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Old 7th January 2005, 09:41 PM   #21
tom hyle
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Houston, TX, USA
Posts: 1,254

I think Mark has more or less done a better job of explaining what I meant than I probably would have, while going into some other interesting things as well (these weapon varieties would indicate militia rank, as with Massai spears? Is that what I'm hearing?) I do think it neccessary to add that, decoration and polish aside, and across the cultures of the world I find no correlation between original expense and quality of weapons and tools. You might like to think it's otherwise, but it's not, and it never was; an expensive sword cannot be relied upon to be straighter, truer, better tempered, better balanced, stronger, better assembled (inside, where it counts), or better designed than a plain and relatively inexpensive piece. Furthermore, the focus on fancy pieces is often specifically on decoration, and often at the cost of function (ie. actual quality), as a rich man is often presumed either to have little utilitarian use for tools and weapons, or assumed to be owner of several for different purposes (ceremonial/dress vs. field/combat), while a work man can afford only one and must use it often, so this lack of co-relation only makes sense. There is an ancient Celtic myth about a young warrior later to be a great leader, who lay with a fay woman on an island. Since he'd impregnated her, her father wanted to reward him (hey, it was Faerie, so things were different, hee hee.....). He offered him his choic of a hoard of weapons; many gold-wrapped and jewelled, with etched and sculpted blades; the swords of dead kings and sea captains, but the youth, only after examining them all, chose a plain sword with a smooth blade and a black hilt, and it was the best of them all. A tale told of Arthur, but older, really; a lesson for warriors and kings.........
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