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Jon K.




Location: US
Joined: 12 Feb 2011

Posts: 47

PostPosted: Mon 10 Feb, 2014 8:20 pm    Post subject: Windlass Roman Eagle Gladius. .I know...I know...         Reply with quote

I am very new to collecting, and I am far from being a history buff. I really want to collect functional weapons from a variety of cultures that possess some degree of historical accuracy. I want something that someone from the era the weapon was from could have recognized and appreciated. Since I am new collecting I can't justify financially, cutting out the guesswork and jumping to the top of the order and getting an Albion or A & A. Not just yet.

So I understand Windlass or MRL make for poor choices for Roman period weapons and armor. Say it ain't so!

I am looking at the on KoA:
http://kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=888006

I know it was made for a movie, and that's always a bad sign I think it got massacred for historical accuracy on another forum reviews. The price and design are so attractive that I find myself wanting to press my luck, here. Is there anything that could make this remotely historically possible? Please forgive my ignorance, but I have to ask. A similar sword design was featured in some period artwork. I think I saw similar scabbard fittings in an excavated piece. (I understand there us a strong possibility I don't have a bleeping clue of what I'm looking at when I say "similar").

I have a feeling about what everyone's answer is. So why ask? Well, I'm not sure how far I can get with collecting if I can't really afford to get what I want at the price I want to pay. What do I want? A strong balance of functionality, intriguing design, historical accuracy, at a price I can justify to my wife. Lol
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Bartek Strojek




Location: Poland
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Feb, 2014 3:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, I'm not really very knowledgeable -

but to my eye, blade is something that could certainly pass as somehow early 'hispanic' type of Roman sword. Or straight out Iberian blade. I can only see overall profile at the Internet, of course...

Hilt is obviously 100% fantasy, looks like something 19th century enthusiast could put on a ancient blade, perhaps.

If that's what you're asking about.
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
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Posts: 2,256

PostPosted: Tue 11 Feb, 2014 3:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

First off....Don't beat yourself up for being a 'newb' to collecting. We all were at some point. The sword you are looking at is a good one to my eye. Solid construction, peened pommel, nice scabbard, modest price. Windlass and CAS/Hanwei are both good entry level sword makers, and Kult of Athena sells them all at the best prices I've seen. They are a great bunch of folks to deal with. But...........BE WARNED.......Sword collecting is more addictive than crystal meth!!! Laughing Out Loud Laughing Out Loud I say, if that's the sword you feel is calling your name....get it. Big Grin Big Grin ..............McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Feb, 2014 4:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Forgot to say........There's been more lost to history than has ever been found. What we, as collectors, deem as 'historically accurate' is only based on period artwork, surviving museum pieces, and speculation. Could this sword have been a reality in the past? Sure it could have been. We're still looking for the Ark of the Covenant, are we not? We've still not found a bone from a giant flying reptile that the ancients called a 'dragon'. Could they be out there? Sure they could. Getting too serious in this field will lead to a certain degree of insanity. Collect what you like---history be damned---and enjoy. Big Grin ...McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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William Swiger




Location: Reston, VA
Joined: 23 Feb 2011
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Feb, 2014 4:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have been collecting mostly historical swords for years with a few fantasy mixed in and that sword has been on my list for awile. Waiting for it to show up on the MRL DoTD.
Non Timebo Mala
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Radovan Geist




Location: Slovakia
Joined: 19 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Feb, 2014 5:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is not my principal era of interest, but I´d say that if you were looking for "A strong balance of functionality, intriguing design, historical accuracy, at a price I can justify to my wife", then this particular piece fails on "accuracy" and maybe "functionality" (just my personal feeling, I haven´t handled it). I cant say about other two factors, as they´re very much subjective:)

Just a side note on "accuracy" - of course we could base our judgements only on what we know about Roman weapons now. You cannot rule out the possibility that things were very much different and they will be unveiled by new discoveries (or never). We can go this way, and many of us (including myself) love to do it, because it´s fun and exciting, but it´s definitely more "fantasy" than "history".

However, if you are into fantasy or movie weapons, you might go for this. It looks fun:)
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,302

PostPosted: Tue 11 Feb, 2014 6:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ave! Welcome to The Hobby, and kiss your money good-bye.

