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Raymond Deancona





Joined: 04 Mar 2004

Posts: 429

PostPosted: Sat 21 Mar, 2015 6:28 am    Post subject: Roman” Sword from Soknopaiou Nesos         Reply with quote

Found this article and wanted to share. Very different looking Roman sword.

http://art-of-swords.tumblr.com/post/11412583...sword-from
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Matthew Amt




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

Posts: 1,302

PostPosted: Sat 21 Mar, 2015 10:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you!! Goodness, that's quite an article, gonna have to spend some time going through it. The pommel certainly lit me up. And the blade is really long, over 30 inches. Wild! Also interesting to see them admit the lack of certainty about what later Hellenistic swords were like--good to know it isn't just me...

Thanks again!

Matthew
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Shahril Dzulkifli




Location: Malaysia
Joined: 13 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Sun 22 Mar, 2015 7:42 am    Post subject: "Roman" Sword from Soknopaiou Nesos         Reply with quote

This sword is, without doubt, one of the most important ancient artifacts unearthed in Egypt. It's quite unique and rare.

“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength”

- Marcus Aurelius
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Scott Woodruff





Joined: 30 Nov 2005
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Posts: 601

PostPosted: Wed 25 Mar, 2015 6:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some identical swords are depicted on the "Divine Triad" relief from Palmyra at the Louvre, dated to the 1st C.AD.
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Bartek Strojek




Location: Poland
Joined: 05 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 1:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very interesting, this pommel almost looks too big for the blade, although I imagine that with the rest of the hilt preserved, it would look more proportional.

I guess they could be from other wood than ebony, so they didn't preserve anywhere nearly that well?
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Matthew Amt




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

Posts: 1,302

PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 5:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bartek Strojek wrote:
Very interesting, this pommel almost looks too big for the blade, although I imagine that with the rest of the hilt preserved, it would look more proportional.

I guess they could be from other wood than ebony, so they didn't preserve anywhere nearly that well?


Yes, the pommel surprised me, too! Though it certainly matches many shown in artwork. And the article (which takes forever to load!) shows a number of other nearly identical pommels in *stone* and bone, most of which have been identified as "mace heads". Hopefully some museum labels will get updated!

And a fabric-wrapped grip?? Wacky.

Matthew
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Kai Lawson




Location: Madison, WI
Joined: 26 Aug 2010
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Posts: 481

PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 8:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew--do you have links or pictures depicting more of these pommels? I'd be interested to see more of them in period art.

EDIT: I should have made it clearer: I am interested in depictions outside of those shown in the article. Thanks!

"And they crossed swords."
--William Goldman, alias S. Morgenstern
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Matthew Amt




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

Posts: 1,302

PostPosted: Fri 27 Mar, 2015 11:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sorry, I don't offhand. The article seemed to have a pretty good summary of the evidence. I hadn't seen all the stone and bone ones before, at least! There may be one or two other depictions in artwork, but they're all about the same, just something with 3 blobs or lobes. It's been a long time since I studied that era...

Matthew
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Shahril Dzulkifli




Location: Malaysia
Joined: 13 Dec 2007
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Posts: 1,265

PostPosted: Sun 29 Mar, 2015 5:44 am    Post subject: "Roman” Sword from Soknopaiou Nesos         Reply with quote

That would be great if this sword is reproduced.
“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength”

- Marcus Aurelius
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Patrick B. Pointer
Industry Professional



Location: Manistee, Michigan USA
Joined: 19 Dec 2013

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed 26 Aug, 2015 9:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looking at this sword... does is appear to anyone else that the grip would be to short? A common grip size is about 3 1/2" This sword make it look like the guard would have been extremely small to even accommodate the grip at all.

Is it possible that the Pommel is lower on the tang? Or that the tang itself is really short to begin with?

Considering the grip being wrapped with a textile material, my thoughts on this is that the grip was originally bone or wood that had split. The owner wrapped the tang instead of trying to un-peen the tang's tail at the top to the pommel.

Wondering what kept the guard (which is missing) and the pommel from being loose?

