The Book of the Sword

The Book of the Sword

by Sir Richard F. Burton, Sir Richard Burton, Burton
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The Book of the Sword by Sir Richard F. Burton, Sir Richard Burton, Burton

"The history of the sword is the history of humanity." With these words, British author, Victorian scholar, and world traveler Richard Burton begins his eloquent and exceptionally erudite history of the "Queen of Weapons."
Spanning the centuries and a wide range of cultures, Burton's rich and elegant prose illuminates the sword as both armament and potent symbol. For nearly all peoples of the world, the sword embodied the spirit of chivalry, symbolized justice and martyrdom and represented courage and freedom. In battle, it served universally as a deadly offensive weapon.
Drawing on a wealth of literary, archaeological, anthropological, linguistic, and other sources, the author traces the sword's origins, from its birth as a charred and sharpened stick, through its diverse stages of development, to its full growth in the early Roman Empire. Recounting man's long association with this weapon, the author describes in brilliant detail:
The ages of wood, bone and born
The appearance of stone swords and exotic weapons such as the boomerang
The ages of copper and alloys such as bronze and brass — used in producing the long, narrow blades of rapiers
The Iron Age during which the Viking sword of carbonized iron took shape — a weapon whose form would set the standard for the next thousand years.
Enhanced by nearly 300 excellent line drawings, the text provides an incredible wealth of detailed data about the sword and its variations: sabre, broadsword, cutlass, scimitar, rapier, foil, and a host of other arms, including dirks, daggers, throwing knives, flails, and much more.
Military and social historians, scholars and students of weaponry, as well as armchair adventurers will find this volume a fascinating, abundantly illustrated and highly readable account of this potent symbol of power.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780486254340
Publisher: Dover Publications
Publication date: 07/01/1987
Series: Dover Military History, Weapons, Armor Series
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 863,814
Product dimensions: 6.34(w) x 9.42(h) x 0.64(d)

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The Book of the Sword 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
stevenyowell More than 1 year ago
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.