I can only address things from the historical point of view.

Rule #1: Everything in the movies is WRONG. Once in a while something vaguely historical might slip through, but try not to let that spoil your enjoyment of the film.

Next, or maybe first, "history" or "historically accurate" means what we KNOW, from archeology, pictoral evidence, or literary references. It's tricky, and frought with dangers, but it does not include "possible". Once you get really good at this, and have a solid background in a particular culture and those around it, you can start to fill in gaps very tentatively. When new evidence turns up, we can change our idea of history. Happens all the time. And after you've seen a few thousand reproductions, certain features start to pop out at you right away.

And to answer your first question in the simplest way, right, nothing from MRL/Windlass is worth spending your money on if you want something Greek or Roman that is reasonably accurate.

For this particular sword, it's a movie prop. If that turns you on, enjoy! But IF you want something that is reasonably historically accurate (which is as close as you're going to get with anything off-the-shelf), this isn't it. I will say that it's initial appearance is closer than a lot of movie stuff I've seen, and closer than a lot of MRL's stuff! But lemme run through a few details.

The hilt does indeed resemble some seen in artwork, but those are parazonium hilts, not from a gladius. The parazonium is an aristocratic officer's traditional weapon, so it would have been carried by tribunes and legates, not centurions or below. And we don't know as much about it as we'd like, so things like blade shape are still questionable or debated. Probably the hilt was ivory--I don't think any solid metal ones have been found (as legitimate archeological finds--you can find a ton of fakes on ebay!). The eagle head itself looks very American to me, not really Roman, and certainly the way the feathers are done is not Roman.

The blade shape is probably not right for a parazonium. It is a typical Indian-made gladius shape, sort of Mainz mixed with hispaniensis but not quite being either. As I understand it, both of those would have been long out of use by the timeframe of the movie.

Those scabbard parts show up on any number of cheap zinc SLOs (sword-like objects). The sad thing is that the motifs are actually not bad! But they are often cast zinc rather than stamped or embossed brass. Not sure I've ever seen anything quite like that wreathy thing in the middle, though. The suspension loops are wrong, and possibly not strong enough to actually wear the sword for very long.

The "antiqued" look isn't as pronounced on this as it is on some pieces, but it's still baffling. Every piece of officer's equipment--from everything we know about the Romans--would have been silvered, gilded, and polished to shine like crazy. Most of the grunt stuff, too, really (though more tinning and less gold!).

That's what I'm seeing off the top of my head! Bottom line, is it "historically possible"? Well, so are swim fins and tutus! As soon as you start saying "But they COULD have...", you're slipping into fantasy. That's what the movies do. It ain't history. Keep the history and the fantasy firmly separated in your mind, and the whole collecting world will be a much easier place to play. In my mind, never the twain shall meet.

But like I said, if you like the piece, get it! I wouldn't *quite* say "History be damned," I just don't want people to be disappointed when they think they're buying something which they might think is historical, though it isn't.

Have fun!

Matthew
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Bjorn Hagstrom




Location: Höör, Skane
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Feb, 2014 8:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

But what would be the best compromise to get? A not super-expensive, but still reasonably historical roman sword for our Original Poster?

I thing DelTin is a good start, they have roman swords at KoA that will run just shy of 400 USD
That might seem a bit stiff, compared to a Windlass but then you get something that you might actually stay fond of. Whereas if you are indeed hit by the collection bug, you will very soon grow out of the Windlass and want a better piece anyway.

Check out some here:
http://www.kultofathena.com/roman.asp

There is nothing quite as sad as a one man conga-line...
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Phil D.




Location: Texas
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Reading list: 56 books

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PostPosted: Tue 11 Feb, 2014 8:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think that it would work for you as an example of Late Roman Army.... Here is a detail of the Tetrarchs in Venice and description with similar swords.While the construction maybe different the theme is definitely there.

