This is an extremely rare example of an iron ring-pommel short sword, carried by ancient Roman soldiers in the early days of the Classic Empire. A similar example can be seen exhibited in the British Museum. Complete iron examples are exceedingly scarce since iron rarely preserves as well as bronze or copper. This specimen is complete with all features, and was conserved and treated in our on-site lab. Only a third of the ring required reconstruction, the rest of the sword was intact as you see it. It was acquired from a private British collection formed several decades ago.
The sword was a primary weapon of the Roman infantry at this time, but no all infantry were privileged to carry one, nor could afford one. Of those that did own a sword, only one was carried making ancient swords, one of the scarcest weapons of antiquity and hence, rare to be found in collections. Such an item, in the Early Roman era, would have been extremely expensive, out of reach for the average Roman. An important and recommended artifact for collectors of Ancient Roman militaria.
Be wary of modern copies that have been around for many decades and sold to unsuspecting tourists, as well as found every day in online auctions and curio shops. In our own museum lab facility, we subject to rigorous inspection and authentic every artifact we offer for sale, accompanied by a written lifetime, unconditional guarantee of authenticity and proper identification.
The Classic Roman Empire was a unique association of peoples and places such as the Mediterranean World had never seen before. What had been a patchwork of Hellenistic monarchies, independent city-states, and Celtic tribes was miraculously united into one great political entity. At its peak rule, the Roman Empire stretched from Spain to Syria and England to Egypt. Much of the success of the Empire can be attributed to the protection afforded by its near invincible war machine, the Roman army. Many tactics and weapons were first pioneered by this massive military force and just the thought of having to challenge this entity thwarted many a foreign enemy. Those that were brave (or foolish) enough to go up against Rome's military were quickly made examples of to the rest of the world. The technology and strength of the Roman military was the guardian of this great society in the West for some 500 years.
Our modern world today benefits much from a host of technological innovations first given to us by the ancient Romans. From simple inventions such as blown glass and underground sewer systems to major concepts in engineering and the Roman calendar.