Roman Xanten Gladius with Scabbard, 3rd c.

The gladius, the primary weapon of the Roman legionaries from the 3rd c. BC to the 3rd c. AD, was used in many variations over the centuries. But eventually, this highly feared short sword was gradually superseded by the longer spatha during the mid/late Roman Empire. More information...

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Roman Xanten Gladius with Scabbard, 3rd c.

The Roman shortsword we offer here is equipped with an EN45 spring steel blade (not tempered, not hardened). The edges are not sharpened and the blade's full tang is screwed to the pommel (brass top nut). The grip is made of bone, the guard and pommel of wood. The guard features an inset brass plate. Unlike the classically styled Pompeii gladii with straight, parallel cutting edges and short, triangular tip, the blade has a lenticular / almond cross-section and gently tapers toward the ogival point. This particular blade shape is based on an unusual find from Xanten (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany) which was dated to the late Roman Empire (ca. 3rd c. AD) but has been somewhat difficult to classify.

This one-handed Roman sword comes complete with an ornate wood-and-leather scabbard with brass fittings. As opposed to the blade, the scabbard is modeled on actual historical examples of the Pompeii type. The locket is elaborately decorated with partially tin-plated details: The two iconographic plates fitted on the observe side show cut-out/pierced and engraved motifs of a helmeted figure in full regalia. The chape with V-shaped frame, button finial and horizontal band is adorned with a pattern of stylized curls and topped with a palmette. Cast brass suspension rings allow the bearer to carry his gladius in true Roman fashion.

Please note that this sword is not a battle ready weapon. It is designed as a collector's or decoration/display piece and is not suited for combat reenactment. Besides its quality as a collectible, it is also perfectly suited as a prop, e.g. to complete your costume.


  • Material: EN45 spring steel blade (high carbon steel, not stainless), bone grip, wooden guard and pommel with brass pommel nut and guard inlay
  • Overall length: approx. 69cm
  • Blade length: approx. 49cm
  • Blade thickness: approx. 4.6mm / 3.7mm (cutting edges approx. 1mm)
  • Hilt length: approx. 20cm (grip approx. 9.5cm)
  • Max. blade width: approx. 5cm
  • Point of balance: approx. 9cm from the guard
  • Incl. wooden scabbard with genuine leather cover and brass fittings
  • Weight without scabbard: approx. 0.6 kg
  • Weight with scabbard: approx. 1 kg

Specs may slightly vary from piece to piece.

The steel used here is not rust-proof and might show slight surface tarnishing in places. We recommend you to maintain the blade and the scabbard on a regular basis, for example using Ballistol Universal Oil, which is ideally suited for steel care.

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