Battle Ready

What is a battle ready sword?  When I first became involved in this business, well over 6 years ago, I had no clue.  I put Practice Swords with Battle Swords.  I am a female who started this business, because I loved the "ambience" of the literature of the ancient times, Medieval times, and the Renaissance.  Shakespear's histories were my favorite of every thing he had ever written.  Henry IV, Henry V, Macbeth and Hamlet, etc.   were not totally histories, but they romanticized an era that was well in the past.  I quickly realized that in order to compete in this market competently, I had to become cognizant of the weapons.  It did not matter that I loved the part of the'" beautiful hard bodied knight in shining armor took the distressed woman in his arms.", 

I assume now that everyone who visits this site is not as stupid as I, but in case a Shakespeare lover or a Camelot lover or a Robinhood or a knight in shining armor lover stops by, I would like to clarify the difference between swords.  A battle ready sword is a sword that is prepared to go to battle.  The sword is capable of decapitating, slicing, stabbing or of just commiting a   lesser horror-- just severely wounding.  A battle ready sword's blade is constructed of carbon steel--a blade that has been subjected to extreme heat in order to "cure the metal."  The blade can be sharpened to eternity.  Normally the blade is made of carbon steel or the blade could be made of iron as the blades of ancient times.  Some of the makers of battle ready swords are CAS/Hanwei, Windlass Steelcrafts or the super battle ready sword designer --Mariano Zamarano of Toledo Spain.

The swords are beautiful with decorative hilts (sword holder) and often engraved blades, but they are weapons.  Due to my lack of expertise I researched all of the battle ready swords.  Battle ready swords were ancient weapons also.  We in our modern age did not invent them.  I will attempt to give a little history of battle ready swords, not that men wouldn't know, but some women may drop by

The significance of the Sword has survived for many ages.  Today the same words can be used in reference to this magnificent weapon; it is a weapon that is deeply entrenched in art,  literature, religion, history and humanity.  There will never be a weapon that can ever again attain this affluence.  The firearm is a weapon that requires a little skill, aim-fire-kill or maim.  The Battle Ready Sword is graceful but vigorous.  Sword-play is an exercise that requires a skill that few are able to master. TheCastleCourt is pleased to present our outstanding selection of Battle Ready Swords.  Swords still play a big role in modern society.  There are many who still appreciate and love the images of the knight in shining armor, the armed knight bearing his Crusader sword with the cross hilt, or the Renaissance man battling with his Swept Hilt Rapier. Skilled sword makers such as Michael "Tinker" Smith keep the legend of the sword, the weapon with a heart, alive and well.
In the Ancient Times the first battle swords were made of rock.  Probably not very sharp the caveman was able to use his crude battle sword to protect his family and feed those under his care  with the help of other crude weapons.  Here at TheCastleCourt we are grateful for prehistoric man's inguinuity.  After the development of the first battle sword, the weapon evolved from there.  Battle swords during these early ancient times were made from bronze, iron or even bone.  The battle sword at this time was not the major force in a battle, chariots were used with a weapon called the composite bow.
The first significant society that came forth as a nation capable of seizing others was likely Sumeria.  We do not know if they had battle swords, but they did possess the most powerful mobile weapon of all in these ancient times, the chariot.  We know they did have battle helmets, but we are uncertain as to the swords they used.  As the little history that exists about this country, we do know that they possessed bows and arrows.  I assume this would be more effective than a battle sword, because the arrow could reach much further than a battle sword.
There were many skirmishes during these ancient times, but there were some that were so significant that are deserving of mention.  The seige of Troy perhaps is the most significant to us today, because a recent movie recounted the events during this ancient time.   This is a very significant battle because it was recounted in Homer's The Iliad.   
The Greek warriors were surrounded by a Spartan army that demanded the return of a kidnapped princess.  Battle swords were significant during this seize.  The Greeks carried the Hoplite sword.  They protected themselves when they dragged the horse to the center of the courtyard.  .  
The next major battle that we would be familiar today is the Battle of Thermoplaye.  This is the story of the popular movie, "the 300."  It is a very powerful and popular film as it should be It is a story of the underdog prevails.  The 300 well trained warriors met a force of Persians who out numbered them 10-1.  These 300 strong and fearless soldiers stood against the powerful army with their hoplite battle sword ready for the kill. The Hoplite battle sword did not prevail that day, but there were many successful days to come.  TheCastleCourt has the battle ready swords and costume replicas from this battle in stock.
The Hoplite battle sword may not have prevailed against the Persians on that day, but redemption was not far away.  Alexander the Great with his battle sword, and a dedicated fierce army eventualy would redeem the day.  Alexander was young, Alexander was ruthless, but nothing could stop him other than death.  The young Alexander with his battle sword by his side took Persia as redemption of the past.  Everything that he did for the Greeks was right.  He redeemed their honor and nothing could stop him until the might eagle of Rome reared its head.
The Greeks held as long as they could but the mighty legions came on so quickly. Rome was not a force that could be handlled.  Rome possesed that perfect army; to this day it probably has not been replicated.  No expense was spared  in the making of this army.  The Roman Republic fielded an army that possibly has never been surpassed in world history.  They thought of everything.   The armor that they wore, Lorica Segmentata, was designed to give the soldier the ability to move quickly.  The battle sword was not cumbersom; it was short; it conquered the better part of this world, the battle ready Roman Gladius.  The Roman arny wore sandals, and carried a shovel.   They constructed water drainage, gave of their food, and built water reservoirs.  Rome was not a selfish society but an ambitious society.  In the second century ce, the great Roman state began to decline and the result was that the powerful army of Rome became unrecognizable.
Rome was overrun by Barbarians with their long battle swords that destroyed with one blow.  The barbarians are portrayed today in movies as burly large bodied fierce fighters.These marauding bands consisted in part of Franks, Lombards and Saxons.  The invasion of these fierce people resulted in Rome changing the battle weapons of the Legionaires.  They no longer carried the short gladius battle sword; they emplyed a longsword that was more effective against the powerful barbarian battle sword
Slowly Rome disintegrated and the world emerged from the Dark Age into what is now called the Medieval times or the Middle ages.  Charlemagne and the Franks came the dominant empire.  Their battle swords were prized throughout Europe.  One of the key weapons of the Frankish armor was the Scramasax, which is a battle dagger.  During the 9th century these short battle daggers were no longer used by the Franks.  They used a battle sword that was tapered from hilt to tip increasing their maneuverability.  
The established communities were not free from invasion.  The Norsemen or Vikings came in their long ships bearing powerful swords that they treasured above all their possessions.  Their long double-edged swords were made by skilled Norse craftsmen.

