The Allectus
Limited Edition Roman Gladius
(Mainz style)

The Roman Legions were renowned for their brutal, efficient use of the short sword and over the centuries the style of short sword changed as tactics changed or were refined. Beginning with the "gladius Hispaniensis" (based on a Celt-Iberian leaf-bladed short sword), over time the sword became shorter and broader (the Mainz and Fulham patterns) and culminated in the "Pompeii" style stabbing sword.

The Mainz pattern is thought to have developed from the leaf-bladed short swords used on the Celt-Iberian peninsula (what is now Spain) and adopted for use in the Republican Legions. Rather than fighting as individual warriors (like their competition, the Continental Celts) the Roman legions eventually developed a new way of fighting -- massing together with overlapping shields, using their short stabbing'cutting swords to strike from behind this shield wall. As these battle tactics for the Legions changed, a shorter, broader stabbing/cutting sword had to be developed to use in combination with these newer types of shield and new styles of fighting.

The Mainz pattern is deeply waisted and has a long point section like the earlier gladius Hispaniensis, but is shorter and broader than its predecessor. Unlike the later Pompeii style, the Mainz pattern was still capable of delivering strong cutting blows, though its primary purpose was for thrusting.

The Greek historian Dionysus of Halicarnassus (contemporary to Emperor Augustus 63 BC-14 AD) describes Roman tactics with swords against the Gauls in the 4th C BC. Dionysus describes events that is some 300 years earlier than his own times, but we might perhaps presume that the fighting techniques he describes were not anachronistic to his own period. It is during the late 1st C BC that the Mainz type Gladius developed from the longer Gladius Hispaniensis that the Romans adopted during the Punic wars. Both the longer Gladius Hispanienis and the Mainz type gladius were effective cutting swords, even if thrusting was a favoured tactic in close formations.

...Holding their sword straight out, they would strike their opponents in the groin, pierce their sides, and drive their blows through their breasts into their vitals. And if they saw any of them keeping these parts of the body protected, they would cut the tendons of their knees or ankles and topple them to the ground roaring and biting their shields and uttering cries resembling the howling of wild beasts...

We can see how the cut was accepted as a perfectly viable method to dispatch an opponent, if the thrust did not prove effective. Vegetius describes how recruits are trained using wooden swords against stout posts, as though attacking different parts of the opponents body. A crippling cut against the backside of the leg was included in these techniques.

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:
Roger Hooper

"Allectus is a Roman Army term for a chosen man or elite soldier - I think it's a good name for a Mainz gladius. (It's also the name of a later Roman Emperor, but that isn't why I thought of this.)"

Overall length: 27.625" (70 cm)
Blade length: 20.25" (51.44 cm)
Blade width: 2.625" (6.67 cm)
CoP: n/a
CoB: 4.125" (10.48 cm)
Weight: 1 lb 11 oz (760 grams)

The Allectus
(Mainz Gladius)... $770
Order now before this limited edition collectible sword runs out!.

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Sword design/specifications 2003/2007 Peter Johnsson.
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