Roman Spatha
Hello everyone!

I'm in the market for a later period Roman spatha. Just been browsing thought some retailer's inventories and a found a couple that I would like to get some input on. Before I show some, I would like to give you an idea of what I'm looking for. Its mostly going to be for display purposes but I would like it to be relatively historical and as functional I as I can find one for. It doesn't have to really high end it will mostly be for display and perhaps a little contact. I just want a representation of a spatha for my collection. So without further adieu, the selection:

Most of these are Deepeeka products, but I hear their Roman stuff is generally pretty good. Of the 4 listed I am leaning towards the third one it has a pretty nice blade that I think is representative of a spatha and the hilt is actually wood (Instead of fake bone). The first link, the hilt is absolutely hideous and on the second I do not much like how the fullers come together towards the tip section of the blade. The last link, again the hilt is hideous but I like the double fullered blade.

It can also always serve as a nice rehilting project. I know Albion and Del-tin both have absolutely wonderful spatha but as it is mostly a display piece I would rather stay in a relatively low price-range. That way if I want to modify it, or wind up destroying it...I don't feel bad, and I don't have to justify it to the wife :)

So, input?

Yeah, I suspect Deepeeka will do for your purposes. Some of their blades are on the clunky side, in my experience, others are fine. I don't know Late Roman stuff really well, so I can't give you a good critique on the historical accuracy of these pieces, and I am not very familiar with these repros, either. I can tell you that the third one is a *first* century sword, though the grip is too long and I'm not sure what they had in mind with that pommel!

For the bone pommels and guards, it's nice that they're trying to do bone, but they are all pieced together ("plybone"?) rather than single chunks. Faux ivory would be preferable in my opinion, or regular wood. As you say, though, rehilting projects are not all that difficult.

Good luck and Vale,

i have 1 & 2. i like them for display only. not much to report. there both kinda clunky but fun. i got them for their time frames though, they are later time periods. 4 is right there with them. 3 is earlier i believe.
The third one, I think, looks the best, though it'd benefit from being re-hilted, or at least re-pommeled. I don't know if it's just the picture, but the tip looks a little asymmetrical.

Actually, all the hilts look a little odd to me, though, admittedly, I don't know an awful lot about Roman swords. And, yes, the second sword, with the funky fullers, looks kinda hideous to my eye.
now these are based on historical swords. they do look like that, never understood the double late roman fuller, but have seen the original in books.
It isn't so much the fullers in the second sword that throw me off but rather their beginning and their termination. The fuller doesn't go completely back to the guard and the fullers curve together at the tip, that's what I don't quiet think is the way that its supposed to be, just looks slightly strange.

That being said, the dual fullers on sword number 4 look to be about right and its a pretty nice representation over all I believe. Right now I am trying to decide between 3 and 4. The 4th one is later period which is what I like over all, but the 3rd one is more aesthetically pleasing and appears to me (thought I can't tell without handling it) to be a more finely finished piece.
These should help:

And the main page for those, Bishop and Coulston's "Roman Military Equipment" first edition:

So that 4th blade in the first link has fullers that start a few inches below the guard and meet before the point.

I have heard that there is some confusion on the dates of some later Roman pieces, but that may be mostly belt fittings and such. Like I said, I don't know the era in enough detail to say whether a sword is 3rd century or 4th.


I'd go for the AH2002. Thats the only one that has a more or less ok hilt and a more or less ok blade.

The blade of the AH2001 and the AH-4221 looks terrible. The hilt of the AH4208N is unhistorical as far as I know, at least for a Roman sword. It somehow seems a bit Celtic in a weird way. :confused:
here are some pictures of them not on the website.


Since you have two of the swords that I am looking at, would you mind telling me which piece you personally prefer? Which do you believe to be a better representation of a late period spatha? Which do you find to feel better 'in hand'? and which do you believe to be more durable?



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