The most common misconceptions about swords

From movies about pirates adventure, medieval knights and musketeers to about samurai films of such directors as Akira Kurosawa, swords have become an indispensable part of modern pop culture. However, people often share information with each other on the sword, which is misleading or simply untrue. In this list are some amendments in the most common misconceptions about the swords, which we hope will be of interest to you.

The most common misconceptions about swords The most common misconceptions about swords

10. Rapier light and graceful

Almost every decade removed his film about D'Artagnan and the three musketeers, and, quite possibly, not even one. Thanks to these movies in our minds firmly established that the rapier was the main weapon dapper, but ruthless European aristocrats. Most rapier weighs 1-1, 4 kg - as much as the historical weigh long swords (longswords) extant.

Many foils have a narrower blade than the other swords of the Renaissance, but at the same time is longer, sometimes reaching 107 cm. The reason that we think of foil as a very lightweight weapon, lies, most likely, is that we We confuse them with other piercing-cutting weapon of the past, such as with small swords of the XVIII century, or even with modern swords.

The most common misconceptions about swords

9. Two-Handed Swords Medieval and Renaissance weighed more than 5 kg

This myth is the opposite of the previous one. While medieval long sword weighed about as much as the rapier, it was two-handed swords, which were much harder during the Renaissance. However, these "great sword" weighed no more than 2-4 kg. "Great Swords" (greatswords) is often used as a battlefield, and as a weapon for self-defense. In the records, dated XVII century, it is noted that greytsvordy particularly suited to reflect several opponents.

The error occurs again when confuse two similar types of swords. There are preserved from the time of the Renaissance swords, which are really heavy, but they were ceremonial and were destined for execution, but not for the battlefield. And even these swords often weigh about 5 kilograms, and only a few examples of swords can be reduced, which weighed significantly more.

The most common misconceptions about swords

8. Swords out of use due to the invention of gunpowder

It is a misconception on our list is the closest to the truth. The advent of gunpowder really brought out of use bladed weapons, but it took a lot longer than you may think.

The first time a firearm is charged powder is too slow, and the hit accuracy is poor, so swords were still in force weapon. By the middle of the XIX century weapons such as revolvers and breech-loading rifle serial, of course, made swords risky type of weapons on the battlefield.

But most of the European powers involved in colonial wars against enemies, often have access only to the outdated firearms in limited quantities. For example, in 1898 the Netherlands has equipped its soldiers in Indonesia short daggers, which are suitable for fighting in the jungle.

Only during World War I, it became apparent that the battle with swords, swords and sabers completely outlived its usefulness. Until the XIX century fencing saber was an important part of the training of officers, as evidenced by the large number of textbooks, produced for military purposes.

The most common misconceptions about swords

7. Only one design of the sword used in historical cultures,

When watching movies in most cases we can predict what type of sword to be used by representatives of a particular ethnicity. Roman will use Gladius, the Scot - Claymore, and Japanese - katana. But many of these iconic weapons were used only in a certain period and is often used along with other weapons depending on the situation.

Roman Gladius was borrowed in the III century BC. e. at the Celtiberians, the tribes of central and northern Spain and Portugal pre-Roman period. Later in the Roman armies Gladius was replaced by a long sword to sleep.

The famous Japanese Katana itself was a replacement for the various designs of earlier swords, including very similar to the Chinese jian chokutō. Even at the height of the popularity of katana swords are used more like a long nodati.

The most common misconceptions about swords

6. The swords used only by people with high status

In the early Middle Ages swords were expensive and were an indicator of high status. Ordinary soldiers are mainly used spears. In the IX century in Europe the sword with scabbard cost 7 solidi (gold coins) - as much as the cost is a good horse. It is known that especially thin and sharp swords can cost much more.

In the later period of the Middle Ages swords were something akin to the car today. You could buy an inexpensive, but the correct version is very expensive sword. Cheap sword in 1340-ies could cost about 6 pence - so while earning the day equestrian archer, serving in the British Army in France. Judging by the images in the manuscripts, not only ordinary soldiers could afford the cheap swords, but many archers wore them as an additional weapon. Many know the katana sword as a symbol of the samurai, and indeed, in the Edo period (1603-1868) he was the prerogative of the samurai. However, long before the peaceful Edo period, possession of the sword among the peasants was so widespread phenomenon that Toyotomi Hideyoshi (Toyotomi Hideyoshi) issued a decree requiring that all farmers have incorporated the sword into its own set of weapons in order to prevent the peasant uprisings.

The most common misconceptions about swords

5. The sword can cut in half

This statement usually takes two forms. One is based on the idea that the foils are thin, so you can break a big sword. In fact, tests conducted with weapons reproduced show that even a series of strokes is not able to break the foil into two parts.

The second type of statement comes from the legends surrounding the katana. Even considering that Katana is an excellent cutting weapon, it is physically impossible. "MythBusters" test was carried out, during which tried one katana sword cut another katana sword, but even a robotic arm could not cut the blade in half.

The most common misconceptions about swords

4. The sword will cut at the slightest touch

No one has any doubt that the swords are very sharp, but we often misunderstand how the cut with a sword. This should be done in the appropriate art and taking into account body mechanics. The cutting punch is not stopped immediately after the sword comes to goals. Sword must keep moving, cutting goal.

Since the movement is essential in order to cut the sword, really sharp blade of the sword can be held with bare hands. Indeed, in many manuals in fencing since the Middle Ages and the Renaissance it shows that you need to do to achieve action arm and the force of impact in certain situations.

The most common misconceptions about swords

3. There is a perfect sword

Swords, like any other tool or weapon, under the influence of the function for which they are intended. In turn, a function for which the sword is designed to be the result of cultural and technical context of his time.

For example, the sword is an excellent weapon for light cavalry, fighting with legkovooruzhonnym enemy, but would be helpless in the armor that protected the European soldiers in the XV-XVI centuries. Not surprisingly, though swords were known before they reached the peak of its popularity and were widely circulated in the XVII, XVIII and XIX centuries, after the effective gunpowder weapons reduced the attractiveness of heavy armor.

Swords changed not only under the influence of time, but also influenced by the social context. For example, in the XIX century, swords were used only in a duel, and this influenced their evolution without external influence.

The most common misconceptions about swords

2. The Sudanese cascara descended from the Crusader swords

When in the XIX century European imperialists came to Sudan, they saw that in this country are swords that resemble medieval European swords with straight blade and cruciform hilt. Because of this similarity, people believed that cascara is a descendant of a medieval European weapons. Since some of the most recent crusades were focused on Egypt, it has been suggested that this is the "ancestors" Cascara and came to North Africa.

However, the weapon with straight blade and crosspiece originally was much more common in North Africa and the Middle East (but over time it surpassed the popularity of a weapon with a curved blade). Most likely, cascara is the "heir" of these forms.

1. Swords of bronze soft

When the bronze was replaced by iron to make weapons for fighting the production of swords made it much easier and cheaper. Iron is a natural element, not an alloy, and in the nature of a lot. However, iron is melted harder than bronze, and at a higher temperature. But as soon as the technical problem has been solved, iron, gained the advantage due to its cheapness, not because it is more durable and more suitable for fighting.

Many of the first products of iron were not harder than their bronze counterparts. According to research extant bronze swords central Europe, bronze swords were actually functional practical weapon.