Mainz Gladius, Red
The Roman Gladius has a long and prosperous history. It was, at first, a sword 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 swords feared by the Romans: The hook-handled "falcata," (a horrific slashing sword 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 sword 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 sword quickly and defend themselves solely with the shield.
See Strongblade's Mainz Gladius, Red