Sword

Swiss longsword, 15th or 16th century

Sword (Old English: sweord; akin to Old High German: swerd, "wounding tool"; Proto-Indo-European: *swer-, "to wound, to hurt") is a term for a long-edged, bladed weapon, consisting in its most fundamental design of a blade, usually with two edges for striking and cutting, a point for thrusting, and a hilt for gripping. The basic intent and physics of swordsmanship remain fairly constant, but the actual techniques vary between cultures and periods as a result of the differences in blade design and purpose. The names given to many swords in mythology, literature, and history reflect the high prestige of the weapon (see list of swords).

History

Bronze Age

Humans have manufactured and used bladed weapons from the Bronze Age onwards. The sword developed from the dagger when the construction of longer blades became possible, from the early 2nd millennium BC. The hilt at first simply allowed a firm grip, and prevented the hand from slipping onto the blade when executing a stab. Bronze Age swords with typical leaf-shaped blades first appear near the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, and in Mesopotamia. Swords from the Nordic Bronze Age from ca. 1400 BC show characteristic spiral patterns. Sword production in China is attested from the Bronze Age Shang Dynasty. Although numerous origin accounts exist, the first sword is believed to have been forged by the Greek bronzeworker Hephastus (2800 B.C.), who would later be deified as the Grecian god of blacksmiths. Hephastus hit upon the idea of making larger "knives" to assist the local tanner in skinning animals of their hides. When a regiment of Periphero Chortos arrived and witnessed the tanner's use of this curious blade, they requested duplicates of the "arm-length knife" for their own use. These were later dubbed machaira, or sword. Historians debate the exact size of this first sword, but it is generally accepted that the weapons were bronze bars, sharpened along a single edge, between one and two feet in length. They were without later incorporated features, such as hilts and pommels. All in all, these primitive weapons functioned more like sharpened bludgeons. However Areliux, a celtian chief, made the "simitar" a sword that could kill with one hit

Iron Age

Iron swords became increasingly common from the 13th century BC. The Hittites, the Mycenean Greeks, and the Proto-Celtic Hallstatt culture figured among the early users of iron swords. Iron has the advantage of mass-production due to the wider availability of the raw material. Early Iron swords were not comparable to later steel blades, being brittle and soft, they were even inferior to good bronze weapons, but the easier production, and the better availability of the raw material for the first time permitted the equipment of entire armies with metal weapons.

A decorative sword made of gold in 7th century Iran, during the Sasanian Dynasty.

Eventually smiths learned that by adding an amount of carbon (added during smelting in the form of charcoal) in the iron, they could produce an improved alloy (now known as steel). Several different methods of swordmaking existed in ancient times, including most famously pattern welding. Over time different methods developed all over the world.

By the time of Classical Antiquity and the Parthian and Sassanid Empires in Iran, iron swords were common. The Greek Xiphos and the Roman Gladius are typical examples of the type, measuring some 60 to 70 cm. The late Roman Empire introduced the longer Spatha (the term for its wielder, spatharius, became a court rank in Constantinople), and from this time, the term "long sword" is applied to swords comparatively long for their respective periods.

Chinese steel swords make their appearance from the 3rd century BC Qin Dynasty. The Chinese Dao (刀 pinyin dāo) is single-edged, sometimes translated as sabre or broadsword, and the Jian (劍 pinyin jiàn) double edged.

Middle Ages

replica of a Roman Spatha

The Spatha type remained popular throughout the Migration period and well into the Middle Ages. Vendel Age Spathas decorated with Germanic artwork (not unlike the Germanic bracteates fashioned after Roman coins). The Viking Age sees again a more standardized production, but the basic design remains indebted to the Spatha.

It is only from the 11th century that Norman swords begin to develop the quillion or crossguard. During the Crusades of the 12th to (13th) century, this cruciform type of arming sword remains essentially stable, with variations mainly concerning the shape of the pommel. The swords were made to be for thrusting. A stab is more fatal than a slice and difficult to parry. However when a knight thrusts his sword, his defense is completely down, and a stab is easier to dodge than a slice.

Single-edged weapons became popular throughout Asia. Derived from the Chinese Dao, the Korean Hwandudaedo are known from the early medieval Three Kingdoms. The Japanese Katana (刀; かたな), production of which is recorded from ca. 900 AD (see Japanese sword), is also derived from the Dao.

Late Middle Ages and Renaissance

Main articles: Longsword and Zweihänder

From around 1300, in concert with improved armour, innovative sword designs evolved more and more rapidly. The main transition was the lengthening of the grip, allowing two-handed use, and a longer blade. By 1400 this type of sword, at the time called langes Schwert (longsword) or spadone, were common, and a number of 15th and 16th century "fechtbucher" teaching their use survive. Another variant was the specialization of armour-piercing swords of the Estoc type. The longsword became popular due to is extreme reach and cutting and thrusting abilities. The estoc became popular because of its ability to thrust into the gaps in-between plates of armor.

This sword gradually became obsolete as thicker forms of armor rendered the piercing blade ineffective. As armor thickened, blacksmiths labored to increase the size of the sword, resulting in such weapons as the bastard and two-handed sword. Though light blades were retained by cavalry for some time, the infantry blade was eventually abandoned entirely. The largest recorded sword was that forged by Gustav Heinshreck in the 16th century. His "Vervierfachen Sie hat gereicht Blatt" was a sword nearly twelve feet in length, requiring two men to wield effectively. Though capable of penetrating even the thickest armor, it ultimately proved too unwieldy for common use.

In the 16th century, the large Zweihänder concluded the trend of ever increasing sword sizes (mostly due to the beginning of the decline of plate armor and the advent of firearms), and the early Modern Age returned to lighter one-handed weapons.

The sword in this time period was the most personal weapon, the most prestigious, and the most versatile for close combat, but it came to find a greater role in civilian self-defense than in military use as technology changed warfare.

