66 Responses

  1. Ringo at |

    How about Hatori Hanzo?

    Reply
    1. oak at |

      cuz thats a person not a sword

      Reply
      1. Ringo at |

        his swords are called hatori hanzo swords…

        Reply
        1. Bryan at |

          It looks like Hatori Hanzo was a skilled fighter and ninja. I don’t think he was known for creating swords, but rather fighting with them. His name was used in the movie Kill Bill, in which the character was a master swordsmith. For this reason, you can buy replica swords from the film online.

          Reply
    2. Penumbra at |

      Hattori Honzo was not a sword smith, He was a Ninja of the Iga clan that served under the Tokugawa during and after the Sengoku era. He wasn’t even a swordsman, he was a Spear-master. The Reason he appears in the Kill Bill movies is because Tarantino liked an old Japanese tv series that depicted first the old ninja and then, through subsequent seasons, his descendants through out history, all bearing his name. The sword smith in the Movie was supposed to be one of these descendants as an homage.

      Reply
  2. Young Bat at |

    “The INFAMOUS William the Conqueror”? Why?

    Reply
    1. Bryan at |

      He was the leader of the Norman Conquest over the English Crown. During his reign, William brought Norman-French culture to England and had a large impact on the subsequent course of action in England during the Middle Ages. When using the term, I meant it more like “legendary,” although the word “infamous” does have some negative connotation. I wasn’t trying to put down William the Conqueror.

      Reply
      1. Young Bat at |

        Bryan – unfortunately, “infamous” according to the Cambridge Dictionary means “famous for something bad,” which is TOTALLY bad! William wasn’t totally bad; he even tried to forgive his enemies (good going for the 11th century). So you may have to change “infamous”. Living in England, I do know who William was: a successful claimant to the English throne when St Edward the Confessor died. Harold Godwinson took the crown, and William successfully challenged him (with a little help!) Enjoyed your page of Swords, anyway, Bryan.

        Reply
        1. Bryan at |

          Thanks for the info. I really don’t know too much about William living in the states. When I hear the word infamous, I guess I don’t think of it as to much of an insult, but I understand what you are saying and will take that into consideration when using that word in future articles I write.

          Reply
  3. Young Bat at |

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=iv&annotation_id=annotation_559561&v=LtGoBZ4D4_E

    Bryan, if you don’t know the story, you’ll enjoy this account! There is an 11th century tapestry, and someone on YouTube has cleverly animated it so you can see the story of the Norman Conquest. Enjoy!

    Reply
    1. Bryan at |

      Nice, interesting link. England has such a long and storied history.

      Reply
  4. Granada at |

    ¿La de Boabdil?

    Reply
    1. Bryan at |

      I believe you are making a reference to Muhammad XII of Granada, who was the last ruler of the Emirate of Granada, which was established from 1228–1492. Muhammad XII didn’t come up in my research on famous swords, but I’m sure he owned one. In order to make the list, the original sword, or at least parts of the original, has to be available for viewing in a museum around the world.

      Reply
      1. Spina at |

        Boadbil sword is in Musée de Cluny, France

        Reply
  5. Bob at |

    Bryan, what a great article. Often great respect is paid for the swords of great men. For example, many think of the fictional sword Excalibur of King Arthur.

    I might mention that the reason for Charlemagne being viewed as the father of Europe is that he’s better known as the Frankish king who saved Europe from total Muslim domination. El Cid of course did the same for northern Spain. Those efforts continued for several centuries and were known as the Crusades. Unfortunately, many of the Crusades were poorly led and became little more than pillaging raids. But they were meant to free European lands, including what we now call Turkey and Palestine, from Islamic domination.

    By the way, the last of the Roman Empire, called the Byzantine Empire, fell around 1450 when Roman forces from Constantinople lost a battle at a small unknown village of Kosovo, not far from another obscure town named Sarajevo. It was that loss and the later reconquest of southern ports in Spain that allowed Columbus to sail for a new route to India and China and thus discover for Europe, again, the New World. Also, the last of European lands were not liberated from Islamic rule until 1924 with the fall of the Ottoman Empire Caliphate.

