Swords and Daggers
Recommended Swords and Daggers
SOTW Tesserarius Gladius - Offered by SOTW, this is a Pompeii-type Gladius based off of 1st Century AD finds.
SOTW Evocatus Gladius - Offered by SOTW, this is a Mainz-type Gladius based off of finds from the first half of the 1st Century AD.
SOTW Optio Gladius - Offered by SOTW, this is a Pompeii-type Gladius based off of 1st Century AD finds.
SOTW Centurio Gladius - Offered by SOTW, this is a Pompeii-type Gladius based off of 1st Century AD finds.
AH4209A Legionary Mainz Gladius - Based off of finds from the first half of the 1st Century AD, manufactured by Deepeeka, and offered by Soul of the Warrior.
AH2008 Tiberius Gladius - Based off of a find from the British Museum and dating to 15 AD, manufactured by Deepeeka and offered by Soul of the Warrior.
AH 4209B Fulham Gladius - Based off of the find from Fulham in Britain and dating to the first half of the 1st Century AD, manufactured by Deepeeka and offered by Soul of the Warrior.
AH 4211B Pompeii Gladius - Based off of finds from the first half of the 1st Century AD, manufactured by Deepeeka, and offered by Soul of the Warrior.
AH 4211CK Pompeii Gladius - Based off of finds from the first half of the 1st Century AD, manufactured by Deepeeka, and offered by Soul of the Warrior.
AH4204 Vespasianus Gladius - Based off of finds from the first half of the 1st Century AD, manufactured by Deepeeka, and offered by Soul of the Warrior.
AH3264A Leeuwen Pugio - Based off of a 1st Century find from Leeuwen, manufactured by Deepeeka, and offered by Soul of the Warrior.
AH3264X Exeter Pugio - Based off of a 1st Century find from Exeter, manufactured by Deepeeka, and offered by Soul of the Warrior.
AH3264P Mainz-Weisenau Pugio - Based off of a 1st Century find from Mainz-Weisenau, manufactured by Deepeeka, and offered by Soul of the Warrior.
AH3264T Titleberg Pugio - Based off of a 1st Century find from Titleberg, manufactured by Deepeeka, and offered by Kult of Athena.
Mark Morrow - Fantastic bladesmith, who can make virtually any Roman blade and charges by the inch. He can also add a scabbard and hilt for a little bit more.
Ancient Forge - Great smith who charges good prices, based out of Spain. Can also make scabbards to go with your sword.
There are three types of gladii that are accepted for use in the era the Legio VI recreates. The Fulham, Mainz, and Pompeii types.
Mainz Style Blade:
The Mainz type blade is so named because the first examples were found in Mainz, Germany. Numerous examples have been found in Augustan sites, which suggest it was in wide spread use during the reign of Augustus. Some examples have been found in England which suggests that it was in use up until the invasion of Britain in AD 43. The common length of this type varied from 16 in to 22 in(excluding tang), and the common width taper from 2-3 in to 2-2.5 in.
The scabbards started out simple and became more complex as time went by. They started out with a simple tubular frame design and developed into having metal plates placed over the scabbard.
What to look for:
At this time there are two different Mainz blades on the market. There is the one made by Deepeeka and the other Al Hammad Trading Post. The one made by Deepeeka is "accurate" in its design but the blade and scabbard are too wide. The one made by Al Hammad is the more accurate of the two. The scabbard has the correct design and blade/scabbard are also the correct width and length.
Fulham Style Blade:
The Fulham type is so named because it was discovered in Fulham, England. Now, only a few examples of this type have been found. It is almost exactly the same as the Mainz type except for one thing: one side of the blade is curved in more than the other. Scholars differ on if this is because a soldier sharpened his blade too much on that side, or if it was a manufacturer defect.
Pompeii Style Blade:
The Pompeii type is so named because the first examples were found in Pompeii, Italy. It is believes that the Pompeii type phased out the Mainz style during the middle of the first century AD. The common length of this type varied from 17 in to 20 in and the common width of about 2 in.
The scabbards were a simple form fitting metal cap on the end of the scabbard ,with another metal sleeve on the top of the scabbard. These two metal pieces can be simple in design or highly decorated with punched out designs.
Wearing the Gladius
For a legionnaire it is proper to wear the gladius on the right. It is accepted, that with the wearing of the lorica segmentata, a baldric is required to hang the gladius. There have been no evidence that the baldric had any fasteners of any kind, since it could be slip over the head and shoulder. Although attempts to identify cavalry harness fasteners as baldric fittings continue, despite the differences in decoration between infantry and cavalry equipment.