Modern Age

The rapier evolved from the Spanish espada ropera in the 16th century. Both the rapier and the Italian schiavona developed the crossguard into a basket for hand protection. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the shorter smallsword became an essential fashion accessory in European countries, and most wealthy men carried one. Both the smallsword and the rapier remained popular dueling swords well into the 18th century.

As the wearing of swords fell out of fashion, canes took their place in a gentleman's wardrobe. Some examples of canes—those known as swordsticks—incorporate a concealed blade. The French martial art la canne developed to fight with canes and swordsticks and has now evolved into a sport.

The sword served more as a weapon of self-defence than for use on the battlefield, and the military importance of swords steadily decreased during the Modern Age. Even as a personal sidearm, the sword began to lose its pre-eminence in the late 18th century, paralleling the development of reliable handguns.

The hilt of the 18th century sword used by Captain John Paul Schott in the American Revolution.

Swords continued in use, but increasingly limited to military officers and ceremonial uniforms, although most armies retained heavy cavalry until well after World War I. For example, the British Army formally adopted a completely new design of cavalry sword in 1908, almost the last change in British Army weapons before the outbreak of the war. The last units of British heavy cavalry switched to using armoured vehicles as late as 1938. Cavalry charges still occurred as late as World War II during which Japanese and Pacific Islanders also occasionally used swords, but by then an enemy armed with machine guns, barbed wire and armored vehicles would usually completely outmatch swordsmen.

Terminology

The sword consists of the blade and the hilt. The name scabbard applies to the case which houses the sword when not in use.

Blade

Three types of attacks can be performed with the blade: striking, cutting, and thrusting. The blade is usually double-edged; when handling the sword, the long or true edge is the one used for straight cuts or strikes, while the short or false edge is the one used for backhand strikes. Some hilt designs define which edge is the 'long' one, while more symmetrical designs allow the long and short edges to be inverted by turning the sword.

The blade may have grooves or fullers for the purpose of lightening the blade while allowing it to retain its strength, in the same manner as an "I" beam in construction. The blade may taper more or less sharply towards a point, used for thrusting. The part of the blade between the Center of Percussion (CoP) and the point is called the weak of the blade, and that between the Center of Balance (CoB) and the hilt the strong. The section in between the CoP and the CoB is the middle. The ricasso or shoulder identifies a short section of blade immediately forward of the guard that is left completely unsharpened, and can be gripped with a finger to increase tip control. Many swords have no ricasso. On some large weapons, such as the German zweihander, a leather cover surrounded the ricasso, and a swordsman might grip it in one hand to make the weapon more easily wielded in close-quarters combat. The ricasso normally bears the maker's mark. On Japanese blades the mark appears on the tang under the handle.

  • In the case of a rat-tail tang, the maker welds a thin rod to the end of the blade at the crossguard; this rod goes through the handle (in 20th-century and later construction). This occurs most commonly in decorative replicas, or cheap sword-like objects. Traditional sword-making does not use this construction method, which does not serve for traditional sword usage as the sword can easily break at the welding point.
  • In traditional construction, the swordsmith forged the tang as a part of the sword rather than welding it on. Traditional tangs go through the handle: this gives much more durability than a rat-tail tang. Swordsmiths peened such tangs over the end of the pommel, or occasionally welded the hilt furniture to the tang and threaded the end for screwing on a pommel. Modern lower quality replicas often feature a "screw-on" pommel or a pommel nut which holds the hilt together and allows dismantling.
  • In a "full" tang (most commonly used in knives and machetes) the tang has about the same width as the blade. In European or Asian swords sold today, many advertised "full" tangs may actually involve a forged rat-tail tang.

From the 18th century onwards swords intended for slashing, i.e. with an edge, have been curved with the radius of curvature equal to the distance from the swordman's body at which it was to be used. This allowed the blade to have a sawing effect rather than simply delivering a heavy cut. European swords, intended for use at arm's length, had a radius of curvature of around a meter. Middle Eastern swords, intended for use with the arm bent, had a smaller radius.

Hilt

The hilt is the collective term of the parts allowing the handling of the blade, consisting of the grip, the pommel, and in post-Viking Age swords usually a crossguard (called cruciform hilts). The pommel in addition to improving the grip, can also be used as a blunt instrument at close range. It may also have a tassel or sword knot.

The tang consists of the extension of the blade structure through the hilt.

Typology

Swords can fall into categories of varying scope. The main distinguishing characteristics include blade shape (cross-section, tapering and length), shape and size of hilt and pommel, age and place of origin.

For any other type than listed below, and even for uses other than as a weapon, see the article Sword-like object

Double-edged swords

As noted above, the terms longsword, broad sword and great sword (and Gaelic claymore) are used relative to the era under consideration and do themselves designate a particular type of sword.

Single-handed

  • Bronze Age swords, length ca. 60 cm, leaf shaped blade.
  • Iron Age swords like the Xiphos, Gladius and Jian 劍, similar in shape to their Bronze Age predecessors.
  • Spatha, measuring ca. 80–90 cm.
  • The classical arming sword of the Crusades, measuring up to ca. 110 cm.
  • The late medieval Swiss baselard and the Renaissance Italian Cinquedea and German Katzbalger essentially re-introduce the functionality of the Spatha, coinciding with the strong cultural movement to emulate the Classical world.
  • The cut & thrust swords of the Renaissance, similar to the older arming sword but balanced for increased thrusting.
  • Light duelling swords, like the rapier and the smallsword, in use from Early Modern times.

Two-handed

  • The longsword (and bastard sword) of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
  • The 16th century Zweihänder.


Single edged weapons

Katana of the 16th or 17th Century, with its saya.

