Sword 101: All About This Blade

swordsman

Swords--- sharp and bladed slicers that we mostly see in movies, especially the Asian ones. A good Chinese or Japanese action movie is never complete without a fight scene involving kung fu or a sword fight.

Swords--- the only weapon of choice of soldiers who fought during the medieval period. Before guns and cannons were ever invented, the fighters of each colony depended on swords for their lives. Think of King Leonidas and his whole army of Spartan men.

Swords--- the weapon we are going to get to know in this article. Have you ever wondered what types of swords there are on the planet? Or what are they made of? All these questions (and more) will be introduced here.

Anatomy of a Sword

sword anatomy

It is not a secret that the main function of a sword is to cut things. Now, it is the sword's turn to be "sliced" into pieces. Here are the main parts of a sword:

Things that make up a sword

sword making

During the ancient times, swords were made out of various things that changed over time.

First, swords were constructed out of copper. When that did not work (copper tends to bend easily), people turned to bronze, which is stronger and more durable than copper. When iron came to prominence, it became the main resource for sword-making.

Nowadays, the common material when making a sword is steel (steel alloy to be exact). It is undeniably better than iron and bronze, because it:

The sword's hilt (and its components) is usually made out of metal, too, but it still varies. The grip, for example, is usually constructed with wood and is covered with rubber.

Too Many Swords

Throughout the course of time, there had been plenty of swords that were used in different occasions. There are various kinds of swords that originated in all parts of the globe--- from Asia to Europe, there are swords for everybody.

Here are some of the basic and well-known swords to mankind:

Katana

Katana

Perhaps the most famous Asian sword there is, katana is a slightly-curved, single-edged slicer with a 2.5' long blade. It is often depicted in Japanese movies and anime series, and can be characterized as "bloody" and "deadly," for it can slice a human in the flesh to the bone--- even slash a man diagonally in half.

Great Sword

Great Sword

Also called a two-handed sword (because it can be used by both hands), this type became famous in the 1500s to 1600s. Its length is up to 6' and was usually used in one-on-one duels or single combat.

Flamberge

Flameberg

This type of sword was once popular with upper class people in the 1600s. Its edges are quite jagged and serrated--- almost like a flame, since the meaning of the word "flamberge" is "flame blade"--- and it was used to slow an enemy's blade as it passed.

Foil

Foil

A foil is a long sword commonly used in fencing. Foils are flexible and do not have sharp edges (although they are very pointy).

Rapier

Rapier

Another long, slender sword used in the 16th century. It is quite heavy and much slower than other swords used in modern fencing.

Longsword

Longsword

Longswords, as the name suggests, measure between 4 to 4 ½ feet long. They are usually straight and double-edged. A bastard sword is the same as a long sword, except that it is less pointy.

Short Sword

Short sword

Unlike longswords, the short ones lack in size (obviously)--- but are as deadly and sharp. Short swords usually measure only 2' and are used with a shield.

Scimitar

Scimitar

This is an Arabic sword, measuring about 3' long and is usually curved and single-edged.

Falchion

Falchion

Like the scimitar, this type of sword is also 3' long, curved and single-edged. It is the most favored sword during the medieval period because it is easy to use, even if the blade is quite heavy.

Khopesh

Khopesh

This is an Egyptian sickle-sword that looks like a small dagger with a hook, thanks to its very curved blade. It was often used to behead enemies with the sharp outside edge of the curve.

Falchion

Falchion

Like the scimitar, this type of sword is also 3' long, curved and single-edged. It is the most favored sword during the medieval period because it is easy to use, even if the blade is quite heavy.

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