Military Review

Weapons from time immemorial. Shields and swords of Rome

91
Weapons from time immemorial. Shields and swords of Rome
Frame from the movie "Ducks" (1966). The North has finally slaughtered the scoundrel Fusk... The profile of the gladius here is exactly what it should be, but for some reason all the other Roman swords in this film are shown too wide. It is not clear why?



which is the shield that guards you,
and the sword of thy glory?

Deuteronomy 33:29
... And he took the sword from his right thigh ...
Judges of Israel 3:21

stories about weapons. This article appeared in a somewhat unusual way. Just some time ago, a dispute arose in VO regarding Roman “plywood” shields and swords, the predecessors of the swords of European knights. There were requests to write about this, if only because many new readers have appeared on our site, who have no materials from 2015, 2016, 2017. just didn't read it.

And now I found this material in the archive, just in the subject. I checked it for novelty - much higher than 80%, which means that it did not shine anywhere on the Web before. And the photos are good, visual - just a whole gallery. Well, if so, then ... you are welcome to read the text and look at the photos.

So ... Weapons of the transitional period from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age.

There is evidence that the tribes living in the Danube basin (the territory of modern Austria and Hungary) were the first in Europe to discover the possibility of using iron. The culture that developed in this region was called Hallstatt - after the name of the place where its first archaeological sites were discovered, but historians are not able to say for sure who founded it and who these “people from Hallstatt” were. There is an assumption that they were mercenaries from Urartu and Assyria, and it was from there that they brought their knowledge.

Be that as it may, their swords (and scabbards for these swords) are very similar to Assyrian ones! Moreover, in their form, the swords of the “Hallstatt people” repeated in many respects the early swords of the Bronze Age, but were intended for chopping blows, which means that they should have been used by warriors who fought on war chariots. That is why they were of great length, and the points of their blades were clearly not intended for an injection. They also lacked a crosshair; this suggests that they were not designed for hitting the shield with a handle, but only for a chopping blow on an infantryman from above, that is, from a horse. In fact, these are the real ancestors of the later knightly swords!

However, not everything here is as simple as it seems, because the types of swords in the vast territory of Europe, including in areas influenced by the Hallstatt culture, were constantly changing. True, their main types, which appeared between 950 and 450 BC. e., only three: a long bronze sword for chopping blows, a heavy iron sword that retained the shape of the bronze original, and finally a short iron sword, shaped like a reed leaf and somewhat expanding towards the tip.

On the other hand, the Hallstatt swords themselves practically did not change: they had a very characteristic handle, the pommel of which resembled ... a Mexican sombrero!

The length of one of these surviving swords from pommel to tip is 108 centimeters, that is, it most likely belonged to a horseman who needed to chop from a chariot, and not to an infantryman, for whom it is clearly large. The Hallstatts also had shorter swords, with a pommel in the form of antennas bent in different directions; one of them was found in the Thames, right in the middle of London!

However, earlier swords with "antenna" pommel, made entirely of bronze, are also known. So this, apparently, is just the case when gunsmiths simply took it and replaced one blade material with another, and left everything else unchanged.

Excavations in the burials of the Hallstatt warriors do not give the slightest hint of how they carried their long swords. Here you should pay attention to one interesting detail at the end of their scabbard, which in shape resembles “wings” spread apart. There are no signs of wear and friction on the ground on the "wings" of specimens found in the burials, which means that they did not touch the ground!

Interestingly, the Assyrians also had similar bindings at the ends of the scabbards, as evidenced by the figures from the bas-reliefs from the Assyrian palaces. At the same time, it is significant that the swords of the Assyrians hang on their belts in such a way that their handles are right at the chest, and why this is so is understandable. After all, if a warrior fights while standing on a chariot, then the sheath simply cannot hang between his legs, because in this case he can catch on to them and fall! Well, the fetters are needed as an emphasis at the moment when their long sword was snatched from their long scabbard!

As for the shape of the swords, it was mainly determined by the tactics of the battle. It is known that the Greek warriors fought in phalanx, hiding behind large painted shields. The phalanx consisted of 1-000 people along the front and eight rows in depth, and its main weapons were not swords, but spears. Swords were used to a limited extent, firstly, if a warrior's spear broke, and secondly, in order to finish off an enemy who was defeated to the ground; images of such episodes are very common on ancient Greek vases.

The swords of the Greeks were 60–75 centimeters long and were intended to stab and chop; moreover, these were not only straight swords, but also curved single-edged mahair swords that originated from Spain. As the coherence of the actions of the phalanx warriors developed, the length of the swords began to decrease - this was especially noticeable in the army of Sparta - so that by 425-400. BC e. they began to look like small daggers.

The Spartan commander Antalactis was once asked why, they say, Spartan swords are so short, to which he replied:

"Because we fight by getting close to the enemy."

That is, the training of all warriors as a whole was more important than the individual fighting qualities of each warrior individually.

Thus, the sword was shortened by the Spartans in order to make it more convenient in the crush that arose during the clash of two phalanxes. It is clear that even a warrior deprived of armor, but dexterous and evasive, could win a victory in it. That is why in the XNUMXth century the Spartans completely abandoned armor, with the exception of shields and helmets, and they attacked the enemy on the run! If at the time of the collision the Spartan's spear broke, his short sword made it possible to inflict stabbing blows aimed at the face, hips, and stomach.

Following the Spartans, the Greeks from other policies also began to abandon armor, leaving only helmets and shields for their soldiers! That is, the training of warriors acting together was, in their opinion, much more important than the skill of owning weapons of each separately!

The Celts, a warlike people who settled in Western Europe, at the beginning of the XNUMXth century BC. e. they fought standing on two-horse chariots and throwing darts at the enemies, and when the darts ended, they descended to the ground and converged with the enemy on foot.

However, quite soon four types of warriors appeared among the Celts: infantrymen in heavy armor, whose main weapon was a sword, lightly armed infantrymen - throwers of darts, horsemen and fighters in chariots. According to the descriptions of ancient Roman historians, Celtic warriors in battle usually raised their swords above their heads and brought them down on the enemy from above, as if they were chopping firewood.