    The sword awarded by Congress to Commodore Stephen Decatur if it still exists would be a great addition to the comments on the line of swords that participated in keeping the West free from total Muslim domination or Dhimmitude. Remember, our first war after the Revolutionary War was against Islamic forces which we have euphemistically called the Barbary Pirates. The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand was meant to start a regional war to free the Balkans from Islamic domination and WW2 was an extension of WW1. WW3 might well be caused by a Muslim power with a nuclear weapon.

    Reply
    1. Bob at |

      My apologies for not being clearer. I was trying to explain why certain other swords might deserve an honorable mention and to explain the greater importance of Charlemagne and the importance to this day of his actions.

      I wasn’t claiming Muslims caused WW2 but WW2 was an extension of WW1 caused by the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. The reason for the assassination was to start a war between Austro-Hungary and Russia so as to expel Islamic Caliphate from the Balkans. Due to interlocking treaties, events spiraled out of control. It would be more accurate to say the unfair Treaty of Versailles was the proximate cause of WW2. To understand modern Europe and even America we have to understand the history of the breakup of the Roman Empire and the Islamic invasion of Europe and the resulting turmoil. Also we can’t ignore Hitler.

      A WW3 needn’t be nuclear but there’s no doubt some islamic countries desire to get nuclear weapons in order to attack Israel and Western interests. It’s not animosity or bigotry to say that from its beginning the US has had numerous conflicts with Islam or that much of Europe from Spain to the Caucus Mountains in Russia, northern italy to the Baltic States, N. Africa to Turkey to Palestine and to western India and China were invaded and conquered by Muslim armies. It’s simply a matter of history. If one understands the Islamic doctrines of Dar al-Harb, Bar al-Islam, and Dhimmitude one realizes modern times haven’t changed that much other than the degree of technology we have.

      However, WW3 could as easily start from missteps between the US and China or N. Korea throwing a nuke at S. Korea or japan. So I’d say that we should still be concerned about the possibility of a major war in the future and it need not start in the Mideast.

      Too bad we couldn’t have the leaders of countries wanting to fight put in an arena for an old fashioned sword fight with the survivor winning for his country. And of course the swords would go to museums.

      But you’re correct we shouldn’t hold to animosity. The whole concept of democracies is meant to encourage peace and trade between nations, even formerly bitter enemies, while preventing aggression. Thus we admire swords but hope we don’t have to use them in anger.

      Reply
  6. Granada at |

    Según mi información la espada de Boabdil se encuentra en el Museo de Ejército.
    Este museo estuvo originalmente en Madrid (cerca del Museo del Prado), pero fue trasladado al Alcázar de Toledo.
    Tiene el número de referencia 24.902.
    Hay dudas de que esta sea la espada original.

    Reply
    1. Bryan at |

      Sorry I don’t speak Spanish, but I think that you are saying that the sword is located at the Museum of the Army (“Museo del Ejército”), which is located in the Alcázar of Toledo stone fortification. It was very interesting to read about the Alcázar of Toledo and I am sure that the sword you are referring
      to is great.

      Reply
      1. Granada at |

        Dear Bryan,
        first of all: we have got a problem. You say you don’t speak Spanish, and I must say I don’t speak nor write English. Nevertheless, I do think we will be able to understand eachother in our own languages, each of us.
        Toledo as to its above all historical importance as well as a touristic destination, is a Spanish city about 90 km south of Madrid. It was Spain’s imperial capital where in its time Christian, Jew and Moslem cultures lived together without any serious problems, something that nowadays seems a fairy tale. The city is part of the World’s Mankind Heritage.
        The Alcázar de Toledo, in our days home to the Army Museum, has its origin in a fortress built by the Romans, having been modified and modernised by following invasions as the Visigoths and Arabs. King Alfonso VI, having conquered the city, made it his residence and so did Carlos I, and Felipe II after the rebuilding works of 1535.
        It was destroyed during the Succession War, around 1770. In 1771, Carlos III gave it over to the cardinal Lorenzana to have it transformed into a charity house. However, the building suffered a new desaster by Napoleon’s troops who set it on fire in 1810. Consequently, the fortress was completely rebuilt in 1882 which is when it became the Military Academy’s headquarters. But once again it suffered a stroke of misfortune because another fire destroyed the building seven years later. And once again it was rebuilt, with the same anterior function, till the siege during the Civil War.
        After new rebuilding works during the 1950ies and preserving the ancient structure of the building, it became the Siege Museum and now, too, holds part of the Army Museum starring among its collection arms from the famous Toledo arms factory, such as the historical swords Tizona (XI century), Boabdil’s sword (XV century), and Mebemet Al’s Alfanje (XV century).
        As to Boabdil’s magnificent sword I can tell you that it’s made of steel, gilded silver, enamel and ivory (97 cm). The scabbard is made of wood, leather, gilded silver, enamel and silver threads (77 cm). The “tahalí” is made of silk and silver.
        Let me know how I can manage to send photos.

