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George N. M.

Roman pugio

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An amazing Roman pugio dagger with scabbard and belt has been unearthed and restored in Germany.  An article about it can be read here:

http://www.thehistoryblog.com/archives/57908#comments

The blade is pattern welded in what appears to me to be a double chevron pattern.  In the photo of the blade out of the sheath you can see the pattern welding near the fuller.

This would be an amazing blade to re-create but the skill level, particularly for the hilt and the scabbard are far beyond my ability and I don't have a year or so of my life to dedicate to it.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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Well the bladesmith was NOT the person to make those fittings and doing the hilting; so to forge the blade and subcontract out the rest would be much more accurate historically!

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Dear Thomas:  That would fall into the category of unaffordability.  I don't have the opportunity of a windfall of loot a Roman officer or NCO would have had.

You are, of course, correct that an item like that, as with similar pieces down the centuries, would have been the product of many people working in their own special skills and crafts.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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That's quite an article George, thanks for linking us. I've only given it a quick scan but if I'm not mistaken most of the fancy work was tin plated brass/bronze. I'm thinking it wouldn't be too hard to find a college student or two to do the leather and plated fittings. 

Dressing the blade would be the tricky part but if a person wants to make knives, necessary skill sets. 

Thanks again for the article.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Irondragon:  Thanks, more pics are always good but the description in the History Blog article was meatier IMO.  I still would not want to get stuck with it.

GNM

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The precious metals look to mainly be silver inlay.  It's tedious, but I wouldn't think the material would be expensive.  Labor on the other hand...What are the stones, garnets?

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Dear Nobody,

According to the original article they are glass and enamel.  Garnets were used much less during the Roman Era than they were later.  I have a dim memory that gem quality deposits in middle Europe started being mined during the early middle ages.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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The Saxons used garnets a good bit, often over a textured gold backing to give them more glitter.

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Not to mention that the RELATIVE value of silver to gold was quite a bit different in those days. In Roman times gold was set at 12 to 12.5 the price of silver.  (Today's spot is 117.57 gold:silver).

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