Thursday, August 18, 2016

History of sword as a fighting weapon

The sword is the most revered of all of man’s weapons. The first swords were made from copper, a naturally-occurring metal which the ancient Sumerians used for swords and other tools starting about 4500 BC.

In 3500 BC, implements began to be crafted of bronze, which is an alloy of copper and tin combined to form a harder and stronger substance than pure copper.

Bronze was expensive and only a few individuals could afford swords, but this gave them an unquestioned advantage over opponents armed with flint knives and axes.

The technology of the swordsmith advanced significantly with the introduction of iron weapons and tools around 1400 BC. Swords made form steel were used by the civilizations of Rome, China, India and medieval and Renaissance Europe.

During the Chinese Wu Dynasty (222-265 AD), a hook was added near the tip of the sword to increase the hooking techniques and killing potential. Both edges of the hook were sharp.

The sword has been the symbol of Justice, of Vengeance and of Mercy. The katana has been called ‘The Soul of the Samurai’. The Viking lavished love, care and attached wonderful name to their weapons.

As swords necessary to fight against heavier weapons and armors became less necessary by the early 16th century due to changing military technology, a variety of multipurpose cut and thrust military swords came into use.

The era of the sword as the individual soldier’s principal fighting weapon began to wane, as it became secondary to the musket and pistol. By the end of the nineteenth century, swords had become largely ceremonial symbols of rank and authority.
History of sword as a fighting weapon
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