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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Mon 18 Jan, 2016 1:34 pm    Post subject: "Roman" sword origin?         Reply with quote

Last month a news story about a Roman sword found in the waters on Nova Scotia, Canada circulated through the online media. While the sword is obviously not what the "researchers" claim it to be--a Roman era sword from an alleged Roman ship wreck near Oak Island in Nova Scotia, I am puzzled about its actual origins. The claimants in the news articles, as well as makers of replicas of this alleged "Roman" sword, say an original is held in the collections of "a museum in Pompeii". It is probably just a tourist piece, but I am wondering if there is anything to the claims that an original is in fact in a museum at Pompeii. Can anyone offer any guidance about the alleged artifact or the origins of the bronze tourist sword?

There is some good skeptical coverage of this sword at http://www.andywhiteanthropology.com/blog and http://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog .

Here is link to the original article about the so-called "Roman" sword: http://www.bostonstandard.co.uk/news/local/st...-1-7118097

Thank you in advance for any help you can offer!



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Gregory J. Liebau




Location: Dinuba, CA
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PostPosted: Mon 18 Jan, 2016 1:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I presume it was discovered somewhere like this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/antique-Ancient-Chine...SwZVhWRT-X
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Mon 18 Jan, 2016 2:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Probably. What I am wondering is this: is there really a sword like it at a museum in Pompeii or is that a complete fabrication. I know it was a replica for tourists as far back as at least the 1970s and probably earlier.
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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
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PostPosted: Mon 18 Jan, 2016 3:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This guy, J. Hutton Pulitzer occasionally posts about this on the Roman History Facebook page. When people task him about this sword, he says that the Emperor Commodus gave out bronze swords of this design as presents or rewards. He also mentions that Commodus "may" have thought about sponsoring an expedition to find the magnetic North Pole - so that is how these objects somehow found their way to Oak Island. All of this will somehow be proved at some future time, when "the white papers" are published. In the meantime all we have is History Channel type suppositions - no proof, no context, no provenance. He never explains about the type of Roman ship that would be seaworthy enough to make it across the Atlantic.

Pulitzer points to a similar sword that he says comes out of a collection sold by a Dutch antiquities dealer - http://romanofficer.com/PermcolC.html
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
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PostPosted: Mon 18 Jan, 2016 6:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Please, please, please-- No, there are NO Roman swords, daggers, or similar items that are anything like that. None. Zero. Nada. Nothing like that has ever been found in any remotely reputable way. Period. It is entirely a modern invention. Period.

Pulitzer is a flat-out con-man and liar, and is making up BS so fast we need wings to stay above it. The "Romanofficer" site is FILLED with outright fakes, and anything which might be original (and a few pieces may be!) is wildly misidentified. In fact, it's the best place for finding evidence that anything might be a fake, cuz you can find at least one just like it there. IF anything even remotely like that does exist in a museum in Italy, it's a fake too! Museums have lots of blatant fakes, it happens all the time, and we all know it well.

Now, if you want to nitpick, there are indeed small items like mirror handles and knife grips that are shaped like humans or animals. The acanthus leaf on the piece in question is a particularly nice touch. Means nothing. Neo-classical items have been produced in huge quantities since before Rome even fell. This item, however, is modern. Buy it from Design Toscano for under 30 bucks. It's a particularly crappy casting, too, by the way, something an actual Roman con artist would be ashamed to sell.

Let me know if you want the sugar coating scraped off of this.

And don't even THINK about trying to argue "Well, maybe..." unless you can show me an excavation report with a scale line drawing of something like this from a stratified Roman archeological site. I LOVE eating my words, so I will wait eagerly. And without hope.

Matthew
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Mon 18 Jan, 2016 8:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree, Matthew. It is an obvious fake and I am skeptical that an "original" exists in any museum anywhere. Being able to day definitively "No, there isn't one in in any museum at Pompeii" would be another nail in the coffin for Pulitzer and the Oak Island/History Channel sword. It would be nice to be able to test each of the assertions made by the proponents of the sword. I think the answer will be, as I said, "no ancient sword like this exists at Pompeii". With a silly story like this circulating online, especially on sites like Yahoo and Daily Mail, fringe history and pseudo-scientific claims can become ingrained in the minds of the general public, especially if their story is the only one being told. It is important for people to question these claims and demand evidence and to refute false claims like the Oak Island sword.
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
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PostPosted: Mon 18 Jan, 2016 10:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You could always ask the folks at Design Toscano.
http://www.amazon.com/Design-Toscano-Gladiato...B009QU8BDI

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Mon 18 Jan, 2016 10:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
This guy, J. Hutton Pulitzer occasionally posts about this on the Roman History Facebook page. When people task him about this sword, he says that the Emperor Commodus gave out bronze swords of this design as presents or rewards.

Perhaps someone should ask him why his Oak Island example is made from modern brass.

Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
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PostPosted: Tue 19 Jan, 2016 12:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is supposed to be a presentation of an analtsis in an upcoming episode of the History Channel's series of Oak Island
https://sbg-sword-forum.forums.net/thread/46603/roman-sword-america
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Ralph Grinly





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PostPosted: Tue 19 Jan, 2016 5:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

ignore, double post Sad

Last edited by Ralph Grinly on Tue 19 Jan, 2016 5:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ralph Grinly





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PostPosted: Tue 19 Jan, 2016 5:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A total fake, pure and simple , publicised by the unscrupulous to fool the gullible. And there sure seems to be a LOT of those..eg, look at all the people who STILL believe that the earth is flat, and those that believe the Earth is only about 6000 years old "because it say's so in the Bible". Peddle lies often enough, and loud enough, and you'll always find "believers" Sad

And, as far as the origin of this object ( I won't call it a sword)..it's already been posted above -

http://www.amazon.com/Design-Toscano-Gladiato...B009QU8BDI

Someone, nameless, has just used one of these as a model to make a mould for a brass casting, then artificially patinated it.
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
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PostPosted: Tue 19 Jan, 2016 6:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gah, I just realized something that was bugging me about that thing! (Aside from the obvious!) It's upside-down! An anthropomorphic mirror handle, for example, has its arms raised *as if holding the mirror*. This thing has the figure holding some unidentifiable blob, while the *fee* are stuck to the blade. So that's the opposite way that the Romans would actually have done that!

