Oh, my goodness, while spears and arrows certainly were good weapons, there has always been something mystical and special about what is essentially a big long knife. Yes, I know some will disagree with that assessment, but that is basically where swords came from.
However, swords have had a near mystical quality and feature in many an epic. How many people know the story of Arthur and Excalibur, quite a few. The katana is strongly associated with Japanese culture. The Gladius was the weapon of the Roman Empire in the ancient days.
Speaking of the Roman Empire, when they faced the Celts they noted not only their fierceness in battle but their long swords as well. The Greek historian Diodorus Siculus described the Celtic swords as being as long as the javelins of other peoples. The long Celtic sword was generally a three-foot length straight bladed small pommeled sword with small guard. It was designed as a formidable slashing weapon compared to the short stabbing sword of the Romans, at least until later when the Romans began to use a somewhat copy of the Celtic sword called the spatha.
Now turning to this particular sword. This is a bronze era Celtic sword supplied by Kult of Athena. I spent quite a while looking for a bronze sword as I am a practitioner of Fairy Faith and anything dealing with the Good Folk iron especially Cold Iron is a strict no go. I always missed the few times I do circle casting and such having a sword so this was an absolute wonderful find. The sword itself is cast entirely from bronze as is the hilt and fastened with bronze rivets.
Overall length is listed as 32.25” with a blade of 26.75”. As typical of the bronze swords of the Celts of this era, the blade is not straight but instead flairs in a sort of long leaf pattern. The reason for this as I understand is to put strength and weight toward the end for slashing effectiveness. For a small charge, the company will actually sharpen the blade and I had this done and I will tell you it is near razor sharp.
This sword is not listed for reproduction combat, but it is not just decorative either. It could quite easily be employed if one needed to.
Some will point out that bronze was replaced by iron, which it was. However, bronze will outlast an iron or steel sword. We have examples that are three thousand years old in near excellent condition out of wet ground, an iron sword would have dissolved to almost nothing and even later era steel swords would be in very bad shape. In terms of durability bronze is not that much less than iron. What gave iron the edge (pun intended) was it was easier to produce after a point. Bronze swords must be cast, iron swords could be made from a lump of iron and then pounded into shape. Sometime around 1200 BCE a lot of trade routes collapsed and tin became harder to obtain. Iron could be smelted from more local sources especially in what is called the bloom method. Thus, it was more a matter of simple economics that ended most use of bronze weapon making. The difficulty in obtaining materials combined with the need to make a mold to cast the weapons ended up favouring iron weapons until the advent of good steel making emerged.
While I never plan to go to war with this bronze sword, it is a masterpiece and certainly hefting it one feels the ancient Celtic blood arise from the age of the lore. Kult of Athena also has other Celtic swords of various styles as well if you just have to expand your collection.
Check this sword and a host of others at the Kult of Athena’s website.