The miaodao is a Chinese two-handed dao or saber of the Republican era, with a narrow blade with a length of 1.2 metres or more and a long hilt. The name means "sprout saber" referring to a likeness between the weapon and a newly sprouted plant. While the miaodao is a recent weapon, the name has come to be applied to a variety of earlier Chinese long sabers, such as the zhanmadao and changdao. Along with the dadao, miaodao were used by some Chinese troops during the Second Sino-Japanese War. While the miaodao is practiced in modern Chinese martial arts, some schools of piguaquan and tongbeiquan and xingyiquan train with the weapon; the miaodao is often mistakenly claimed to have been one of the weapons taught at the Central Military Academy in Nanjing. The "miao" of miaodao should not be confused with the Miao ethnic group, who are not associated with this weapon. Sword Chinese swords Dao Japanese sword Duan Zheng Shouzhi et al.. Wushu Cidian Wushu Dictionary. Renmin Tiyu Chubanshe, 2007. ISBN 978-7-5009-3001-3.
Ma Mingda, Shuo jian cong gao, ISBN 7-311-01632-0. Rovere, Dennis with Chow Hon Huen; the Xingyi Quan of the Chinese Army: Huang Bo Nien's Xingyi Fist and Weapon Instruction. Blue Snake Books. ISBN 978-1-58394-257-4. Tom, Philip. "An Introduction to Chinese Single-Edged Hilt Weapons and Their Use in the Ming and Qing Dynasties". Kung Fu Tai Chi, p. 85. A comprehensive article about the miaodao https://web.archive.org/web/20081103074622/http://www.freewebs.com/jingangbashi/miaodaointro.htm
A cutlass is a short, broad sabre or slashing sword, with a straight or curved blade sharpened on the cutting edge, a hilt featuring a solid cupped or basket-shaped guard. It was a common naval weapon during the Age of Sail; the word cutlass developed from a 17th-century English variation of coutelas, a 16th-century French word for a machete-like blade. The French word is itself a corruption of the Italian coltellaccio or cortelazo, meaning "large knife", a short, broad-bladed sabre popular in Italy during the 16th century The word comes from coltello, "knife", derived from Latin cultellus meaning "small knife."In the English-speaking Caribbean, the word "cutlass" is used as a word for machete. The cutlass is a 17th-century descendent of the edged short sword exemplified by the medieval falchion. Woodsmen and soldiers in the 17th and 18th centuries used a similar short and broad backsword called a hanger, or in German a messer, meaning "knife". Occurring with the full tang more typical of daggers than swords in Europe, believed to reflect a legal claim to nonweapon status, these blades may derive through the falchion from the seax.
Although used on land, the cutlass is best known as the sailor's weapon of choice. A naval side-arm, its popularity was because it was not only robust enough to hack through heavy ropes and wood, but short enough to use in close quarters, such as during boarding actions, in the rigging, or below decks. Another advantage to the cutlass was its simplicity of use. Employing it required less training than that required to master a rapier or small sword, it was more effective as a close-combat weapon than a full-sized sword would be on a cramped ship. Cutlasses are famous for being used by pirates, although there is no reason to believe that Caribbean buccaneers invented them, as has sometimes been claimed. However, the subsequent use of cutlasses by pirates is well documented in contemporary sources, notably by the pirate crews of William Fly, William Kidd, Stede Bonnet. French historian Alexandre Exquemelin reports the buccaneer François l'Ollonais using a cutlass as early as 1667. Pirates used these weapons for intimidation as much as for combat needing no more than to grip their hilts to induce a crew to surrender, or beating captives with the flat of the blade to force their compliance or responsiveness to interrogation.
