This is a list of Types of swords
found through history all around the world.
Sword types sorted by geographic origin
Swords of War
While a sword by design is a weapon and not a dual-functioning tool as are some polearms
, not all swords are/were built for the purposes of war. The rapier
, for instance, was used almost entirely for civilian combat
and saw only minute and unsuccessful use on the battlefield. Thus while some swords could be used both on the battle field and in a civilian setting, the reverse was usually not true.
The following is a list of some war swords:
The Greek xiphos
was a single-handed double-edged sword. Commonly used by Greek infantry alongside the spear and javelin, the xiphos
's length (~60cm) made it an excellent close combat weapon. The Makhaira
acted as the Greek cavalry's main sidearm. Unlike the xiphos
, the makhaira
was slightly curved and had only a single edge. The kopis
is a similar weapon, shown in use by the Persian Empire
along with the straight-bladed acinaces
. The Roman legionaries
carried the gladius
, a single-handed double-edged thrusting weapon similar to both the Greek xiphos
and the Persian acinaces
. The later Roman cavalry used a longer double-edged but still single-handed sword, the spatha
. This sword spread into northern Europe and became the choice sword of the Vikings
changed over time, growing into the arming sword
during the 10th and 11th centuries. The arming sword was a single-handed double-edged sword about a meter in length, with a revolutionary cruciform crossguard
. Over time, the length of the blade and the hilt grew until it was capable of being handled with both of a swordsman's hands. This change brought about the longsword
, a much longer two-handed double-edged weapon. As plate armour
developed as a defense against both arrows
and swords, the longsword became decidedly more tapered to a more pronounced tip. During the 16th Century, this tapering progression continued on some swords until the blade nearly entirely lost its flattened profile and, consequentially ability to cut. The estoc
, a lengthy, slender two-handed weapon exemplifies this development.
The arming sword had not fallen into disuse, however, and produced another sword, the side-sword. This weapon, also known as a "cut and thrust sword" was a single-handed double-edged sword with a compound hilt popular during the 16th and 17th centuries. The blade was generally thinner than that of the arming sword, making swordplay quicker and point control more precise. Like the arming sword, the weapon was commonly used with a buckler for additional defence. The broadsword, a general class of swords that are single-handed, double-edged, and feature basket hilts. The schiavona and mortuary sword are excellent examples of broadswords.
During the entire evolution of double-edged swords, backswords, or single-edged swords, continued to exist. The falchion and Großes Messer are examples of this weapon type.
- See also List of mythological objects#Swords
Many swords in mythology
, and history
are named by their wielders or by the person who made them. Named swords generally indicate importance.
History and mythology
- Anduril - Aragon's sword in The Lord Of The Rings
- Arondight - The sword of Sir Lancelot in the Arthurian legends.
- Caladbolg - The sword used by the hero Fergus mac Róich in the Irish epic Táin Bó Cúailnge.
- Chandrahas ("Moon-blade") - in Hindu mythology, the sword given by the god Shiva to the ten-headed Ravana, king of Sri Lanka.
- Colada - the other sword of El Cid.
- Crocea Mors- used by Julius Caesar in a story told by Geoffrey of Monmouth.
- Curtana - the sword of Holger Danske, vassal of Charlemagne; this sword is reputed to be made of the same steel as Durendal and Joyeuse.
- Durendal - (or Durindana) the sword that belonged to Roland, nephew of Charlemagne and hero of the French epic The Song of Roland; it once belonged to Hector of Troy.
- Excalibur (Caledfwlch,Caliburn, etc. see also Caladbolg above) - King Arthur's sword, given to him by the Lady of the Lake; the sword itself as well as the scabbard were magical.
- Galatine - The sword of Sir Gawain in the Arthurian legends.
- Gram (in the Volsung Saga) or Balmung (sometimes in later traditions) - Sigurd.
- Grus- the historical sword of Bolesław III Wrymouth, medieval prince of Poland.
- Hauteclere - this sword that belonged to Olivier, another hero of The Song of Roland.
- Heaven's Will (The Will of Heaven,Thuan Thien,Thuận Thiên)The Sword Gods gave to Lê Lợi to help him fight the Chinese.
- Honjo Masamune - The best weapon made by Japan's master swordsmith, Masamune.
- Hrunting - Unferð, associate of Beowulf.
- Joyeuse - the sword of Charlemagne (Charles the Great), the famed Medieval king of the Franks and first emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.
- Kusanagi (Grasscutter) - A sword of equivalent importance to Japan as the Excalibur is to United Kingdom
- Legbiter - Viking King Magnus Barelegs's sword.
- Morgelai - Bevis of Hampton's sword in the Anglo-Norman/Middle English romance Bevis of Hampton.
- Pier Gerlofs Donia, a Frisian freedom fighter and legendary warrior (leader of the Arumer Black Heap) wielded a 2.15 meter long and 78 kg heavy blade, probably Zweihänder.
- The Sword in the Stone - King Arthur's sword, placed by Merlin into a stone in a churchyard, which only the rightful king could remove. This sword is often identified with Excalibur (see above), but in some versions the Sword in the Stone is broken in a fight with King Pellinore.
- The Sword of Damocles - mythical sword of decision.
- The Sword of Goujian - The sword used by King Goujian of Yue.
- Szczerbiec - The sword of Polish kings.
- Tizona or Tizón - one of the two swords of El Cid.
- Tyrfing - a cursed sword from the Tyrfing Cycle, which includes the Hervarar saga and parts of the Poetic Edda.
- Zulfiqar (Thul fiqar) - The two-tipped sword of legendary companion of Muhammad, Ali.