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Empire & Industry

The Sword

The Sword

Swords are part of a group of weapons which depend on the strength and speed of the wielders arm. They are recognised by their long, narrow blades and short grips, the shape and length of which was determined by the fighting tactics of the peoples who used them, the area from which they came from and the date when they were developed and the type of warfare of the day. Swords normally consist of an edged blade which is normally pointed at the end, a grip with a pommel, and a hand guard which either takes the form of quillions (the crossbar), a cup, or a full basket. Some of these weapons were purely functional, others were decorated for dress or ceremonial purposes and others were developed for sporting or other specialized roles. They also became symbols of strength, courage, honour, justice and fate. This gallery hopefully illustrates the different and varied forms of what is probably the most iconic of all weapons.

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