Templar Medieval Sword Elite Series
(About): A Handsome Templar Longsword – Combining Austerity and Authority
A chance at redemption in a cruel and unforgiving world: that is what the Knights Templar represented to many fallen knights in High Medieval Europe. Arriving in the Holy Land after months of pilgrimage, they would be sworn into the Templar Order: taking the rites known as the Latin Rule, they forsook all of their lands, their titles, their inheritance, even the right to receive letters from their homes. They became knight-brothers: Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ at the Temple of Solomon. And at their side was the Templar Medieval Sword. The master smiths at Darksword Armory have reproduced a 13th-century Type XIII sword. With a twist. They have forged it from pattern-welded ‘Damascus steel’, the rarest and most powerful of medieval steels – it is part of their Elite Series, mastercrafted reproductions that are some of the finest weapons made since the time of the Templars. It is an unrivaled, mystical reimagining of a brutal Crusader weapon, forged together with the finest Islamic weaponcraft.
Reproducing the Lost Art of Damascus Steel
All of the metallic parts of our Templar Medieval Sword Elite Series are hand-forged in pattern-welded ‘Damascus steel’. Darksword Armory have carefully selected four contrasting steel alloys (1095, 5160, L-6 and O1 steels) to create a rippling, water-like pattern, named after the shimmering damask fabric of the medieval period. Master weaponsmiths pile and forge these four steels together, drawing them, folding them, cutting them and piling them again, each repetition creating a more and more complex swirling pattern. No other blade in the world will have the unique pattern of your weapon – it is as unique and unreproducible as a fingerprint.
A Throwback Butchers’ Blade for Towering Sword-Brothers
The blade of our Templar Medieval Sword is a brutal design straight from the darkest days of the Crusader period. It has been painstakingly hand-forged into an Oakeshott Type XIII. Its characteristics are unmistakable: it has a wide, flat blade that is lenticular in cross-section, it has long, straight cutting edges that run almost completely parallel, it has a short or even spatulate (rounded) point, and it has a wide but foreshortened fuller. An experienced sword expert can interpret these features to tell you exactly how such a weapon would handle, as well as its use on the battlefield. It is a cutting weapon, its long straight edges designed to give the maximum power to the impact of each swing. The point of the blade is surprisingly effective, but certainly secondary to its slashing deadliness. The foreshortened fuller gives us another clue: deep fullers reduce the weight of the blade (some by as much as one-third), and this moves the point-of-balance of the weapon close to the hilt, resulting in a more agile and swifter weapon. However, the shorter fuller on this weapon keeps some of the weight distributed towards the tip, giving it a weighty and menacing presence and a much more effective cutting stroke. These sword-blades remain wieldy because of the distal tapers employed by master swordsmiths such as those at Darksword Armory: the blade becomes subtly thinner in cross-section toward the tip of the blade, remaining a thoroughly wieldable blade. At the forte, the blade’s fuller is engraved with ‘Militaris Templi’, the Latin name of the Knights Templar, framed by two Templar crosses.
The blade is constructed from Darksword Armory’s unique four-alloy Damascus steel. It has been differentially hardened with a unique dual-temper, affording excellent edge retention and blade hardness, whilst retaining flexibility and resilience at the core. This means that, as well as being a work of art in steel, it is also a tempered, battle-ready blade capable of taking punishment in light combat, re-enactment and roleplay.
A Modest, Ergonomic Hilt for the Monks of the Sword
The hilt of our Templar Medieval Sword is a pure expression of Crusader functionality. It is a simple straight cruciform hilt, which speaks to the vows of poverty and simple-living sworn by the knight-brothers of the Templars. The cross-guard is narrow and straight, wide enough to control an opponent’s blade in close combat. Its is forged from the same gorgeous ‘Damascus steel’ as the blade, and it reaches a sharp point that is a deadly secondary weapon for a knight locked into close-quarters brawl. It is closer in design to the early Norman arming swords of the 11th-century, the ergonomic designs of which were common throughout the age of the arming sword. The grip is made from a handsome black leather, providing an excellent grip surface. The pommel, completing this weapon’s all-Damascus steel construction, is an I1 type: a chamfered octagon that is carefully weighted to balance the blade to just the right combination of poise and heft. The hilt is a full-tang, peened construction: this means the guard, grip and pommel have all been threaded into place onto the blade’s tang, and then the protruding tip is hammered flat to lock it all securely in place. It is a fully battle-ready, functional sword that would grace any battlefield or field of roleplay.
Our Templar Medieval Sword Elite Series is a truly special weapon for the most discerning of sword collectors, and as such it is limited to only 100 swords, ever. Once Darksword Armory sell their 100th Templar Medieval Sword Elite Series, they retire the design forever. Each one comes with a special edition collector’s suite. This includes a Certificate of Authenticity, personally signed by master smith and Darksword Armory founder Eyal Azerad, and stamped with the Darksword Elite wax seal – as well as an upgraded scabbard with an interlaced sword belt.
Overall, this weapon is a vital rarity amongst modern sword reproduction: a flawless historical design, executed to the highest degree of quality, with the best modern materials to reproduce a magical lost steel from a thousand years hence. It would be a fantastic accompaniment to a historical re-enactment of a Templar Grand Master re-enactment – or it could do sterling service as the magic sword of a brave knight errant in a fantasy roleplay. Or – if you can’t bear to see it out of your sight – it would grace the wall display of any mortal lucky enough to own it.
