Types of Swords – 20+C+M+B _ _
Commonplace Book – Pages 10-13
Types of Swords
Bastard sword: Long, straight blade, 70-100 cm
Claymore: Swords used by Scottish highlanders in the medieval ages.
Cutlass: Curved blade sharpened on the convex side. Upper hand in slicing.
Dao: A category of single-edged Chinese swords primarily used for slashing and chopping. Recent use was in WWI.
Espada Ropera: ‘Sword of the robe’. A Spanish sword that was lighter, thinner and more ornate. Forerunner to the French rapier or ‘epee rapiere’
Estoc: ‘ Tuck ‘ in English. Long, straight blade, very rigid and could be thrust with one hand. Could split the rings of chainmail and go through a plate of armor.
Falchion: 11th – 16th c. Lower average quality and status. Used more as tools than weapons. Fairly short, one-edged sword of European origin.
Foil: A light, thin, blunt-edged sword with a button on its point to prevent injury.
Gladius: Used by Roman legionaries and gladiators. Straight, double-edged, with V-shaped tip and made for thrusting. Also the cross-section provides good stability for stabbing.
Greatsword: Largest version of slashing, straight-bladed Euro-swords. Very heavy, needs two hands to wield.
Jian: Double-edged straight sword used during the last 1000 years in China.
Katana: Japanese longsword. Curved, single-edged sword traditionally used by samurai. The scabbard is called “saya”. The art of practice of this sword originally was “kenjutsu”, but now is “gendai budo”. The art of drawing a katana is “iaido” and the art of fencing with a bamboo katana is “shinai”
Katar: “Bundi dagger”. Short punching sword used in Persia and northern India. Blade often folded and effective in armor piercing.
Long-sword: 14th c. Larger size than sword meant for single-hand use. Can use for off-hand for punches, grabs, and throws.
Machete: A long, heavy, broad-bladed knife used especially in Central and South America and West Indies as a tool and weapon.
Rapier: Slender, sharply pointed sword. Can be double-edged or single-edged with a sharp triangle blade or edgeless. Capable of cutting and thrusting. Mostly associated with sword duels.
Sabre: European backsword with distinctive curvature and large hand guard. Made to be worn in a scabbard.
Scimitar: Deeply curved blade with single cutting edge. Middle-East origin.
Scramsax: Blade is gently curving, usually tapering to a point, with a false edge on back up to a 1/3 of the whole length. Customarily worn by Lombard warriors and sign of rank from 4th-9th c. A.D.
Spadone: Two-handed sword used by knights. But could be held as a spear.
Spatha: Straight slashing sword and usually worn by Roman cavalry.
Swallsword: European dueling sword. Faster and lighter.
Tachi: Japanese sword. More curved and slightly longer than a katana. Usually used by cavalry.
Tanto: Japanese small sword. Smaller version of katana. Can stab or slash.
Tsurugi: Japanese straight, double-edged sword, no longer in use.
Wakizashi: Traditional Japanese blade. Usually worn with katana. Together they are “daisho”.
Zweihander: Brutish, German, two-handed sword.
20 + C + M + B _ _
Epiphany is traditionally a time for blessing homes by marking the front door of the house with the year and 3 letters said to stand for the names of the Magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, introduced by the 3 crosses (for ‘holy’). These letters are otherwise understood to stand for ‘Cristus mansionem benedict’ (May Christ bless this home). You can mark the door frame with chalk. Holy water may be sprinkled throughout the house or at the front door. All make the sign of the cross and the leader begins: “Lord our God, bless this household. May we be blessed with health, goodness of heart, gentleness and the keeping of Your law. We give thanks to You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen. Let us bless the Lord.” All respond, making the sign of the cross.