How To Identify a Roman Sword

A Roman sword is also known as the Gladius. There are two main types of Roman swords: the Roman short swords and the Roman long swords. It is said that the Roman short sword is one of the most recognizable weapons in the world. Other types of swords, such as samurais, Chinese swords, katanas, ninja swords and masamune swords are not as easy to differentiate from each other.

Today, Roman swords are used for decorative purposes. Sword enthusiasts who are always on the lookout for antique weaponry also collect them. Some people who practice martial arts can also make use of different types of swords.

Here are some tips on how to identify a Roman sword:

  • Roman Short Swords. Roman short swords are easy to recognize. The blade of Roman short swords is only 20 inches long, but it is double-edged. This makes it an ideal weapon to use for battle. Some of these short swords also have a very sharp diamond-point tip. There are more or less 95 types of Roman short swords. They belong in 5 major categories. These are namely the Roman Hopllite, Roman Falcata, Maintz Gladius, Roman Pompeii Gladius and the Roman Gladiator. Other features that you can look for are an hourglass-shaped blade, inscriptions on the blade, very sharp points and short points. Roman short swords are useful for hunting animals but they are also very useful when it comes to battle. The blade of Roman short swords can swiftly cut metal shields and helmets in one swift motion.
  • Roman Long Swords. Roman long swords were not used until the 1st century. Short swords were no longer able to withstand long battles. The Romans found a better solution when they conquered Spain. They made use of the Gladius Hispaniensis, otherwise known as the ‘Sword of Spain’. The new Roman long swords were created with steel, instead of iron. The length of these Roman long swords can be anywhere from 34 inches to around 40 inches. They can be either single-edged or double-edged. One of the most common types of Roman long swords is the Spatha. Armored enemies had no escape when a Roman soldier battled with the Spatha.
  • Roman Daggers. Roman daggers were not only used in battle. Some of these daggers were used for butchering and chopping. Roman daggers have a triangular-shaped or hourglass-shaped blade. Some of the popular Roman daggers are the Roman stiletto, the diamond pugio, cinquedea, pugio and the parazonium. Daggers were also used by spies. Messengers carrying secret messages also carried daggers for protection. This was the time when counterintelligence was abundant. 

These are some of the characteristics of Roman swords that will make them different from other swords. For collectors, it is important to know how to identify an authentic Roman sword. Cheap swords are sold on the Internet and sometimes, you would not be able to easily differentiate an authentic sword from a fake one. You should look for swords for sale from reputable websites to avoid buying a fake one.


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