I also wonder if this was a rejected blade from the blade smith altogether. Perhaps there was no guard on this blade because it was missing in the first place? That the Owner might have just rigged a blade like someone would as a prison weapon... just "Make it work."
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Wed 26 Aug, 2015 10:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick B. Pointer wrote:
Looking at this sword... does is appear to anyone else that the grip would be to short? A common grip size is about 3 1/2" This sword make it look like the guard would have been extremely small to even accommodate the grip at all.


Don't trust photos. Without a proper close-up including a scale, only an approximate assessment can be made of hilt length. Note that part of the pommel (a fairly small part, granted) appears to form a cylinder which could be part of the grip itself. That said, Roman grips were historically fairly snug, with the guard and pommel fitting into the hollows between the fingers and palm at top and bottom of the hand. Don't think of them as 'swords' as much as 'really big daggers' and they'll make a little more sense.

Quote:
Is it possible that the Pommel is lower on the tang? Or that the tang itself is really short to begin with?


It is fairly possible that the pommel could have slid down the tang to some extent, yeah. Note that there's a hollow on the top; it could well have been further up than it is now.

Quote:
Considering the grip being wrapped with a textile material, my thoughts on this is that the grip was originally bone or wood that had split. The owner wrapped the tang instead of trying to un-peen the tang's tail at the top to the pommel.


Not necessarily. Fabric is a common-ish historical covering for grips; we just don't use it much nowadays, preferring more 'premium' materials, but it would have been a cheap substitute for leather etc.

Quote:
Wondering what kept the guard (which is missing) and the pommel from being loose?


Most likely just the way it's assembled with a peen. If you seat everything together and then peen the end down, it pinches the whole shebang together pretty well.

Quote:
I also wonder if this was a rejected blade from the blade smith altogether. Perhaps there was no guard on this blade because it was missing in the first place? That the Owner might have just rigged a blade like someone would as a prison weapon... just "Make it work."


It's possible, but fairly unlikely given the amount of work that we see on the pommel; it's more likely there would have been a similarly carved guard.
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Patrick B. Pointer
Industry Professional



Location: Manistee, Michigan USA
Joined: 19 Dec 2013

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed 26 Aug, 2015 10:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So... the wrapped grip...

Are you saying that the guar and the pommel would have been set in place, then the grip wrapped, then the tang peened to the pommel?

What holds the material tight? Glue?
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Wed 26 Aug, 2015 2:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick B. Pointer wrote:
So... the wrapped grip...

Are you saying that the guar and the pommel would have been set in place, then the grip wrapped, then the tang peened to the pommel?

What holds the material tight? Glue?


It's called 'compression'.

Here's a quick and dirty illustration:

<=====}0--0+

<=====} is the blade up to the 'shoulders' where it narrows into the tang;

0--0 is the guard, grip, and pommel;

and + is a tang protruding through a button. Basically, the guard-grip-pommel are strung upon the tang like so many massive beads. The tang is cut just short of where it needs to be peened down, heat is applied, and as it is peened, the end widens and shortens, pressing the pommel against all the other parts, which are stopped by the 'shoulders' of the blade. They are basically being squeezed together firmly by this action. No glue required... although in some cultures it was used as the primary method of assembly (mainly in the East), but not much in the West. The peened pommel compression assembly has been used quite reliably for millennia.

EDIT: If you were talking about just the grip-- yes, the fabric covering was probably just glued down, although it might have been held down with knotted cord which has since perished.
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Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
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PostPosted: Wed 26 Aug, 2015 5:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick B. Pointer wrote:
Looking at this sword... does is appear to anyone else that the grip would be to short? A common grip size is about 3 1/2" This sword make it look like the guard would have been extremely small to even accommodate the grip at all.


About 10.5cm from where the pommel widens to the corner of the blade (10cm from where the pommel widens to where the tang transitions to the blade). A 2-3cm thick guard would still leave a quite reasonable 7.5cm for the grip, which should fit an average hand quite well (i.e., snugly).

The tang tapers, and the hole through the pommel is tapered, so it will sit tightly, even with no grip on the tang.

The guard might have only been held tightly against the blade by the grip, or might have been glued (probably resin, if glued).

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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