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Roman Spatha - John Barnett


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Originally the spatha was used by the Roman cavalry and as horsemen were regularly recruited from Gallic tribes the sword owes its origin to the Celts who when recruited were issued chainmail shirts, oval shields, helmets and swords of their own native style.

Early spathae are depicted on tombstones with hilts and scabbards very close to legionary types. It is likely that the auxiliary cavalry units copied legionary fashions making these swords essentially a hybrid between Celtic and Roman weapon design.

The spatha began to replace the shorter gladius as the primary Roman sword from about AD.100 onwards. The Romans continued to use their spathea right up until the decline of the Roman Empire

Overall Length: 35"
Blade: 25" x 1 7/8" (EN45 Spring Steel)
Weight: 3 1/4 lbs