The Gladius Sword was the primary weapon of Ancient Roman foot soldiers and is a significant piece in the history of warfare. The term "Gladius" originates from Latin, simply meaning 'sword'. This weapon had an evolution in its design, from the early Roman swords, which resembled Greek models, to those adopted from the Celtiberians in the 3rd century BC, following Rome's conquest of Hispania.
This adaptation is historically known as the gladius hispaniensis, or Hispanic Sword. Roman soldiers typically utilized this weapon in close combat, leading with their shields and thrusting with their swords. Despite its reputation as a thrusting weapon, the design of all types of Gladius swords was suitable for both cutting and chopping.
Blade Composition and Construction
The Gladius in discussion is constructed from Pattern-welded Damascus steel, a form of heat-treated, folded carbon steel known for its remarkable toughness and resilience. The creation process involves folding 11 pieces of steel five times, resulting in 352 distinct layers. The resultant steel, with a Rockwell hardness rating between 55 and 56 HRC, achieves a commendable balance between hardness and durability.
The Damascus steel used for this Gladius contains layers of high carbon steel, more specifically, 1095 steel, recognized for its high carbon content. This combination yields a sword that can retain a sharp edge, while demonstrating the ability to withstand significant force, typical characteristics sought in combat weapons.
- Handle Material: Wood with Brass Bolsters
- Overall Length: 24"
- Rockwell Hardness: 55-56 HRC
- Number of Layers: 352
- Sheath: Leather
- Blade Material: Damascus Steel (comprising of 6 pieces of Carbon Steel #43 and #40, 5 pieces of High Carbon Steel 1095)
- Folding Process:
- 1st Fold: 11x2=22 Layers
- 2nd Fold: 22*2=44 Layers
- 3rd Fold: 44*2=88 Layers
- 4th Fold: 88*2=176 Layers
- 5th Fold: 176*2=352 Layers
In essence, the Gladius, with its high carbon Damascus steel blade, is a noteworthy representation of the Ancient Roman foot soldier's weaponry.
The sword is not only era correct but is finely weighted. The handle is excellent and offers the wielder a solid grasp and it narrows down to an excellent piercing point which is what Roman swords of the time would have done. Everyone (especially my historically minded friends but even others) who have had a chance to see it commented on the quality and those fortunate enough for me to have let wield it have loved it. I would advise this to anyone looking for a find gladius at an extremely reasonable price and if I do ever buy another sword it will be from battlingblades.com
The Gladius came quickly and it was a beauty to behold. I plan on buying more of these outstanding weapons.
Gladius Sword- High Carbon Damascus Steel - 24"- Gladiator/ Hispaniensis Sword