Choose Category:

Absentee Bids: Leaderboard
Bids: 4695 / Total: £616,941
Country | Highest | Top
Home > Auctions > 5th December 2023 > Late Roman Iron Sword of Herulian Type

Print page | Email lot to a friend

Back to previous page

Use mousewheel to zoom in and out, click to enlarge
Gallery loading...

LOT 0311

GBP (£) 3,000 - 4,000
EUR (€) 3,470 - 4,620
USD ($) 3,810 - 5,080

Opening Bid
£1,500 (EUR 1,734; USD 1,904) (+bp*)

Add to Watch list

Please login or register here.
Please use your registered email address to log in
Please enter a e-mail
Please enter a password
Please confirm to accept TC and Privacy policy

Bids: 0
35 in. (604 grams, 89 cm).

The double-edged spatha with parallel-sided blade and pointed tip, battle nicks to both cutting edges; the hilt and tang extending over the blade as a tight-fitting sleeve; remains of rivet on the tang.

Ex private collection of Mr M.B., Mainz, Germany, since the 1980s.
Acquired from the above, 2004.

This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by search certificate number no. 11939-210916.

See Dennis, G., Maurice’s Strategikon, handbook of Byzantine Military Strategy, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1984; Lebedinski, I., Armes et guerriers Barbares au temps des grandes invasions IVème au Vième siècle après J.C., Paris, 2001, p.118, for a similar example from Chapka-Tserkovnyi Kholm (Abkhazia); Kazanski, M., Mastykova, A., Tsibilium II, La nécropole apsile de Tsibilium, l’étude du site, BAR, 2007, see swords on pl.6, no.27 (Chapka-Cerkovnyj Holm), pl.13, no.14 (Anuhva).

This sword belongs to the group of spathae of late Roman typology, widespread among the Germanic and Abkhazian foederati, and garrison troops of the Northern Black Sea and Caucasus. These swords could have been the prototypes of the Eastern Roman spathia, classified in the Strategikon of Pseudo-Mavrikios as Herouliskia (Herulian swords) for their connections with the Germanic mercenaries bearing them in service with the Roman army.