The spatha was a type of straight sword with a long point, in use throughout Europe and the territory of the Roman Empire.
Origins of the spatha date to the late Celtic Bronze Age in Europe and the use of full-length bronze cavalry & charioteer swords by Celtic warriors during the Hallstatt era. These gave way to first iron, then the piled-rod composite iron/steel long swords of the La Tene era circa 480 BC. By the 3rd century BC, the Celts were using pattern-welded long swords in Europe that would continue in use through the Celto/Roman era and eventually into the later Migration era. Long-established sword making centers typically produced spatha sword blades in lots that would then be sold to the various recipients for final hilting. For this reason, it is often difficult to distinguish the weapons used by the Romans from those of their adversaries without some other contextual basis to go by, such as other artifacts in a tomb or burial, etc. Also, the Romans made extensive use of Celtic and later Germanic cavalry conscripts and mercenaries who often retained use of their traditional weapons while on campaign – even though they were serving the Roman army.
There is no evidence that the spatha was used exclusively for slashing. It apparently simply replaced the gladius in the front ranks, giving the infantry more reach in thrusting.
Archaeologically many instances of the spatha have been found in Britain and Germany. It was used extensively by Germanic warriors but whether it came from the Pompeii gladius or the longer Celtic swords or served as a model for the various broadswords and Viking swords of Europe is a highly speculative topic. The spatha remained popular throughout the Migration period. It could have evolved into the knightly sword of the High Middle Ages from about 1100, but the large number of sword types that appeared during the period are difficult to connect for certain.
Specific details of their manufacture and the models used by their manufacturers
remain chiefly unknown.
Created By Sulacu
|One-Handed Melee Weapons (Martial)|
|Spatha||10 gp||1d6||2d4||18-20/×2||–||12 lb.||Slashing||–|
A spatha is a heavy broadsword type weapon, being typically between 30 and 40 inches long and having a particularly broad and strong lemmet. A spatha is therefore more durable than an ordinary sword. Due to its weight and its robust application in warfare, it more easily draws more crippling wounds. The swords equipped by prestigious Viking warriors are examples of this type of sword.
Special: A character wielding a spatha gets a +4 circumstance bonus on any attack rolls associated with Sunder attempts and with defending against Sunder attempts even if he or she wields it with one hand.