There are literally hundreds of Celtic swords, so that scientists were able to study and classify them well. Since a number of such swords were discovered in the Swiss town of La Tène, the culture to which they were characteristic was called La Tène and even four phases were distinguished in it.

La Tene swords were 55–75 centimeters long, looked like a rhombus in cross section, and their hilts were cast from bronze. They were worn not on the left side, but on the right, on an iron or copper chain.

In the time of Caesar, the swords of the Celts began to reach one or more meters in length, and their handles began to be decorated with enamel and even precious stones. But shorter swords also did not go out of use - the Celts fought very skillfully with them. It was not at all easy for the Romans to fight them, and therefore they had no choice but to develop appropriate weapons and tactics for their use!

So, in response to the threat from the Celts, whom the Romans called the Gauls, in Rome they created the most wonderful complex of weapons of all that had ever existed before!

Firstly, the Roman legionnaires were armed with a piercing-chopping sword "gladius hispanicus", which, as its name implies, came from Spain. The two earliest swords of this type were found in Slovenia and date back to around 175 BC. e. They have rather thin, rhombic-section blades 62 and 66 centimeters long, which are indeed somewhat similar to gladiolus sheets; they are really convenient for both chopping and stabbing.

Their second most important weapon was the pilum dart, which was intended primarily to disable the shield of an enemy warrior and, if possible, injure him.

Oh, it was a truly unique weapon, the main feature of which was very long - almost a meter! - a thin metal rod connecting its tip to a handle of approximately the same length. Each legionnaire usually had two of these darts.

They were used in the following way: the legionary put his first two fingers into the belt loop-ementum, located at the center of gravity of the pilum, and, holding his hand palm up, threw it into the enemy's shield. Moreover, the range of such a throw could reach 60 m. The tip pierced into the shield and got stuck in it, a thin rod made of soft iron bent under the weight of the handle, and the shaft dragged along the ground, depriving the enemy warrior of the opportunity to use his shield as a cover.

The second dart flew at the same time at the target, already deprived of protection. After all, the enemy warrior had to throw his damaged shield, and he could not chop off the pilum stuck in it with a sword because of the large length of its metal rod. Judging by the bas-reliefs and artifacts that have come down to us, pilums were often specially weighted with one or two lead balls, fixed at the junction of the tip with the shaft, which increased its weight and ... accordingly - penetrating power!

But perhaps the most impressive invention of the Romans in the field of military affairs (although most historians believe that here, as in the case of the gladius, it was not without borrowing!) Was the shield - the scutum, which all the "heavy" infantrymen of the Roman army had without exception, except that the standard-bearers and senior commanders used round shields (ketra)! Oval and flat at the very beginning of his "career", he subsequently first lost two semicircles above and below and turned into a curved rectangle, similar to a piece cut from a huge pipe, about seventy centimeters wide and more than a meter high!


In the movie "Ducks" (1966), the shields of the legionnaires are too small, and instead of a ball, cones are put on the pilums for some reason ...

The shield, if we talk about it in the language of modernity, was plywood. That is, it was assembled and glued from thin wooden plates, after which it was covered with leather and felt, and then with cloth on top, and it was primed and brightly painted, thus turning the shield into an emblem for recognizing a fighter of one or another unit. The handle of the shield was under a special recess made for it, which was covered with a special bulge - an umbon.


Celtic Shield Fig. A. Shepsa

In early shields it was wooden, while in later ones it was metal. The handle behind him was located horizontally. In addition, the shield had upholstered edges of rolled copper or brass U-shaped profile. Such a shield could weigh under ten kilograms. A real “garden gate”, and nothing more, and with it the legionnaire went into battle, hiding behind it, that is, this very “door”, from head to toe.

It was impossible to somehow maneuver such a shield, and it was not required. Because in battle everything was decided by the tactics and training of the entire legion as a whole. Attacking the enemy, the legionnaires marched on him in orderly rows, carrying shields in front of them, and their success in battle depended primarily on the coordinated actions of the entire legion or cohort.


Roman shields. Modern reconstruction


Scutum in a leather carrying case. Rice. A. Sheps

At the signal of the centurions, the legionnaires, coming closer to the enemy, went on the run (before that, they had already launched their pilums towards the enemy!) And brought down on him both the weight of his body and the weight of the shield, and tried to knock him down. If the enemy fell, they simply finished him off with a blow of the sword, piercing the very handle (which is why the gladius had such a pronounced point), and stabbing in this case was, of course, much more convenient than chopping while lying down.

So they, that is, the legionnaires, needed a short sword! And from an enemy with a long chopping sword, for example, a German or a Gaul, they were protected by the metal edge of the shield, which did not allow it to be cut (this also interfered with the location of the rails inside) with one blow.


Spatha and gladius. Rice. And Sheps

The rider's sword - spatha - was somewhat longer than the infantryman's gladius, but this is due to the fact that he had to cut the enemy from his horse. And so both swords were identical in design: a diamond-shaped blade, handles made of wood or ivory, with cutouts for fingers and a massive “apple” as a pommel.

By the end of the 50st century BC. e. - the beginning of the 56st century A.D. e. both swords: both the gladius and the spatha, retained their traditional shape - as before, they are still weapons with an elongated piercing edge, 60–70 centimeters long and weighing about one kilogram. But by the end of the XNUMXst century, the swords of both foot soldiers and horsemen (whose sword length was XNUMX-XNUMX centimeters) became the same width along the entire length of the blade and with a shorter tip.

Although these swords continued to be called gladius as before, but only by virtue of tradition, since the real resemblance to the gladiolus leaf disappeared from them. The shields of the riders of the Romans and their allies who served in the Roman army again became flat and oval, or octagonal and, again, flat, in contrast to the legionary scutum of previous centuries.