The gladius may also be suspended from it own belt, a second belt. This was more common with earlier periods and only worn with the lorica hamata. This belt would have no apron, and could consist of two frogs to suspend the gladius like the pugio or not. If no frogs were used using leather straps put threw the rings on the scabbard and around the belt would attach the gladius
***Only legionnaires with the rank of Centurion or better wore there gladius on the left.***
Here is what “Roman Military Equipment: From the Punic Wars to the Fall of Rome” by M.C. Bishop & J.C.N. Coulston has to say about the Mainz and Pompeii gladii:
"Contrary to popular belief, the term “gladius” can mean any sword and is certainly not specific to short weapons. The infantry sword underwent an important metamorphosis some time after the middle of the 1st century AD. The familiar long-pointed, taper-bladed weapon of the Republic, the so-called gladius Hispaniensis (which survived as the ‘Mainz’ type), was phased out in favor of the parallel-edged, short pointed replacement (the “Pompeii” type). These two swords are, it has been suggested, symptomatic of a change in the style of Roman fighting. Examples of the Mainz type sword (so-called because so many examples come from the Rhine at Mainz) and its associated scabbard fittings are found throughout the first half of the century and it was clearly still in use at the time of the invasion of Britain in AD 43. The blade (excluding tang)vary between 400 mm and 550 mm in length and blade widths taper from something like 54-75 mm to 48-60 mm, with the length of point varying between 96 and 200 mm. The handle assembly consisted of a handguard, an octagonal-sectioned handgrip usually made from a cow longbone, and then a pommel of slightly flattened ovoid appearance. The pommel and handguard were often made of wood, as example from Vindonissa show, but could also be of bone or ivory. These pieces were held onto the tang by a copper-alloy rivet. The sword from Rheingonheim had a silver plated wooden handle and the rivet originally possessed a ‘small ring from a bronze chain’, recalling a gladiator relief from Rome where the sword is suspended form the gladiator’s wrist by a cord or chain.
The parallel-edged Pompeii type (with blade lengths between 420 and 500 mm and widths between 42 and 55 mm) was named after four examples found at Pompeii with the well-known terminus ante quem of AD 79. Examples of the weapon and its scabbard-fittings give a rather different distribution by comparison with the Mainz-type sword and one piece of scabbard from Verulamium is dated to before the Boudican revolt (AD 60/1), possibly the earliest archaeological manifestation of the weapon. Finds of Pompeii-type scabbard-fittings from Wadden Hill seem to belong to some time before AD 64, although the earlier terminal date for Hod Hill (which has also produced Pompeii-type fittings) has been questioned. The handle assemblies differ markedly from those of the Mainz-type sword, with the handguard now more pronounced and the pommel resembling a flattened sphere."
The legionary's side arm, the dagger or pugio. Believed to be of Spanish ancestry, the pugio did not become widespread until the first century BC. It was one of the identifying marks of a soldier, he didn't just have a belt but the dagger suspended from it.
Now their are three different types of pugio on the market that are acceptable to Legio VI F. These three are the Titelburg, brass beaded, and plain pugio. Now these three designs are by no means all that are out there! Many more examples have been found, just these have been mass produced at a decent price.
The Titelburg is believed to be of a Republican era design and has a type B sheath, both organic (leather covered wood frame) and metal and features a type A tang and a type A blade. It is found at an ancient Guallic capital city in Luxembourg and is dated between 30 and 12 BC.
The sheath of the brass beaded pugio is a type B with organic (leather over a wooden frame) and metal which in this case is a thin metal sheet attached over the top. It was found in Vindonissa, Switerland.
This type of pugio was found on the Rhine near Mainz, Germany. It features a type A sheath with two thin sheets of metal over a wooden core and a type A tang and type B blade.
As said above these three are not the only pugios that have been found, they are just ones that are readily available and meet our standards. If you find a 1st century AD Roman pugio that you would like to carry that is not being produced you must first get it approved by a Ferrata Milites. If you want a handmade pugio and not a mass produced one we strongly recommend you get the blade from Mark Marrow and the scabbard done by Matt Lukes. Since both are custom suppliers a waiting period is to be expected!
Here is what “Roman Military Equipment: From the Punic Wars to the Fall of Rome” by M.C. Bishop & J.C.N. Coulston has to say about the Pugio:
"Two different types of tang and three different types of blade have been discovered so far. The first type of tang is flat and riveted to the blade, characteristically with two rivets through the pommel, one through the central expansion, and two or more through the handguard. The second type , the rod tang, the rivets do not actually pass through the blade or tang;many of these daggers are either found without handles or with replacement wooden ones fitted.
The type A blade is broad with a simple midrib, whilst type B has deep grooves on either side of the midrib, a pronounced waist, and a long tapering point. Type C dagger blades are much narrower than either of the other two variants, and are also comparatively straight-edged.
Two different types of sheaths. Type A was made of two plates of iron joined at the edges and lined with wood, the front plate being inlaid with brass, silver, niello, or enamel. The four suspension rings were usually free to move, attached to the sheath by fine copper-alloy loops. Type B sheaths were made of organic materials (probably leather and wood) with a near-flat decorated iron plate attached to the front, with tow lugs on either side through the rivets securing the suspension loops passed."