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Gladius Query

PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2007 6:15 am
by Quintus Servilius Priscus

Recently a co-worker who had gone to Kansas City for a couple of
months came back and he had a Gladius. He got it from a family friend
who supposedly had been a Archeology student in Italy in the 1960's.
Due to my interest in things Roman he gave it to me. It is a
little over 22" long. Photo's of the grip are posted here for anyone to look at:

It is pitted with rust and the tip is slightly bent and has a nick on
one side of the blade. I am sure it's a copy but it looks awful good
to me. The electrical tape was on it when I got it. What do you think?

Quintus Servilius Priscus

PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2007 12:02 pm
by Gnaeus Dionysius Draco
(*Obi-Wan Kenobi mode*)

This isn't the gladius you are looking for. You will give it to me.

(*/Obi-Wan Kenobi mode*)

Hmm, it looks good!


Bad Code! BAD!

PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2007 10:04 pm
by Aldus Marius
Salve, mi Draco!

That code'll never fly; it contains an invalid character [*], and is not in brockets [<>]. Mi Prisce, you and your (possibly-Celtic, from the pommel?) gladius are safe.

Da Webmeister,

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2007 12:20 am
by Quintus Servilius Priscus
I've updated my photo's of the Gladius. I removed the electrical tape someone had put on the hilt. After going to the Legio XX site and looking around the section on the Gladius I have determined it is a Fulham pattern Gladius with a Quama blade. Now I would like to know how old it is(or is it a good copy).

Quintus Servilius Priscus

It's a Persian Qama!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 12:29 am
by Quintus Servilius Priscus
I was doing a Google search for Persian Qama and found these photo's of a Qama that had been sold. Here's a link for it(look at the hilt on the 7th pic down it's almost a twin to mine). The blade is different but the rivets on the hilt are the deciding factor I think. But, I still love it even if it's not Roman.

I got this answer from a fellow Nova Roman today(and it made me do the Google search):

"You have a Persian qama there and not a gladius. I have one myself that was
made about 20 years ago and distributed by Atlanta Cutlery. Oddly enough, I
wore it as a gladius since the only other Roman type blades available were
copies of the French & American foot artillery swords.

According to E. Oakeshott & Sir Mortimer Wheeler (two of the foremost 20th
century authorities on ancient and medieval weaponry), the Qama was a survival
or generational weapon that is likely descended from the Roman gladius but
there are some important differences between the two. During the period of
the Islamic Expansion through the Ayyubbid Period (632-1250 AD), such a weapon
was call a Khanjar, it was the direct ancestor of both the modern Khinjal of
Caucasus & Georgia as well as the Qama of Persia and the Ottoman Empire.
Some examples can also be found in Northern Afganistan and Usbekistan.
According to the Wheeler-Oakeshott classification of Middle Eastern Swords, the Type
III Syrio-Arabian sword has a similar blade and hilt that is similar to a

You can find additional information by reviewing the hardcopy or e-catalogs
of the Higgins Armory Museum, the Army Museum & the Topkapi Museum
(Istambul), the State Antropological Museum & State Historical Museum (Moscow). There
are also some information in a book by L. A. Mayer (originally published in
1943) entitled Saracenic Arms and Armor. In this work, such a weapon is
referred to as a Khanjar.

First, you will note that your blade is a full tang model on to which the
polished horn scales have been riveted with copper. Surviving Roman blades did
not employ this shaped full-tang method of forging a sword. Also, there are
no examples of Roman gladii which used polished buffalo horn for the handle.
The most common materials were ivory, bone, wood, and (occasionally) silver
or bronze. Also, Roman hilts were usually fashioned in separate pieces
(pommel, handle or built up handle, and guard and sometimes with the handle &
guard in one piece but virtually always with a separate pommel).

Considering Italy's involvement in North African (Libya), Ethiopia, and the
Middle East during periods of the 19th and 20th centuries, it is not
surprising to see such a weapon in Italy. Heck, there is a current auction on eBay
in which someone is selling a Jambiya that was picked up in Iraq. Nice piece
it is too."

--From Flavius Galerius Aurelianus

Quintus Servilius Priscus

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 4:36 am
by Q Valerius
I'm asking from the uninformed opinion here, but I was under the assumption that gladii had hilts.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 7:53 am
by Quintus Servilius Priscus
The tang on the Gladius was tapered to allow a hand grip to be attached and a pommel added to the end. The tang on my Qama was shaped as a one piece hand grip. Here are what the Gladius blades are shaped like(the drawings are from the Legio XX website):


My Qama has the Fulham pattern. That's what made me originally think I had a Gladius until I saw how the tang was formed.

Quintus Servilius Priscus

I have an appraisal!

PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 5:31 am
by Quintus Servilius Priscus
Well, I got an appraisal from today. One of their experts, a Will Gorges said this:

Appears to be a lower middle eastern to Russian form of kindjal, used by several North African nations as well as Persian states and even to western Russia. These are relatively common and only have a market following when they are far more ornate. Appears to be a functional rather than tourist grade or ceremonial form.
* Current Fair Market Value: $150.00
** Replacement Cost: $275.00(Insurance Value)

Mr Gorges owns the Civil War Shop. If you want to use or checkout the site go to:

Quintus Servilius Priscus