"The Tetrarchs: The emperor Diocletian and his three imperial colleagues. To the left, Diocletian and Maximianus, the two Augusti (co-emperors); to the right, Galerius and Constantius Chlorus, the two Caesars (deputy emperors). Note the woollen "Pannonian" caps commonly worn (out of combat) by officers in the late army as a result of the pervasive influence of the Danubian officer class; and the sword grips with eagle-head pommels. Porphyry statue on the Basilica di San Marco, Venice"

"A bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world." -- Louis Pasteur

"A gentleman should never leave the house without a sharp knife, a good watch, and great hat."
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J. Hargis




Location: Pacific Palisades, California
Joined: 06 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Feb, 2014 8:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jon K.:

The Roman period is new to me as well, I too am moving cautiously.
See link below for a discussion of Valiant Armoury's The Praetorian, etc. I have one on order and will give my opinions upon receipt, which should be very soon per email from VA. It's currently on sale for $280.00 (sharp or not, with shown scabbard) and VA does have a rep. for solid work. A bit more expensive than the movie piece you are considering, but IMO easily worth it.

Regards, Jon H.
discussion: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=27835
VA: http://www.customswordshoppe.com/shoppe/produ...3ea78327u7


[edited for links corrections]

A poorly maintained weapon is likely to belong to an unsafe and careless fighter.


Last edited by J. Hargis on Tue 11 Feb, 2014 8:51 am; edited 3 times in total
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Phil D.




Location: Texas
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Feb, 2014 8:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

By the way,I just realized that the KoA description of the sword states, " All parts are highly detailed and meticulously hand finished in solid metal".

You should contact MRL directly to verify that the hilt and scabbard details are brass and not a cheap zinc alloy.

"A bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world." -- Louis Pasteur

"A gentleman should never leave the house without a sharp knife, a good watch, and great hat."
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Christopher Gregg




Location: Louisville, KY
Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 661

PostPosted: Tue 11 Feb, 2014 9:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've got all three "Celtic" weapons of this series - I'm afraid the hilts are all "brass" finished mystery metal (zinc?). The steel blades are all properly tempered, and peened to the hilt, though. Scabbards aren't too bad for the price point. I'd bet the Roman weapons are the same.
Christopher Gregg

'S Rioghal Mo Dhream!
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,302

PostPosted: Tue 11 Feb, 2014 9:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bjorn Hagstrom wrote:
But what would be the best compromise to get? A not super-expensive, but still reasonably historical roman sword for our Original Poster?


Oh, right! Sorry, should have mentioned. There are some options on my humble site,

http://www.larp.com/legioxx/gladius.html

Whoops again, I'm an idiot and have neglected to update that page, ack! Well, the Find-It Armory sword is still the cheapest "starter" sword that my group would accept as reasonably accurate. Probably a bit on the clunky side, but even the more expensive ones can be too heavy. It's about 80 bucks.

Deepeeka offers several reasonable gladii, including 2 Pompeii types:

http://www.deepeeka.in/index.php?route=shop/Roman-Gladiatoria.186

AH4211N and AH4211E both seem decent, though I would shy away from the older version, AH4211 (without a letter!). 3311 and 3309 are terrible. They have 2 Mainz swords, 2009 and 2005--both look good in the photos (with some caveats, always...), but I haven't seen the most recent versions up close. A few years ago they were just massive, with oversized scabbards, but maybe they've trimmed them down by now. All in the range of $150, cheaper than the MRL one and more accurate.

As eye-catching as the Valiant Arms "Praetorian" may be, I still would not call it accurate, I'm afraid. Lovely piece, yes, but...

Phil, that sculpture of the Tetrarchs is exactly what people look at for eagle-head hilts! It's very late, of course, and the blades and scabbards are very different from that MRL piece. (You can't see the blades in the sculpture, of course, but blades from that era are nothing like first or second-century ones!)

Happy shopping!

Matthew
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Jon K.




Location: US
Joined: 12 Feb 2011

Posts: 47

PostPosted: Tue 11 Feb, 2014 12:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Moore wrote:
Forgot to say........There's been more lost to history than has ever been found. What we, as collectors, deem as 'historically accurate' is only based on period artwork, surviving museum pieces, and speculation. Could this sword have been a reality in the past? Sure it could have been. We're still looking for the Ark of the Covenant, are we not? We've still not found a bone from a giant flying reptile that the ancients called a 'dragon'. Could they be out there? Sure they could. Getting too serious in this field will lead to a certain degree of insanity. Collect what you like---history be damned---and enjoy. Big Grin ...McM


I think there is allot of wisdom in this. Most of us will never hold a surviving original piece. All we can really do is pontificate on accuracy by the facts that remain. I almost wonder if all the minutia we debate about as far historical accuracy would be noticable by the people of the period. Imagine showing certain functional replicas to people of the period that people deem as historically inaccurate. We would sit back and wait for their jeers in High German, Latin, ect.. In fact they something, like "Hey nice sword. Who made this"

But again...the above scenario is a fantasy. At the end of the day I'm not interested in a fantasy sword...or so I think. I think due to my lack of education on the subject, allot of fantasy swords catch my attention, because that is what they are made to do.
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Jon K.




