Blades of similar design to the Trademark Global Black Imperial Gladiator Sword were certainly used in the Roman Gladiatorial Games but would not have been this pretty. The Trademark gladius was created for display but does retain some of the simple and deadly character of the sword of Rome.
The Pompei style of gladius did have the shape of the Trademark sword but used much different materials. All fittings on sheath and sword — including the grip, blade guard, and pommel — are pewter-finished cast metal. This construction made the detailed decorations possible but does steer the sword away from the purely functional weapons of the arena. The 19-inch high carbon stainless steel blade of the 30-inch gladius matches the Pompei style of blade much more closely, angling sharply to a stabbing point at the tip. With so many pieces in the handle section, there’s a good possibility of damage if you test this rat tail tang build against a real target, so consider it for display or costume use only.
The quality of the steel in this modern sword certainly bests the standard of the old days. Steel wasn’t unknown then, but carbon content varied considerably because of inefficient smelting methods. Raw ingots or blooms were tested for quality and then hammer-welded together — in one pattern, five blooms were needed to produce one blade with the strongest steel forming the core. The old blades often held unseen pockets of slag or rust that created weak points. In comparison, this modern gladius from Trademark Global truly is an Imperial blade.
See the Praetorian Sword from Valiant Armoury for a higher-quality version of this old Roman Legionnaire’s weapon.
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