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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.

Ancient SwordsEdit

  • 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.

Japanese SwordsEdit

  • 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.

Chinese SwordsEdit

  • 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.

Fictional SwordsEdit

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