The basket-hilted sword is a sword type of the early modern era characterised by a basket-shaped guard that protects the hand. The basket hilt is a development of the quillons added to swords' crossguards since the Late Middle Ages. In modern times, this variety of sword is sometimes referred to as the broadsword; the basket-hilted sword was in use as a military sword, in contrast with the rapier, the slim duelling sword worn with civilian dress during the same period, although each did find some use in both military and civilian contexts. A further distinction applied by arms historians and collectors is that a true broadsword possesses a double-edged blade, while similar wide-bladed swords with a single sharpened edge and a thickened back are called backswords. Various forms of basket-hilt were mounted on both backsword blades. One of the weapon types in the modern German dueling sport of Mensur is the basket-hilted Korbschläger; the basket-hilted sword is a development of the 16th century, rising to popularity in the 17th century and remaining in widespread use throughout the 18th century, used by heavy cavalry up to the Napoleonic era.
One of the earliest basket-hilted swords was recovered from the wreck of the Mary Rose, an English warship lost in 1545. Before the find, the earliest positive dating had been two swords from around the time of the English Civil War. At first the wire guard was a simple design but as time passed it became sculpted and ornate; the basket-hilted sword was a cut and thrust sword which found the most use in a military context, contrasting with the rapier, the heavy, thrust-oriented sword most worn with civilian dress which evolved from the espada ropera or spada da lato type during the same period. The term "broadsword" was not used in the 17th and 18th centuries and is of Victorian invention, referring to double-edged basket-hilted swords; the term was introduced to distinguish these cut and thrust swords from the narrower rapier and smallsword. By the 17th century there were regional variations of basket-hilts: the Walloon hilt, the Sinclair hilt, mortuary sword, Scottish broadsword, some types of eastern European pallasches.
The mortuary and claybeg variants were used in the British isles, whether domestically produced or acquired through trade with Italy and Germany. They influenced the 18th-century cavalry sabre. During the 18th century, the fashion of duelling in Europe focused on the lighter smallsword, fencing with the broadsword came to be seen as a speciality of Scotland. A number of fencing manuals teaching fencing with the Scottish broadsword were published throughout the 18th century. Descendants of the basket-hilted sword, albeit in the form of backswords with reduced "half" or "three-quarter" baskets, remained in use in cavalry during the Napoleonic era and throughout the 19th century as the 1796 Heavy Cavalry Sword, the Gothic Hilted British Infantry Swords of the 1820s to 1890s, the 1897 Pattern British Infantry Officer's Sword and as the Pattern 1908 and 1912 cavalry swords down to the eve of World War I; the Schiavona was a Renaissance sword that became popular in Italy during the 16th and 17th centuries.
Stemming from the 16th-century sword of the Balkan mercenaries who formed the bodyguard of the Doge of Venice, the name came from the fact that the guard consisted of the Schiavoni and Dalmatian Slavs. It was recognisable for its "cat's-head pommel" and distinctive handguard made up of many leaf-shaped brass or iron bars, attached to the cross-bar and knucklebow rather than the pommel. Classified as a true broadsword, this war sword had a wider blade than its contemporary civilian rapiers, it was basket hilted and its blade was double edged. A surviving blade measures 93.2 cm × 3.4 cm × 0.45 cm and bears two fullers or grooves running about 1/4 the length of the blade. Weighing in at around 1.1 kg, this blade was useful for both thrust. The schiavona became popular among the armies of those who traded with Italy during the 17th century and was the weapon of choice for many heavy cavalry, it was popular among wealthy civilians alike. A similar weapon was the cut-and-thrust mortuary sword, used after 1625 by cavalry during the English Civil War.
