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Alessandro B.




Location: Italy
Joined: 19 Dec 2018

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PostPosted: Sat 06 Jul, 2019 1:50 am    Post subject: Pre-Late Medieval two handed swords         Reply with quote

Is there any evidence of even a single example of two handed sword before the Late Middle Ages? I know they wouldn't have been widespread, given the importance of shields in ancient and early medieval combat, but perhaps a specific extravagant (and lucky, as extravagance generally leads to death) warrior could have wanted one for his own particular fighting style.
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Dan Kary





Joined: 12 Dec 2017

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PostPosted: Sat 06 Jul, 2019 10:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I haven't a clue, but I'll give my unsolicited suspicion: armor got good enough in the late middle ages that it made having a shield less important and freed up a second hand for two handed swords.
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Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
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PostPosted: Sat 06 Jul, 2019 3:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, the Thracian rhomphaia and Dacian falx of Roman times are famous exceptions to the general absence of two-handed cutting blades before late 12th Century or so (at which point you start to see type XII and XIII "great swords of war" at least partially set up for two-handed use). Both are four to five feet long hafted weapons with two to three feet long forward curved blades, so kinda on the borderline of whether to call them long swords or short polearms...
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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Kai Lawson




Location: Madison, WI
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PostPosted: Sun 07 Jul, 2019 12:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are a number of Central and East Asian swords from just after 200-250 BC onwards with proportions that strongly suggest two handed use. I do not have access to my .pdfs or images, but image searches of Han steel jian or steppe swords will yield some interesting blades. There is also a bone buckle or fastener (name starts with an O?) showing mounted and unmounted men in lamellar armor with bows and very long gripped swords. I naturally donít have any of those images to hand either.

Iím unaware of any European examples that would fit the bill though.

"And they crossed swords."
--William Goldman, alias S. Morgenstern
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Jacek Gramlowski





Joined: 17 Jun 2015

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PostPosted: Mon 08 Jul, 2019 12:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kai Lawson wrote:
There are a number of Central and East Asian swords from just after 200-250 BC onwards with proportions that strongly suggest two handed use. I do not have access to my .pdfs or images, but image searches of Han steel jian or steppe swords will yield some interesting blades. There is also a bone buckle or fastener (name starts with an O?) showing mounted and unmounted men in lamellar armor with bows and very long gripped swords. I naturally donít have any of those images to hand either.

Iím unaware of any European examples that would fit the bill though.


I poted some of them in another topic with photos http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.37310.html second reply from 10:04
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Neil Melville




Location: Scotland
Joined: 27 Oct 2009

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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jul, 2019 3:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In the appendix to my recent book 'The Two-handed Sword, History, Design and Use' I discuss briefly some very early prototype two-handed swords from eastern Europe and the Near East - the Dacian falx, Sarmatian swords and long seaxes. Since my study is of the European two-hander I have not dealt with Chinese or other east Asian swords. I do discuss the origins of the two-hander and the reasons for its development when at the time when it did.
Neil

N Melville
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jul, 2019 1:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Neil Melville wrote:
In the appendix to my recent book 'The Two-handed Sword, History, Design and Use' I discuss briefly some very early prototype two-handed swords from eastern Europe and the Near East - the Dacian falx, Sarmatian swords and long seaxes. Since my study is of the European two-hander I have not dealt with Chinese or other east Asian swords. I do discuss the origins of the two-hander and the reasons for its development when at the time when it did.
Neil


Neil,
Iím sure youíve posted it before, but can you give us a link to the book?

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Neil Melville




Location: Scotland
Joined: 27 Oct 2009

Posts: 188

PostPosted: Wed 10 Jul, 2019 2:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Chad,
Happy to oblige. Book has very complimentary foreword by Mike Loades. Should be available from Amazon. Was published in February this year, delayed from November by production problems. Hope it sheds some light, and you like it.
Neil


https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/The-Two-Handed-Sword-Hardback/p/15316

N Melville
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Graham Shearlaw





Joined: 24 Oct 2011
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Jul, 2019 12:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some of the late La TŤne swords have quite long tangs 8-9 inch's so long enough for a two handed grip unless you have massive hilt fittings.
The longer blades are getting to around a meter in length and often have rounded or squared off points.

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Sean Manning




Location: Austria
Joined: 23 Mar 2008

Posts: 477

PostPosted: Fri 12 Jul, 2019 2:46 am    Post subject: Re: Pre-Late Medieval two handed swords         Reply with quote

Alessandro B. wrote:
Is there any evidence of even a single example of two handed sword before the Late Middle Ages? I know they wouldn't have been widespread, given the importance of shields in ancient and early medieval combat, but perhaps a specific extravagant (and lucky, as extravagance generally leads to death) warrior could have wanted one for his own particular fighting style.

There are some things in India in the fourth century BCE in the Alexander historians like Arrian, I am not sure if there is firmly dated art to confirm. The horsemen on the Orlat battle plaque have long-hilted swords, but they wield them like a langes Messer ... its possible that they gripped them two-handed on foot.

www.bookandsword.com
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Kai Lawson




Location: Madison, WI
Joined: 26 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Fri 12 Jul, 2019 1:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Orlat Plaqueóthatís it! Thank you Sean Manning. I was away from home and couldnít access my computer.
"And they crossed swords."
--William Goldman, alias S. Morgenstern
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