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The most fundamental use which developed for the cruciform sword as the sixteenth century progressed was a ceremonial or symbolic weapon. The sword had long symbolized authority. As the first weapon which was not simply a modified tool but one specifically designed as a killing instrument, the sword was the prerogative of warriors, the instrument used to enforce authority and its related privileges.
As the warrior class evolved into a feudal aristocracy, the sword became a symbol of rank and status. The most highly decorated and sumptuous swords could only be affored by the most powerful individuals and were reserved for important ceremonial occasions. Coronation ceremonies demanded the finest, most impressive regalia obtainable, and the sword was and remains a fundamental element of coronation regalia.


Duelling with sword and dagger was only one of many forms of fencing that developed as civilion wear of swords made duels between unarmoured opponents in non-military situations more common. By the turn of the sixteenth century, italian fencing masters were renowned throughout Europe, and during the course of the century, as instruction in the art of fencing became a required part of a young nobleman´s education, every selfrespecting court in Europe sought the services of an italian fencing master. It was not unusual for a young gentleman to travel to Italy to receive instruction.


The civilization of Moorish Spain, wich endured for seven centuries, has left surprisingly few examples of the armourer´s art. The only swords known are a handful of parade weapons decorated in the most ornate style, the work of jewellers rather than armoures. The best known of these is the sword associated with Boabdil, the last emir of the last corner of Moorish Spain, Granada, who was deposed in 1492. It is preserved in the Cabinet des Médailles in Paris.


The japanese sword is many things. Functionally, its deadliness is attested by countless episodes in which it has cut through iron armour to kill, and also by inscriptions on tangs certifying terrible testing procedures in which whole bodies have been cut in two at a stroke.
In all countries with a martial tradition the sword has been elevated to a symbol of temporal power and justice, and in many it has acquired a spiritual status. But in Japan it is more than this. It has been described as the very soul of the samurai. The samurai´s spiritual development was by means of Kendo (“The Way of the Sword”), or traditional swordsmanship. The sword was inseparate from the samurai. Part of his very character. The sword, the jewel and the Mirror constitute the three articles of the japanese imperial regalia-they are divine objects according to the Shinto religion.
But the japanese sword possesses a further property which is inmediately evident even to those who know nothing of its history, and even to those who have no love for weapons. It is and object of great beauty. As an art object it is unmatched- its finely polished steel surface has an intrinsic beauty unique among object made of steel.
The wearing of a pair of swords, or “daisho”, became fashionable during the Muromachi period (1392-1477)-the katana, or long sword, and the wakizashi, or shorter companion sword, were worn out of door. Indoors, the wakizashi was worn at all times and kept by the bed at night. The samurai lived inseparable from his sword, his most valued possession. He walked armed every day of his life, sat armed at the table, and went armed to the bed.
Katana (XVII), Wakizashi (XVII), and Tanto (“Dagger”, XIX).


The hoplite sword appears frecuently on Greek vases throughout the Archaic and Classical period, that is from 800-400 BC, but from about 500 BC a new type of sword quite unlike the hoplite weapon began to appear. This was the kopis, a single-edged weapon with a slightly-S-sharped cutting edge.
The kopis was a heavy hacking or chopping weapon and must have been devaslating in hand-to-hand combat. The spanish adopted the kopis, eventually converting it into the short-cut-and-thrust sword known as the FALCATA. This ancient sword was specifically fashioned to provide optimum slash for the warrior's efforts. It's interesting designed made it a force to contend with and fear. This is a true historical replica of the original which is in the National Archeological Museum in Madrid.

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