One strict definition of a sword restricts it to a double-edged weapon used for both slashing and stabbing. However, general usage of the term remains inconsistent and it has important cultural overtones, so that commentators almost universally recognize the single-edged Asian weapons (dāo 刀, Katana 刀) as "swords", simply because they have very similar prestige to that which is attached to the European sword.

Europeans also frequently refer to their own single-edged weapons as swords--generically backswords, including sabres. Other terms include falchion, scimitar, cutlass, or mortuary sword. Many of these essentially refer to identical weapons, and the different names may relate to their use in different countries at different times.

A machete as a tool resembles such a single-edged sword and serves to cut through thick vegetation, and indeed many of the terms listed above describe weapons that originated as farmers' tools used on the battlefield.

Training swords

In both Europe and Asia, wooden "swords" were created to practice fencing without the physical danger of a real sword. These were known as wasters in Europe and bokken in Japan. Special sparring weapons, such as the bamboo shinai and the steel federschwerter, were also devised and used.

Certain martial arts styles, such as kendo, use shinai as their primary weapons, both in training and in competition.

Urumi/Chuttuval (flexible sword)

Classification

Jan Petersen in De Norske Vikingsverd ("The Norwegian Viking Swords", 1919) introduced the most widely-used classification. Ewart Oakeshott in The Sword in The Age of Chivalry (1964, revised 1981) introduced a system of classification for medieval sword blades into types, numbered X – XXII as a continuation of Wheeler's system.

Punishment devices

  • Real swords can be used to administer various physical punishments: to perform either capital punishment by decapitation (the use of the sword, an honourable weapon on military men, was regarded a privilege) or non-surgical amputation.
  • Similarly paddle-like sword-like devices for physical punishment are used in Asia, in western terms for paddling or caning, depending whether the implement is flat or round. For example, the Chinese movie Farewell to my concubine (1993 - see IMDb [1]) shows how a flat, not even very hard type of paddle, called the master's sword, is used intensively to discipline young opera trainees both on the (usually bared) buttock and on the hand (even drawing blood).
  • The shinai, a practice sword, is also used in Japan as a spanking implement, more common in prized private extracurricular schools (illustrated in these 1975 and 1977 articles [2] & [3]) than the US school paddling; in fact hundreds of cases of illegal corporal punishment were reported from public schools as well.

Symbolism

  • The sword can symbolise violence, combat, or military intervention. Jesus' statement, "Those who live by the sword shall die by the sword" uses the term in this sense.

Another example of this metaphorical significance comes in the old saying "The pen is mightier than the sword" -- attributed to Edward Bulwer-Lytton.

In the following cases, the sword stands for arms in general, and has often been retained as a symbol even after it had in operational practice been replaced with firearms etcetera.

  • Swords form a suit in the Tarot deck (replaced by spades in the French deck of playing cards).
  • The sword often functions as a symbol of masculinity and particularly -since its form lends itself to this, especially in erect position- as a phallic symbol of virility. For example, "sword swallowing" is used as an euphemism of fellatio.
  • Swords are also used as emblem or insignia (in or on formal dress such as uniforms, badges, various objects, even coats of arms), especially:
    • as symbol of power, such as a Sword of State and a Sword of Justice (both can be used as regalia);
    • as symbol of armed force, or of a corps entitled to use force as the strong arm of the law, as in military and police insignia, or of a unit (e.g. regiment) of such a corps - as these are numerous, inevitably many variations and combinations (two crossed swords, or with a laurel wreath, crown, national or founder/patron's emblem etcetera) are used.
  • It is also not unusual for swords to represent reason - as in "cutting through" a series of elements in a problem in order to leave only those with proven relevance, for example.

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In the following cases, the sword stands for arms in general, and has often been retained as a symbol even after it had in operational practice been replaced with firearms etcetera. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 90: 225-242. Another example of this metaphorical significance comes in the old saying "The pen is mightier than the sword" -- attributed to Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Evaluation of water quality projects in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Ewart Oakeshott in The Sword in The Age of Chivalry (1964, revised 1981) introduced a system of classification for medieval sword blades into types, numbered X – XXII as a continuation of Wheeler's system. Grismer, 2004. Jan Petersen in De Norske Vikingsverd ("The Norwegian Viking Swords", 1919) introduced the most widely-used classification. E.

Certain martial arts styles, such as kendo, use shinai as their primary weapons, both in training and in competition. Schuster, S., and M. Special sparring weapons, such as the bamboo shinai and the steel federschwerter, were also devised and used. 9: 30-38. These were known as wasters in Europe and bokken in Japan. Symp. In both Europe and Asia, wooden "swords" were created to practice fencing without the physical danger of a real sword. Soc.

A machete as a tool resembles such a single-edged sword and serves to cut through thick vegetation, and indeed many of the terms listed above describe weapons that originated as farmers' tools used on the battlefield. Fish. Many of these essentially refer to identical weapons, and the different names may relate to their use in different countries at different times. Am. Other terms include falchion, scimitar, cutlass, or mortuary sword. The mysids and lake trout of Lake Tahoe: A 25-year history of changes in the fertility, plankton, and fishery of an alpine lake. Europeans also frequently refer to their own single-edged weapons as swords--generically backswords, including sabres. Levitan, 1991.

However, general usage of the term remains inconsistent and it has important cultural overtones, so that commentators almost universally recognize the single-edged Asian weapons (dāo 刀, Katana 刀) as "swords", simply because they have very similar prestige to that which is attached to the European sword. Byron, and C. One strict definition of a sword restricts it to a double-edged weapon used for both slashing and stabbing. Goldman, E.
. R. As noted above, the terms longsword, broad sword and great sword (and Gaelic claymore) are used relative to the era under consideration and do themselves designate a particular type of sword. C., C.