And soon the armament of the Roman troops was simplified even more. In the era of the late empire (200-450), a flat oval shield completely replaced the scutum, and instead of a short sword, both in the infantry and in the cavalry, only the long sword of the spat began to be used, which has now become a kind of "calling card" of legionnaires.

It was a straight cutting sword with a blade about seventy centimeters long and a hilt that was carved entirely from ivory. It was the spatha that became the last sword of the Western Roman Empire, which died in 476.

Interestingly, even in the era of the republic, the difference in the armament of the legionnaires was also emphasized by the colors of their clothes: the tunics of ordinary legionnaires were the color of unbleached linen (and their oval shields with wooden umbon were first pasted over with the same cloth), centurions were distinguished by red tunics, while the color auxiliaries and "marines" was dark blue.

But gradually these differences were erased, and the legionnaires even put on pants - the clothes of the barbarians, ridiculous and shameful, according to the Romans, and at first allowed only for the Gallic and British legions who fought in the "far North".


Falcata 43,2nd-473th centuries Pyrenees. Length XNUMX cm. Weight XNUMX g. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The sword in the sling of the legionnaires was at first on the right, so that it was always at hand, while a dagger in a sheath hung on its side on the left. The centurions had swords on the left, since in their right hand the centurion held a cane made of vines, which served him for a variety of purposes, including for punishing the guilty.

Only in the 1rd century did the swords of the Romans finally “move” to the left side, and so all European warriors remained there. Many English-speaking historians are surprised to note that the swords of the knights of the second half of the XNUMXth century bear an amazing resemblance to the long swords of the Roman cavalrymen - this is the same length, and the rhombic section of the blade, and even the size of the hilt [XNUMX].


Celtic helmet of the XNUMXst century. n. e. Decorated with chasing in the La Tène style. British museum


Celtic ceremonial helmet 350 BC e. from a cave in Agris, Western France. Museum of Angouleme, France


Ceremonial Greek helmet 350–300 AD BC e. from Southern Italy. Villa Getty


Anatomical bronze armor from southern Italy. About 350–300 BC BC e. British museum


Lush and frankly tasteless helmet of a Roman horseman made of tinned bronze. Tylenhofen. About 174 AD e. State Collection of Prehistoric Antiquities, Munich


A bronze shield known as the "Shield of Wandsworth". Diameter 33 cm. British Museum


Etruscan warrior with a shield. Viterbo. Around 520–470 AD BC e. Louvre, Paris


Bronze shield. Around 1200–700 AD BC e. British museum


The famous Celtic bronze shield, also known as the "Battersea Shield". Length: 77,7 cm Width: 34,1-35,7 cm British Museum


Celtic bronze "Shield of Chertsey". British museum

Sources:
[1] Connolly P. Greece and Rome. The evolution of military art over 12 centuries, S. 260.
And also:
Sekunda N., Northwood S. Early Roman's armies. L., 1995.
Simkins M. The Roman army from Hadrian Constantine. L., 1998.
Wilcox P. Rome's enemies 2 – Gallic and British Celts. L., 1994.
Wilcox P. Rome's enemies 3 – Parthians and Sassanid Persians. L., 1993.
Trevino R. Rome's enemies 4 – Spanish armies. L., 1993.
Nicolle D. Rome's enemies 5 – The desert frontier. L., 1991.
Author:
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  1. Grandfather
    Grandfather 22 December 2022 05: 40
    +7
    So ... Weapons of the transitional period from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age.
    it was always interesting .. how it was, from complex "soft" alloys of copper with different metals, tin, etc., they suddenly switched to "iron", although the "iron" stainless column in India is not clear how many thousands of years old. someone, somewhere, is lying, or lying.
    1. kalibr
      22 December 2022 06: 56
      +6
      This is a riddle only for those who do not know Sanskrit. On the column there is a dedicatory inscription in honor of King Chandragupta II, who died in 413. So it stands for more than 1600 years. As for the "softness" of copper alloys, this is again not the case: very hard alloys can be obtained. For example, arsenic bronzes. There was a series of my articles about one English bronze caster, reenactor ... You should find it to read ...
      1. Catfish
        Catfish 22 December 2022 07: 28
        +6
        Good morning, Vyacheslav! smile

        Haven't seen you for a long time, I even missed you somewhere. In the article, the topic is not at all mine, but it was still interesting to read. yes
        Separately, I liked the charmingly sad face of an incomprehensible beast on the ceremonial Greek helmet.

        It's strange just now with such an acetic expression, the people spoke at the parades. good
        1. 3x3zsave
          3x3zsave 22 December 2022 07: 56
          +7
          charmingly sad muzzle of an incomprehensible beast
          It's a griffin, uncle.
          1. Catfish
            Catfish 22 December 2022 08: 18
            +6
            It's a griffin, uncle.


            More like a sad goshawk. laughing

            Good morning Anton! smile
          2. Korsar4
            Korsar4 23 December 2022 06: 39
            +1
            Whether it's a cat or a bird
            Was it a woman...
        2. kalibr
          22 December 2022 13: 14
          +2
          Quote: Sea Cat
          Haven't seen you in a while

          It doesn't depend on me, I write almost every day. Now there are 2 articles being moderated, for example, and now I am finishing the third one.
          1. Catfish
            Catfish 22 December 2022 14: 55
            +2
            Now there are 2 articles being moderated, for example, and now I am finishing the third one.


            That's great, we'll be waiting. smile
          2. Ulan.1812
            Ulan.1812 22 December 2022 20: 34
            +2
            Quote: kalibr
            Quote: Sea Cat
            Haven't seen you in a while

            It doesn't depend on me, I write almost every day. Now there are 2 articles being moderated, for example, and now I am finishing the third one.

