The Book Of The Swordby Richard F. Burton
As the so-termed founding of Rome took place during the early Iron Age of Southern Europe, it is probable that the citizens, like their predecessors the Etruscans, originally made their blades of copper and bronze, the leaf-shape being borrowed from the Greeks, as we see it retained by the gladiators. The material would last into the Age of Steel, but even in her early years Rome must have preferred the harder metal. Pliny expressly tells us that Porsena, after his short-lived conquest, prohibited the future masters of the world from using iron except in agriculture...
-from Chapter XII: "The Sword in Ancient Rome; The Legion and the Gladiator"
Notorious for his global exploits-not to mention his unexpurgated translations of The Arabian Nights and the Kama Sutra-British adventurer and author CAPTAIN SIR RICHARD FRANCIS BURTON (1821-1890) was also a soldier and an aficionado of fencing, which is surely how he came about his interest in the sword.
"The history of the sword is the history of humanity," Burton declares in his introduction to this classic 1884 survey of the weapon, and then goes on to explore that noble history through:
• the origin of weapons
• the ages of wood, bone, and horn
• copper weapons
• bronze and brass axes and swords
• the sword in ancient Egypt
• the sword in Babylonia, Persia, and ancient India
• the sword in ancient Greece
• the sword in ancient Rome
• and much more
Profusely illustrated with beautifully detailed line drawings, this is an essential reference for anyone interested in the history of weaponry.
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.76(d)
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This is an exhaustive 19th century history of swords and sword-like devices written by the famous English explorer Richard Francis Burton. Burton writes in a somewhat rambling fashion exploring every possible nuance of hand weapons in nature and human history (Japanese angler fish, tiger claws emulated in a hand held device giving metal claws to a human fist to Narwhale tusks simluated by undulating swords). He quotes many many sources from European journals, Greek & Roman authors, Hindu texts, the Bible to Arabic texts. He uses extensive footnotes. He has pages and pages of quotes before any text appears. The digital version (Powered by Google) is marred by fragmented footnotes, undecipherable optical character recognition transciption errors, and punctuation problems. Nearly 500 pages with over 200 illustrations.