        I’ll now continue in Spanish:

        “En la batalla de Lucena 888/1483, Muhammad XII, Boabdil, fue apresado por las tropas de Diego Fernández de Córdoba, a quien los Reyes Católicos cedieron las armas e indumentaria atribuidas al prisionero. Éstas fueron conservadas por sus descendientes, hasta que la Marquesa Viuda de Viana dividió el legado en su testamento en 1901. Una parte ingresó en el Museo de Artillería en 1906 y el resto quedó en posesión de su hijo, quien lo presentó al Rey Alfonso XIII e ingresó en la Real Armería en 1927.
        La guarnición de esta espada, relacionada con Boabdil, consta de un pomo esférico coronado por un prominente botón cónico y empuñadura tripartita con dos virolas flanqueando una pieza de marfil tallada. El arriaz curvo se caracteriza por un perfil superior ondulado, con ausencia de cabezas de animales en su curvatura máxima y decoración calada al exterior de sus brazos, no en el interior. Estos rasgos diferencian un tercer grupo de jinetas que incluye las de la colección Campotejar, del Museo Arqueológico Nacional y de la Real Armería de Madrid. La hoja es posterior.
        La vaina está formada por dos piezas de madera forradas de cuero, brocal, contera y dos abrazaderas con festones trilobulados. Dos cabos fijados en las argollas de las abrazaderas conservan parte de un tahalí de seda. Su decoración se enriquece mediante hilos de plata dorada bordados, paneles con palmetas en el reverso de los cabos y por las bandas laterales del tahalí, limitadas en color verde albergando almenas negras escalonadas sobre fondo rojo.
        La decoración del conjunto responde a un patrón geométrico que concibe la empuñadura y la vaina como un mismo plano, donde combina estrellas de ocho puntas y crucetas enmarcadas por bandas de filigrana. Las virolas, los brazos del arriaz, las estrellas y las crucetas están esmaltadas en blanco y rojo como colores centrales, mientras que el negro y el verde actúan como fondos. Dicha gama proporciona una riqueza cromática en la que destaca la utilización del verde, color de mayor presencia en las piezas del grupo. También son rasgos distintivos la ausencia de emblemas y la presencia de inscripciones en alabanza a la divinidad, realzadas en esta espada por el predominio de las estrellas como símbolo de la realidad divina.”.

        Reply
        1. Bryan at |

          I think you did a good job writing in English. I could understand what you were saying and the Siege Museum looks like an amazing place. Boabdil’s sword could have easily been listed among the Top 10 swords in the world.

          Reply
        2. Bob at |

          Granada, as a young teenager I got to visit Toledo, including the factory where swords are still made. My father, who’s first language is Spanish, was station in Germany while in the Army. The visit was extremely fascinating and their swords were works of art. I also go to see a lot of the other parts of spain including Madrid and Barcelona. It was a great education.

