Herculaneum Soldier’s Sword Reproduction

Posted with kind permission from Jeffrey Hildebrandt.

This is, quite simply, divinely gorgeous.

Herculaneum soldier's sword

Jeffrey Hildebrandt, a master craftsman with Royal Oak Armory in Ontario, worked with Dr. Robert Mason of the Royal Ontario Museum and U of Toronto to recreate what that Herculaneum soldier’s sword and belt probably looked like. You can see in the earlier post what they were working from. This is copied and pasted with Jeff’s kind permission from the web site Forum for Ancient Reenacting run by Matt Lima.

“It is based on the sword found with the “Herculaneum soldier,” and the hypothetical reconstruction was designed by Dr. Robert Mason, of the ROM & University of Toronto.

Herculaneum soldier's sword

“I forged the sword from 1045 steel and gave it a simple slack quench heat treatment. The blade was forged very close to final dimensions, so a bit of scale can still be seen on the finished blade. The hilt is fitted with a boxwood pommel and guard, both sheathed in silver, and a bone grip. There is a ring assembly on the end of the tang.

Herculaneum soldier's sword

“The scabbard was made from linden boards covered in pigskin and then reinforced with embossed bronze plates (much of which was covered by silver medallions on the original). I also made a silver belt as a last minute addition. The soldier wore two belts, both bearing silver plates, and unusually, both with frogs. The original belt appears to have had a different figurative scene in the centre of every plate, (or at least not much in the way of repetition) which would have been fun to attempt, but wasn’t possible within the practical constraints of this project. ”

Herculaneum soldier's sword