Matthew
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Wed 20 Jan, 2016 8:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am still curious about the modern origins of this tourist sword. In the mean time, here are some comments from the archaeologist who consulted for "Curse of Oak Island" regarding the sword (no surprises here, he says it isn't older than the late 19th century):

http://www.andywhiteanthropology.com/blog/com...otia-sword
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
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PostPosted: Wed 20 Jan, 2016 9:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan Hopkins wrote:
I am still curious about the modern origins of this tourist sword. In the mean time, here are some comments from the archaeologist who consulted for "Curse of Oak Island" regarding the sword (no surprises here, he says it isn't older than the late 19th century):

http://www.andywhiteanthropology.com/blog/com...otia-sword


Why not contact Design Toscano and ask them? They're the ones producing and selling the thing. Best guess, someone saw a picture of a mirror handle or similar object, possibly misidentified (the "Roman Officer" website springs to mind), and had some Asian shop start casting it with a "blade" attached.

Really, that blog is being pretty kind about the date of the thing, considering that it is still being produced and sold! Most likely it's just being made in a shop that is still using 19th century techniques, minus the care and craftsmanship.

Matthew
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Joe A




Location: Philadelphia, USA
Joined: 17 Oct 2013

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PostPosted: Wed 20 Jan, 2016 10:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ralph Grinly wrote:
A total fake, pure and simple , publicised by the unscrupulous to fool the gullible. And there sure seems to be a LOT of those..eg, look at all the people who STILL believe that the earth is flat, and those that believe the Earth is only about 6000 years old "because it say's so in the Bible". Peddle lies often enough, and loud enough, and you'll always find "believers" Sad

And, as far as the origin of this object ( I won't call it a sword)..it's already been posted above -

http://www.amazon.com/Design-Toscano-Gladiato...B009QU8BDI

Someone, nameless, has just used one of these as a model to make a mould for a brass casting, then artificially patinated it.


Why pay $28 when you can pay $1,000!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-ROMAN-CEREMON...SwX~dWnV9a

Note: “SOLD AS IS NO RETURNS”
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Wed 20 Jan, 2016 10:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can't figure out what Hutton Pulitzer gets out of all this. He is obviously a Confidence Man, and these guys are typically after some kind of financial score. But I don't see him making much money off of this endeavor. So what is his payoff? Just to put one over on as many people as possible?
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Wed 20 Jan, 2016 2:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Amt wrote:
Jonathan Hopkins wrote:
I am still curious about the modern origins of this tourist sword. In the mean time, here are some comments from the archaeologist who consulted for "Curse of Oak Island" regarding the sword (no surprises here, he says it isn't older than the late 19th century):

http://www.andywhiteanthropology.com/blog/com...otia-sword


Why not contact Design Toscano and ask them? They're the ones producing and selling the thing. Best guess, someone saw a picture of a mirror handle or similar object, possibly misidentified (the "Roman Officer" website springs to mind), and had some Asian shop start casting it with a "blade" attached.

Really, that blog is being pretty kind about the date of the thing, considering that it is still being produced and sold! Most likely it's just being made in a shop that is still using 19th century techniques, minus the care and craftsmanship.

Matthew


Design Toscano haven't replied to queries about the sword. Their ad copy is the same as the Oak Island sword claims; it is based on an "original in the Naples Museum." The DT sword is apparently iron and not brass or bronze, so it is a bit different from the other tourist pieces turning up online. At least one person has stated that they bought one from a street vendor in Italy in the 1970s, so it isn't a brand new design, not is it ancient.

It is interesting to see that Pulitzer is doubling down on his claims about the sword. Happily the folks at the "Viking Sword Museum" in Ulen, MN changed the name of their museum soon after their "viking sword" was debunked on television (and earlier here on myArmoury.com). I can't imagine what Pulitzer is getting out of this other than attention, although apparently people buy his books.
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
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PostPosted: Wed 20 Jan, 2016 5:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, I don't know what the Naples Museum might think it has, but it is certainly not a Roman sword if it looks anything like that. And of course the repros may be "based" on it the same way movies are based on the books!

Yeah, the Design Toscano site says "iron" but the color is clearly bronzish, so it's either painted or plated, or the blurb is wrong and it's some kind of copper alloy. Pullitzer's is undoubtedly the same--I seriously doubt any metallurgical analysis of it has been done aside from just looking at it.

Matthew
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Thu 21 Jan, 2016 11:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Now Pulitzer is claiming that Roman arrow heads were retrieved from a 1,000 year old oak on Oak Island. WTF?! Anyone care to comment on these?

http://www.andywhiteanthropology.com/blog/col...ova-scotia
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Thu 21 Jan, 2016 1:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan Hopkins wrote:
Now Pulitzer is claiming that Roman arrow heads were retrieved from a 1,000 year old oak on Oak Island. WTF?! Anyone care to comment on these?

http://www.andywhiteanthropology.com/blog/col...ova-scotia

It is obvious that the entire archaeological community has been involved in a huge conspiracy for the last two centuries. It took someone with no scientific or archaeological understanding to work out that the Romans settled on Oak Island and traded with the natives.

Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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