This two-edged sword sported a half-basket hilt with a straight blade some 90–105 cm long. These hilts were of intricate sculpting and design. After the execution of King Charles I, basket-hilted swords were made which depicted the face or death mask of the "martyred" king on the hilt; these swords came to be known as "mortuary swords", the term has been extended to refer to the entire type of Civil War–era broadswords by some 20th-century authors. This sword was Oliver Cromwell's weapon of choice. Mortuary swords remained in use until around 1670 when they fell out of favor among civilians and began to be replaced with the smallsword. A common weapon among the clansmen during the Jacobite rebellions of the late 17th and early 18th centuries was the Scottish basket hilted broadsword known as claidheamh beag or claybeg meaning "small sword" in Scottish Gaelic. In close quarters, the claybeg was the ideal weapon of choice for combating British soldiers armed with long, muskets with plu
Second War of Kappel
The Second War of Kappel was an armed conflict in 1531 between the Protestant and the Roman Catholic cantons of the Old Swiss Confederacy during the Reformation in Switzerland. The tensions between the two parties had not been resolved by the peace concluded after the First War of Kappel two years earlier, provocations from both sides continued, fuelled in particular by the Augsburg Confession of 1530. Additionally, the Roman Catholic party accused Zürich of territorial ambitions; as the Catholic cantons refused to help the Three Leagues in the Grisons during the Musso war against the Duchy of Milan, Zürich promptly considered this a breach of contracts between the confederacy and the Three Leagues and declared an embargo against the five alpine Catholic cantons, in which Bern participated. While the Tagsatzung had mediated in 1529, on this occasion the attempt failed, not least because Zwingli, the Protestant leader, was eager for a military confrontation. Pressed by the food embargo, the Catholic cantons declared war on Zürich on 9 October 1531.
On 11 October 1531 a force of 7,000 soldiers from the five Catholic cantons met an army of only 2,000 men from Zürich at the Battle of Kappel. Zürich's army was unsupported by the other Protestant cantons and was led by Zwingli, while the combined Catholic army was led by Hans Jauch of Uri; the main Zürich force arrived at the battlefield in scattered groups and exhausted from a forced march. The Catholic forces attacked and after a brief resistance, the Protestant army broke around 4 in the afternoon. About 500 Protestants were killed in the while fleeing. Among the dead was Zwingli and twenty-four other pastors. Zwingli's body was burned as a heretic. After the defeat, the forces of Zürich regrouped and attempted to occupy the Zugerberg, some of them camped on the Gubel hill near Menzingen. Following the defeat at Kappel and other Reformed Cantons marched to rescue Zürich. Between 15–21 October, a large Reformed army marched up the Reuss valley to outside of Baar. At the same time, the Catholic army was now encamped on the slopes of the Zugerberg.
The combined Zürich-Bern army attempted to send 5,000 men over Sihlbrugg and Menzingen to encircle the army on the Zugerberg. However, the Reformed army marched due to poor discipline and looting. By the night of 23–24 October, they had only reached Gubel at Menzingen; that night they were driven off. About 600 Protestant soldiers died in the panicked retreat that followed; this defeat destroyed much of the combined Zürich-Bern army and, faced with increasing desertion, it retreated on 3 November back down the Reuss to Bremgarten. The retreat left much of Lake Zürich itself unprotected. Zürich now pushed for a rapid peace settlement. Heinrich Bullinger, a teacher at Kappel, since 1523 an outspoken supporter of Zwingli's, at the time of the battle was pastor at Bremgarten. Following the Battle of Kappel, Bremgarten was re-catholicized. On 21 October, Bullinger fled to Zürich with his father, on 9 December was declared Zwingli's successor; the peace that ended the war, the so-called Zweiter Landfrieden forced the dissolution of the Protestant alliance.
It gave Catholicism the priority in the common territories, but allowed communes or parishes that had converted to remain Protestant. Only strategically important places such as the Freiamt or those along the route from Schwyz to the Rhine valley at Sargans were forcibly re-catholicised. One result of the treaty—probably not anticipated by its signatories—was the long-term establishment of religious coexistence in several Swiss subject territories. In both the Thurgau and Aargau, for example and Protestant congregations began worshiping in the same churches, which led to further tensions and conflicts throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; the treaty confirmed each canton's right to practice either the Catholic or Reformed faith, thus defining the Swiss Confederation as a state with two religions, a relative novelty in Western Europe. The outcome of the war confirmed and cemented the Catholic majority among the thirteen full members of the Swiss Confederation: after settlements in Glarus and Appenzell, seven full and two half cantons remained Catholic, while four and two halves became Swiss Reformed Protestant.
