A sword is, loosely, a sharp, deadly weapon with a small grip and a long blade. It is bigger than a dagger but smaller than a polearm. A scimitar, also known as a shamsir or saber/sabre, has a single curved edge. Sometimes, the scimitar is considered distinct from swords, but the term sword is used here in the more general sense. A katana is a Japanese weapon which represents a compromise between the straight sword and the scimitar, having some curve but also a useful stabbing point.
Parts of a swordEdit
- Hilt: The part of a sword you hold.
- Guard: A crossbar or disc between the hilt and the blade which protects the fingers.
- Crossguard: A type of perpendicular guard. The cruciform hilt consists of a simple hilt and crossguard.
- Quillions: Prongs that project from the hilt.
- Gladius: A Roman shortsword, used extensively by the Roman military and the source of the term gladiator. As the common form of sword, it eventually gave its name to swords in general.
- Spatha: An iron age, medium-length sword. The Roman cavalry made extensive use of it. May be a Germanic weapon, or may have inspired Germanic weapons, or as is likely, both. From a Greek term meaning "blade" in general.
- Semispatha: A shortsword, similar to what would have once been called a gladius.
- Khopesh: An Egyptian sword or axe with a forward curve, typically bronze.
- Keltos or Celtic sword: Usually, an ancient, leaf-shaped sword with an anthropomorphic hilt, but could be applied to any weapon of classic Celtic origin.
Medieval European SwordsEdit
- Longsword: A cut-and-thrust sword, especially one designed for two-handed or versatile use. The bastard sword is generally a longsword.
- Broadsword: To a 19th century fencer, any cut-and-thrust sword, being broader than a rapier. Also, a type of basket-hilted sword also known as a claymore.
- Claymore: A Scottish sword, especially a longsword. May refer to a basket-hilted broadsword, or the classic, oversized two-handed Scottish sword.
- Arming sword: A military sword, particularly a cut-and-thrust sword of conventional design. Includes longswords and most ordinary swords.
- Zwiehander: German for "two handed," a large sword intended for two-handed use.
- Falchion: A heavy, chopping style type of scimitar. Could be small, medium, or large in overall size.
- Estoc: A pointed, stabbing weapon similar to a sword.
- Katana: A curved longsword, typically used two-handed or in conjunction with a secondary weapon.
- Tachi: A large, curved scimitar, predating the classic katana.
- Wakizashi: A shortsword modeled after the katana in appearance.
- Tanto: A dagger, modeled after the katana or tachi in appearance.
- Ninja-to: A straight-bladed shortword, probably not a historical weapon.
- Jian: A one-handed straight sword, sometimes called a "Tai Chi" sword because of its prominence in traditional martial arts.
- Butterfly swords: Light, flexible shortswords with very broad blades.
- Dao: A scimitar style sword, often used in traditional martial arts. Sometimes called the Chinese broadsword.
Renaissance Fencing WeaponsEdit
- Rapier: Classically, a light cut-and-thrust sword. Eventually, they became longer and less sharp along the edges, giving birth to the epee.
- Sword-rapier: A modern term for a transitional arming sword that is similar to a rapier.
- Epee: A longish stabbing weapon.
- Smallsword: A small civilian weapon that due to its speed supplanted the rapier with some fencers.
Other Historical SwordsEdit
- Scimitar: A curved, slashing weapon, often used from horeseback. Also known as a shamsir or sabre.