From Blades that forged history

Blade which changed History

As is my policy, I do not reprint the entire list of a listicle share, but I liked almost all of this one from History. It encompasses many times and regions, and a wide variety of blade styles. In a sense, the piece is a bit of a commercial for Forged in Fire, but what the heck. The list is largely sound.

From (read this in Wil Willis’s voice)

For millennia, edged weapons such as swords, knives and daggers were the arms of choice for warriors around the globe. These razor-sharp blades inspired fear and fascination and helped change the course of military campaigns. In some cases, individual weapons were even given names and became just as legendary as the people who wielded them.

I strongly object to the “Sword of Mars”. It sticks out like a fart in church. It is a particular sword, not a style, and therefore I would say it does not fit in this list. I would leave it off in favor of either an English Longsword, or the much less glamorous French and English trade-knives, which were the mainstay of both trade and use for several hundred years worth of North American colonization.

What would you add to the list? Since they only did 9, you can add 2 if you wish.




  1. mer says:

    Interesting to compare the shapes of the Kukri and the Falcata; very similar.

  2. Cadeyrn says:

    Of that entire list, only the Roman Gladius actually “changed” history. The others are simply well-known. None of those, however, allowed their developers to conquer the entire known world.

    If I was going to add something, I would add true wootz steel (real Damascus) blades. The carbon nanotube structure allowed incredible flexibility and toughness and represented the pinnacle of metallurgy for centuries. This encouraged reliance on steel, permitted thinner and longer blades which retained effectiveness and was unsurpassed until relatively recently.

    1. cmeat says:

      “Of that entire list, only the Roman Gladius actually ‘changed’ history.”

      every knife that has ever taken a life has changed human history. the buck 110 isn’t on the list, but our world may have been different without them. wojciech frykowski would possibly agree.
      the u.k.’s kitchen knives seem to be altering history at an alarming rate.

  3. cmeat says:

    far from the shape that comes to mind when i think of bolo, i realize now the term describes many shapes, none of which look much like my machete.
    i never heard of khopesh before, but my boy knew it from a zombie game.
    as far as changing history goes, there isn’t much left. excalibur, like attila’s toothpick, affected history without ever existing. as did bilbo’s sting.
    maybe seax, but it is such a widely encompassing term as to be redundant.
    i think also spatha applies to the uhlbert as well as many others. i have it as of frank origins that the vikings obtained from export and used against the franks and others.
    for a marine, the mameluke pattern should be included.

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From Blades that forged history

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