          Reply
          1. Granada at |

            Hello, Bob:
            I was born in Granada and am living in Madrid. My wife is German. So you see all you mention is very close to me.
            As to the Toledo swords, they have always been very famous throughout History due to their steel’s quality. They say that it’s due to having been tempered in the river Tajo’s waters which circumflows Toldedo.
            Nobody who comes to Spain can “conquer” any of the cities you mention in just one day. But for whoever comes to visit us I would recommend Granada with her Alhambra, her cathedral and many other monuments, as well as Córdoba with its ancient Mosque, Sevilla with its cathedral (all of these in Andalusia), then the ancient town center of Cáceres in Extremadura and the Roman city of Mérida. Furthermore, the equally Roman city of Segovia with its grand aqueduct and Gothic cathedral and – above all- the Alcázar with its historical arms collection. Besides, there are the city of Ávila with its famous ancient walls, as well as one of the oldest European universities in the city of Salamanca, Burgos with its famous cathedral and some other Castilian spots.
            And if the visitor wishes for landscpes and natural sceneries, there are the regions of Asturias (capital Oviedo), Cantabria (capital Santander) and Vizcaya (Capital Bilbao) and Guipúzcoa (capital San Sebastián), apart from the Pyreneesto fall in love with. Galicia (North of Portugal) with its landscapes and delicious cuisine and sea food would not disappoint anybody either.
            Madrid and Barcelona, of course, are two more destinations very worth a visit.
            And in all these cities the enthusiast of ancient swords will find fascinating ancient armory. From the Phoenician to the Carthage and Roman ones to, of course, the Arab and Castilian ones.
            Spain, as all this world’s nations, cannot be conquered in one day.

            Reply
  7. Ender at |

    Please, remember “Durandal” sword.

    Reply
    1. Bryan at |

      The story of Roland and his sword Durendal are also worthy of appearing on this list. The tale is based in French legendary history and fragments from the sword are said to be preserved in Rocamadour, France. In The Song of Roland, the sword is said to contain within its golden hilt one tooth of Saint Peter, blood of Saint Basil, hair of Saint Denis, and a piece of the raiment of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

      Reply
  8. Bryan at |

    Well put,
    Ya you are right. I did initially misread your first comment about World War II. It has been removed as to not confuse anybody. I also agree with you that there is always a need to worry about N. Korea, but hopefully China not so much.

    Reply
  9. Nick Stuart at |

    Neglected to mention Robert E. Lee’s “Maryland Sword” which might be about the most famous sword in American history.

    Reply
    1. Bryan at |

      Good Call,
      Your right that would be a great addition, I had a hard time coming up with famous American swords, but many do exist from the Civil War era. I did a search for the sword and came across The Museum of the Confederacy’s (located in Richmond’s historic Court End neighborhood). The museum has collections totaling more than 15,000 items in a wide variety of categories. Not everything can be displayed at once, but it says that you can call and make an appointment to view any artifact.

      The Museum’s collection of swords and sabers, numbering more than two hundred pieces, includes examples of U.S., foreign, and Confederate manufactured weapons. Both J.E.B Stuart and John Bell Hood carried French officer’s cavalry sabers, while Gen. Richard Taylor carried a foot officer’s sword made by Thomas, Griswold & Company of New Orleans.

      Of the presentation swords in the collection, the most famous belonged to Gen. Robert E. Lee. Worn as part of his full dress uniform for his meeting with Ulysses S. Grant, it is often referred to as the “Appomattox sword.” Given to Lee by an anonymous Marylander in 1863, the sword was made by Devisme in Paris, France, and includes the inscription: Aide toi et dieu l’aidera (“Help yourself and god will help you” or “God helps those who help themselves”). This is the sword that you mentioned and it is one of the most famous in US history. Lee surrendered the sword in April of 1865 after the Battle of Appomattox Court House.

      Gen. Lewis Armistead’s sword, carried at the battle of Gettysburg, is also part of the museum’s collection. Commanding one of the three brigades in Pickett’s division, Armistead led his troops during “Pickett’s Charge” with his hat raised high on the point of this sword. Armistead was mortally wounded in the charge and died two days later. The veterans of the unit that defended Cemetery Ridge against the charge returned the sword to the Pickett Division Association during a reunion at Gettysburg in 1906, and it was donated to the museum that same year.

      Reply
  10. ali alzubaidy at |

    Good work, but you have the wrong information on the inferior Zulfiqar Zulfigar
    Because this sword is attributed to the author whose name is engraved on the sword, the Imam Ali bin Abi Talib, was the owner of the sword husband daughter of the Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam.
    I hope this information help you

    Reply
    1. MUHAMMAD KUMAIL at |

      WT DO U MEAN BY INFERIOR ZULFIKAR

      Reply
  11. indra wijaya at |

    no body mentioned damascus sword by Salahuddin

    Reply
  12. ab8623 at |

    The Gurkha sword, called the Khukuri should be on this list. Google it. Its amazing

    Reply
  13. Mike at |

    Small grammar note; In the Wallace piece you mention that he led an “infantry” of soldiers. Infantry is a descriptor, an adjective not a noun. One does not lead an “infantry”. One leads a squad, platoon, company, battalion, regiment (or brigade), division or army.