An unsuccessful effort by the Protestant cantons Zürich, to change the terms of confessional coexistence in 1656, the First War of Villmergen, led to a reaffirmation of the status quo in the Dritter Landfrieden. A second religious civil war in 1712, the Second War of Vilmergen, ended in a decisive Protestant victory and major revisions in the fourth Landfrieden of 1712. First War of Kappel First War of Villmergen Toggenburg War or Second War of Villmergen Sonderbund War W. Schaufelberger, Kappel - Die Hintergründe einer militärschen Katastrophe, in SAVk 51, 1955, 34-61. Reformation in Switzerland Johannes Salat
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
The xiphos is a double-edged, one-handed Iron Age straight shortsword used by the ancient Greeks. It was a secondary battlefield weapon for the Greek armies after the javelin; the classic blade was about 45–60 cm long, although the Spartans started to use blades as short as 30 cm around the era of the Greco-Persian Wars. The xiphos sometimes has a midrib, is diamond or lenticular in cross-section, it was hung from a baldric under the left arm. The xiphos was used only when the spear was broken, taken by the enemy, or discarded for close combat. Few xiphoi seem to have survived. Stone's Glossary has the xiphos being a name used by Homer for a sword; the entry in the book says that the sword had a double-edged blade widest at about two-thirds of its length from the point, ending in a long point. The name xiphos means something in the way of "penetrating light" according to researcher and swordsmith Peter Johnsson; the xiphos' leaf-shaped design lent itself to both thrusting. The design has most been in existence since the appearance of the first swords.
Blades in bronze and iron are suitable for a leaf shape due to the softness of the metals in comparison to steel. Bronze swords are cast and are thus more formed into a leaf shape than iron swords, which need to be forged; the early xiphos was a bronze sword, in the classical period, would have been made of iron. The early Celtic La Tène short sword, contemporary with the xiphos, had a identical blade design as the xiphos; the leaf-shaped short swords were not limited to Greece, as mentioned, but can be found throughout Europe in the late Bronze Age under various names. Bronze leaf-shaped swords from as early as the late second millennium still survive; the Urnfield culture is associated with the use of the leaf shaped bronze short sword. It is thought that iron swords had replaced bronze swords by the early La Tène culture about 500BC. During the Halstatt culture a mixture of bronze and iron swords seem to have existed side by side. Iron tends to become oxidized over the years, few iron swords have survived, in contrast to bronze swords that age well.
Thus, much is known regarding the sword during the Bronze Age but less so in the early Iron Age. Bronze thrusting swords from the second millennium still exist in excellent condition; the word is attested in Mycenaean Greek Linear B form as, qi-si-pe-e. A relation to Arabic saifun and Egyptian sēfet has been suggested, although this does not explain the presence of a labiovelar in Mycenaean. One suggestion connects Ossetic äxsirf "sickle", which would point to a virtual Indo-European *kwsibhro-. Gladius Iron Age sword Kopis Makhaira Notes References
A ceremonial weapon is an object used for ceremonial purposes to display power or authority. They are used in parades and as part of dress uniforms. Although they are descended from weapons used in actual combat, they are not used as such, their form and their finishing and decoration are designed to show status and power and to be an impressive sight, rather than for practicality as a weapon. Quite ceremonial weapons are constructed with precious metals or other materials that make them too delicate for combat use. With ceremonial swords, an example of this is. However, many ceremonial weapons were capable of actual combat, most notably in the military. Maces, halberds and swords are the most common form of ceremonial weapons, but in theory any weapon can become ceremonial; the Sergeant at Arms in some parliaments carries a ceremonial mace. The Swiss Guard in the Vatican carry 21st century weapons. Mid 20th century rifles such as the American M14 and the Russian SKS, fitted with polished wood stocks, chrome plating and other decorative finishes, are common ceremonial weapons for honor guard units.
Another example is the use of a firearm to signal the start of a race. Guns are used in celebratory gunfire. Armes d'honneur Ceremonial mace Drill purpose rifle Schläger Staff of office Sword of justice Sword of Saint Wenceslas – the coronation sword of Bohemia Sword of state Toy gun Tumi Indonesian ceremonial bronze axes Media related to Ceremonial weapons at Wikimedia Commons
Swordsmanship or sword fighting refers to the skills of a swordsman, a person versed in the art of the sword. The term is modern, as such was used to refer to smallsword fencing, but by extension it can be applied to any martial art involving the use of a sword; the formation of the English word "swordsman" is parallel to the Latin word gladiator, a term for the professional fighters who fought against each other and a variety of other foes for the entertainment of spectators in the Roman Empire. The word gladiator itself comes from the Latin word gladius, meaning "sword"; the sword in ancient Egypt was known by several names, but most are variations of the words sfet, seft or nakhtui. The earliest bronze swords in the country date back 4000 years. Four types of sword are known to have been used: the ma or boomerang-sword based on the hunting stick, the kat or knife-sword, the khopesh or falchion based on the sickle, a fourth form of straight longsword; the khopesh is depicted as early as the Sixth Dynasty.