            I always read with great interest. He has not yet reached the Greeks and Romans, but he did something in the Middle Ages.
          3. TIR
            TIR 28 January 2023 21: 34
            0
            The Etruscan warrior, judging by the figurine, wore trousers. Or running around naked. That the Romans, that the Greeks did not have pants. Who is Etruscan????
      2. Grandfather
        Grandfather 22 December 2022 17: 24
        -4
        Quote: kalibr
        . On the column there is a dedicatory inscription in honor of King Chandragupta II, who died in 413. So it stands for more than 1600 years.

        and krishna be with her...
        Quote: kalibr
        . As for the "softness" of copper alloys, this is again not the case: very hard alloys can be obtained. For example, arsenic bronzes. There was a series of my articles about one English bronze caster, reenactor ... You should find it to read ...
        I am a metallurgist, retired, to read English nonsense? why ? You, just tell me, did you need "combat bronze" from hell knows what alloys, if there was already just "hot" iron? some kind of nonsense ... leading our offspring into the "stray". Why compose and lie? for thousands of years, there are many fossil iron, silver, tin artifacts. who are we lying to, and most importantly, why? You know better than me that I'm right.
        1. kalibr
          22 December 2022 22: 50
          +3
          Quote: Dead Day
          You know better than me that I'm right.

          I don't understand how vague you are. And as for the "metallurgist" ... I don't know you, your experience, and I don't want to offend. But it happened to me like this: we have a department of foundry production and a foundry workshop at PSU. And so I came there to cast a bronze dagger. And the local metallurgists explained to me why this is impossible. I told them that it was possible for the ancients, but not for them? And it turned out that I know more about casting than these "metallurgists". And they hadn’t even heard about bronze on arsenic and thought that I was playing them. I showed them on the computer how my Englishman pours it all. You know, if I offered them to enter into an interesting relationship, they would definitely be less surprised than when I showed them all this. So metallurgists are different. And even masters from the foundry workshop of the State University, who teach casting to students.
          1. setter
            setter 23 December 2022 03: 48
            +1
            But it happened to me like this: we have a department of foundry production and a foundry workshop at PSU. And so I came there to cast a bronze dagger. And the local metallurgists explained to me why this is impossible.

            I can imagine what kind of specialists this department "casts"!. How did they even get to work there?
            1. kalibr
              23 December 2022 06: 20
              +3
              Quote from Passeur
              I can imagine what kind of specialists this department "casts"!. How did they even get to work there?

              There's a strange story here. The department itself is very strong. They won a grant from the Russian government to develop a bimetallic right for rad storage containers. nuclear power plant waste. And they made this unique alloy! I can’t even name the amount ... So they teach students + - I know these people personally. But the craftsmen in the foundry ... where they come from, of course, I don’t know, but the oaks are still the same. But age and, judging by self-confidence, also "retired", that is, "sacred bulls", which cannot be touched. So in theory one thing. but in practice - you can’t go there, you can’t go here.
          2. Grandfather
            Grandfather 23 December 2022 05: 04
            0
            And they hadn’t even heard about bronze on arsenic and thought that I was playing them. I showed them on the computer how my Englishman pours it all. You know, if I offered them an interesting relationship,
            1. kalibr
              23 December 2022 06: 15
              +1
              Quote: Dead Day
              You know, if I offered them an interesting relationship,

              Do you not understand jokes? This is an indicator of the degree of their possible surprise.
        2. kalibr
          22 December 2022 22: 54
          +2
          Quote: Dead Day
          if just "hot" iron was already

          And where was it? One dagger in the tomb of Tutankhamun made of meteorite iron and that's it.
      3. Dismas
        Dismas 23 December 2022 08: 40
        0
        So they (arsenic bronzes) are not only hard, but also fragile ... the very thing for a sword. The question is, how to obtain an alloy of the required composition from ore containing copper and arsenic, if the process of evaporation of arsenic during staged remelting under primitive technological conditions is uncontrollable? For brooches and pendants, it will do, but weapons ... except perhaps only ritual ones. Roman bronzes have b / m constant composition (British, rather, an alloy of tin and copper, and not vice versa, plus iron, etc. - in percentage terms similar to British cassiterite), despite the complexity of such a process, requiring the preliminary preparation of pure tin (about I read an excuse in the form of "cementation" The whole trouble of such reenactors is that they easily transfer their chemical knowledge to metallurgists of "hoary" antiquity (cementation is an unobvious process, it is almost impossible to stumble upon it by chance experience, you need to know the chemistry of the process), some , trying to prove the simplicity of obtaining bronzes of a constant composition ... they take pure metals and "reconstruct" the process of component melting. Although what is there to reconstruct? The possibility of obtaining the required temperatures? So it just does not raise questions).
        1. Engineer
          Engineer 23 December 2022 09: 12
          +2
          Arsenic bronzes are more typical of the early Bronze Age.
          Roman bronzes have b / m constant composition

          Absolutely not
          Explore the topic
          http://projects.itn.pt/RoCoMetal/Dungworth_1996.pdf
          The Romans knew both bronze and brass and gunmetal three-component bronze - gunmetal
          The component composition varied both in regions and in time intervals.
          1. Dismas
            Dismas 23 December 2022 10: 03
            0
            Check out the topic. I am familiar with this "topic" and pointed out about the difference between British bronzes - "Roman bronzes have a b / m constant composition (British, rather, an alloy of tin and copper, and not vice versa, plus iron, etc. - in percentage terms it is similar to British cassiterite )".
            What does "gun bronze" have to do with it, this is the designation in modern English (gun-metall) of bronzes of a certain color. Regarding their "three-component" - I will tell you a secret, ancient bronzes have much more components, it was far from the discovery of the method of refining copper, as well as the process of enrichment of ore concentrate.
            1. Engineer
              Engineer 23 December 2022 10: 09
              +1
              Not familiarized
              Roman bronzes do not have a permanent composition
              Regarding their "three-component" - I will reveal a secret, antique bronzes have much more components

              No need to confuse components and random impurities. Keep such secrets to yourself so as not to disgrace yourself.
              What does "gun bronze" have to do with it?

