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History and Evolution of the Sword

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It is difficult to say where and when the sword first emerged, this magnificent weapon that has been made with different materials and in a multitude of forms. In this article, we are going to see how the evolution of the sword has been in the different periods of history up to the present day.

Bronze Age

Although in the Metal Age attempts were made to create swords with bone and stone, these materials did not make the sword sharp. Thus, the forging of the blade began in the Bronze Age, II millennium BC.

The first sword which was made was from the dagger. At that time, the material used for its manufacture was bronze and it was not suitable for making this type of sword, with a blade of up to 90 cm in length, since it exceeded the extensible capacity of the material.

These first works began in the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and Mesopotamia, which would mean the beginning of the use of the sword in Europe.

Iron Age

The evolution of the sword has as an important milestone the date on which it began to be mass-produced. And it is that, well into the thirteenth century BC, and thanks to the use of metal to manufacture them, swords began to be made in abundance.

With the passage of time, the master blacksmiths realized that there was a technique that managed to improve the quality of the metal and obtain an alloy called steel. Thanks to this, they were able to make longer swords such as the spatha, introduced by the Roman Empire for its numerous feats. From this moment on, the term “long sword” would begin to be used.

Middle Ages

Until the 11th century, armies continued to use long swords or spathas as their preferred weapon. But, it was from this century when the hawks or the characteristic cross of the medieval sword appeared.

The cruciform appearance that characterized them was maintained during the Crusades, during the 12th and 13th centuries, and it does not show significant changes in its design. During this period katana sword and one piece series swords like shusui became popular in Japan.


Between the years 1300 and 1500 the evolution of the swords and armor of the knights became more evident. The first point they worried about was expanding its grip, which allowed it to be used with both hands and also to get a much longer blade.

During this time the Spadone arose, common during the year 1400 and the Estoque, a variant of the sword specialized in piercing the defense.

Modern and Contemporary Age

The military use of swords passed into the background and they began to become weapons for civilian use. Despite this, work and innovation continued in their design, for example, the cross of the rapiers was shaped like a basket to protect the hand of the knights during their duels.

Little by little, the use of swords went out of fashion for knights and they were replaced by canes that incorporated a hidden blade inside.

Between the 18th and 19th centuries, the development of firearms was leaving swords aside. To this day, the swords are still used in ceremonies or as part of the uniform of the military corps.

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