Is it probable to slice with a Roman short sword?

by admin on November 25, 2008

Query by Jojo: Is it possible to slice with a Roman quick sword?
All mine looks capable of is thrusting and choping like an axe! Is it feasible to use a sword like that to preform a slice, like a katan or a saber?

Very best response:

Solution by §нα∂σω
thats a lot more overcome orientated i assume

What do you assume? Response below!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

spidertiger440 November 25, 2008 at 9:07 am

Not so much. Generally, curved swords slice while straight swords thrust and hack. A hack is just a less efficient form of a slice. Curved swords elongate the hack and drag across the surface in a manner that drives the blade deeper. A straight blade doesn’t have the angle dig deep on the drag. The katana is a sword that can do both well, it is the pinnacle of sword design.
If the metal of the gladius is strong enough and holds a good edge then a hack is nothing to sneeze at. It can removed or severally damage a limb. It can cause major damage to the head neck or torso. I have straight swords and curved swords,I find my roman short sword very comfortable to use and picked up how it worked very quickly. I enjoy it.
Sword design was dictated by each cultures engineering ability and the type of combat they were designed for. As enemies changed so had to the weapons and vice versa.

DEREK E November 25, 2008 at 9:28 am

The gladius was specifically designed for thrusting it was not really designed to slice. You would have to look at the fighting style taught to centurians to understand fully, but the trick was in the shield. Roman shields were rectangular in shape and centurians; during battle, would close ranks to form a wall or phalanx. This allowed for maximum defense for the soldiers behind the sheild wall. To defend they would only need to thrust between small gaps in the sheild wall. Also keep in mind that the gladius was for short range down and dirty fighting in tight quarters. There was not a lot of room to manuver a long weapon with 20,000 men fighting in the same space.
Don’t get the wrong idea… a cut from a gladius still did a lot of damage, but its main design was to peirce armor by thrusting.
Hope this helps.

sterling November 25, 2008 at 10:11 am

The Gladius is not meant to be used like a katana or saber. You can slice with it, sure, but its specialty is close-in thrusts.

Unlike the saber or katana, the gladius is intended to be used with a shield in the other hand, and at a closer fighting range, and within a tight formation. And it excels in this capacity.

Complaining that it is not the ideal slicing weapon is like complaining that your axe is not as good of a digging tool as a shovel.

tyrsson58 November 25, 2008 at 10:25 am

Although the gladius was designed around the thrust, it chops/cuts well.

Most modern copies (especially production, stainless steel wallhangers) are too heavy and poorly balanced.

A gladius cuts very well, but it is not a saber, and it cuts differently. It will, however, slice most satisfactorily, so long as you realize that slicing isn’t it’s best attribute. A well made and properly balanced one is alive in your hand, and will thrust or cut equally well.

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