For any other type than listed below, and even for uses other than as a weapon, see the article Sword-like object. Richards, R. The main distinguishing characteristics include blade shape (cross-section, tapering and length), shape and size of hilt and pommel, age and place of origin. 30: 409-417. Swords can fall into categories of varying scope. Bull. The tang consists of the extension of the blade structure through the hilt. Water Resour.

It may also have a tassel or sword knot. Sediment, nitrate, and ammonium in surface runoff from two Tahoe basin soil types. The pommel in addition to improving the grip, can also be used as a blunt instrument at close range. Gifford, 1994. The hilt is the collective term of the parts allowing the handling of the blade, consisting of the grip, the pommel, and in post-Viking Age swords usually a crossguard (called cruciform hilts). F. Middle Eastern swords, intended for use with the arm bent, had a smaller radius. Blank and G.

European swords, intended for use at arm's length, had a radius of curvature of around a meter. R. This allowed the blade to have a sawing effect rather than simply delivering a heavy cut. Miller, R. with an edge, have been curved with the radius of curvature equal to the distance from the swordman's body at which it was to be used. W. From the 18th century onwards swords intended for slashing, i.e. D., W.

On Japanese blades the mark appears on the tang under the handle. Naslas, G. The ricasso normally bears the maker's mark. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento, CA. On some large weapons, such as the German zweihander, a leather cover surrounded the ricasso, and a swordsman might grip it in one hand to make the weapon more easily wielded in close-quarters combat. U.S. Many swords have no ricasso. Lake Tahoe Basin Framework Study Groundwater Evaluation Lake Tahoe Basin, California and Nevada.

The ricasso or shoulder identifies a short section of blade immediately forward of the guard that is left completely unsharpened, and can be gripped with a finger to increase tip control. Nagy, M., 2003. The section in between the CoP and the CoB is the middle. Ecological Monographs 49: 281-310. The part of the blade between the Center of Percussion (CoP) and the point is called the weak of the blade, and that between the Center of Balance (CoB) and the hilt the strong. Nutrient Transport in Surface Runoff from a Subalpine Watershed, Lake Tahoe Basin, California. The blade may taper more or less sharply towards a point, used for thrusting. Goldman, 1979.

The blade may have grooves or fullers for the purpose of lightening the blade while allowing it to retain its strength, in the same manner as an "I" beam in construction. R. Some hilt designs define which edge is the 'long' one, while more symmetrical designs allow the long and short edges to be inverted by turning the sword. Coats, and C. The blade is usually double-edged; when handling the sword, the long or true edge is the one used for straight cuts or strikes, while the short or false edge is the one used for backhand strikes. N. Three types of attacks can be performed with the blade: striking, cutting, and thrusting. Elder, R.

The name scabbard applies to the case which houses the sword when not in use. F. The sword consists of the blade and the hilt. Kaplan, J. Cavalry charges still occurred as late as World War II during which Japanese and Pacific Islanders also occasionally used swords, but by then an enemy armed with machine guns, barbed wire and armored vehicles would usually completely outmatch swordsmen. A. The last units of British heavy cavalry switched to using armoured vehicles as late as 1938. L., L.

For example, the British Army formally adopted a completely new design of cavalry sword in 1908, almost the last change in British Army weapons before the outbreak of the war. Leonard, R. Swords continued in use, but increasingly limited to military officers and ceremonial uniforms, although most armies retained heavy cavalry until well after World War I. 60: 1452-1461. Even as a personal sidearm, the sword began to lose its pre-eminence in the late 18th century, paralleling the development of reliable handguns. Sci. The sword served more as a weapon of self-defence than for use on the battlefield, and the military importance of swords steadily decreased during the Modern Age. Aquat.

The French martial art la canne developed to fight with canes and swordsticks and has now evolved into a sport. Fish. Some examples of canes—those known as swordsticks—incorporate a concealed blade. J. As the wearing of swords fell out of fashion, canes took their place in a gentleman's wardrobe. Can. Both the smallsword and the rapier remained popular dueling swords well into the 18th century. Determining long-term water -quality change in the presence of climate variability: Lake Tahoe (U.S.A.).

During the 17th and 18th centuries, the shorter smallsword became an essential fashion accessory in European countries, and most wealthy men carried one. 2003. Both the rapier and the Italian schiavona developed the crossguard into a basket for hand protection. Goldman. The rapier evolved from the Spanish espada ropera in the 16th century. R. The sword in this time period was the most personal weapon, the most prestigious, and the most versatile for close combat, but it came to find a greater role in civilian self-defense than in military use as technology changed warfare. Reuter, and C.

In the 16th century, the large Zweihänder concluded the trend of ever increasing sword sizes (mostly due to the beginning of the decline of plate armor and the advent of firearms), and the early Modern Age returned to lighter one-handed weapons. Jassby, A., J. Though capable of penetrating even the thickest armor, it ultimately proved too unwieldy for common use. 44: 282-294. His "Vervierfachen Sie hat gereicht Blatt" was a sword nearly twelve feet in length, requiring two men to wield effectively. Oceanog. The largest recorded sword was that forged by Gustav Heinshreck in the 16th century. Limnol.

Though light blades were retained by cavalry for some time, the infantry blade was eventually abandoned entirely. Origins and scale dependence of temporal variability in the transparency of Lake Tahoe, California-Nevada. As armor thickened, blacksmiths labored to increase the size of the sword, resulting in such weapons as the bastard and two-handed sword. 1999. This sword gradually became obsolete as thicker forms of armor rendered the piercing blade ineffective. Richards. The estoc became popular because of its ability to thrust into the gaps in-between plates of armor. C.

The longsword became popular due to is extreme reach and cutting and thrusting abilities. Reuter, and R. Another variant was the specialization of armour-piercing swords of the Estoc type. E. By 1400 this type of sword, at the time called langes Schwert (longsword) or spadone, were common, and a number of 15th and 16th century "fechtbucher" teaching their use survive. Goldman, J. The main transition was the lengthening of the grip, allowing two-handed use, and a longer blade. R.

