I have been involved in a fascinating intellectual and artistic pursuit, of late, one that may be of interest to some of you all, such as John Thurston. If you will go over to the Ancient Weapons Forum in the www.swordforum.com
site, you will find a thread captioned, "Original Gladius Hispaniensis" that is now some 6 pages long. This thread has garnered the interest of two authors of note on things Roman, Michael Bishop who edits The Journal of Roman Military Equipment Studies
and well as co-authoring the book, now out of print, Roman Military Equipment
, and John Maddox Roberts, the author of the acclaimed SPQR Roman mystery series set during the 1st Century BCE. My piece in all of this has been to contribute the picture of the Delos Gladius from the Bishop book, since it is unavailable elswhere and now out of print, and then to become involved in trying to design a gladius based upon it for production. In other words, to take an archaeological item, from which all, or almost all, organic matter had rotted away in something over 2000 years and produce a useable picture that a smith could take as a pattern for a production model. You can see my first attempt on line, complete with commentary as to how I got there, and then some comments from observers. I have since done another sketch based upon later, and newer information, but the smith and I have not posted it since the last one led to at least one poacher trying to steal the idea. If you would like, I could send you a fax of the later idea, but you must promise me not to put any of the pictures on line.
In any case, it looks as if I will be ordering one of these once we get them into production, and that will be a serious crimp to my funds, since I have already placed an order for my very first sword purchase, the Roman Riding Sword from Patrick Barta at TEMPL. You may see it at http://templ.oceany.cz/eng_z_ran-stred.htm
BTW< if there are any of you interested in a sword that was a real piece of American History, SwordForums has set up a partnership with another Czech firm, ARMART, to represent them in the USA, and one of the models that they make is the Model 1840 Light Dragoon Saber, "Old Wristbreaker", the saber carried by all U.S. mounted units up until the War Between the States, when it was superceded by the Model 1860. This is a beautiful saber, and the reproduction, while expensive, is extremely well-made and uses a hand-forged blade with grind lines that are smooth and continuous and actually match up side to side, unlike the India-made replicas of the 1860 model available elsewhere.
Trying to Walk in the Light, Hughhughf_us@yahoo.com