Table of contents:
- 1. Sword in stone
- 2. Kusanagi no tsurugi
- 3. Durendal
- 4. Bloodthirsty blades of Muramasa
- 5. Honjo Masamune
- 6. Joyeuse
- 7. Sword of Saint Peter
- 8. Wallace's sword
- 9. Sword of Goujian
- 10. Seven-toothed sword
Throughout its history, the sword has been the weapon of the nobility. The warriors considered their blades to be real comrades in arms, and they could not afford to lose him in battle, because this way the fighter would brand himself with shame. But the swords themselves are not spared by fame - individual blades have their own names, history and are even endowed with magical properties.
However, no matter what legends such a weapon would have overgrown, sometimes its name alone put enemies to flight. Here are 10 of the most famous blades that are sung in legends or historical sources.
1. Sword in stone
Most of us know the legend of King Arthur at least in general terms, especially with regard to the episode with the sword in the stone. But not everyone knows that, despite the literary processing of this story, it is likely based on real events.
However, they took place much later than the supposed time of the reign of the legendary king. We are talking about a blade that stuck in a real boulder. It is located on the territory of the Italian chapel of Monte Siepi.
As the researchers suggest, the blade was the property of the Tuscan knight Galliano Guidotti, who lived in the XII century. As the literary legend says, Guidotti led a very frivolous lifestyle, so when the Archangel Michael appeared to him with an appeal to take the righteous path and become a monk, the knight laughed and declared that he would do it only if he cut a stone.
But the archangel showed a miracle - the blade easily entered the stone, and the shocked Galliano really took the path of correction. Of course, the plot of the legend has nothing to do with reality, only modern radiocarbon analysis has confirmed that the age of the sword coincides with the lifetime of the knight Guidotti.
2. Kusanagi no tsurugi
The kusanagi no tsurugi is a mythical sword that has long been considered a symbol of the power of the Japanese emperors. Technically, this blade has two names, the translations of which are very poetic - "the sword that mows the grass" and "the sword that collects the clouds of paradise."
In the Japanese epic it is said that the sword was found by the wind god Susanoo in the body of the eight-headed dragon he killed. Susanoo presented the blade to his sister, the sun goddess Amaterasu, later it passed to her grandson Niniga, and in the end ended up with the first emperor of the Land of the Rising Sun.
There is very little information about the sword, because the Japanese government does not display it publicly, but, on the contrary, sought to hide it from prying eyes. Even during the coronation of the new emperor, the sword was carried out wrapped in cloth. The supposed place of its storage is the Atsuta Shrine, located in the city of Nagoya.
The only ruler of Japan to publicly declare the existence of the sword was Emperor Hirohito. According to Novate.ru, renouncing the throne after the defeat in World War II, he urged the ministers of the temple to take care of the sword, no matter what.
The Chapel of Notre Dame, located in the city of Rocamadour (France), is famous not only for the same name with its Parisian counterpart, but also for an extraordinary relic. The thing is that a sword sticks out of the wall of the building, which, according to legend, belonged to the legendary Roland - a character of the medieval epic, however, he actually existed.
As legend has it, Roland threw his magic blade while defending the chapel from enemies, and the sword remained in the wall. The monks popularized this myth and the sword in the wall became a pilgrimage site.
But historians quickly refuted a beautiful legend: for example, they argue that it was not the famous Durendal, which Roland used to fight his enemies, stuck in the chapel. After all, the famous knight of Charlemagne died on August 15, 778 in the battle with the Basques in the Ronseval Gorge, and the first information about "Durandal" appeared only in the middle of the XII century, almost simultaneously with the "Song of Roland".
Interesting fact:Today, the sword is not in the chapel - in 2011 it was pulled out of the wall and transported to the Parisian Museum of the Middle Ages.
4. Bloodthirsty blades of Muramasa
Muramasa is a real historical character who was a Japanese swordsman and blacksmith who lived in the 16th century. Legend has it that Muramasa turned to the gods to endow his blades with bloodthirstiness and terrible power.
The gods, out of respect for his skill, fulfilled the prayer and placed demons of extermination of all life in each blade. In addition, the Japanese believe that Muramasa swords are cursed and drive their wearers crazy, turning them into assassins. At some point, the notoriety of swords spread so much that the government ordered the destruction of most of them.
In fairness, it should be clarified that the Muramasa school is a whole dynasty of gunsmiths, which existed for about a century, so the story with the "demonic spirit of bloodlust" imprisoned in swords is just a legend. But in reality, it turned out that the legendary trail was not their only distinguishing feature: the blades were really sharp, and the best warriors often chose them.