              While the Roman bronzes are actually a special case of a three-component copper-tin-zinc alloy, which varied over a wide range. In Britain alone, 1163 variants of the alloy have been identified, as indicated in the article.
              1. Dismas
                Dismas 23 December 2022 10: 59
                +1
                "Roman bronzes do not have a permanent composition"
                Well, I’ll decipher it, if it’s not clear right away (and even from duplication), “b / m” - more / less.
                "No need to confuse components and random impurities"
                And I don’t confuse them, it’s you who transfer the modern idea of ​​\uXNUMXb\uXNUMXbthe components of the alloy to the times and technologies of hoary antiquity. Moreover, these impurities are not random, they are natural for ores of a specific composition. Arsenic in arsenic bronze, in such logic, is also an "accidental impurity."
                "Roman bronzes are actually a special case of a three-component copper-tin-zinc alloy"
                Alloys are not a "special case", the ancient ones are even more so. And yes, then there was no analytical chemistry and typology of alloys.
                "as indicated in the article" - again, I know what is indicated in the work.
                "varying within wide limits" - how big is that? I don't see much variation in this work. On the contrary, I see a division into homogeneous types, and not scatter and vacillation. Yes, for some reason I did not notice any division of samples at all at the place of manufacture, only at the place of discovery (however, such goals were not set in the "work"). And once again - copper, bronze, gunmetall, brass - all this is the name of bronzes (copper-based alloys) according to the main feature - "color".
                1. Engineer
                  Engineer 23 December 2022 16: 33
                  0
                  Well, I’ll decipher it, if it’s not clear right away (and even from duplication), “b / m” - more / less.

                  Where is there "more or less" uniformity in composition? The spread is very wide

                  On the contrary, I see a division into homogeneous types

                  Where is the division into homogeneous types if the groups clearly pass into each other

                  Moreover, these impurities are not random, they are natural for ores of a specific composition. Arsenic in arsenic bronze, in such logic, is also an "accidental impurity."

                  Arsenic is just a random impurity. Its meaning by the ancients was apparently not known to the ancients. And here is the tin component. Because it was added on purpose. The logic here is simple.
                  Yes, something did not notice at all any division of samples at the place of manufacture, only at the place of detection

                  I did not write anything about the places of manufacture
                  Here is the source
                  The component composition also varied in the regions

                  And once again - copper, bronze, gunmetall, brass - all this is the name of bronzes (copper-based alloys) according to the main feature - "color".

                  Yes, at least the third. Bronzes and brass are different groups because the condition diagrams are different. That's how I was taught. I'm not interested in arguing about definitions. In English-language literature they write "copper alloys", and not bronzes when it is necessary to generalize. The Romans did not bother with this and deliberately interfered with zinc and bronze scrap to obtain new products. Therefore, it is convenient for me to talk about a three-component alloy, and I consider this justified.
                  1. kalibr
                    23 December 2022 16: 58
                    0
                    Quote: Engineer
                    Arsenic is just a random impurity.

                    No! There was a whole period of precisely arsenic bronzes.
                    1. Engineer
                      Engineer 23 December 2022 17: 01
                      0
                      I'm talking about the fact that it was not mixed separately, but it was already in copper ore
        2. kalibr
          23 December 2022 10: 50
          0
          Cherny has a lot about this... Have you read his works?
          1. Dismas
            Dismas 23 December 2022 11: 27
            +1
            I am not familiar with these works. If you give their output data (or a link), I'll study it.
            1. kalibr
              23 December 2022 16: 57
              +1
              Quote: Dismas
              I am not familiar with these works. If you give their output data (or a link), I'll study it.

              As always, there is a book, but it's too far to climb. Therefore, you type in the search engine - foundry worker Chernykh E.N. - everything is there. I checked. (and Molev's manual on the archeology of copper and bronze).
      4. Eule
        Eule 23 December 2022 17: 30
        0
        Quote: kalibr
        strike with the handle on the shield,

        I did not quite understand in what combat situation it made sense. The legionnaires propped up their shield with their right hand, without releasing their sword from it, it seems to be known from the drawings, when attacking the cavalry, or the "turtle". But to hit?
        About copper alloys, everything is much more complicated.
        Smelting pure copper is extremely difficult. Yes, there are deposits near the Great Lakes, there are some horizons in the Urals, but basically arsenic bronze with the first percentages of alloying is smelted. Now blister copper is refined by electrolysis, but in ancient times they did not know how to do this.
        The most terrible thing is the deposit in the Negev - two percent uranium, would have turned out to be the legendary "poison sword of the Nazgul" from the works of Tolkien, cuts from which cannot heal.
    2. kalibr
      22 December 2022 07: 24
      +6
      By the way, here is a dedicatory inscription to Chandrogupta
      1. kalibr
        22 December 2022 07: 26
        +5
        By the way, the column also rusts. Rust and rust spots are visible. But for India, this is a miracle.
        1. Grandfather
          Grandfather 22 December 2022 17: 27
          +2
          Quote: kalibr
          By the way, the column also rusts. Rust and rust spots are visible. But for India, this is a miracle.

          of course .. if "tata" or Chinese "cherry" rots in a couple of years, this is a miracle, yes.
        2. Dismas
          Dismas 23 December 2022 08: 52
          +1
          Watching how to date this miracle. And how often it was updated, or rather, replaced. Corrosion resistance is explained by the phosphating of the surface (due to the phosphorus contained specifically in this column) and the dry climate. The British discovered this column in the 19th century, let's see how many centuries it will stand.
          1. Dismas
            Dismas 23 December 2022 10: 11
            +1
            By the way, it is possible that the meager presence of phosphorus (in the phosphate coating "film") is explained not by the peculiarities of the composition of the alloy, but by the phosphating of the surface as a result of the manufacturing process.
            1. kalibr
              23 December 2022 10: 47
              +2
              Quote: Dismas
              and by phosphating the surface as a result of the manufacturing process