From around 1300, in concert with improved armour, innovative sword designs evolved more and more rapidly. D., C. 900 AD (see Japanese sword), is also derived from the Dao. Jassby, A. The Japanese Katana (刀; かたな), production of which is recorded from ca. 135: 1-21. Derived from the Chinese Dao, the Korean Hwandudaedo are known from the early medieval Three Kingdoms. Hydrobiol.

Single-edged weapons became popular throughout Asia. Arch. However when a knight thrusts his sword, his defense is completely down, and a stab is easier to dodge than a slice. Long-term change in Lake Tahoe (California-Nevada, U.S.A.) and its relation to atmospheric deposition of algal nutrients. A stab is more fatal than a slice and difficult to parry. 1995. The swords were made to be for thrusting. Reuter.

During the Crusades of the 12th to (13th) century, this cruciform type of arming sword remains essentially stable, with variations mainly concerning the shape of the pommel. E. It is only from the 11th century that Norman swords begin to develop the quillion or crossguard. Goldman and J. The Viking Age sees again a more standardized production, but the basic design remains indebted to the Spatha. R. Vendel Age Spathas decorated with Germanic artwork (not unlike the Germanic bracteates fashioned after Roman coins). D., C.

The Spatha type remained popular throughout the Migration period and well into the Middle Ages. Jassby, A. The Chinese Dao (刀 pinyin dāo) is single-edged, sometimes translated as sabre or broadsword, and the Jian (劍 pinyin jiàn) double edged. 30: 2207-2216. Chinese steel swords make their appearance from the 3rd century BC Qin Dynasty. Res. The late Roman Empire introduced the longer Spatha (the term for its wielder, spatharius, became a court rank in Constantinople), and from this time, the term "long sword" is applied to swords comparatively long for their respective periods. Water Resour.

The Greek Xiphos and the Roman Gladius are typical examples of the type, measuring some 60 to 70 cm. Atmospheric deposition of nitrogen and phosphorus in the annual nutrient load of Lake Tahoe (California-Nevada). By the time of Classical Antiquity and the Parthian and Sassanid Empires in Iran, iron swords were common. Hackley, 1994. Over time different methods developed all over the world. H. Several different methods of swordmaking existed in ancient times, including most famously pattern welding. Goldman, and S.

Eventually smiths learned that by adding an amount of carbon (added during smelting in the form of charcoal) in the iron, they could produce an improved alloy (now known as steel). R. Early Iron swords were not comparable to later steel blades, being brittle and soft, they were even inferior to good bronze weapons, but the easier production, and the better availability of the raw material for the first time permitted the equipment of entire armies with metal weapons. Axler, C. Iron has the advantage of mass-production due to the wider availability of the raw material. P. The Hittites, the Mycenean Greeks, and the Proto-Celtic Hallstatt culture figured among the early users of iron swords. Reuter, R.

Iron swords became increasingly common from the 13th century BC. E. However Areliux, a celtian chief, made the "simitar" a sword that could kill with one hit. D., J. All in all, these primitive weapons functioned more like sharpened bludgeons. Jassby, A. They were without later incorporated features, such as hilts and pommels. 246: 195-203.

Historians debate the exact size of this first sword, but it is generally accepted that the weapons were bronze bars, sharpened along a single edge, between one and two feet in length. Hydrobiol. These were later dubbed machaira, or sword. Trend, seasonality, cycle, and irregular fluctuations in primary productivity at Lake Tahoe, California-Nevada, USA. When a regiment of Periphero Chortos arrived and witnessed the tanner's use of this curious blade, they requested duplicates of the "arm-length knife" for their own use. 1992. Hephastus hit upon the idea of making larger "knives" to assist the local tanner in skinning animals of their hides. Powell.

Although numerous origin accounts exist, the first sword is believed to have been forged by the Greek bronzeworker Hephastus (2800 B.C.), who would later be deified as the Grecian god of blacksmiths. M. Sword production in China is attested from the Bronze Age Shang Dynasty. Goldman, and T. 1400 BC show characteristic spiral patterns. R. Swords from the Nordic Bronze Age from ca. D., C.

Bronze Age swords with typical leaf-shaped blades first appear near the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, and in Mesopotamia. Jassby, A. The hilt at first simply allowed a firm grip, and prevented the hand from slipping onto the blade when executing a stab. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 69: 63-83. The sword developed from the dagger when the construction of longer blades became possible, from the early 2nd millennium BC. Stream phosphorus transport in the Lake Tahoe Basin, 1989-1996. Humans have manufactured and used bladed weapons from the Bronze Age onwards. Goldman, 2001.

. R. The names given to many swords in mythology, literature, and history reflect the high prestige of the weapon (see list of swords). Reuter, and C. The basic intent and physics of swordsmanship remain fairly constant, but the actual techniques vary between cultures and periods as a result of the differences in blade design and purpose. E. Sword (Old English: sweord; akin to Old High German: swerd, "wounding tool"; Proto-Indo-European: *swer-, "to wound, to hurt") is a term for a long-edged, bladed weapon, consisting in its most fundamental design of a blade, usually with two edges for striking and cutting, a point for thrusting, and a hilt for gripping. K., J.

It is also not unusual for swords to represent reason - as in "cutting through" a series of elements in a problem in order to leave only those with proven relevance, for example. Hatch, L. regiment) of such a corps - as these are numerous, inevitably many variations and combinations (two crossed swords, or with a laurel wreath, crown, national or founder/patron's emblem etcetera) are used. 50: 1489-1496. as symbol of armed force, or of a corps entitled to use force as the strong arm of the law, as in military and police insignia, or of a unit (e.g. Sci. as symbol of power, such as a Sword of State and a Sword of Justice (both can be used as regalia);. Aquat.