    Reply
    1. David at |

      Then you could not say the Infantry. That use would be a noun.

      Reply
  14. Jesse at |

    The kilij. Turkish curved sword used during the time of Vladimir the impailer.

    Reply
  15. YouRang? at |

    A seven-branched sword is “believed to have been created” that was never meant for battle. You always have to throw in a ringer, don’t you, Bryan? There’s always one item that doesn’t belong with the rest. Are you Navajo or something? Hehehe.

    In any case, the rest of the list was great and I learned a lot. I’m glad I read it. A feature on mythological swords would be great for a future list. GO, Stormbringer!

    Reply
  16. Noel at |

    Hey, im doing a school assignment on the seven branched sword, i have a few questions. Do you know if the sword was found by someone or if it was just passed down? And i read somewhere that it was made for just cereminial purposes and not for actual combat, what kind of ceremonies would it have been involved in??

    Thanks, please reply ASAP

    Reply
  17. Noel at |

    oh and does anyone know why the inscription of the seven branched sword is in chinese when it was made in korea to japan??

    Reply
  18. MUHAMMAD KUMAIL at |

    FIRST OF ALL IT IS ZULFIKAR NOT ZULFIGAR. ZULFIKAR IS BROUGHT BY AN ANGEL GIBREEL BY THE ORDERS OF GOD, WHEN THE BATTEL OF UHUD IS GOING ON.,WHERE HAZRAT ALI (A.S) BROKE HIS 9 SWORDS IN FIGHTING TO SAVE PROPHET MUHAMMAD (SAWW) FROM ENEMIES.
    I WAS SURPRISED TO SEE THE ORDER OF GREAT SWORDS, WHERE A SWORD SENT BY GOD TO SAVE HUMANITY IS ON 3RD POSITION AND MAN MADE SWORDS ARE ON 1ST AND 2ND.

    Reply
    1. Recce1 at |

      The reason it is judged as 3rd as we are using mostly Western standards. Therefore the claim that it was sent by God isn’t considered that much. Your surprise that Westerners use a different standard than yours is surprising.

      Reply
    2. rehan at |

      TOTAALLY AGREE…BRO

      Reply
  19. emily_weirdnez at |

    i thought i’m gonna see the excalibur here(hope i spelled that right). coz if it’s on this list, then king arthur is real hehe..

    Reply
  20. Young Bat at |

    emily_weirdnez – it’s well known in England here that King Arthur (with Excalibur by his side) and all his knights are slumbering in a cavern underground (people argue about exactly where in the UK). He is due to arise when England is in trouble, and he and his knights will come to her aid.

    The way things are going here at the moment, King Arthur must be due any time. I just hope he is also versed in economics!

    Reply
    1. Douglas at |

      Isn’t that cavern near the Castle Arrrggg? ;)

      Reply
      1. Young Bat at |

        What a shame! I believe that Douglas was about to let us know the name of the Castle near the cavern where King Arthur is sleeping, but unfortunately someone stabbed him as he was about to reveal the name – hence the “AAARG!”

        Reply
  21. BIG R at |

    Very informative article! Was a pleasure to read an article written by someone with a mastery of the subject matter. As far as the word “infamous” being used for William the Conquerer, it was used in the section of William Wallace, who definately would have considered W t C infamous. And it is recorded that William himself on his deathbed lamented many terrible deeds that he did. I think William considered himself infamous, so I dont think using the word in the section you used it was going to far.

    Reply
  22. Adanska at |

    You know I am surprised that there isn’t a single Muramasa blade in this listing. Although his blades were said to be evil and couldn’t be resheathed until they cut blood he was still known widely as a famous swordsmith equal to Masamune. So why none of his blades?

    Reply
  23. mike at |

    Miyamoto Musashi sword should be on the list as he is the most famous samurai in Japan winning over 60 duels by 30y.o. and all of those were highly skilled swordsman some supposedly unbeatable.