              Right! They made a bath according to the size of the column, brought a herd of elephants into it to urinate, then, when the bath was filled to the top, they threw a red-hot column into the urine. And what? It was recommended to harden the sword blade in the urine of a red-haired boy!!!
              1. Dismas
                Dismas 23 December 2022 11: 34
                +2
                It depends on when they did it and depending on what they phosphated :). If the British were in the 19th century, then with phosphoric acid they could treat / phosphate an already standing column that had come into a sad look from surface corrosion. Or even build a "duplicate", like "Stonehenge".
                1. kalibr
                  23 December 2022 16: 49
                  +1
                  Quote: Dismas
                  "duplicate"

                  Stonehenge is not a duplicate. It was restored at the beginning of the 16th century and no one made a secret out of this. They lifted fallen stones, reinforced the foundations with concrete. From here came the favorite tale of our debunkers-shit-mongers that this is a remake. But there are engravings before the XNUMXth century where it is. But I am not sure that in the time of Chandrogupta the Indians were able to produce orthophoric acid on an industrial scale. Elephant urine is much easier to collect!
              2. ANB
                ANB 23 December 2022 14: 38
                +2
                . It was recommended to harden the sword blade in the urine of a red-haired boy!!!

                Or in the body of a strong slave.
                1. kalibr
                  23 December 2022 16: 50
                  +2
                  Quote: ANB
                  Or in the body of a strong slave.

                  Exactly! We both read the same book! Only there in the original "muscular".
                  1. icelord
                    icelord 25 December 2022 15: 53
                    0
                    And I read too, a children's book, but at school I was very impressed
                2. Eule
                  Eule 23 December 2022 17: 35
                  0
                  This is someone's unhealthy fantasy. The blade, heated to a hardening temperature, is very soft, it can be bent about anything. To stick it into a slave, even a dead one, is to bend it against the bone. Even if you stick a corpse in the stomach, different thermal conductivity of body tissues will lead to a very curved hardening.
                  According to the experiences of blacksmiths, the sword from the forge to the hardening bath must be carried edge first. If you carry side forward - this uneven air cooling is enough to bend to the side.
                  1. kalibr
                    23 December 2022 17: 59
                    0
                    Quote: eule
                    This is someone's unhealthy fantasy.

                    Described in one of the ancient instructions. I haven't checked myself, of course...
    3. icelord
      icelord 25 December 2022 15: 44
      0
      Bronze is not soft at all, rather the opposite, it is brittle and heavy, which is what it is inferior to steel, and iron is simply cheaper, that's all. By the way, before the advent of steel, armored weapons were better, but more expensive
  2. Andrey Moskvin
    Andrey Moskvin 22 December 2022 06: 10
    +1
    How is falcata different from mahaira? belay
    1. 3x3zsave
      3x3zsave 22 December 2022 06: 41
      +8
      Almost nothing, except for the place where the artifacts were found. Meanwhile, the author was mistaken in attributing the mahair to the Celtiberian culture, the Spanish blades are called falcata.
      1. setter
        setter 22 December 2022 12: 32
        +5
        What is the difference between falcata and mahaira

        Falcata is not a historical name. This is a "synthetic" term coined by the Spanish historian Fulgosio in the XNUMXth century when translating, mistaking the description of the shape of the ensis falcatus weapon for the name. But the term stuck.
        1. 3x3zsave
          3x3zsave 22 December 2022 21: 17
          +2
          Yes, I know about it. I think this fact does not contradict the content of my previous comment.
          1. setter
            setter 22 December 2022 23: 02
            +1
            No, it doesn't contradict in any way.
    2. kalibr
      22 December 2022 06: 57
      +6
      Quote: Andrey Moskvin
      How is falcata different from mahaira? belay

      The name
      1. setter
        setter 22 December 2022 13: 25
        +6
        By the way, having become interested in the question, I found this book.

        The Complete Encyclopedia of Arms & Weapons Leonid Tarassuk, Claude Blair.
        Taking into account the fact that the authority of the authors is not in doubt, I became interested. And I learned that in modern weapons science the Roman sword is called kopis, which is a kind of mahaira. The difference is in the shape of the blade. For a long time I was looking for illustrations to show this difference. Chose these.

        Copis. Neues Museum, Berlin.

        Mahaira. National Museum, Budapest.
        1. kalibr
          22 December 2022 15: 19
          +3
          Soon it will be no worse, but ours, Russian.
          1. setter
            setter 22 December 2022 23: 00
            0
            Soon it will be no worse, but our Russian

            Unparalleled in the world, as usual?
            1. kalibr
              23 December 2022 06: 27
              +1
              Quote from Passeur
              Unparalleled in the world, as usual?

              You don't have to be rude. This is stupid! Especially in a relationship with me. Of course, there are plenty of analogues. But each book is unique in some way. For example, here in this one there will be 600 photos from a collection of weapons in which there are 10 samples. There will be plenty to choose from, right? And moreover - in all foreshortenings assemblies and disassemblies. Until now, even Shokorev could not boast of this ...
    3. icelord
      icelord 25 December 2022 15: 45
      0
      Nothing but nationality laughing comment is too short request
  3. Chrysophylax
    Chrysophylax 22 December 2022 06: 51
    +4
    Regarding finishing off enemies who fell to the ground, by stabbing the gladius to the very handle. I read somewhere that legionnaires were specially taught to stab not deep, about two inches, because. it was considered that:
    1. a deep injection requires a lunge, and for this you need to open up,
    2. a wound two inches deep enough to incapacitate an opponent,
    3. if the injection is made with a triangular point of the gladius, then on the reverse stroke the blade will definitely not get stuck
    1. Andrey Moskvin
      Andrey Moskvin 22 December 2022 07: 10
      +3
      I also think that one who fell to the ground in the crush of battle can no longer waste time on finishing off. They drown and so on.
    2. Eule
      Eule 23 December 2022 17: 48
      +1
      Quote: Chrysophylax
      that the legionnaires were specially taught not to stab deeply, about two inches, because.

