The Falcata was one of the few weapons that truly gave the Roman Legionary something to fear. Wielded by the Celt-Iberian tribesmen of what is modern day Spain and Portugal, the Falcata was a brutal, but well-crafted chopping sword. With its weight pitched to the tip and a geometry that favors chopping, the Falcata brought down sword strikes with a force more typical to that of an axe. It was not unusual for the Falcata to split shields and helmets asunder, shatter less burly swords and sever limbs. It is one of the very best chopping sword designs ever devised. Its brutal efficiency at destroying men and wargear made it a frightful weapon to the Roman Legionary, and their ire at the weapon would not be matched until they faced the Dacian Falx, which could cause similar havoc.
There is even a case of Julius Caesar hearing a trial between a Legionary Veteran and his neighbors with whom he was in dispute. The soldier related a tale to appease Caesar, reminding him of when on campaign with Caesar he brought water in his helmet to quench Caesar’s thirst. Caesar immediately dismissed the man, saying that he was clearly not the same man who brought him water for he did not look at all like him. The man then told Caesar that not long after that day, his helmet and much of his face was split by an Iberian Falcata. Caesar ruled the case in his favor.
Though it excelled in the realm of gratuitous chopping, the falcata was not as maneuverable as less extreme swords. It was best used on horseback where the downward striking motion that the blade favored could be used to best advantage. The falcata could be used to thrust, but its weighted blade end made tip control more difficult. Despite this, the falcata made up for these disadvantages - being able to deflty maneuver a blade past or around a shield is less necessary when the blade itself has the power to chop through the shield itself and strike the arm behind.
A very similar blade to the Falcata, the Kopis, was widely used in the Greek world and carried throughout much of the east by the Phalangites of Alexander the Great.
This Iberian Falcata has a blade of unsharpened high carbon steel. The guard and pommel are of cast brass and grip is overlaid with riveted plates of polished bone.
Overall Length: 24.25"
Blade Length: 20.5"