(History): Type XIII: The Blueprint for A Lineage
The Type XIII blade, which Darksword have forged for their Templar Medieval Sword, emerged in an era of change on the medieval battlefield. For the Early Medieval era and much of the High Middle Ages (500 CE – 1200 CE), the primary armor for most frontline soldiers did not change much: stout clothing made from available local textiles, and a big sturdy shield made from plied boards and a leather covering. But chainmail armor was gradually evolving in sophistication and frequency, extending from a byrnie (chainmail shirt) in the early period to a full-body covering – encompassing a knee-length hauberk, chausses, sabatons, gauntlets and mail coif. This trend toward heavier armor began to evolve further with the addition of cuir bouilli (boiled leather) and metal splints, resulting in even tougher armor forms, well on their way to becoming proto-platemail. Makers of weapons were therefore locked in a perpetual arms race with the manufacturers of armor to constantly find new ways to frustrate and circumvent these new developments. With these improvements in armor, the general trend of swords in the High Middle Ages was from the straight-edged, broad-bladed, wide fullered swords of the late Viking Age, toward slenderer, more sharply pointed swords which we might describe as the ‘medieval knightly arming sword’. Whilst these were still slashing swords designed to be used primarily by mounted knights on horseback, they had evolved to be much more competent thrusting weapons, thicker and stiffer than their ancestors.
A Sword Out Of Its Time
In this context, the Type XIII sword, with its straight edges, heavy wide blade and short point might seem like a fossil or a throwback to the weapons used centuries before. Instead of a slender blade facing forward to the Late Medieval and Renaissance blades that would seek to become enormous awls to puncture through increasingly sturdy plate armor, the Type XIII says ‘brute force has never let me down yet’. Emerging in the 13th-century CE, these swords would have been devastatingly effective. By creating a heavier sword with the superior steels becoming more readily available to European swordsmiths, these Templar medieval swords were capable of bursting chainmail and severing limbs at a single stroke, especially when wielding from high in the saddle. These swords were often wielded with a shield, which would have been worn on the forearm so that reins could still be used. But sometimes their grips were made of intermediate length long enough to permit the use of two hands for enormous smashing blows. Such a technique is depicted in a fragment of creative marginalia in the Alphonso Psalter, a richly illuminated late 13th-century prayer book – a rather unhappy-looking unfortunate is having his skull split by a Crusading knight wielding a Type XIII sword. It is clear that this weapon was a flexible one, since the knight, bedecked in a full complement of chainmail and great helm, has his shield slung onto his back, ready to be taken back out for defense when required.
All That Came After
We can divine the Type XIII as the genesis of a new trend in sword design that would continue into the Late Medieval era: that of ever-larger smashing swords. As well as providing a challenge to sword-makers to circumvent, the emergence of transitional armors and later plate mail meant that wooden shields were no longer so critical for survival in medieval warfare. Hence, it was comparatively safer to discard them in favour of two-handed weaponry, stimulating the development of large flat-bladed swords in the 13th– and 14th-centuries that became known collectively as ‘grande espees de guerre’ – big war swords. These in turn developed into the Late Medieval Zweihänder and similar associated weapons: oversized swords more than 4 ft. in length that were wielded by soldiers in the front-rank of infantry formations, wielded more like polearms than swords. The Templar medieval sword is the grandfather of them all!
(History): The Templars: The Poor Fellow-Soldiers Who Forged a Multinational Empire
By the start of the 14th-century CE, the Crusades had fundamentally altered warfare. The cultural and economic melting-pot of the Western Christian-dominated Crusader states was the backdrop for a series of sporadic back-and-forth military conflicts between the insurgent Westerners and the established Islamic civilisations of the region. The social and cultural prestige associated with the Crusades, as well as the concrete advances in weaponry and armor that they spurred, had an enormous impact on the West, shaping battlefields on European soil, sparking the tinderbox of the Renaissance in Italy, and cementing the Church as a formidable force in Late Medieval Europe. Our Templar Medieval Sword symbolises the fiercest of all fighting forces amongst the Crusaders – the Knights Templar.
Formed in 1119 by knight Hugues de Payens and a handful of his closest friends and relatives, the Templars began a meteoric rise. Within a few decades, they had secured Papal preference, swelling their numbers to thousands of warriors (mostly disgraced knights banished from Western Europe), receiving enormous donations of money and land. They spread their influence across the Holy Land – and along pilgrimage routes, giving protection to Western pilgrims – and eventually across Western Europe with a network of trading houses, land holdings and eventually even banks. They became, in effect, the world’s first multi-national corporation: outside of the control of any state, they had transnational jurisdiction, operating outside of taxation structures and wielding their private military forces under the auspices of the Papacy. However, such enormous power breeds enemies. Eventually, King Phillip IV of France, likely heavily in debt to the Templars, pressured Pope Clement V to have the Templars quashed. The leaders of the Templar Order were arrested and executed in 1312, upon highly spurious doctrinal grounds – so much so, that a few years later (after Templar power had been successfully dispersed), the Pope quietly pardoned them post-mortem. This spectacular fall-from-grace has seeded centuries of conspiracy theories, culminating in wild-eyed speculation about the Templars protecting the bloodline of Jesus, in books and movies like Holy Blood, Holy Grail (1982) and The Da Vinci Code (2006). Our Templar Medieval Sword is the quintessential weapon of these secretive holy warriors – or, depending on your perspective, these dark pagan heretics!
We also have lots of other Templar Swords for you to check out here!
- Total length: 46 inches
- Blade length: 36 inches
- Blade width: 2.2 inches
- Blade material: Damascus steel; 1095, 5160, L-6 and O1 steels
- Blade hardness: 60 HRc at edges ; 48-50 HRc at core
- Guard and pommel material: Damascus steel; 1095, 5160, L-6 and O1 steels
- Weight: 4 lbs 3 oz.