    Reply
  24. Leon Crowley at |

    I have a Chinese sword that is supposed to be more than 3,000 years old. How can I get it verified ?

    Reply
  25. joni at |

    how about ‘Kriss’ from indonesia??? this small sword can release the lightning

    Reply
  26. John at |

    That’s a neat list, with some swords I’ve never heard of before. Feel free to check out theswordlibrary.com as well for more swords.

    Reply
  27. zawyar at |

    the sword’s name is zulfiqar its a q not g

    Reply
  28. ajay at |

    khanda is the sharpest sword.it scored 328 kills in the showdeadliest warrior.highest kills scored by any other sword.wootz steel contains carbon nanotubes which makes it extremely sharp

    Reply
    1. atok rockers at |

      salahuddin al ayubi sword is the sharpes sword in the world, it is damascus sword/persia sword..proof from the germany saintis Prof Dr. Peter Paufler and many west saintis..use nano technology..sharp can through crusader metal or amour dress, cutting two enemies sword, slash armourdress & stone with no damage at the sword.

      Reply
  29. atok rockers at |

    number 1 must be salahuddin al ayubi sword..the most sharpest sword in the world..make by the secrect skill at damascus..alluminium are heavy than this sword metal..the intelligent iq Allah give to islam warrior to beat kafir technology in metal..

    Reply
  30. Divyraj at |

    Why does no1 know about Indian history Maharana Prataps sword believe it or not it weights 25kg its in the udaipur museum he has cut a man in half with it. His sword should definitely be in this list. The indian sword Khanda.

    Reply
  31. Astaroth at |

    How about Crocea Mors? The sword of the greatest conqueror and commander ever is definitely worth a placement on this list. Should be interesting to know if it is still there in Nennius’ tomb…

    Reply
    1. Michael at |

      So what ? Some of the samurai swords in Japanese museum have documentations of them cutting through five men.

      Reply
  32. Far1s at |

    I would like to add some more info about this hand-combat weapon,search about “Keris Taming Sari” the most famous Keris in Nusantara Archipelago,it is believed been made with many types of steel embedded into one mold,and also for muslims,the iron from the padlock used for Kaaba has also been added into it,throughout many folklore,it has been said that whoever hold the weapon cannot be killed or be harmed,also wielded by Hang Tuah given by the Sultanate of Malacca originally came from Majapahit,sorry for bad grammar!

    Reply
  33. Bahri Guney at |

    The most beautifull sword in the world is the Sword of Fatih Sultan Mehmed
    its shown in the Topkapi palace in Istanbul …you can find also there the sword of Mohammed the Prophet and the sword of Ali “Zulfiqar”
    Turkish swords are the best sword’s in the world ..The metal and construction is superior to al swords of kind …even much much better than Japanese Swords ….
    The western people in Europa and America did copy the Turkish Sword even today
    In fact the sword of Napoleon is even a Turkish sword of design and construction

    Reply
    1. Michael at |

      There are Japanese swords that have cut through five men. Could cut through Turkish sword as well in the hands of a trained swordsman.

      Reply
  34. Vishal Rana at |

    There is no sword of the great indian Warrior Maharana Pratap.
    I think you also have to mention that one in this list.

    Thanks

    Reply
  35. Rose at |

    Sword of Goujian – A historical artifact from the Spring and Autumn Period is an amazing sword should be mentioned in this page.

    Reply
  36. Mick Mmlado at |

    There is also Zande sword used by Zande warrior ( an Ethiopian tribe) . They had a popular quote that goes: “We Zandes kill. We don’t have time to take you back to camp. That’s not our purpose when we go into battle. Our purpose is to take you out.”

    Reply
  37. A1000 at |

    Sword of Chattrapati Shivaji, it weighted 80 kgs, it should be the heaviest sword in the world.

    Reply
  38. Rishabh Singh Ghalot at |

    its incomplete without the indian king Maharana Pratap Singh’s sword cos that was over 50 kg & could cut a soilder along with his horse into two

    Reply
  39. Lavesh rajpurohit at |

    yo rishabh, i agree u, maharana pratap’s sword weighs upto 50 kg & should be at the top………… And do u watch maharana pratap on sony tv

    Reply

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