Concept art by
Peter Johnsson

The Alaris
Limited Edition Roman Spatha

The spatha, or long sword, was otiginally the weapon of the Roman cavalry units. Longer than the infantry gladius, it gave the reach and cutting power needed from horseback. In the 3rd and 4th centuries, the spatha gradually replaced the gladius as the infantry sword, probably due to the large numbers of Celtic/Germanic recruits that then populated the legions in the late Empire.

The spatha is also credited with being the inspiration for the development of the Migration era sword styles -- in fact, in many bog finds it is difficult to determine which swords are late Roman spathae and which are native Germanic swords.

The Alaris is based on Peter's research of the Danish bog sword finds (Nydam, Illerup ådal, Kragehul & Vimose). This narrow and pointed blade type is prominent in the bog finds and appears to be contemporary with the what t is typically recognized as the Roman spatha: parallel edges and spade shaped point (like our Auxillia spatha).

Oakeshott mentions these narrow spatha in his texts and points out how very much they have in common with 15thC swords and even some 17thC cut&thrust blades. They are not perhaps what you automatically identify as a Roman sword. The cross section is octagonal. The blade is thick and very stiff with a pronounced distal taper that still leaves the point very sturdy. It is somewhat akin to a type XVII blade in character, only sized down for single hand use. This makes it's thrusting orientation clear, but as is the case with the later Type XVII swords, they might actually have a surprising cutting capacity as well.

The hilts for these blades seems mostly to have followed the old style with a bulbous, spherical pommel, narrow shortish grip and a half sphere or domed guard. It is thought that these swords belong to the later part of the 2nd C and 3rd C AD.

In our spatha offerings, we are attempting to present several different blade and hilt styles that will span the time from the earliest spathae into the early Migration era.

The guard and pommel are hand-crafted of walnut, the grip turned from holly, and the inset guard plate and pommel nut are of bronze.

A Limited Edition Hand Crafted Collectible Sword
This sword is offered in a limited edition of only 500 collectible swords worldwide.

Name That Sword Contest Winner:
Eric Spitler

"Latin for "wingman," a soldier serving in an ala (auxiliary wing) of the Roman cavalry, and a spatha was of course a cavalry sword."



The Alaris
(Spatha)... $880
Order now before this limited edition collectible sword runs out!

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