Owing to its versatility, the cutlass was as an agricultural implement and tool as it was as a weapon, being used in rain forest and sugarcane areas, such as the Caribbean and Central America. In their most simplified form they are held to have become the machete of the Caribbean. In 1936 the British Royal Navy announced that from on cutlasses would be carried only for ceremonial duties and not used in landing parties; the last recorded use of cutlasses by the Royal Navy is said to be on 16 February 1940 during the boarding action known as the Altmark Incident. However, this is disbelieved by the majority of the HMS Cossack Association and the authors of British Naval Swords and Swordsmanship; the authors disbelieve this one too. In their view, the last use of cutlasses by the Royal Navy was by a shore party in China in 1900. Cutlasses continue to be worn in the Royal Navy by a Chief Petty Officer escorting the White Ensign and by Senior or Leading Ratings in an escort at a court martial; the cutlass remained an official weapon in United States Navy stores until 1949, though used in training after the early 1930s.
The last new model of cutlass adopted by the U. S. Navy was the Model 1917. A United States Marine Corps engineer NCO is reported to have killed an enemy with a Model 1941 cutlass at Incheon during the Korean War. A cutlass is still carried by the recruit designated as the Recruit Chief Petty Officer for each training company unit of recruits while at the US Navy Recruit Training Command. In a message released 31 March 2010, the US Navy approved optional wear of a ceremonial cutlass as part of the Chief Petty Officer dress uniform, pending final design approval; that approval came in January 2011, the cutlass was made available for ceremonial wear by Chief Petty Officers in August of that year. Elgin pistol Chinese butterfly sword Leadcutter sword This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Cutlass". Encyclopædia Britannica. 7. Cambridge University Press. P. 671
The term kopis in Ancient Greece could describe a heavy knife with a forward-curving blade used as a tool for cutting meat, for ritual slaughter and animal sacrifice, or refer to a single edged cutting or "cut and thrust" sword with a shaped blade. The kopis sword was a one-handed weapon. Early examples had a blade length of up to 65 cm, making it equal in size to the spatha. Macedonian examples tended to be shorter with a blade length of about 48 cm; the kopis had a single-edged blade that pitched forward towards the point, the edge being concave on the part of the sword nearest the hilt, but swelling to convexity towards the tip. This shape termed "recurved", distributes the weight in such a way that the kopis was capable of delivering a blow with the momentum of an axe, whilst maintaining the long cutting edge of a sword and some facility to execute a thrust; some scholars have claimed an Etruscan origin for the sword, as such swords have been found as early as the 7th century BC in Etruria.
The kopis is compared to the contemporary Iberian falcata and the more recent, shorter, Nepalese kukri. The word itself is a Greek feminine singular noun; the difference in meaning between kopis and makhaira is not clear in ancient texts, but modern specialists tend to discriminate between single-edged cutting swords, those with a forward curve being classed as kopides, those without as makhairai. The Ancient Greeks used single-edged blades in warfare, as attested to by art and literature. Greek heavy infantry hoplites favored straight swords, but the downward curve of the kopis made it suited to mounted warfare; the general and writer Xenophon recommended the single edged kopis sword for cavalry use in his work On Horsemanship. The precise wording of Xenophon's description suggests the possibility that the kopis was regarded as a specific variant within a more general class, with the term makhaira denoting any single-edged cutting sword. Greek art shows Persian soldiers wielding the kopis or an axe rather than the straight-bladed Persian akinakes.
It has been suggested that the yatagan, used in the Balkans and Anatolia during the Ottoman Period, was a direct descendant of the kopis. Falcata Kukri Khopesh Makhaira Xiphos Iron Age sword Illustration of Kopis in Ancient Greek Art
Gladius was one Latin word for sword, is used to represent the primary sword of Ancient Roman foot soldiers. Early ancient Roman swords were similar to those of the Greeks, called xiphos. From the 3rd century BC, the Romans adopted swords similar to those used by the Celtiberians and others during the early part of the conquest of Hispania; this sword was known as the gladius hispaniensis, or "Hispanic sword". A equipped Roman legionary after the reforms of Gaius Marius was armed with a shield, one or two javelins, a sword a dagger, in the empire period, darts. Conventionally, soldiers threw pilae to disable the enemy's shields and disrupt enemy formations before engaging in close combat, for which they drew the gladius. A soldier led with the shield and thrust with the sword. Gladius is a Latin masculine second declension noun, its plural is gladiī. However, gladius in Latin refers to any sword, not the modern definition of a gladius; the word appears in literature as early as the plays of Plautus.