Swords are also used as emblem or insignia (in or on formal dress such as uniforms, badges, various objects, even coats of arms), especially:

    . Fish. For example, "sword swallowing" is used as an euphemism of fellatio. Can.J. The sword often functions as a symbol of masculinity and particularly -since its form lends itself to this, especially in erect position- as a phallic symbol of virility. Decadal, interannual, and seasonal variability in enrichment bioassays at Lake Tahoe, California-Nevada, USA. Swords form a suit in the Tarot deck (replaced by spades in the French deck of playing cards). 1993.

    Jesus' statement, "Those who live by the sword shall die by the sword" uses the term in this sense. Hackley. The sword can symbolise violence, combat, or military intervention. H. The shinai, a practice sword, is also used in Japan as a spanking implement, more common in prized private extracurricular schools (illustrated in these 1975 and 1977 articles [2] & [3]) than the US school paddling; in fact hundreds of cases of illegal corporal punishment were reported from public schools as well. Jassby, and S. For example, the Chinese movie Farewell to my concubine (1993 - see IMDb [1]) shows how a flat, not even very hard type of paddle, called the master's sword, is used intensively to discipline young opera trainees both on the (usually bared) buttock and on the hand (even drawing blood). D.

    Similarly paddle-like sword-like devices for physical punishment are used in Asia, in western terms for paddling or caning, depending whether the implement is flat or round. R., A. Real swords can be used to administer various physical punishments: to perform either capital punishment by decapitation (the use of the sword, an honourable weapon on military men, was regarded a privilege) or non-surgical amputation. Goldman, C. The 16th century Zweihänder. 34: 310-323. The longsword (and bastard sword) of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Oceanogr.

    Light duelling swords, like the rapier and the smallsword, in use from Early Modern times. Limnol. The cut & thrust swords of the Renaissance, similar to the older arming sword but balanced for increased thrusting. Interannual fluctuations in primary production: meteorological forcing at two subalpine lakes. The late medieval Swiss baselard and the Renaissance Italian Cinquedea and German Katzbalger essentially re-introduce the functionality of the Spatha, coinciding with the strong cultural movement to emulate the Classical world. 1989. 110 cm. Powell.

    The classical arming sword of the Crusades, measuring up to ca. Jassby, and T. 80–90 cm. R., A. Spatha, measuring ca. Goldman, C. Iron Age swords like the Xiphos, Gladius and Jian 劍, similar in shape to their Bronze Age predecessors. Geological Survey Open-File Report 98-509.

    60 cm, leaf shaped blade. U.S. Bronze Age swords, length ca. The bathymetry of Lake Tahoe, California-Nevada. In European or Asian swords sold today, many advertised "full" tangs may actually involve a forged rat-tail tang. 1998. In a "full" tang (most commonly used in knives and machetes) the tang has about the same width as the blade. Clarke.

    Modern lower quality replicas often feature a "screw-on" pommel or a pommel nut which holds the hilt together and allows dismantling. H. Swordsmiths peened such tangs over the end of the pommel, or occasionally welded the hilt furniture to the tang and threaded the end for screwing on a pommel. Larry, and J. Traditional tangs go through the handle: this gives much more durability than a rat-tail tang. M. In traditional construction, the swordsmith forged the tang as a part of the sword rather than welding it on. Gardner, J., V., A.

    Traditional sword-making does not use this construction method, which does not serve for traditional sword usage as the sword can easily break at the welding point. Climatic Change (In Press). This occurs most commonly in decorative replicas, or cheap sword-like objects. The Warming of Lake Tahoe. In the case of a rat-tail tang, the maker welds a thin rod to the end of the blade at the crossguard; this rod goes through the handle (in 20th-century and later construction). 2006. Goldman.

    R. Richards and C. Schladow, R. Perez-Losada, G.

    N., J. Coats, R. 37: 405-415. Res.

    Water Resour. Patterns of nitrogen transport in streams of the Lake Tahoe basin, California-Nevada. Goldman, 2001. R.

    N., and C. Coats, R. 49: 1206-1215. and Aquatic Sci.

    Fish. Jour. Can. Phosphate and iron limitation of phytoplankton biomass in Lake Tahoe.

    1992. Pasilis. P. Kuwabara, and S.

    S. Y., J. C. Chang, C.

    18: 84-88. Qual. Environ. Jour.

    Land use and water quality in tributary streams of Lake Tahoe, California-Nevada. Goldman, 1989. R. R., and C.

    Byron, E. The North Shore features the Cal Neva Resort (once owned by Frank Sinatra) which has a marked state line running through it (even through its swimming pool). The Reno/Tahoe International Airport in Reno, Nevada and the Chevrolet Tahoe SUV were named after the lake. The lake level is controlled by a dam at the lake's only outlet, the Truckee River, at Tahoe City.

    Although Lake Tahoe is a natural lake, it is also used for water storage by the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District (TCID).
    . See also: List of Tahoe Casinos. In the town of Stateline, near Heavenly Valley, there are myriads of enormous casinos filled all year long.

    Gambling is legal on the Nevada side of the lake, the resort area of Lake Tahoe attracts all kinds of fun seekers, year round. One of the most famous of Tahoe's trails is the Tahoe Rim Trail, a 165 mile trail that circumnavigates the lake. They range in size, length, difficulty, and popularity. There are hundreds of hiking/mountain biking trails all around the lake.

    List of Lake Tahoe Cruise Ships:. List of Tahoe Marinas:. Lake Tahoe also has its own Coast Guard. There are lakefront restaurants all over the Lake, most equipped with docks and Buoys (See the restaurants section) There are all sorts of boating events, such as sailboat racing, firework shows over the lake, guided cruises, and more.