5. Honjo Masamune
The swords by the master Masamune, according to the Japanese epic, are the complete opposite of the swords of Muramasa, because they endowed their owners with a sense of calmness and wisdom. Masamune lived about two centuries earlier than the gunsmiths of the Muramasa school, and his blades are truly unique. True, the secret of their strength is still unknown, and even the latest technologies and research methods do not help to reveal it.
Today, the blades of the master's work that have survived to this day are among the national treasure of the Land of the Rising Sun and are carefully protected by the state. The best of them, Honjo Masamune, was handed over to the American soldiers Colde Bimor after the defeat of Japan in World War II, and today his whereabouts cannot be established. Attempts by the Japanese government have so far come nowhere.
The Joyeuse blade (from the French "joyeuse" - "joyful"), according to legend, is the property of the founder of the Holy Roman Empire Charlemagne. The legend says that he was able to change the color of the blade up to thirty times a day and was brighter than the Sun. True, today there are two swords that supposedly belonged to the famous monarch.
The first was used for a long time as the coronation sword of French kings and is now kept in the Louvre, and disputes regarding its real owner are still ongoing. But radiocarbon analysis proved that the surviving fragment of the sword exhibited in the Louvre was created approximately between the 10th and 11th centuries, that is, after the death of Charlemagne.
The second sword that may belong to the legendary king is the so-called saber of Charlemagne. Now the blade is in one of the museums in Vienna. Its creation time has not been established for certain, but most researchers admit that it really could belong to Charles and was probably captured as a trophy during one of his campaigns in Eastern Europe.
7. Sword of Saint Peter
The exposition of the museum in the Polish city of Poznan contains a sword that the Apostle Peter could have wielded. According to legend, it was he who cut off the ear of the high priest's servant during the arrest of Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. The blade was brought to Poland by the bishop Jordan in 968, and he tried to assure everyone that the blade belonged to the biblical apostle.
Fans of this legend believe that the sword was forged at the beginning of the 1st century AD in the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire.
But most of the researchers are convinced that the weapon was made much later than the events indicated in the Bible. In particular, this was confirmed by the analysis of the metal from which the sword was melted. And the type of sword "falchion" was simply not practiced at the time of the apostles, because they appeared only in the 11th century.
8. Wallace's sword
The Scottish military leader Sir William Wallace led his countrymen in the struggle for independence from England, and after winning the Battle of Stirling Bridge he made a symbolic act - he wrapped the hilt of his sword with the skin of the treasurer Hugh de Cressingham, a traitor who collected taxes for the British. After a while, King James IV of Scotland ordered the sword to be remade. By that time, it was already considered a national treasure.
Of course, today it is not possible to confirm the aforementioned plot of the legend of Sir William's sword. But even many researchers admit that such a turn of events could really take place in reality. Opponents of such a bloodthirsty legend are sure that it was invented by the British in order to imitate a raid of a bloodthirsty monster on the image of a fighter for the independence of Scotland.
9. Sword of Goujian
In 1965, during excavations of one of the ancient Chinese tombs, archaeologists found a sword that could not be spoiled by either dampness or long years of imprisonment. There was not a single speck of rust on the blade - the weapon was preserved in excellent condition, and one of the historians even cut his finger, checking the sharpness of the blade. The study of the find gave amazing results - the blade was less than 2, 5 thousand years old.
According to the most popular legend, the sword belonged to the Wang (ruler) of the Yue kingdom during the Spring and Autumn period of Goujian. Researchers believe that it was about this sword that information was found in the lost work on the history of the kingdom.
The key to the excellent condition of the blade was the art of ancient Chinese armourers: the blade was made using a stainless alloy invented by them, and the scabbard of this weapon was so tightly wrapped around the blade that air access to it was almost completely blocked.
10. Seven-toothed sword
This extraordinary design blade was found in 1945 on the territory of the Isonokami-jingu Shrine (Japanese city of Tenri). The sword is too different from other analogues made in the Land of the Rising Sun.
First of all, this concerns the complex shape of the blade - it is complicated by six original branches, and the seventh is the tip of the blade. Its appearance gave it its name - Nanatsusaya-no-tachi, which means "Seven-Toothed Sword" in Japanese.
Before the discovery, the sword was in absolutely unsuitable conditions. But on the blade there is still an inscription, according to which the ruler of Korea brought this weapon as a gift to one of the Chinese emperors. The study of the sword showed that it could be an artifact from a well-known legend, since the estimated time of its manufacture coincides with the events described in Nihon shoki, the Isonokami-jingu shrine is also remembered there, where the relic lay for more than one and a half thousand years until it was found …