Although used primarily for stabbing, it was superbly balanced and, in skilled hands, could lop off limbs and heads. It was forged from pure Spanish iron, and smiths reputedly tested a blades flexibility by resting the flat against the top of their heads and pulling down with both hands at the hilt and tip, until the two ends touched their shoulders. Abruptly released, the blade sprang back into it's original straight form.
In the hands of Rome's legionaries, the gladius was probably responsible for more deaths than any other sword in the Ancient world, and it's basic design remained unchanged for centuries.
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