Gladius is believed to be a Celtic loan in Latin, derived from ancient Celtic *kladios or *kladimos "sword". Modern English words derived from gladius include gladiator and gladiolus, a flowering plant with sword-shaped leaves. According to Livy and Polybius, Celtiberian mercenaries for Hannibal at the Battle of Cannae wielded short swords that excelled at both slashing and thrusting. Roman military would have adopted this design before the end of the war, calling it gladius hispaniensis in Latin and iberiké machaira in Greek; this weapon replaced the previous Roman sword. It is believed Scipio Africanus was the promoter of the change after the Battle of Cartagena in 209 BC, after which he set the inhabitants to produce weapons for the Roman army. Livy relates the story of Titus Manlius Torquatus accepting a challenge to a single combat by a large Gallic soldier at a bridge over the Anio river, where the Gauls and the Romans were encamped on opposite sides. Manlius strapped on the "Hispanic sword".
During the combat he thrust twice with it under the shield of the Gaul, dealing fatal blows to the abdomen. He removed the Gaul's torc and placed it around his own neck, hence the name, torquatus; the combat occurred during the consulships of C. Sulpicius Peticus and C. Licinius Stolo—i.e. About 361 BC, long during the frontier wars with the Gauls. One theory proposes the borrowing of the word gladius from *kladi- during this period, relying on the principle that K became G in Latin. Ennius attests the word. Gladius may have replaced ensis, which in the literary periods was used by poets; the exact origin of the gladius Hispanus is disputed. While it is that it descended from Celtic swords of the La Tene and Hallstat periods, no one knows if it came to the Romans through Celtiberian troops of the Punic Wars, or through Gallic troops of the Gallic Wars. Arguments for the Celtiberian source of the weapon have been reinforced in recent decades by discovery of early Roman gladii that seem to highlight that they were copies of Celtiberian models.
The weapon developed in Iberia after La Tène I models, which were adapted to traditional Celtiberian techniques during the late 4th and early 3rd centuries BC. These weapons are quite original in their design. By the time of the Roman Republic, which flourished during the Iron Age, the classical world was well-acquainted with steel and the steel-making process. Pure iron is soft, but pure iron is never found in nature. Natural iron ore contains various impurities in solid solution, which harden the reduced metal by producing irregular-shaped metallic crystals; the gladius was made out of steel. In Roman times, workers reduced ore in a bloomery furnace; the resulting pieces were called blooms, which they further worked to remove slag inclusions from the porous surface. A recent metallurgical study of two Etrurian swords, one in the form of a Greek kopis from 7th century BC Vetulonia, the other in the form of a gladius Hispaniensis from 4th century BC Chiusa, gives insight concerning the manufacture of Roman swords.
The Chiusa sword comes from Romanized etruria. The Vetulonian sword was crafted by the pattern welding process from five blooms reduced at a temperature of 1163 °C. Five strips of varying carbon content were created. A central core of the sword contained the highest: 0.15–0.25% carbon. On its edges were placed four strips of low-carbon steel, 0.05–0.07%, the whole thing was welded together by forging on the pattern of hammer blows. A blow increased the temperature sufficiently to produce a friction weld at that spot. Forging continued; the sword was 58 cm long. The Chiusian sword was created from a single bloom by forging from a temperature of 1237 °C; the carbon content increased from 0.05–0.08% at the back side of the sword to 0.35–0.4% on the blade, from which the authors de
In the European High Middle Ages, the typical sword was a straight, double-edged weapon with a single-handed, cruciform hilt and a blade length of about 70 to 80 centimetres. This type is depicted in period artwork, numerous examples have been preserved archaeologically; the high medieval sword of the Romanesque period developed from the Viking sword of the 9th century. In the Late Medieval period, late forms of these swords continued to be used, but as a sidearm, at that point called "arming swords" and contrasting with the two-handed, heavier longswords. Though the majority of late-medieval arming swords kept their blade properties from previous centuries, there are surviving specimens from the 15th century that took the form of a late-medieval estoc, specialised for use against more armoured opponents. After the end of the medieval period, the arming sword developed into several forms of the early modern one-handed straight swords, such as the side-sword, the rapier, the cavalry-focused Reiterschwert and certain types of broadsword.
