connection!
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Mick Jarvis




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PostPosted: Fri 24 Aug, 2012 10:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ryan S. wrote:
Judas is betraying Jesus with a kiss, which was and still is a common greeting among male friends in some cultures.

back to the sword, the love your enemy site is not very scholarly. So would anyone know what type of sword could be meant? Lets leave the theological debate for another forum, but what would a sword of the period look like?


Cheers mate, forgot all about that part
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Daniel Wallace




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PostPosted: Sat 25 Aug, 2012 11:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

ryan,

i've always seen the "sword" describe as possibly roman as at this time Judea was a part of the roman empire. but the word "sword" is a little hard for me to understand given the time and place. Judea was the hot bed of resistance at the time of Christ, i'd image a common Jew at the time would have a very hard time getting their hands on a sword. (but then again Peter was a roman citizen)

by the way the 'kiss' described is not something out of the ordinary at the time. a kiss may be a simple form of greeting form the time. it's simply a hand shake.
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Sat 25 Aug, 2012 7:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean,

Can you show us a picture of the blade?
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Scott Woodruff





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PostPosted: Sun 26 Aug, 2012 1:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel, passages in Luke do suggest that it was indeed illegal to carry a sword at night in Judea. As I pointed out above, the word Machaira is the most used word (29 times) for sword in the New Testament of the Bible. This suggests a machete-like instrument that would have been as much a tool as weapon. The other word used is Romphaia ( 7 times.)
The Romphaia was iirc a Dacian weapon with a long recurved blade. The words Gladius and Xiphos are never used, so it is unlikely that Simon Peter carried one of these.
Sean, I would really like to see the entire sword unsheathed also.
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William P




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PostPosted: Mon 27 Aug, 2012 2:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i had a hunch about this and it seems i may very well be right to an extent which backs up the idea ha this 'swoord was mabe more like a machhete / large brush knife

in modern greek he word for knife is μαχαίρι ( machaíri) it seems likely that it is like the german messer and chinese dao
i.e a class of sword that evolved from large knives
it seems very likely the machaira is maybe in the same league

another example of such a evolution is the cutlass, admittedly much later sword with similar evolution in terms of the word and the form of the item that became the 'sword'

Quote:
The word cutlass developed from a 17th-century English variation of coutelas, a 16th-century French word for a machete-like blade (modern French for "knife", in general, is "couteau" The word is often spelt "cuttoe" in 17th and 18th century English). The French word is itself a corruption of the Italian coltellaccio, or "large knife," derived ultimately from Latin cultellus meaning "small knife."
source: wikipedia

also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maguro_b%C5%8Dch%C5%8D yet another example this one is a fish preparing knife.
Quote:
Maguro bōchō (マグロ包丁, lit. "tuna knife") or Maguro kiri bōchō (マグロ切り包丁, lit. "tuna cutter") is an extremely long, highly specialized knife used in Japan to fillet tuna and other large fish.

The maguro bōchō is a longer knife with a blade length of 40 cm (16 inches) to 150 cm (60 inches) in addition to a long handle. It can fillet a tuna in a single cut, although usually two people are needed to handle the knife and the tuna. The flexible blade is curved to the shape of the spine to minimize the amount of meat remaining on the tuna carcass.


im seeing this pattern over and over again and while this last one IS japanese, since this is for cutting up largish fish i seems possible peter would have something that was not dissimilar in his array of tools.

and makes me think that the 'makhaira' of st peter was likely a kind of machete like knife that was particularly long or some sort of elongated meat cleaver.

maybe we should look and see what kind of cutlery was used by the peoples of the holy land around that time... paticularly looking machete like blades for brushwork or for butchering a carcass or cutting up a particularly large fish..
to find out the potential options of what peters sword might have looked like


it seems like its a silly idea for peter to fork out money for a MILITARY issue makhaira especially since the machaira was a weapon of the greek and hellenistic armies or the iberians in the form of the falcata... and probably didnt exist by the early 1st century AD

also such a more 'military' issue sword would only serve to draw unwanted attention from the authorities.
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Scott Woodruff





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PostPosted: Mon 27 Aug, 2012 3:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"Machaira" does indeed mean "cutter" or "chopper." I don't have links to pics offhand, but the machaira continues to be depicted in art around the eastern half of the mediterranian right into the Roman period. They sometimes had quite extensive guards, sometimes almost forming a knucklebow, similar to what one sees on the "Cherusker." http://www.albion-swords.com/swords/albion/ne...rusker.htm Sometimes the pommel end of the grip is depicted as a spiral, like a snail-shell. It seems that the blades were only about 40-50cm long, often with a bit of a kukri-like double-curve.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 27 Aug, 2012 7:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's the "exploded" view of the kit. There are some rust stains on the blade because I let it languish in a drawer for too long. Sad Not the first time that's happened, which is why I'm building what I'm referring to as a "cutler's stand" to hold all of my bare blades, keeping them high, dry and out of contact with each other and the assorted junk of my workshop.

Including shipping for the blade, I would guess I have about $25 invested here. The blade is the AC 12" Arkansas Toothpick ($15). http://www.atlantacutlery.com/p-923-arkansas-...de-12.aspx The pommel is from a little bag of hardwood spheres found at Hobby Lobby. The cross is an oak dowel. Grip is poplar w/ cord-marked goatskin wrap. The byknife is poplar/goat, with a single cord riser. Belt is cut from a piece of LONG strapping from Hobby Lobby. Even at this small scale, you need a very long belt for this knot.



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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)


Last edited by Sean Flynt on Mon 27 Aug, 2012 7:24 am; edited 2 times in total
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P. Frank




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PostPosted: Mon 27 Aug, 2012 7:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very nice! I would probably have fallen into a joyous coma out of sheer excitement had I gotten such a present as a kid. Laughing Out Loud
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