    Boating, the primary activity in Tahoe in the summer, is known worldwide. The two cities most identified with the Lake Tahoe tourist area are South Lake Tahoe, California and the smaller Stateline, Nevada; smaller centers on the northern shoreline include Tahoe City and Kings Beach. During the summer, the lake is popular for water sports and beach activities. There is also Cross Country Skiing, Snowmobile riding, and Snowshoeing.

    Snow tubing is popular among people who are interested in alternative sports. Many ski areas in Tahoe also have Snow tubing, such as Squaw Valley. Some, such as Granlibakken are equipped with rope tows to help sledders get up the hill. Scattered throughout Tahoe are public and private sled parks.

    Some of the major ski areas in Tahoe include:. It gets more snow than anywhere in the United States and more than 99% of the world. Lake Tahoe, in addition to its panaramic beauty, is well known for its blizzards. During ski season, thousands of people from all over California, including Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, flock to the slopes for some of the best skiing in the world.

    Much of the area surrounding Lake Tahoe is devoted to the tourism industry and there many restaurants, ski slopes and casinos catering to visitors. This data set, together with more recently acquired data on urban runoff water quality, is being used by the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board to develop a program (mandated by the Clean Water Act) to limit the flux of nutrients and fine sediment to the Lake. The LTIMP is a cooperative program with support from 12 federal and state agencies with interests in the Tahoe Basin. The objectives of the LTIMP are to acquire and disseminate the water quality information necessary to support science-based environmental planning and decision making in the basin.

    Since 1980, the Lake Tahoe Interagency Monitoring Program (LTIMP) has been measuring stream discharge and concentrations of nutrients and sediment in up to 10 tributary streams in the Lake Tahoe Basin, California-Nevada. Many residents are enraged by the laws that they have passed, especialy those in the Tahoe Lakefront Homeowners Association. Currently, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency is regulating construction along the shoreline (and has won two Federal Supreme Court battles over recent decisions). Construction activities had been linked to a 'clouding' of the amazingly blue waters of the Lake.

    Until recently construction on the banks of the Lake had been, more or less, under the control of wealthy real estate developers. Lake Tahoe has suffered from much use. Since the 1970s, the cladoceran populations have somewhat recovered, but not to former levels. The shrimp provide a food resource for salmon and trout, but also compete with juvenile fish for zooplankton.

    The shrimp began feeding on the Lake’s cladocerans (Daphnia and Bosmina), and their populations virtually disappeared by 1971. In 1963-65, opossum shrimp (Mysis relicta) were introduced to enhance the food supply for the introduced kokanee salmon (Onchorhynchus nerka). Since the 1960s, the Lake’s food web and zooplankton populations have undergone major changes. The warming trend is reducing the frequency of deep mixing in the lake, and may have important effects on water clarity and nutrient cycling.

    Both of these factors are associated with global warming. The warming is caused primarily by increasing air temperatures, and secondarily by increasing downward long-wave radiation. Analysis of the temperature records in Lake Tahoe has shown that the lake warmed (between 1969 and 2002) at an average rate of 0.015 degrees C per year. Dissolved oxygen is relatively high from top to bottom.

    Since 1970, it has mixed to a depth of at least 400 m a total of 6 or 7 times. Lake Tahoe never freezes. Because the volume of the lake is so large (156 km3) and its hydraulic residence time so long (about 650 years), its eutrophication may be essentially irreversible. Now, after a half-century of accelerated nitrogen input (much of it from direct atmospheric deposition), the lake is phosphorus-limited.

    Until the early 1980s, nutrient limitation studies showed that primary productivity in the lake was nitrogen-limited. Fine sediment, much of it resulting from land disturbance in the basin, accounts for about half of the loss in clarity. In spite of land-use planning and export of treated sewage effluent from the basin, the lake is becoming increasingly eutrophic (richer in nutrients), with primary productivity increasing by more than 5% annually, and clarity decreasing at an average rate of 0.25 meters per year. Since the 1980s, development has slowed somewhat due to land use controls.

    From 1960 to 1980, the permanent resident population increased from about 10,000 to greater than 50,000, and the summer population grew from about 10,000 to about 90,000. The post-World War II population and building boom, followed by construction of gambling casinos in the Nevada part of the basin during the mid-1950’s, and completion of the interstate highway links for the 1960 Squaw Valley Olympics, resulted in a dramatic increase in development within the basin. During the first half of this century, development around the lake consisted of a few vacation homes. Public appreciation of the Tahoe basin grew, and during the 1912, 1913, and 1918 Congressional sessions, unsuccessful efforts were made to designate the basin as a national park.

    In 1864, Tahoe City was founded as a resort community for Virginia City, the first recognition of the basin’s potential as a destination resort area. The logging was so extensive that almost all of the native forest was cut. From 1858 until about 1890, logging in the basin supplied large timbers to shore up the underground workings of the Comstock mines. European civilization first made its mark in the Lake Tahoe basin with the 1858 discovery of the Comstock Lode, a silver deposit just 15 miles (24 km) to the east in Virginia City, Nevada.

    Upon discovery of gold in the South Fork of the American River in 1848, thousands of west-bound gold seekers passed near the basin on their way to the gold fields. Putting the state line right through the middle of the lake and then at 39 degrees north latitude, the stateline obliques southeasterly torwards the Colorado River. The compromise to partition Tahoe with 2/3 to California and 1/3 to Nevada was reached when California became a state. It wasn’t until 1945 that it was finally and officially named Lake Tahoe.

    department of interior first introduced the name Tahoe which continued a debate about naming the lake, in which both names were used until well into the next decade. In 1862 the U.S. In 1853 William Eddy, the surveyor general of California, identified Tahoe as Lake Bigler, in honor of California’s governor. After arriving at Sutter's Fort he designated it Lake Bonpland, in honor of the French explorer and botanist Aimé Jacques Alexandre Bonpland.

