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Old 17th August 2006, 07:15 AM   #1
Laurie W
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Default Ancient Rhomphaia

This was from Mr. John Piscopo's collection that is now being sold off.

This was included in his own Yahoo group's (AFST) photo folder for awhile and I saved the images for reference. Later my husband reproduced this for a customer and I was in contact with Mr. Piscopo discussing this project. He offered to loan the larger of the two for my husband to examine but we graciously declined. The photos and measurements were good enough to have it made.

In the meantime, since this is unavailable for anyone to see anymore, I am presenting it here for anyone's files.

The all steel Rhomphaia is 65 inches overall. Has a 45 inch long blade. The 20 inch slightly rounded "shank" ends in a four inch long flattened grip where a two piece handle is riveted onto.

The second one is 35 inches long overall.

The first picture is of the 65 inch long Rhomphaia in it's pre restoration condition. It had been burned and "ritually killed" before placing in a tomb. When he got it, it was carefully straightened out and stablized.
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Old 17th August 2006, 07:30 AM   #2
Laurie W
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Here is what it looked like afterwards fully straightened. However, most were slightly curved downward and we took this consideration when reproducing it.

The other photos are of the 20 inch "shank" with "fingerstop" (actually a short guard) and the 4 inch "grip" showing the two piece handle would have been riveted, whether of wood, horn or bone.
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Old 17th August 2006, 07:39 AM   #3
Laurie W
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Here are two photos of the shorter one. Notice the "fingerstop" is right at the short grip and then extends into a long shank that becomes the blade.

Unlike the longer 65 incher where the fingerstop is placed differently

This was 35 inches overall.
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Old 17th August 2006, 04:58 PM   #4
TVV
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Thanks for sharing, Laurie. I would love to see the reproduction your husband produced too.
Regards,
Teodor
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Old 17th August 2006, 08:19 PM   #5
Laurie W
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As requested, here is the reproduction.

This was handforged from one piece of Spring Steel and the dimensions were based on an actual one shown in the other attachments. The blade tempered using traditional methods. The total length was 65 inches and weighed approximately 3 pounds (but not over). The shank is 20 inches and slightly rounded for better holding. The owner wrapped it with flat leather cord. The 4 inch, 2 piece bone "grip" is riveted like the original. Apparently some records say the grip material was wood, bone or horn. So it was decided bone would make a good contrast. The blade is slightly curved inward but not enough to prevent it from being used in a thrusting manner and the owner honed the inside edge quite sharp. Although some records say the Thracians carried this on or over their shoulders (a few finds show a hole near or on the "finger guard" for a carrying thong), the scabbard makes far more common sense for carrying purposes and storage.....especially knowing how sharp it is. Modern cars not withstanding. It is made so he can carry it across his back.

The flat leather wrapping, it was felt would have gave the Rhomphaia better handling and less slippage from blood and/or water. Would protect your hand from being burned gripping it on a hot day or freezing to it during winter. Or anything else that would cause the hands not to have a good grip. Kirby and the customer talked about this at great length as to whether or not this would have been done. All the finds show nothing, but then any such material could have been destroyed during the ritual "killing" and burning as the original was (was just a twisted,tangled "ball" carefully straightened out)

As I mentioned in the "Thracian Dagger" thread, the customer is a huge Macedonian/Thracian collector with a sizeable library and also makes some of his own gear for living history purposes. A friend of his is a Great Sword devotee and showed just how awesome this weapon would have been in a Thracian warrior's hands. Extremely quick and well balanced.

I included an attachment showing the scabbarded Rhomphaia being held up by my husband in the shop. This to give you an idea of it's length next to a human. As the full length photo (against the tree) does not give you a comparison. He stands 5' 11" and some of the Thracians were rather tall to begin with. The others show the leather cording, engraved blade to match the one on the Macheria and the bone grip.

You can read the discussion about this piece, and about Thrace/Rhomphaiae in general, in this "MyArmoury.com" thread
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