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D. Oliver




Location: PA
Joined: 13 Feb 2015

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PostPosted: Mon 20 Jun, 2016 11:14 pm    Post subject: Historical Leaf Blades?         Reply with quote

I have a question, did leaf bladed swords actually exist? is there any evidence? and who used them?
Cruach Mhor!
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

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PostPosted: Tue 21 Jun, 2016 12:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There were plenty of them in the Bronze Age and Iron Age: Ewart Park, Urnfield, Naue II, Limehouse, Scarborough Castle, Ballintober, etc. The Roman gladius hispaniensis was a leaf blade, which was adopted from Spanish leaf blades such as the Cogotas II. The Greek xiphos was a leaf blade.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Dan D'Silva





Joined: 28 Apr 2007

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PostPosted: Tue 21 Jun, 2016 4:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Small leaf-blades were popular from Egypt to Iran in the late Bronze and Iron ages, although they shared the scene with tapered blades which I get the impression were more common. One may regard them as daggers rather than swords, but the dividing line isn't crystal-clear since we don't know quite how they were used. Larger blades tended to be straight or tapered from the hilt.

Some anthropomorphic-hilted swords were somewhat leafy. Not nearly as much as the anthro swords you see on the market today, but enough that you can see where manufacturers got the idea -- assuming they didn't just combine the anthro hilt with the shape of a Bronze Age blade, which is also possible, I guess.

Leaf-blades have been used in Africa in recent times. The famous Maasai simi usually has much shorter point than what would I tend to think of as a leaf-blade, but could (and has been) loosely described as one. A few Baule swords from the Ivory Coast and Yaka swords from the DRC are very leafy.

There have also been examples that I think are somewhat anomalous, in styles that aren't normally leaf-bladed. Oriental Arms, for instance, once had a small leaf-bladed qama for sale that they attributed to the Qajar period.
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Matthew Amt




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

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PostPosted: Tue 21 Jun, 2016 5:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One thing I've noticed is that people tend to talk about "Celtic leaf blades", though that's *almost* a contradiction in terms. Leaf blades were very common all over northern and western Europe in the Bronze Age, but the cultures commonly thought of as "Celtic" (another whole huge argument, there!) are really mostly Iron Age. Yeah, there is some overlap with the Halstatt culture, but even then, leaf blades are starting to give way to straight blades. By the time iron takes over for swords, and we get into the people most people envision as Celts, the blades are all straight.

Oddly enough, things go the other way in Greece! Most of the Late Bronze Age swords were straight or tapered, and there was no long tradition of leaf blades like there was farther west. But just towards the end the Naue II shows up, as it did in many places, and *some* of these are a little leafy in shape. When the Iron Age hit, all the native Greek types disappear, and ONLY the Naue II survives to be made in iron. Many are still pretty straight, but the leaf shape starts to become more common. Some are a little subtle or debatable! By the time the classic straight hilt of the "xiphos" or hoplite sword takes over, leaf blades are the rule.

Matthew
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Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
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PostPosted: Tue 21 Jun, 2016 5:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Greek kopis was leaf-shaped very much like the xiphos, only single-edged and curved forward. Kukri are a family of similar though much later (up to modern day) weapons and/or tools from Nepal and around. The Filipino barong is leaf-shaped, though not waisted like the xiphos, and if that counts for your purposes there's also the British "Smatchet" from WWII... as well as one famous Viking knife with a similarly shaped blade and riveted full tang grip.
The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
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PostPosted: Tue 21 Jun, 2016 8:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What about the Welsh cledd? There is some evidence that leaf blades were used in Wales during the Medieval period. Unfortunately that evidence is pretty sparse - No original blades, and few pictorial representations.
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Dan D'Silva





Joined: 28 Apr 2007

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PostPosted: Tue 21 Jun, 2016 6:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As well, if counting early modern swords, one must also mention the French and French-inspired artillery swords which were designed as a sort of neoclassical gladius, usually modestly leaf-shaped. I understand these were used as machetes and fascine knives, the tactical value of short swords in Western armies having diminished greatly by the 19th century, but they were made in the form of swords.
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Wed 22 Jun, 2016 7:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
What about the Welsh cledd? There is some evidence that leaf blades were used in Wales during the Medieval period. Unfortunately that evidence is pretty sparse - No original blades, and few pictorial representations.


Disproved by authorities and all that is left is the inscription found on the deWalden sword/knife. WWII saw the smatchet and "fair" sword variant, both with roots in the WWI deWalden artillery/trench sword. There were a number of later military glaives/gladius short swords from the late 18th century forward to the 20th.

There are some familiar looking blades shown as museum sketches by Alexander Speltz with notes that some were Celtic (keep in mind the book regards thoughts of that era 1906).
http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/DLDe...yOrnSpeltz

This hilt used by Windlass at one point. Kind of pugio size.


Cheers

GC
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
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PostPosted: Sun 26 Jun, 2016 2:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=151...light=leaf

http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=6021&highlight=leaf

http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=8020&highlight=leaf

http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=8402&highlight=leaf
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