      Sufficient soreness of the cut of the ribs will not immediately allow you to cut in response, and then the hemo-pneumo-thorax will finish. Again, the legionnaire does not stand still, and the pulling will be with a turn in the plane of the sword, that is, the wound is even wider. Yes, and you don’t need to get so much to the heart, or to the liver, by the way, the blood loss from it is huge. Now there are chances for a bite in the liver - they will cauterize the cut, sew it up, and so on, but then - no options.
      In the Odyssey, an injection in the liver of a Cyclops is directly described, that is, not by chance, but he aimed there and hit it.
    3. icelord
      icelord 25 December 2022 15: 55
      0
      You have noticed this very correctly, the pure truth.
  4. 3x3zsave
    3x3zsave 22 December 2022 07: 16
    +8
    A few more La Tène swords. Well, so, on the little things ...
    1. kalibr
      22 December 2022 07: 23
      +4
      Wonderful photo, Anton. It was you who filmed at the exhibition in the Hermitage ...
      1. 3x3zsave
        3x3zsave 22 December 2022 07: 25
        +4
        Yes, Vyacheslav Olegovich. Do you have these photos too?
        1. kalibr
          22 December 2022 07: 28
          +4
          Yes, Anton, there is, but not about my honor! They only open for me on "change", I can't see them on the screen. Apparently new good cameras my old computer does not pull. It's not just with your photos...
          1. 3x3zsave
            3x3zsave 22 December 2022 07: 45
            +3
            It's not about your computer, but about formatting images when sending. Everything was fine with the "Decembrist" photographs, wasn't it? It was filmed with the same camera at the same time.
            1. kalibr
              22 December 2022 10: 27
              +1
              Quote: 3x3zsave
              Everything was fine with the "Decembrist" photographs, wasn't it?

              Yes everything was OK!
    2. icelord
      icelord 25 December 2022 15: 57
      0
      Shikardos, excellent spats, do they really exist in St. Petersburg? Where are they found and when do you know?
  5. 3x3zsave
    3x3zsave 22 December 2022 07: 22
    +8
    Distribution map of the Hallstadt culture.
  6. Aaron Zawi
    Aaron Zawi 22 December 2022 07: 35
    +5
    Thank you for the article. Excellent illustrations.
  7. Glory1974
    Glory1974 22 December 2022 09: 48
    +4
    She used shields in the army. There were oval, and rounded sides, and straight lines. Therefore, from my practical experience, I can state the following:
    1. Shields, such as a scatum, allow you to conduct martial arts in an open formation, because they cover you from the sides with roundings. But they do not allow you to build a rigid, impenetrable line. Horizontal handles to hold the shield do not allow them to maneuver, it is better if the handle is located vertically.
    2. The shields are flat, rectangular in shape, they do not protect well in an open formation, but they make it possible, relying on shields against each other, to build an impenetrable line. Such shields are preferable because they do not require individual high training from each fighter, and in this case everything really depends from the coherence of actions within the unit.
  8. setter
    setter 22 December 2022 10: 39
    +5
    I'll try to add some illustrations.
    However, not everything here is as simple as it seems, because the types of swords in the vast territory of Europe, including in areas influenced by the Hallstatt culture, were constantly changing.


    Left to right: bronze swords from Mycenae, Hallstatt, Hungary, Italy and South Tyrol
    La Tene swords were 55–75 centimeters long, looked like a rhombus in cross section, and their hilts were cast from bronze.


    Latene swords and Roman gladius (far right).
    and their handles were cast from bronze

  9. zxc15682
    zxc15682 22 December 2022 12: 33
    +4
    I believe gladius fencing is a myth (often shown in movies). But purely theoretically, if two lone legionnaires (and without shields) meet all the same. belay
    1. icelord
      icelord 25 December 2022 15: 59
      +1
      You are absolutely right, the purest myth, and without a shield it means throwing it away so that it was more convenient to escape, and the other means to catch up laughing
  10. Tests
    Tests 22 December 2022 19: 56
    +4
    3x3zsave (Anton), dear, LCD "Venice" on Krestovsky Island is not your creation?
    1. 3x3zsave
      3x3zsave 22 December 2022 21: 10
      +5
      Hello, colleague!
      No, not mine. I am, by and large, a finisher, although I can build a cottage from scratch, even with my hands, even with my head. In addition, I don’t particularly like working in elite residential complexes, that is still an “adventure” ...
      1. kalibr
        23 December 2022 06: 31
        +2
        Oh, Anton, they build such beautiful houses in Penza. And one of my students opened a post-delivery repair company on order. What are they doing... You have no idea, or rather, only you can imagine. Very nice looking rooms...
        1. 3x3zsave
          3x3zsave 23 December 2022 06: 48
          +2
          I represent. The main problem of the construction business in Russia is the unreasonable perfectionism of customers. If you want to do the best, they pay as always.
          1. kalibr
            23 December 2022 10: 59
            +3
            Quote: 3x3zsave
            I represent. The main problem of the construction business in Russia is the unreasonable perfectionism of customers. If you want to do the best, they pay as always.

            You know, Anton! But in such or similar cases, I always advise you to talk about acquaintances - the cousin of a great-uncle told me that there were such ... they didn’t pay as they should ... and ... feet in a basin of cement and in Sura, there are already several of them stands vertically. Usually, after listening, people for some reason begin to wonder why vertically. "And intestinal gases are accumulating in the head ... It's still the fish will eat the eyes ..." If you tell everything correctly with the right intonation, and as if in jest, then the effect is ... very good. However, looks may also play a role. For example, I was somehow mistaken for my wife's bodyguard. She jokingly said, and the man looked and ... respected. But there's nothing to be done here. However, Anton, your appearance is also quite suitable for such PR ... And my son-in-law ... a typical "Russian mafia", my daughter says, it's a pleasure to travel abroad with him!
            1. Eule
              Eule 23 December 2022 17: 58
              +1
              Quote: kalibr
              For example, I was somehow mistaken for my wife's bodyguard