It was thick-backed and weighted with bronze, sometimes with gold hilts in the case of pharaohs. The blade may be edged on one or both sides, was made from copper alloy, iron, or blue steel; the double-edge grip-tongue sword is believed to have been introduced by the Sherden and became dispersed throughout the Near East. These swords are of various lengths, were paired with shields, they had a leaf-shaped blade, a handle which hollows away at the centre and thickens at each end. Middle Eastern swords became dominant throughout North Africa after the introduction of Islam, after which point swordsmanship in the region becomes that of Arabian or Middle Eastern fencing; the process of both iron smelting and forging was introduced to Sub-Saharan Africa from the north, thus many African swords were of Egyptian derivation. Among some communities, swords were restricted to tribal leaders. Forms vary from one area to another, such as the billao of Somalia, boomerang-sword in Niger or the single-edge swords of the Gold Coast.
The Abyssinian shotel took the form of a large sickle, like the Egyptian khopesh, with a small 4 inch wooden handle. The edge was on the inside of the blade. Double-edge swords similar to those of Europe and ancient Arabia occurred in some areas such as the takoba and kaskara. Two types of sword existed in Zanzibar: the foot-long shortsword and the standard sword with a blade measuring 3–3.5 feet and a cylindrical pommel. The latter weapon was wielded with both hands like a quarterstaff. Greece provides the foundation for the widespread use of the sword as a weapon in its own right in the West; the Roman legionaries and other forces of the Roman military, until the 2nd century A. D. used the gladius as a short thrusting sword with the scutum, a type of shield, in battle. Gladiators used a shorter gladius than the military; the spatha was a longer double-edged sword used only by Celtic soldiers incorporated as auxilia into Roman Cavalry units. D. the spatha was used throughout much of the Roman Empire.
The Empire's legionary soldiers were trained and prided themselves on their disciplinary skills. This carried over to their training with weaponry, but we have no Roman manuals of swordsmanship. One translation of Juvenal's poetry by Barten Holyday in 1661 makes note that the Roman trainees learned to fight with the wooden wasters before moving on to the use of sharpened steel. In fact, it is found that Roman gladiators trained with a wooden sword, weighted with lead, against a straw man or a wooden pole known as a palus; this training would have provided the Roman soldier with a good foundation of skill, to be improved upon from practical experience or further advanced training. Little is known about early medieval fencing techniques save for what may be concluded from archaeological evidence and artistic depiction. What little has been found, shows the use of the sword was limited during the Viking age among the Vikings themselves and other northern Germanic tribes. Here, the spear and shield were prominent weapons, with only wealthy individuals owning swords.
These weapons, based on the early Germanic spatha, were made well. The technique of pattern welding of composite metals, invented in the Roman Empire around the end of the 2nd century A. D. provided some of these northern weapons superior properties in strength and resilience to the iron gladius of early Rome. As time passed, the spatha evolved into the arming sword, a weapon with a notable cruciform hilt common among knights in the Medieval Age; some time after this evolution, the earliest known treatises were written, dealing with arming sword and buckler combat. Among these examples is the I.33, the earliest known Fechtbuch. The German school of swordsmanship can trace itself most to Johannes Liechtenauer and his students, who became the German masters of the 15th century, including Sigmund Ringeck, Hans Talhoffer, Peter von Danzig and Paulus Kal, it is possible that the Italian fencing treatise Flos Duellatorum, written by the Italian swordmaster Fiore dei Liberi around 1410, has ties to the German school.
During this period of time, the longsword grew out of the arming sword resulting in a blade comfortably wielded in both hands at once. Armour technology evolved, leading to the advent of plate armour, thus swordsmanship was further pressed to meet the demands of killing a well protected enemy. For much of the early medieval period, the sword continued to remain a symbol of status. During years, pro
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