Category Archives: Armor & Weaponry

Forged – The Roman Gladius

Welcome to Rome Across Europe!

Anytime we can share an idea via video we get excited. It’s just a nice change of pace to the typical learning process.

Today is sort of a “how-to” type of share as we forge a Roman Gladius!

Master bladesmith Tony Swatton takes up the task of forging a Roman Gladius entirely with the Damascus Steel technique. Cinematographer Phil Holland has brilliantly captured the painstaking procedure in 8K resolution, and compiled it into a short video with all the expressive sights-and-sounds.

Gladius was one Latin word for sword and is used to represent the primary sword of Ancient Roman foot soldiers. Early gladii were similar to those used by the Greeks.

From the 3rd century BC, the Romans adopted swords similar to those used by the Celtiberians and others during the early part of the Conquest of Hispania. This sword was known as the Gladius Hispaniensis (Hispanic Sword).

  • Gladius Hispaniensis: Used from around 216 BC until 20 BC. Blade length ~24–27 in. Sword length ~30–33 in. Sword width ~2 in. This was the largest and heaviest of the gladii. Earliest and longest blade of the gladii, pronounced leaf-shape compared to the other forms. Max weight ~2.2 lb for the largest versions, most likely a standard example would weigh ~2 lb (wooden hilt).

We hope you enjoyed today, and look forward to having you back again. Till next time, Don’t Stop Rome-ing!