EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Absolutely brilliant work Susi!!!!
While your excellent typology and survey of these intriguing medieval swords gives us perfect understanding of these, I was reminded of the first time I heard the term 'malchus' used to describe them in 2009 with Jasper's post which I brought back up.
I wanted to add some information on where this term came from.
Apparantly the term 'malchus' was used by Herbert Seitz (1965) in his "Blankwaffen" in describing these medieval falchions, and I am not certain whether he coined the term or drew from other material. The term refers to the 'sword of St. Peter' , a religious relic held in the Poznan Archdiocesal Museum in Poland, and held to be the weapon used by Simon Peter when he cut off the ear of the servant of the high priest when Jesus was arrested in Gethsemane. The servants name was Malchus, and the sword, though described in 1609 as being a Roman gladius, in form it has the same kind of dramatically widened blade as these medieval falchions.
The Italian storta having the 'clipped tip' resembling the 'Thorpe falchion' falls into the collective 'malchus' group with the falchion term.
It is unclear whether the sword in Poznan is actually of the period suggested by tradition or whether it is a medieval production of the 14th c. as believed by Marian Glosek the authority on Polish swords.
All best regards,