The falcata is the most recognized Iberian sword. Back then, it was popular in the southeast of the peninsula (populations of ancient contestanos and bastetanos) during the conquest of Hispania carried out by the Roman Empire, between the Vth and Ist centuries a.c. It's believed that it was introduced by Phoenician merchants and its use extended until well after the conquest of Hispania.
- Total Longitude
- 27 in
- Sheet Longitude
- 27 in
- 51 oz
- Handle made in
- Wooden scales in the shape of a horse
You might also like
Among the Iberian swords, the falcata stood out, which was used by the autochthonous populations of the southeast of the peninsula (ancient contestants and bastetans) during the conquest of Hispania by the Romans. Its use dates between the 5th and 1st centuries BC starting with its introduction by the Phoenicians, until the time of Quinto Sertorio, when it is believed that it fell into disuse due to the influence of Romanization.
Its origins are traced back to the Balkan shores of the Adriatic Sea. Before reaching the peninsula, it became popular in Italy and Greece, where it was called ‘machara’ or ‘kopis’. The first specimens that we find in the Iberian Peninsula date from the 5th century BC.
The falcata is composed of a wide, single-edged, curved and asymmetrical blade, so we can refer to it as a saber rather than as a sword. It consisted of a single piece with a curved grip to protect the hand and a small bar to safeguard the wearer's fingers. In most cases, the cutting edge skirted the tip covering the other side up to a third of the total length. This characteristic makes it an effective weapon because, in addition to cutting, it was used to puncture and kick back.
Because the blade widened toward the tip, the center of gravity was located closer to it, increasing the energy and power of the cuts inflicted.
Another characteristic of this sword is the different indentations that are made in the non-cutting edge to lighten its weight. In addition, these splits used to be decorated with silver threads, using the coffin technique.
The handle is one-handed -due to its small size- and is not centered, but offset from the axis. It has a curved shape and usually incorporates bone or ivory scales. Lastly, the pommel used to be shaped like a horse's head or a griffin.
The weapons forged in the peninsula stood out for the quality of the iron with which they were forged, coming to be praised by Roman chroniclers of the time. In fact, after the first battles between the Iberians and the Romans, the invading troops found it necessary to reinforce the edges of their shields with iron due to the effectiveness of these Iberian swords.
What made its composition stand out from other swords of the same era was the applied methodology -the iron was subjected to an oxidation treatment-. To achieve this, plates of this material were buried underground until the oxide had eaten away the weakest part of the metal -they were tempered steel swords-. The blade was forged by joining three sheets to heat. Of those three, the one in the middle was longer than the other two in order to form the hilt.