              I'll brag: Once at a conference on glassmaking, mine decided to practice Italian, which I read well, but there was little language practice. She approached the Italians - they literally ran away from her, answering in monosyllables and leaving. Then a familiar German woman explained what the Italians had seen:
              A tall beauty with good posture, a custom-made dress, 19th century jewelry, a beautiful walk, a handbag made in Italy for Europe, well-chosen shoes, an American accent. Nearby, a short-haired, thin body with a military bearing, also well-dressed, dark-haired and green-eyed, like her. Yes, we have a common special sign - underdeveloped earlobes. From the point of view of an Italian, this is an American mafia of Italian origin, and next to it is a PMC-shnik, husband or brother - it is not clear.
              1. kalibr
                24 December 2022 06: 40
                0
                What a wonderful thing you wrote to me. I think you will not mind that I use this in the most positive way in an article about cultural differences, not in VO ...
  11. Engineer
    Engineer 22 December 2022 21: 27
    +3
    By the end of the 50st century BC. e. - the beginning of the 56st century A.D. e. both swords: both the gladius and the spatha, retained their traditional shape - as before, they are still weapons with an elongated piercing edge, XNUMX–XNUMX centimeters long and weighing about one kilogram.

    According to Bishop, spatha appeared reliably only in the XNUMXst century AD. Prior to this, both the cavalry and the infantry used a gladius of various lengths. In the early principate, the gladius was finally formed in the form of a short sword of a "classical" recognizable form. Spatha was first mentioned by Tacitus in the XNUMXst century AD. Then the images and the first finds appear.
    And soon the armament of the Roman troops was simplified even more. In the era of the late empire (200-450), a flat oval shield completely replaced the scutum, and instead of a short sword, both in the infantry and in the cavalry, only the long sword of the spat began to be used, which has now become a kind of "calling card" of legionnaires.

    A complete change in the armament complex of the Roman legions is an interesting problem. In terms of time, this phenomenon largely coincides with the crisis of the III century. However, the shift itself is linked to the predominance of warriors from the outskirts over the Italians. The "provincial" complex replaced the "imperial Italian". It is not entirely clear why the "provincials" did not switch to the "Italian" weapon, which should have had a higher status in their eyes. And why the workshops in Italy abandoned the usual well-established forms.
    Specifically, the replacement of the gladius with a spatula in the infantry began at the end of the XNUMXnd century AD. Perhaps this is due to the beginning of a change in the technique of hand-to-hand combat. The gladius gradually fell into disuse, but it was not uncommon to see "half-spaths", usually made from fragments of full-sized spatas. Perhaps the request for a short infantry sword still existed.
    1. 3x3zsave
      3x3zsave 23 December 2022 07: 05
      0
      In terms of time, this phenomenon largely coincides with the crisis of the III century.
      Hello Denis!
      What is this process and where can I read about it?
      1. Engineer
        Engineer 23 December 2022 08: 52
        +3
        Good afternoon,
        3rd century - end of the principate. The Roman Empire even for some time actually disintegrated - the Gallic Empire and the Palmyra kingdom stood out.
        The decline was systemic. Simplification and primitivization began in the military sphere. Gone were the lorica segmentata, the scutum, the gladius, and the Italic helmet. The disintegration of the legions into limitans and comitates began, of which only the latter were suitable for a normal battle. For the first time, a Roman emperor died in battle with the enemy (Decius in battle with the Goths).
        In the economy, the period was characterized by the collapse of many trade links, the isolation of regions, and a general deterioration.
        Alas, I can't recommend anything. I didn’t understand this period and my knowledge is superficial
        In terms of the military aspect, Bannikov probably has something. He considered almost all periods of the empire.
        In economics, I am familiar with only one chapter Crisis and inflation of the 3rd century from The Cambridge Economic History of Europe from the Decline of the Roman Empire
        1. 3x3zsave
          3x3zsave 23 December 2022 09: 27
          +2
          Just economics and sociology are more interesting to me than military affairs.
          In any case, thanks Dennis!
          1. Engineer
            Engineer 23 December 2022 09: 34
            +1
            In any case, thanks Dennis!

            It's my pleasure
        2. kalibr
          23 December 2022 10: 53
          +2
          Quote: Engineer
          Alas, I can't recommend anything. I didn’t understand this period and my knowledge is superficial

          Momsen?
          1. Engineer
            Engineer 23 December 2022 16: 34
            0
            Alas, to my shame I did not read the classic
            1. kalibr
              23 December 2022 16: 45
              0
              Quote: Engineer
              Alas, to my shame I did not read the classic

              You are lucky. So you have this pleasure ahead. There is another book that I would like to recommend to you, but it is difficult to get it right now.
              1. Engineer
                Engineer 23 December 2022 16: 52
                +2
                You are lucky. So you have this pleasure ahead.

                I probably will still read it, although there are enough good books in the world for several human lives.
                1. kalibr
                  24 December 2022 06: 41
                  0
                  Quote: Engineer
                  I'll probably read it

                  Well, study Rome and not read Momzenaaaa. Necessary!
  12. zenion
    zenion 23 December 2022 18: 56
    -1
    In Ukrainian it was called "Scyt and Mosque". Accurate translation from an ancient distant language.
  13. icelord
    icelord 25 December 2022 15: 41
    0
    Many thanks to Vyacheslav Olegovich! I often come across infa that the gladius is piercingly chopping, but this is not so, it is inconvenient for them to cut, and Roman tactics simply do not provide for chopping blows from infantrymen. Even the sword was worn on the right side, precisely so that the shield would not move when removed. Something is wrong here, I think that all the sources about the terrible chopping blows of the Romans do not refer to gladiuses. Well, they don’t really cut, and the metal there is disgusting to the point of horror, what kind of cut is there ....
  14. Kuziming
    Kuziming 30 January 2023 07: 40
    0
    The Roman legion defeated the Macedonian phalanx. Not only due to greater mobility, but also in a head-on collision. Scutum held the blow of the Macedonian spear. The Macedonian sarissas were made of dogwood, connected with a bronze bushing, like our two-knee fishing rods. These were not thick spears like knights, but rather long canes.