Location: US
Joined: 12 Feb 2011

Posts: 47

PostPosted: Tue 11 Feb, 2014 12:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Amt wrote:
Ave! Welcome to The Hobby, and kiss your money good-bye.


Bottom line, is it "historically possible"? Well, so are swim fins and tutus! As soon as you start saying "But they COULD have...", you're slipping into fantasy. That's what the movies do. It ain't history. Keep the history and the fantasy firmly separated in your mind, and the whole collecting world will be a much easier place to play. In my mind, never the twain shall meet.


Matthew


This is also really good advise for me. Unfortunately, it will make collecting a lot more frustrating for me. Although most of the weapons I get will seldom come off the wall, most won't do anything beyond test cut the shipping box they came in. I might do some mat cutting, but that's an afterthought. However, even if they stay on the wall, I want to look at them and pick them up know they they are functional, functional, historical pieces of art, that catch the eye. I could get a "SOL" but that's defeating the whole purpose of why I want to collect.

So now, I will have to decide whether for me, it might be worth it to pay the money for the criterea that I have just mentioned. I may have to compromise, but I haven't decided what or how much I am willing to compromise.
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Jon K.




Location: US
Joined: 12 Feb 2011

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PostPosted: Tue 11 Feb, 2014 12:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Phil D. wrote:
I think that it would work for you as an example of Late Roman Army.... Here is a detail of the Tetrarchs in Venice and description with similar swords.While the construction maybe different the theme is definitely there.

"The Tetrarchs: The emperor Diocletian and his three imperial colleagues. To the left, Diocletian and Maximianus, the two Augusti (co-emperors); to the right, Galerius and Constantius Chlorus, the two Caesars (deputy emperors). Note the woollen "Pannonian" caps commonly worn (out of combat) by officers in the late army as a result of the pervasive influence of the Danubian officer class; and the sword grips with eagle-head pommels. Porphyry statue on the Basilica di San Marco, Venice"


This was one of a few photos that made me believe that this design could be possible.
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Jon K.




Location: US
Joined: 12 Feb 2011

Posts: 47

PostPosted: Tue 11 Feb, 2014 12:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bjorn Hagstrom wrote:
But what would be the best compromise to get? A not super-expensive, but still reasonably historical roman sword for our Original Poster?

I thing DelTin is a good start, they have roman swords at KoA that will run just shy of 400 USD
That might seem a bit stiff, compared to a Windlass but then you get something that you might actually stay fond of. Whereas if you are indeed hit by the collection bug, you will very soon grow out of the Windlass and want a better piece anyway.

Check out some here:
http://www.kultofathena.com/roman.asp


Is there a consensus, opinion, confirmation of the Del Tin Roman swords?
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J. Hargis




Location: Pacific Palisades, California
Joined: 06 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Feb, 2014 12:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jon K.:
Quote:
Most of us will never hold a surviving original piece. All we can really do is pontificate on accuracy by the facts that remain. I almost wonder if all the minutia we debate about as far historical accuracy would be noticable by the people of the period. Imagine showing certain functional replicas to people of the period that people deem as historically inaccurate. We would sit back and wait for their jeers in High German, Latin, ect.. In fact they something, like "Hey nice sword. Who made this"
Well said, sir. I find it odd to think that every piece should be judged by the statistically minute number that have found their way into museums.
Jon H.

A poorly maintained weapon is likely to belong to an unsafe and careless fighter.
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Jon K.




Location: US
Joined: 12 Feb 2011

Posts: 47

PostPosted: Tue 11 Feb, 2014 12:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Amt wrote:
Bjorn Hagstrom wrote:
But what would be the best compromise to get? A not super-expensive, but still reasonably historical roman sword for our Original Poster?


