Old Stuff: Swords

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Swords have been around since 1600 B.C. This implies that, before 1600 B.C., Zorro just sat around looking at his watch. The first swords were made out of copper or copper-tin alloy. We know that the Greeks had swords due to Homer’s Iliad; however, since Homer was blind, they really could’ve just told him that they had invented swords even though they hadn’t. The need was there, of course; because, you never knew when you’d be asked to judge a goddess beauty contest where the compensation was SOMEONE ELSE’S WIFE.

In Japan, a samurai sword was thought to have a soul. This isn’t unusual. I had an aunt who tried to teach a butter knife to sing light opera. Was SHE crazy? I should say possibly! A sword that is good or evil lends credence to the expression, “Swords don’t kill people; people, influenced by evil swords, kill people”.

Excalibur: Forget your mental images of King Arthur; in the fifth century, Britain was the discount trailer park of Europe. Camelot looked less like a castle of stone and more like a wooden building surrounded by a wall of dirt and mud like something a paranoid hobbit might construct. Excalibur is portrayed as a glorious weapon, because glorious weapons often come from the bottom of a lake. More likely, Excalibur looked like a machete with a banana sticker on it…

The Sword of William Wallace: Did I say that Britain was the trailer park of Europe? Then, Scotland is the refrigerator box occupied by the guy who couldn’t afford to live in that trailer park. But, Wallace was a soldier and could’ve procured the sword from someone with impeccable taste and a weak sword arm. Rumor had it that Wallace had the scabbard made of human skin from a tax collector who must’ve offended him in some epic way, but, rumor has a lot of things…

Honjo Masamune: No list would be complete without Honjo Masamune; in fact, I doubt you could technically call what you have a “list” without it. And, the fact that it is a sword, frees me from the responsibility of justifying its presence here.

Masamune was a Japanese swordsmith from the fourteenth century, although you might find him wandering about the nineteenth century if he’d had a few.

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