The Vikings gave their swords names such as ‘Gramr’ (fierece), and ‘Fotbitr’ (legbitr).  Viking swords were also valuable family heirlooms, and were passed down from father to son.  They were decorated with gold and valuable stones set in the hilt. 

The Norse sagas are full of accounts of combat using swords.  The Lausaviser, a Norwegian epic,  recounts the story of the revenge of Einar, son of Ragnvald.  Ragnvald was a chieftain who ruled in Orkney around 860.  He was burnt to death in his own house by two of Harald Fairhair’s sons.  Einar fought with one son, Halfdan Halegga, and killed him.  Halegga was found the next morning on the side of a hill and his back had the shape of an eagle cut into it with a sword.  The ribs had been separated from the backbone and the lungs had been pulled out on either side to represent an eagle’s wings.  This was Einar’s victory sacrifice to Odin. 

The Viking blades were most often pattern-welded.  The pattern-welded technique was accomplished by the smith welding together long strips of iron and steel.  Then he forged them into square-sectioned rods, which he twisted or folded and welded together in groups of three or four.  These were used for the central core of the blade.  The edges of the blade were then welded to it.  After grinding and polishing, the twists and folds of the core pattern were brought out with acid. 

The crossguard was very simple.  There was elaborate decoration on the pommel.

The Vikings were some  of the most feared and highly regarded warriors of any age.  These Viking battle swords with a soul were a mighty extension of the legend of the Norsemen.  Many reenactors choose the Viking persona for this reason. 
The Medieval times experienced a time of almost continual war--the Crusader wars, war among feudal barons and nobility, and the war with France which went on for 100 years.  There were nine numbered crusades, but the Teutonic knights went to the Middle East alone.   The Medieval battle sword was primarily a broad  sword.  The Crusader sword had a hilt with a cross.  The broadsword came in various sizes.  There were hand-and-a-half-battle swords, single hand swords and two handed swords.  King Richard I was probably one of the most famous crusaders and warriors of the Medieval times.  He was a big man for his times and he likely used a two handed sword. 


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