Concept art by
Edition Roman Spatha
The spatha, or long sword,
was otiginally the weapon of the Roman cavalry units. Longer than the
infantry gladius, it gave the reach and cutting power needed from horseback.
In the 3rd and 4th centuries, the spatha gradually replaced the gladius
as the infantry sword, probably due to the large numbers of Celtic/Germanic
recruits that then populated the legions in the late Empire.
The spatha is also credited
with being the inspiration for the development of the Migration era sword
styles -- in fact, in many bog finds it is difficult to determine which
swords are late Roman spathae and which are native Germanic swords.
The Alaris is based on Peter's research of the Danish bog sword finds
(Nydam, Illerup ådal, Kragehul & Vimose). This narrow and pointed blade
type is prominent in the bog finds and appears to be contemporary with
the what t is typically recognized as the Roman spatha: parallel edges
and spade shaped point (like our Auxillia spatha).
Oakeshott mentions these narrow spatha in his texts and points out how
very much they have in common with 15thC swords and even some 17thC cut&thrust
blades. They are not perhaps what you automatically identify as a Roman
sword. The cross section is octagonal. The blade is thick and very stiff
with a pronounced distal taper that still leaves the point very sturdy.
It is somewhat akin to a type XVII blade in character, only sized down
for single hand use. This makes it's thrusting orientation clear, but
as is the case with the later Type XVII swords, they might actually have
a surprising cutting capacity as well.
The hilts for these blades seems mostly to have followed the old style
with a bulbous, spherical pommel, narrow shortish grip and a half sphere
or domed guard. It is thought that these swords belong to the later part
of the 2nd C and 3rd C AD.
In our spatha offerings, we are attempting to present several different
blade and hilt styles that will span the time from the earliest spathae
into the early Migration era.
The guard and pommel are hand-crafted of walnut, the grip turned from
holly, and the inset guard plate and pommel nut are of bronze.
A Limited Edition Hand Crafted Collectible Sword
is offered in a limited edition of only 500 collectible swords worldwide.
Name That Sword Contest Winner:
"Latin for "wingman," a soldier serving in an ala (auxiliary wing) of
the Roman cavalry, and a spatha was of course a cavalry sword."
The Alaris (Spatha)...
now before this limited
edition collectible sword runs out!