In the first part of our article series dedicated to famous swords, we talked about some of the most famous cold weapons we know from history. What other weapons earned their place in the “hall of fame”? In this article, we will have a look at three more swords!
1. Kusanagi no Tsurugi (Japan)
A legendary sword that was said to control the wind, and come from the body of a serpent. It is possible that nobody ever saw the sword. That's the shortest way to describe the legendary sword Kusanagi no Tsurugi ("Grass-Cutting Sword"), originally known as Ame-no-Murakumo-no-Tsurugi ("Heavenly Sword of Gathering Clouds").
Legend has it that the sword came from the tail of the eight-headed serpent Yamato no Orochi, who was defeated by the storm god Susanoo. The sword is shrouded in mysteries and questions that have never been answered until now.
According to another legend, the sword was later given to the warrior Yamato Takeru, the son of an emperor who ruled in the late 1st and early 2nd century AD, who used the sword to stop the fire spreading towards him in the grasslands, by cutting the grass and reversing the wind, turning the fire against his enemies. This is why Yamato Takeru renamed the sword to Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi ("Grass-Cutting Sword").
Despite its mythical origins, however, many people in Japan still believe this Japanese sword to be real. After all, it is also said to be part of the Japanese crown jewels, which are an integral part of the imperial coronation ceremony. So perhaps only the Emperor of Japan knows the truth about the famous sword.
DID YOU KNOW... The most feared Japanese sword was the katana? It could wreak havoc in the hands of a skilled warrior. Have a look at the history of the popular samurai sword, which is known worldwide today.
2. Joyeuse (France)
This medieval sword is said to have belonged to Charlemagne, the first emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. It is estimated to come from 9th century AD, but experts believe it to be even older.
Just like the Japanese “Grass-Cutting Sword”, Joyeuse, too, was used for coronation ceremonies. But unlike the former, we have reliable historical evidence about the existence of Joyeuse. The original sword is currently kept in the Louvre in France.
However, it was used in coronation ceremonies for over 500 years: at the coronation of Philip III (1270) for the first time. It was used in 1824 for the last time at the coronation of Charles X.
DID YOU KNOW... According to legend, there were three co-produced “brotherly” swords? Joyeuse, Curtana and Durandal. In various versions of the legend, the swords were endowed with almost magical powers. But the existence of the other two swords is disputed.
3. Sword of San Galgano (Italy)
Everyone knows the legend of Excalibur, which was pulled from the stone by the famous King Arthur. However, few people know that within the walls of the ancient monastery of San Galgano in Tuscany, there is an actual sword in a stone. It is even possible that this sword inspired the famous English legend.
The Cistercian abbey in the charming Tuscan town of Chiusdino has a very interesting history, by far the most eye-catching feature is the rusty sword, seemingly thrust into the stone up to the hilt.
According to legend, the sword belonged to the knight Galgano. Galano lived the life of entertainment and debauchery and refused to change, claiming that it was easier for him to split stone with a sword.
To prove his point, he took the sword and stabbed it into the nearest stone. Experts are still speculating about whether the sword is genuine.
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