There can be a variety of swords with different pasts. Each sword is unique and some stories are simply quite unexplainable. If you believe in myths, then you’re in for a mysterious ride in a roller coaster of awesome yet peculiar swords that you might just want to know about.
Here are the top six mysterious swords.
King Arthur’s Sword
Excalibur, the sword of King Arthur, is a famous sword that has been portrayed through series of books, movies, and legends. According to the legend, only the true prince can pull it out of the stone. And if you watched the series entitled “Merlin”, King Arthur used the sword to fight against the forces of his archenemy Morgana. Excalibur is based on the Arthurian legend which is mostly a creation of folklore and myth.
But there is actual evidence that the sword in the stone is real… just not called Excalibur.
It is believed that it was Saint Galgano, a 12th Century knight ordered by the Archangel Michael to surrender and give up his sinful ways. To prove his point he proved it by breaking his sword on a massive chunk of rock. Unexpectedly, the sword went through the stone easily it felt just like slicing butter. He then left the sword inside the stone, and changed his sinful ways.
Word spread of what had happened and historians believe that the story of Galgano is where the legend of Arthur’s sword came to be known.
Right now, in the chapel in Monte Siepi Italy, lies an ancient sword that is embedded in a stone. As proof, University of Pavia’s Luigi Garlaschelli carbon dated the sword to 12th Century, which was the duration of Saint Galgano’s lifetime.
Cursed Muramasa Blades
Another peculiar weapon is the Muramasa blades forged by Muramasa himself. He was well-known in creating beautiful and exceptional blades. But that wasn’t enough for him. He prayed to the gods to make his swords powerful and be worthy enough to be called “the great destroyers.” According to legend, he pleaded to the gods to make his swords powerful enough to be called as “great destroyers”. The gods heard him and imbued a bloodthirsty spirit inside the blade. But it had a catch: if it doesn’t kill, it drives its wielder to murder or to suicide. There are a many stories of wielders going mad or becoming suicidal.
These stories afterwards circulated and made people believe that the blades were cursed. It even killed almost everyone in Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu’s family: his grandfather became crazy just for wielding the blades, Ieyasu and his father got wounded by it, and both his wife and adopted son got executed by the cursed swords. In spite of what happened, the worst thing Ieyasu did was just to ban these swords.
Sword in the snake
According to myths, Kusanagi was discovered inside the body of an eight-headed serpent which was killed by the gods of the seas and storms.It then became an icon of the Imperial Regalia of Japan’s family as a symbol of their right to rule.
It is said that the the Kusanagi is hidden in the Atsuta shrine found in Nagano Prefecture. No one has evidently seen the sword for it’s never been on public display for centuries. Moreover, it is only brought out (with wrappings) only for imperial coronation ceremonies.
The only thing keeping it alive throughout history is with authorities never confirming nor denying that the sword does exist. But there was one moment – in World War II – when the late Emperor Hirohito ordered the keepers of the divine regalia to “defend them at all costs”.
Another mysterious sword is king Charlemagne’s Joyeuse. Witnesses said that it changed colors 30 times every day and it was so bright that it even outshone the sun.
In 1271, two swords called Joyeuse were part of French coronation ceremonies. But since there can’t be two Joyeuse, it is still a mystery which of the two is the true sword of the Roman Emperor.
One Joyeuse resides in the Louvre suffered heavy modification throughout its lifetime. The other one is called the saber of Charlemagne, is in the Imperial Treasury in Vienna.
In 1965, a 2,000 year-old rust-free sword was found in a tomb in China. When an archeologist tested the sword’s edge, it smoothly drew blood remarkably. Archeologists are amazed as to how the sword’s etchings were crafted.
Accordingly, the sword belonged to Yue king, Goujian. Furthermore, it is believed that it is the actual legendary blade that was mentioned in The Lost History of Yue. Based on what was written, it was the only worthy sword of the king; a sword superior than the rest that it was thought to be created with the combined power of heaven and earth.
You might be thinking.. “How exactly was the sword preserved throughout the ages?”
Well, tests showed that the swordsmiths of the king was able to reach a high level of metallurgy and got treated with rust-proof chemicals to make them survive. In addition, the scabbard of the blade was so airtight, that it prevented oxidation and made through over 2 millennia.
This one definitely tops the list. According to legend, William Wallace used human skin for his sword’s belt, hilt, and scabbard. You might be thinking.. Who in their right mind would do that? Well, Hugh de Cressingham, the treasurer of Scotland, became the donor after getting defeated in the battle of Stirling Bridge.
This legend spread further and even reached King James IV. When he heard about the gruesome sword of Wallace, he commanded him to change the parts into something more appropriate for his sword.
Right now, the sword is in the National Wallace Monument, with its changed parts.
What a ride!
These sword legends are just a few with mesmerizing pasts. One can never be sure of what’s true and that’s what’s exciting, making the ride fun and invigorating! Wouldn’t it be so awesome to keep all these swords? Swords that are more than just their blades?