OK, I haven’t watched the latest, greatest and highly modernized incarnation of the Arthurian Saga aptly named King Arthur, so I cannot comment on it one way or another, but I did find an interesting sword from the movie. A matched set of swords to be exact, wielded by King Arthurs brave, chivalrous but wife-stealing first knight Lancelot.
Now these swords have some very interesting characteristics that actually set them apart from your standard Arthurian sword fare. The most obvious of which they are black, in spite of the fact that, for reasons I have discussed before, a knight of that era would probably never have used a black sword. But even more interesting is the design. Lancelot’s swords have an uncanny resemblance to a Roman Gladius.
They are wider overall, and wider just before the point than after the hilt, which is a feature not normally seen on swords used by knights of that era at all. The handle is also distinctly Gladius-like in nature, and the guard reminiscent of that of a Roman Legionnaires sword. In fact this sword appears to be a close relative of a Roman Gladiators Sword.
Now as far as I know, the Lancelot of Arthurian legend was not Roman, let alone a roman gladiator. Sir Lancelot Du Lac was, in fact French; so there was no real reason for him to possess swords of this design at all, save for the purpose of satisfying the film makers artistic license.
Now I’m tempted to say that this disparity in his weapons design in the movie was intended to mark Lancelot as a betrayer, but that would be pure speculation.
But in spite of the historical peculiarities of the swords design, they are still very beautiful. The high gloss black finish complements the gold handle and guard perfectly. Definitely a beautiful example of… well… a Roman Gladiators Gladius…