    On February 14, 1844, while searching for the Bonaventura river he first sighted the lake from Red Lake Peak in what is now the Carson Pass. It was Fremont's 2nd exploratory expedition. Frémont and Kit Carson were the first non-indigenous people to see Lake Tahoe. John C.

    Lt. The area around Lake Tahoe was originally inhabited by the Washoe tribe of Native Americans. The Pleistocene (Ice Age) molded the basin to its current form followed by drainage from ice and snow which filled the lake. Pluto formed a dam on the north side.

    Eruptions from the extinct volcano Mt. Tahoe’s history began 2-3 million years ago when the faults that created the Carson Range simultaneously molded the Tahoe Basin. The lake's position is 39°N, 120°W. Tahoe City, California is located on the lake's northwest shore.

    The south shore is dominated by the lake's largest city, South Lake Tahoe, California, which neighbors Stateline, Nevada. The basin soils (in the <2mm fraction) are generally 65-85% sand (0.05-2.0 mm). Cryopsamments, Cryumbrepts, rockland, rock outcrops and rubble and stoney colluvium account for over 70% of the land area in the basin (see USA soil taxonomy). Some of the valley bottoms and lower hillslopes are mantled with glacial moraines, or glacial outwash material derived from the parent rock.

    Soils of the basin are derived primarily from andesitic volcanic rocks and granodiorite, with minor areas of metamorphic rock. Ceanothus is capable of fixing nitrogen, but mountain alder (Alnus tenuifolia), which grows along many of the basin’s streams, springs and seeps, fixes far greater quantities, and contributes measurably to nitrate-N concentrations in some small streams. The basin also contains significant areas of wet meadows and riparian areas, dry meadows, brush fields (with Arctostaphylos and Ceanothus) and rock outcrop areas, especially at higher elevations. magnifica).

    murrayana), white fir (Abies concolor), and red fir (A. Jeffreyi), lodgepole pine (P. Vegetation in the basin is dominated by a mixed conifer forest of Jeffrey pine (P. As the climate in the northern Sierra warms, hydrologists anticipate that an increasing fraction of the precipitation in basin will fall as rain rather than snow.

    In some years, summertime monsoonal storms from the Great Basin bring intense rainfall, especially to high elevations on the east side of the basin. There is a pronounced annual runoff of snowmelt in late spring and early summer, the timing of which varies from year to year. Most of the precipitation falls as snow between November and April, although rainstorms combined with rapid snowmelt account for the largest floods. Mean annual precipitation ranges from over 140 cm/yr in watersheds on the west side of the basin to about 67 cm/yr near the lake on the east side of the basin.

    Many streams flow into Lake Tahoe, but the lake is drained only by the Truckee River, which flows northeast through Reno, Nevada and into Pyramid Lake in Nevada. Modern Lake Tahoe was shaped and landscaped by the scouring glaciers during the Ice Age (the Great Ice Age began a million or more years ago). Snowmelt filled the southern and lowest part of the basin, forming the ancestral Lake Tahoe, with rain and runoff adding additional water. Some of the highest peaks of the Lake Tahoe Basin that formed during this process were Freel Peak at 10,891 ft (3,320 m), Monument Peak at 10,067 ft (3,068 m) (the present Heavenly Valley Ski Area), Pyramid Peak at 9,983 ft (3,043 m) (in the Desolation Wilderness), and Mount Tallac at 9,735 ft (2,967 m).

    Down-dropped blocks created the Lake Tahoe Basin in between. Uplifted blocks created the Carson Range on the east and the Sierra Nevada on the west. A geologic block fault is a fracture in the Earth's crust causing blocks of land to move up or down. The Lake Tahoe Basin was formed by geologic block (normal) faulting about 2 to 3 million years ago.

    Lake Tahoe is about 22 mi (35 km) long and 12 mi (19 km) wide and has 72 mi (116 km) of shoreline and a surface area of 191 square miles or 495 square kilometers. Nevada seems to have been less active, or less successful, in its conservation efforts. Although for much of Tahoe's circumference, highways run within sight of the lake shore, some important parts of the California shoreline now lie within state parks or are protected by the United States Forest Service. Only Oregon's Crater Lake is deeper at 1930 feet (588 m).

    mi./497 km²) ¹, and highest (6229 feet/1898 m) lakes in the United States. Lake Tahoe is one of the deepest (1645 feet/501 m), largest (192 sq. . The area is home to a number of ski resorts.

    Approximately two-thirds of the shoreline is in California. Lake Tahoe is a freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada, on the border between California and Nevada, near Carson City. While relatively large, Lake Tahoe is only a fraction of the size of the Great Lakes, which dwarf all other lakes in the U.S. Dixie.

    M.S. Tahoe Queen. Tahoe Gal. Tahoe City Marina.

    Sierra Boat Company. Homewood High and Dry Marina. Rose. Mount Rose: a medium sized ski area north-east of the Lake, atop Mt.

    Homewood Ski Resort|Homewood: a medium sized ski area on the west shore. Donner Ski Ranch: a very small ski area on Donner Pass. Sugar Bowl Ski Resort|Sugar Bowl: a medium sized ski area in Donner Pass. Boreal Ski Resort|Boreal: a small ski area on Donner Pass.

    Sierra-at-Tahoe: a small south shore ski area. Kirkwood Ski Resort|Kirkwood: a south shore ski area which gets more snow than any other ski area in Tahoe. Northstar-at-Tahoe: a popular north shore ski area. Diamond Peak: a small ski area located in Incline Village, NV.

    Alpine Meadows: a medium sized ski area on the north shore only a few miles from Squaw Valley. Squaw Valley: the second largest ski area, known for its hosting of the 1960 Winter Olympics, located near Tahoe City. Heavenly Valley: the largest Ski area at Tahoe, located near Stateline, Nevada.

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