Thul fiqar

Types of swords

This is a list of Types of swords found through history all around the world.

Sword types sorted by geographic origin

Africa

Americas

Asia

Europe

Mediterranean

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:

Asian

Chinese

Japanese

Other

European

Ancient

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.

Pre-industrial

The spatha 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.

Colonial

Middle-Eastern

Named swords

See also List of mythological objects#Swords
Many swords in mythology, literature, and history are named by their wielders or by the person who made them. Named swords generally indicate importance.

History and mythology

References

See also

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