The term "arming sword" is first used in the 15th century to refer to the single-handed type of sword after it had ceased to serve as the main weapon, was on its way to being used as a side-sword. "Arming sword" in late medieval usage refers to the when worn as a side-arm, but as a modern term it may refer to any single-handed sword in a late medieval context. The terms "knight's sword" or "knightly sword" are modern retronyms to specify the sword of the high medieval period. Period terminology for swords is somewhat fluid; the common type of sword in any given period would be referred to as "sword". During the high medieval period, references to swords as "great sword" or "small" or "short sword" does not indicate their morphology, but their relative size. Oakeshott notes that this changes in the late medieval period, beginning towards the end of the 13th century, when the "bastard sword" appeared as an early type of what would develop into the 15th-century longsword; the term "romanesque sword" does not see significant use in English, but it is more current in French, German and in Slavic languages, identifying the swords by them being contemporary with the corresponding Romanesque period in art history.
The knightly sword develops in the 11th century from the Viking Age sword. The most evident morphological development is the appearance of the crossguard; the transitional swords of the 11th century are known as Norman swords. In the 10th century, some of the "finest and most elegant" of the Ulfberht type of "Viking" swords began to exhibit a more slender blade geometry, moving the center of mass closer to the hilt to improve wieldability; the one-handed sword of the high medieval period was used with a shield or buckler. In the late medieval period, when the longsword came to predominate, the single-handed sword was retained as a common sidearm of the estoc type, came to be referred to as an "arming sword" evolving into the cut and thrust swords of the Renaissance. At the end of the medieval period, the estoc arming sword develops into the Spanish espada ropera and the Italian spada da lato, the predecessors of the early modern rapier. In a separate development, the schiavona was a heavier single-handed sword used by the Dalmatian bodyguard of the Doge of Venice in the 16th century.
This type influenced the development of the early modern basket-hilted sword which in turn developed into the modern cavalry sword. The most widespread typology for the medieval sword was developed by Ewart Oakeshott in 1960 based on blade morphology. Oakeshott introduced an additional typology for pommel shapes. A more recent typology is due to Geibig. Geibig's typology focusses on swords from continental the transitional period from the early to the high medieval period and does not extend to the late medieval period. Blade length was from 69 to 81 centimetres. Pommels were most of the'Brazil-nut' type from around 1000–1200 AD, with the'wheel' pommel appearing in the 11th and predominating from the 13th to 15th centuries. However, Oakeshott is emphatic on the point that a medieval sword cannot conclusively be dated based on its morphology. While there are some general trends in the development of fashion, many of the most popular styles of pommels and blades remain in use throughout the duration of the High Middle Ages.
The common "knightly swords" of the high medieval period fall under types X to XII. Type X is the Norman sword as it developed out of the early medieval Viking sword by the 11th century. Type XI shows the development towards a more tapering point seen during the 12th century. Type XII is a further development, typical throughout the Crusades period, showing a tapering blade with a shortened fuller. Subtype XIIa comprises the longer and more massive "great-swords" which developed in the mid-13th century designed to counter improvements in mail armour. Type XIII is the knightly sword typical of the 13th century. Swords of this type have l
Bronze Age sword
Bronze Age swords appeared from around the 17th century BC, in the Black Sea region and the Aegean, as a further development of the dagger. They were replaced by iron swords during the early part of the 1st millennium BC. From an early time the swords reached lengths in excess of 100 cm; the technology to produce blades of such lengths appears to have been developed in the Aegean, using alloys of copper and tin or arsenic, around 1700 BC. Bronze Age swords were not longer than 80 cm. Before about 1400 BC swords remained limited to the Aegean and southeastern Europe, but they became more widespread in the final centuries of the 2nd millennium BC, to Central Europe and Britain, to the Near East, Central Asia, Northern India and to China. Before bronze, stone was used as the primary material for edged cutting weapons. Stone, however, is too brittle for thin implements such as swords. With the introduction of copper, subsequently bronze, knives could be made longer, leading to the sword. Thus, the development of the sword from the dagger was gradual, in 2004 the first "swords" were claimed for the Early Bronze Age, based on finds at Arslantepe by Marcella Frangipane, professor of Prehistory and Protohistory of the Near and Middle East at Sapienza University of Rome.
