(About): Join the Order and Swear Upon your Sword
Military technology was also put into overdrive by the Crusades: in many ways, the arms, armor and even the very idea of the ‘chivalric knight’, were born in the Middle East in this period. Totemic amongst these knights in a foreign land were the ‘Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, known to us today as the Knights Templar. Our Order of the Temple Sword is a fantastic entry-level sword to depict such a warrior.
The Blade that Carved Out the Crusader States
The blade of our Order of the Temple Sword is a close representation of a Crusader blade from the 13th-century CE. The deadliest of Crusader swords were wider and heavier than the Norman-style arming swords used by the French and Anglo-Norman knights in earlier times: their blades had straight or only very slightly tapered blades, with a long fuller, and a shallow or even fully-rounded point. This gave the sword a tip-heavy swing, meaning they could deliver astonishingly powerful chopping blows, whilst a slight distal tapering kept the balance point closer to the hilt, prevented them from becoming unwieldy. Oakeshott classifies these swords as Type XIII, and our Order of the Temple Sword mirrors this typology closely. It is made from carbon steel, polished to a high sheen and lightly oiled, meaning that it is more than rugged enough to withstand the knocks and scrapes of LARP use.
The Hilt that Stood Watch over the Pilgrims
The hilt of our Order of the Templar Sword is a testament to the stark, functional designs which Western European sword-makers developed for Crusader battle swords – along with some clues as to its Templar origins. The hilt and pommel are made from shining brass, imitating the rich gold plating seen on some fine knightly swords of the period. The curved shape of the cruciform crossguard is a development from earlier Norman arming swords, the slight downward curve allowing the greater control of an opponent’s sword in close combat. It is subtly inscribed with two crosses moline – this form of cross is so named for the ‘millrind’, a piece of forked iron which holds the upper millstone in place in wind- and water-mills (from the French for mill, ‘moline’). It is primarily associated with the Benedictine Order, but it is seen used throughout Christian and Templar symbology – so its inclusion here is period-accurate. The grip is wood covered with hand-stitched black leather. The pommel is a heavy brass raised-octagon of Oakeshott pommel type I, also in polished brass – this would have balanced the sword perfectly, and it is also inscribed with a red Templar cross moline.
Our Order of the Temple Sword is a fantastic way to augment your LARP outfit or stage impression with the gravitas and nobility of the most enduring of Crusader Orders – it’d be perfect for a Crusader inspired outfit, or a chivalric knight more generally.
(Curiosity): The Holy Land: The Crucible of the Medieval World
The Holy Land in the 12th-century CE was a crucible for the extremes of Europe and the Levant. The First Crusade, ending in 1099 CE, resulted in a network of Levantine cities being captured by the Western European Christians, and converted into wealthy Crusader States which would last for almost two centuries, seeding political conflict and cultural exchange in equal measure. The idea that the ‘Crusader’ period was characterised by unbroken enmity between ‘Christians and Muslims’ is not borne out by reality: most jockeying for position was political rather than military, and alliances were constantly shifting…
- Total length: 40 inches
- Blade length: 31 ½ inches
- Blade width: 1 ¾ inches
- Blade material: Carbon steel, oiled
- Guard and pommel material: Brass
- Grip material: Leather