Swords have been used in all manner of military engagements in history. But which are the best 4 ever? Adrian Burrows (aka Captain Max Virtus) returns to the site and writes a humorous piece in his own inimitable style!
There are three things in this world that are true. The Sun is hot. Water is wet... and swords are awesome.
As I sit here in the ‘sword wing’ of my house, I find myself gazing over racks and racks of blades and I start to consider... which of these are the Top 4 Most Awesome Swords. EVER (everyone does a Top 5 or a Top 10, I'm going for a Top 4).
This is tricky. After all there are so many swords in my warehouse to consider. In one of the boxes I have one of Napoleon's swords (I paid a mere $6.4 million dollars for it back in 2007, it's rather pleasant, the blade is gold encrusted and look's great but highly ineffective at completing basic sword requirements like chopping off limbs). Then there is the rather impressive 132cm long sword that belonged to the Scottish Hero William Wallace, surprisingly dubbed the Wallace Sword. Not to forget the rather impressive Tizona, the beautiful blade made of Damascus Steel that the Spanish Hero El Cid used to battle the Moors. But none of these blades were strange enough to belong in an Escapade in Bizarrchaeology. So that's why I settled on the following bizarrely brilliant weapons.
4. Khopesh Sword
The Ancient Egyptian Khopesh Sword is based on one simple question: why have a sword or an axe when you can have both? And thanks to King Eannatum of Lagash - who was the first to give this weapon a go back in 2500 BC - now you can. The Khopesh was rather short at 24 inches long but the blunted end proved very effective at being used as a hook to surprise an unwitting opponent. The sword was incredibly popular, and was an Egyptian warrior’s weapon of choice and must have fashion accessory for close to 1,200 years.
3. Seven Branch Sword
Why settle for one, two, three, four, five or six blades on your sword when you can have seven? That's a motto to live your life by and that's exactly what the Baekje Dynasty in Ancient Korea around 372 AD did. They constructed this mightily impressive and over bearingly bladey Seven Branch Sword. This weapon was never intended for battle and was instead built for ceremonial purposes. But having sharpened up the Iron blade and swung it around a bit I can assure you that it is highly effective as chopping seven melons in half. AT THE SAME TIME…
2. Gladiator Scissors
There are many different Gladiator types, the net and trident wielding Retarius and the gladius swinging Samnite amongst the most well known, not so the scissor holding Scissor Gladiator. The tube like metal casing protected the Gladiator's forearm in a bout, whilst the curved blade at the end allowed for parrying, slicing and hooking. In Ancient Rome, these three features combined to make for a crowd-pleasing weapon.
1. Urumi Swords
The problem with using a sword in battle is that it can be rather restrictive - it has a specific length of blade that only has a certain attack distance. This does not apply to the Urumi Swords and that is precisely what makes the Urumi Swords so phenomenally awesome. Imagine a sword crossed with a slinky and you have a Urumi Sword. Developed in the southern states of India during the Maurya Dynasty, this bladed whip like sword can only be used by an expert trained in Indian Martial Arts. Why? Well, the danger is that as you flail around with this giant extendible sword you might accidentally cut your own face off. Which believe me you would not want to do.
The standard Urumi consists of only one blade that is four to five feet long; however, the Sri Lankan version has up to THIRTY TWO blades attached to one handle. Not only that but the warrior would fight with one Urumi in each hand, leading to SIXTY FOUR blades whizzing around the place.
And the best thing about the Urumi? After you've finished the swings, spins and turns that make up the attack pattern you can wear the Urumi around your waist like a belt. Which surely must be the best belt ever. So not only is the Urumi the most awesome sword ever it is the most awesome belt ever too.
So, there you have it, the Top 4 Most Awesome Swords. EVER according to Captain Max Virtus. Does your list differ? Have I caused a horrible and irreproachable offence by not including your favorite historical sword? Then let us know in the comments below.
PS - Whilst this list was called the Top 4 most awesome swords. EVER, it did not include swords not invented yet. Otherwise this list would have obviously contained a Light saber.
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Captain Max Virtus takes history to the Max every week in Escapades in Bizarrchaeology. Find out more at https://bizarrehistory.wordpress.com.