A cache of nine swords and daggers was found. Among them, three swords were beautifully inlaid with silver; these are the weapons of a total length of 45 to 60 cm which could be described as either short swords or long daggers. Some other similar swords have been found in Turkey, are described by Thomas Zimmermann; the sword remained rare for another millennium, became more widespread only with the closing of the 3rd millennium. The "swords" of this period can still be interpreted as daggers, as with the copper specimen from Naxos, with a length of just below 36 cm, but individual specimens of the Cycladic "copper swords" of the period around 2300 reach a length up to 60 cm; the first weapons that can unambiguously be classified as swords are those found in Minoan Crete, dated to about 1700 BC, which reach lengths of more than 100 cm. These are the "type A" swords of the Aegean Bronze Age; the Minoan and Mycenaean swords are classified in types labeled A to H following Sandars, the "Sandars typology".
Types A and B are the earliest from about the 17th to 16th centuries, types C and D from the 15th century, types E and F from the 13th and 12th. The 13th to 12th centuries see a revival of the "Horned" type, classified as types G and H. Type H swords were found in Anatolia and Greece. Contemporary with types E to H is the so-called Naue II type, imported from south-eastern Europe. One of the most important, longest-lasting, types of prehistoric European swords was the Naue II type, named for Julius Naue who first described them and known as Griffzungenschwert or "grip-tongue sword", it first appears in c. the 13th century BC in Northern Italy, survived well into the Iron Age, with a life-span of about seven centuries, until the 6th century BC. During its lifetime the basic design was maintained, although the material changed from bronze to iron. Naue II swords were exported from Europe to the Aegean, as far afield as Ugarit, beginning about 1200 BC, i.e. just a few decades before the final collapse of the palace cultures in the Bronze Age collapse.
Naue II swords could be as long as 85 cm. Swords from the Nordic Bronze Age appear from ca. the 13th century BC showing characteristic spiral patterns. The early Nordic swords are comparatively short; this sword was, classified as of the Hajdúsámson-Apa type, was imported. The Vreta Kloster sword discovered in 1897 has a blade length of 46 cm. A typical variant for European swords is the leaf shaped blade, most common in North-West Europe at the end of the Bronze Age, on the British Isles in particular; the carp's tongue sword is a type of bronze sword, common to Western Europe during ca. the 9th to 8th centuries BC. The blade of the carp's tongue sword was wide and parallel for most of its length but the final third narrowed into a thin tip intended for thrusting; the design was developed in north-western France, combined the broad blade useful for slashing with a thinner, elongated tip suitable for thrusting. Its advantages saw its adoption across Atlantic Europe. In Britain, the metalwork in the south east derived its name from this sword: the Carp's Tongue complex.
Notable examples of this type were part of the Isleham Hoard. The Bronze Age style sword and construction methods died out at the end of the early Iron Age ), around 600-500 BC, when swords are once again replaced by daggers in most of Europe. An exception is the Xiphos from Greece, the development of which continued for several more centuries; the antenna sword, named for the pair of ornaments suggesting antennae on its hilt, is a type of the Late Bronze Age, continued in early iron swords of the East Hallstatt and Italy region. Sword production in China is attested from the Bronze Age Shang Dynasty, from 1200 BC; the technology for bronze swords reached its high point during the Warring States period and Qin Dynasty (221