Oh, right! Sorry, should have mentioned. There are some options on my humble site,

http://www.larp.com/legioxx/gladius.html

Whoops again, I'm an idiot and have neglected to update that page, ack! Well, the Find-It Armory sword is still the cheapest "starter" sword that my group would accept as reasonably accurate. Probably a bit on the clunky side, but even the more expensive ones can be too heavy. It's about 80 bucks.

Deepeeka offers several reasonable gladii, including 2 Pompeii types:

http://www.deepeeka.in/index.php?route=shop/Roman-Gladiatoria.186

AH4211N and AH4211E both seem decent, though I would shy away from the older version, AH4211 (without a letter!). 3311 and 3309 are terrible. They have 2 Mainz swords, 2009 and 2005--both look good in the photos (with some caveats, always...), but I haven't seen the most recent versions up close. A few years ago they were just massive, with oversized scabbards, but maybe they've trimmed them down by now. All in the range of $150, cheaper than the MRL one and more accurate.

As eye-catching as the Valiant Arms "Praetorian" may be, I still would not call it accurate, I'm afraid. Lovely piece, yes, but...

Phil, that sculpture of the Tetrarchs is exactly what people look at for eagle-head hilts! It's very late, of course, and the blades and scabbards are very different from that MRL piece. (You can't see the blades in the sculpture, of course, but blades from that era are nothing like first or second-century ones!)

Happy shopping!

Matthew


It was the above article that made me second guess the purchase and I ask in these forums. You clearly are very knowledgeble but I was secretly hoping that there would be a bunch of experts in these forums that would tell me that you smoked crack. Laughing Out Loud

On a serious note, sir, you clearly know more than I will ever know on the arms and armor of ancient Rome. So, please don't misunderstand this for being argumentative. It's really trying to get my thick head around the truth:

Depeeka? Don't they have a "not so hot" reputation as far as the swords they build. Their swords, including all of their Roman lineup, are very very heavy. Sometimes double the weight of Albion and Arms & Armor, which are supposed to be the some of the more historically accurate reproductions. (unless I am mistaken). I would also imagine that they would be very difficult to sharpen. KoA doesn't offer sharpening for Depeeka models, because they are much thicker than all the other models around and above their price range. Wouldn't this affect the handling and the function of the sword to do what it was historically designed to do? Again, I'm not arguing. I appreciate your advise, and I'm trying to understand. For my purposes, part of something being a historical value of the sword is its ability to function as a...y'know...sword?

Thank you in particuar, Mathew, for putting that article out there. Even if it killed Santa Claus. Razz
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

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PostPosted: Tue 11 Feb, 2014 12:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J. Hargis wrote:
Jon K.:
Quote:
Most of us will never hold a surviving original piece. All we can really do is pontificate on accuracy by the facts that remain. I almost wonder if all the minutia we debate about as far historical accuracy would be noticable by the people of the period. Imagine showing certain functional replicas to people of the period that people deem as historically inaccurate. We would sit back and wait for their jeers in High German, Latin, ect.. In fact they something, like "Hey nice sword. Who made this"
Well said, sir. I find it odd to think that every piece should be judged by the statistically minute number that have found their way into museums.
Jon H.


But that's exactly what historical accuracy is all about! Though it is far from a minute number, and museums have very few of the examples we study. And even if the total number is a "statistically minute" sample, from what we can tell it is generally a good cross-section of what actually was used 2000 years ago. There are often surprising consistencies, and the artifacts agree with what we see in artwork. New finds usually fall right into the recognizable categories (though of course modern typologies can be too restrictive!). Sometimes they are new and different in some way, in which case we can expand our definitions or otherwise change our tune. I love it when new stuff turns up! But I worry about the whole premise of "We've only found 0.01% of what existed", because it gets used as an excuse to make stuff up and call it "historical". Which it isn't. Just trying to explain where I'm coming from!

That all said, I've done fantasy stuff! And with my obsession with history, I can't avoid "historically inspired" fantasy, either. And yes, there are definitely compromises with every piece you buy or make! You just have to go with what you are personally satisfied with. (Aim a little high, actually, to give yourself a margin for error!) My concern is that people should not confuse "historically inspired" with "historical", or try to rationalize one into the other. Leave them in separate mental boxes. And enjoy!

Matthew
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