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A tribune was a high ranking officer in the Roman Legions. In fact, A Trinune often was (or eventually became) a Legion Commander. Such an important officer would surely have carried a beautiful weapon. Particularly an officer in Julius Caeser's beloved Tenth Legion (Legio X). This gladius is reminiscent of the type of swords that such important officers would have been issued.
This is one of the most attractive gladiuses that we carry. It's a handsome wash of brass and wood-styling, alloy and leather. Although the sword boasts loads of fancy engravings and designs, the focal point is the dark metal blade. It features a waisted design (waisted, not wasted, you lush), meaning that it tapers slightly toward the center, then flares outward again. This would have allowed the sword to slide deeply into a body, using the momentum created by the Famed "V" tip. The blade, made from a weathered, antiqued metal alloy, features six thin fuller lines that follow the sword's taper and join near tip, echoing the vicious "V" that made this weapon so good for thrusting.
The wood-style pommel and guard are beveled smartly and are held in place with brass; A complex brass pommel extension and a ridged brass grip.
Just as stunning as the sword is the sheath. It features ornate brass throat and tip plates, both carved with scenes of Roman Glory. The throat bears an anachronistic image of Emperor Augustus, Caesar's Nephew, seated on a throne, surrounded by the avatar of War and Victory; General Tiberius stands before him, having just achieved victory in the Alpine victory of 16 B.C.E., and offering a gift to the emperor. This scene is from an actual gladius that was unearthed in Britain and now sits in the British Museum of London. The tip of the sheath is engraved with a Roman Standard bearer (an "Aquilifer" for those of you in the local Latin club), and a Roman Eagle. The sheath has a pair of stylish brass belt hoops which make it insanely easy to don. It also features two crossed straps just to make it look that much cooler. Crossed straps? Hmm.... they form Xs. Coincidence? We think NOT.
This is purely a decorative weeapon, but one of the nicest galdiuses we've ever seen. Great for display, better for costumes or uniforms.
Overall Length: 27 3/4"
Blade Length: 20 1/4"
Weight: 2lbs 8oz
Zinc Alloy Blade (unsharpened), Wood and Brass Accents, Gilded Accents on Throat and Tip of Sheath.
The Tenth Legion, or Legio X, always held a spot deep in Julius Caesar's heart (Brutus missed that spot by a half inch when he stabbed the Caesar, but that's another story). The tenth had many different names; Legio X Equestris (an honorable title meaning Knights, or Honored Warriors), X Gemina, Legia Decima and Harvey Limantowski (although only Caesar used that last one, and only when he was drunk).
The legion was allegedly formed by Julius Caesar and saw more action than Madonna. The Tenth played a pivotal role in the Gallic Wars, helping Caesar to conquer the Gauls and cement his reputation as a military genius. They also helped Caesar conquer Britain and defeated Pompey, Caesar's arch-rival (and former friend) in Rome.
The tenth was disbanded in 45 B.C., but reinstated by Emperor Augustus (just lowly little Octavian at the time) in 42 B.C.. Augustus used them in Phillipi against the people responsible for his Uncle's death, then had them turn against him when he and Mark Antony became enemies. The Tenth's second-to-last battle as X Equestris was against the nephew of the man who had created them (We're talking about Octavian still. Keep up). They fought with Mark Antony against Octavian and suffered their first defeat at Actium. Augustus banished them to Patras (in Greece), where they promptly rebelled and were put down again. This time, though, Augustus took away their name, X Equestris, and gave them the new name, X Gemina.
The Roman Gladius has a long and prosperous history. It was, at first, a weapon used by the Spaniards. The Spaniards were particularly good at fighting the Romans and earned the grudging respect of the Italian conquerors, who, nonetheless conquered them anyway. (it's a fitting tribute to the toughness of the Spaniards that Russell Crowe's "Maximus" character in the movie "Gladiator" was a Spaniard who had been integrated into the Roman army). The Spaniard's had two weapons feared by the Romans: The hook-handled "falcata," (a horrific slashing weapon with a lethal forward curve) and the Gladius. The Romans were so impressed with the effectiveness of the gladius that they quickly adopted it for their own troops.
The gladius was used primarily for stabbing, so it features a fearsome v-shaped tip, great for slipping through the spaces in ribs, or through the cartilage itself if aim was bad or mood particularly grim. The versatile sword could also be used to slash; both edges were sharpened and deadly. The weapon was ideal for the Romans, who used it in formation, with all soldiers drawing their swords from their right side with their right hand (this bit of conformity kept legionnaires from accidentally dissecting their immediate neighbors). The small swords were the perfect complement to the huge scutum shields that the soldiers used in their formations, giving the troops speed and the ability to withdraw the weapon quickly and defend themselves solely with the shield.
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When Strongblade refers to a "Battle Sword," we are referring to most European medieval swords with blades longer than 35i nches or so. These type of swords included hand-and-a-half swords (sometimes refered to as Bastard Swords) and the big two-handed swords. Real battle swords had blades well in excess of this, and, in fact, a 35 inch sword was considered a bit skimpy for fighting skirmishes. But for home use and light sparring, a 36" blade is fairly long.