As a roman reenactor, for my equipment, I have two choices : make it myself, or buy it to someone more capable than I. The German craftsman Erik König is one of those men with gold in their hands. He is well known from us at LEG VIII AUG. I have no pretension about being a swordsmith, I think I would need years of practice before getting something good. That’s why I choose one of his swords, Erik is the best in his field, and I wanted exactly that roman sword.
English gladiusMy gladius is known as the “english gladius”. It’s “my precious”. The gladius is known as “English”, because it was found in England. It’s of course a Pompei type, the same that were found in Pompei, and was common among legionaries during flavian period.
Erik König complete the bits of gladius that weren’t found in England with classical pompei gladius parts. If I’m correct, parts of the scabbard, like the chape, were rebuilt with pompei inspiration, from Mainz findings. The final result is, from my point of view, fabulous.
I’m enthusiast but it’s true that I was used to a simple Deepeeka gladius, much worse, but also much, much more cheaper. Deepeeka is a company based in India, specialized in crafting historical artifacts at low cost. Quality have a price, as we say. The König gladius is simply like the real thing: lighter, very well crafted and well balanced, it’s a real piece of Art. The pictures of it are worth a thousand words :)
But with use, I had some troubles though. The little iron plate that you can see at the middle of the scabbard can be annoying. It touches the mail of the Lorica Hamata (the armour), breaking the little nails used to fix the plate. We’ll find a solution with Erik, who proposes to repair it and reinforce it. Those kind of disagreements are common when reenacting, since only practice can put to the test “modern” gladiuses.
The blade is made of forged iron, the hilt is made of bone. The scabbard is made of wood, covered with leather. The decorative plates of the scabbard are made of tinned brass. Everything is made by hand.
The gladius is light, yet solid. It’s a pleasure to hold it, it’s well balanced. I don’t even speak about drawing it from the scabbard! It will never be stuck on it as it happened all the time with the deepeeka.
Pictures of English Gladius
I’m really proud of wearing such a replica of an ancient roman weapon, can you see it? :)