On the naming of swords . . . ?

In what cultures were swords named?

Why were they named?

Was there something special about any/all of the named swords?

Were only certain swords named?

What are some examples of named swords (what the sword was used for, by whom, etc . . .)?

Sorry if I'm asking too many questions in one, but I was asking my dad about it since the Renn Faire is coming up, and he doesn't know much about it other than that he *thinks* that it was in Germanic sagas that it happened the most.

Thank you for the help in advance - M.

3 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Swords were usually named from the battles they've been in or the people that used them.

    Excalibur, Colada, Durendal, Honjo Masamune, Joyeuse, Sword of Damocles, Tizona, Galatine and many more.

    Excalibur - probably the most famous sword ever

    Bhavani Talwar – the sword given by the goddess Bhavani to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, king of Maratha Empire.

    Bruncvik’s Sword – legendary Czech sword, according a legend burried inside of St Charles Bridge in Prague.

    Caladbolg – The sword used by the hero Fergus mac Róich in the Irish epic Táin Bó Cúailnge.

    Chandrahas (“Moon-blade”) – in Hindu mythology, the sword given by the god Shiva to the ten-headed Ravana, king of Sri Lanka.

    Colada – the secondary sword of El Cid.

    Crocea Mors- used by Julius Caesar in a story told by Geoffrey of Monmouth.

    Curtana – the sword of Holger Danske, vassal of Charlemagne; this sword is reputed to be made of the same steel as Durendal and Joyeuse.

    Durendal – (or Durindana) the sword that belonged to Roland, nephew of Charlemagne and hero of the French epic The Song of Roland; it once belonged to Hector of Troy.

    Excalibur (Caledfwlch,Caliburn, etc. see also Caladbolg above) – King Arthur’s sword, given to him by the Lady of the Lake; the sword itself as well as the scabbard were magical.

    Galatine – The sword of Sir Gawain in the Arthurian legends.

    Gram (in the Volsung Saga) or Balmung (sometimes in later traditions) – Sigurd.

    Grus- the historical sword of Bolesław III Wrymouth, medieval prince of Poland.

    Hauteclere – this sword that belonged to Olivier, another hero of The Song of Roland.

    Heaven’s Will (The Will of Heaven,Thuan Thien,Thuận Thiên)The Sword Gods gave to Lê Lợi to help him fight the Chinese.

    Honjo Masamune – The best weapon made by Japan’s master swordsmith, Masamune.

    Hrunting – Unferð, associate of Beowulf.

    Joyeuse – the sword of Charlemagne (Charles the Great), the famed Medieval king of the Franks and first emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

    Kusanagi (Grasscutter / Sword of the Gathering Clouds of Heaven) – A sword of equivalent importance to Japan as the Excalibur is to Britain.

    Legbiter – Viking King Magnus Barelegs’s sword.

    Lobera – the sword of the king Saint Ferdinand III of Castile.

    Morgelai – Bevis of Hampton’s sword in the Anglo-Norman/Middle English romance Bevis of Hampton.

    The Sword in the Stone – King Arthur’s sword, placed by Merlin into a stone in a churchyard, which only the rightful king could remove. This sword is often identified with Excalibur (see above), but in some versions the Sword in the Stone is broken in a fight with King Pellinore.

    The Sword of Damocles – mythical sword of decision.

    The Sword of Goujian – The sword used by King Goujian of Yue.

    The Sword of Attila, discovered by Attila the Hun through mysterious means.

    Szczerbiec – The sword of Polish kings.

    Tizona or Tizón – one of the two swords of El Cid.

    Tyrfing – a cursed sword from the Tyrfing Cycle, which includes the Hervarar saga and parts of the Poetic Edda.

    Zulfiqar (Thul fiqar) – The two-tipped sword of legendary companion of Muhammad, Ali.

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Named swords tend to have some special attribute - not necessarily magical, but used in a particular famous battle or by a hero. My sense is they are more common in legend than in fact.

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  • 4 years ago

    The Blue Knight

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