From Valiant Armoury of Grapevine, Texas, the Praetorian Sword was hand-forged in the Philippines in the style of the Roman Legion’s Praetorian Guard main weapon: the gladius. This particular model takes inspiration from the Mainz gladius, which developed after that Roman camp was founded in Moguntiacum in 13 B.C. This sword is actually more interesting than the story. Although it isn’t rated as a combat sword — Valiant produces cutting grade swords as well as collectible replicas — the Praetorian shows considerable quality and detail while not exactly matching the ancient pattern.
Macassar ebony rings alternate with brass to create the bold look of the grip and pommel. The three-pound weight certainly gives the Praetorian the feel of a real weapon, even though the leaf-point blade arrives unsharpened. Designed in an age when bronze and iron ruled the battlefield, this sword forged in modern steel would impress even the warriors of the old days.
Take extra care to properly oil and maintain the sword, because Valiant uses no stainless steel in this gladius. The Praetorian is hand forged from high carbon steel that darkens with age and use. Most manufacturers have shifted away from that towards the stainless alloys, but now that the new has worn off the idea many now promote their steel as stain-free — rustable, but shiny. Many of the old high carbon alloys were rust-resistant with proper care and held an excellent edge. A good sword needs to come down from the wall now and then, even if just for a polish.
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