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Thread: "Roman" sword origin?

  1. #1

    "Roman" sword origin?

    Last month a news story about a Roman sword found in the waters on Nova Scotia, Canada circulated through the online media. While the sword is obviously not what the "researchers" claim it to be--a Roman era sword from an alleged Roman ship wreck near Oak Island in Nova Scotia, I am puzzled about its actual origins. The claimants in the news articles, as well as makers of replicas of this alleged "Roman" sword, say an original is held in the collections of "a museum in Pompeii". It is probably just a tourist piece, but I am wondering if there is anything to the claims that an original is in fact in a museum at Pompeii. Can anyone offer any guidance about the alleged artifact or the origins of the bronze tourist sword?

    There is some good skeptical coverage of this sword at http://www.andywhiteanthropology.com/blog and http://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog .

    Here is link to the original article about the so-called "Roman" sword: http://www.bostonstandard.co.uk/news...icas-1-7118097

    Thank you in advance for any help you can offer!

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  2. #2
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    Modern copy according to my friends on the Armour Archive: http://forums.armourarchive.org/phpB...45&hilit=Roman
    Retired civil servant, part time blacksmith, seasonal Viking ship captain.

  3. #3
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    It isn't a modern copy. There is no original in any museum, so there is nothing to copy. It is a modern design loosely based on Roman domestic items such as mirror handles.
    Last edited by Dan Howard; 01-24-2016 at 04:39 PM.
    Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books.
    http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Bronz...ipment/p/3272/

  4. #4
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    Good point. Maybe "modern fantasy Roman piece" would have been more on target.
    Retired civil servant, part time blacksmith, seasonal Viking ship captain.

  5. #5
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    These swords have a long history that dates back to pre-Roman times. They have been produced in large numbers and the finest examples can command large sums of money. The styles vary considerably which can fool the unwary. Which is perhaps a very germane point when assessing their impact on society. These items are perhaps unique in that they strongly suggest military use yet are actually of more interest to the civil authorities of the societies in which they appear. Most often the judiciary, constabulary or local equivalent. The workmanship can vary widely and often more effort is placed in constructing a suitable history or provenance for the piece. This effort can include the deliberate distortion of the item, ceremonial burial in back gardens and inducing a certain amount of corrosion in what would usually be a bright shiny object. Much has been speculated about the origin and manufacture of such pieces. After extensive research it has been established that in some cases the artisans actually making them are not necessarily aware of their eventual disposition. The main driving force has always been a substrata of the societies in which they appear. In Roman times these were known as "Fiducia Artifex" A most interesting area of collecting and one in which many of us have become involved, usually unwittingly. Sadly it is an area where increasing knowledge about the item one has purchased actually leads to less rather than more satisfaction.




    (Fiducia Artifex = Confidence Artist, at least according to Google Translate )
    The journey not the destination

  6. #6
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    Hi Guy, I hope you are joking. Romans never made swords like this.
    Last edited by Dan Howard; 01-29-2016 at 02:18 AM.
    Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books.
    http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Bronz...ipment/p/3272/

  7. #7
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    I hope I'm joking too, but I'm sure Romans had Con Artists as well, pedalling fake Etruscan swords
    The journey not the destination

  8. #8
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    Probably someone got this off fleabay (sacred sword of Luristan or some such)... realized it was a SLO and heaved it into the waters hoping a mermaid might reach out and turn it into a real sword.
    "Please look in the encyclopedia and make a brief memorandum for me concerning the life of Correggio."
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    Nakamura Ryu Batto Do, Order of Seven Hearts

  9. #9
    It was never in the water. If you dig through the various articles, blogs, and comments by the people who actually run Oak Island, it is very clear that someone brought this object to Pullitzer from somewhere else. The entire story of it being from a shipwreck is made up, in fact there is no shipwreck at all, from any century!

    Matthew

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