A More Historically Accurate Sword of Xena Dec 22, 2019 18:11:23 GMT
Post by lebleuchevalier on Dec 22, 2019 18:11:23 GMT
Xena: Warrior Princess was, and still is a big guilty pleasure. It has 90s era campy nonsense, an absurd timeline, goofy stunts, silly props, even sillier sets, but it also has amazing characters and some pretty awesome storytelling.
Xena's sword has always been an interest of mine. It appears to be a combination between an ancient Greek xiphos and an Indian tulwar.
The sword likely belonged to her father and was passed down to her following his brutal murder by her own mother. Gotta love those Greeks! The sword went through several variations on the show but the photos above depict the most prolific iteration. The fittings appear to be cast bronze with abalone shell inlay. The grip is wood wrapped in black leather. The sword itself measures 36 inches in total length with a 30 inch long blade and a rather large grip. There definitely are historical examples of xiphoi that are this size, but I think they tend to be less common. As for the construction, this appears to have a hidden tang construction with a peened pommel. The pommel itself is round and disc-like, which is definitely more like a tulwar hilt construction.
It occurred to me this morning, how could Xena's sword be more historically accurate?
Here is a replica xiphos made by Devil's Edge as an example.
The proportions of the grip are similar to Xena's sword, but the construction is different. The blade is full tang, the hilt is steel plates that are fixed to the sword blade. The grip is wood that is secured with pins and glue. The pommel is fascinating. It is ovoid in shape, solid wood, and is secured with a steel washer and is peened. So it appears that the blade is full tang until you get to the pommel, which is a hidden tang. It's a rather awesome construction.
Here is a better view of the grip and hilt components.
So I wondered. What would a more historically accurate version of Xena's sword look like if you combined the original elements with your typical xiphos? If you can forgive my crappy sketch, here is a proposal. I used a xiphos from my collection to get the proportions accurate. This is to scale.
The hilt plates could be made of steel, iron, bronze, or brass; my preference would be for brass or bronze, i.e. copper alloy. Abalone or mother of pearl inlay could be recessed into the hilt plates, with hidden pins underneath. I imagine a grip fashioned from ebony handle scales. Ebony wood is not indigenous to Greece, but whatever! If the ancient Greeks could get their hands on ebony wood, you know they would use it and love it; the grip would be secured with pins. As for the pommel, I imagine a lighter wood like African mahogany secured with a copper alloy washer and peened. Furthermore, the washer around the peen could be recessed slightly to insert a mother of pearl or abalone inlay.
What do you think? I think this is definitely feasible!