legendary/mythic swords

Topics which don't fit comfortably in any of the other forums go here. Spamming is not tolerated.
Forum rules
- Please use the forum attachment system for jam images, or link to the CG site specific to the Jam.
- Mark threads containing nudity in inlined images as NSFW
- Read The rules post for specifics

legendary/mythic swords

Postby Dracomax on Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:32 pm

So, I research things as the whim strikes me, and for a while now, I've been wanting to gather a good list of legendary swords from around the globe. I've got a pretty decent sized list, but there is a definite bias in favor of europe.

Not only that, but half of what I can find does not actually tell anything about the legends from which the swords come.
So, I thought, what's the most diverse group of people I know, who might be able to help me or direct me towards better information?

So.... how about it?
ImageImageImage
You and TRI are the crazy mad ones.~Cope
Give a man a fire, keep him warm for a day; set a man on fire, keep him warm for life.~unknown
User avatar
Dracomax
Cartoon Hero
 
Posts: 1145
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 10:13 pm
Location: in a defective ficional universe

Re: legendary/mythic swords

Postby Joel Fagin on Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:41 pm

Kusanagi no Tsurgi, the Grasscutting Sword. Unlike Excalibur, Grasscutter is a confirmed, historical Japanese sword with the pre-requisite un-confirmed mythical godly origins. It's one of the three treasures of the Mikado and was either lost at the bottom of the sea in the battle of Dan-no-ura, obliterated during bombings in World War 2, or not lost at all. It - or a duplicate - is currently kept in the Atsuta Shrine.

If you want more information, the story of Grasscutter was turned into a comic by Stan Sakai using his Edo-period samurai rabbit hero Miyamoto Usagi. It's an adventure comic but the mythology and history is very well researched and Sakai's references are at the back of the collected edition. Look for Usagi Yojimbo: Grasscutter. The sequel, Grasscutter 2: Journey to Atsuta Shrine also fills in some historical gaps.

- Joel Fagin
Image
User avatar
Joel Fagin
nothos adrisor (GTC)
 
Posts: 6015
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 1:15 am
Location: City of Lights

Re: legendary/mythic swords

Postby Dracomax on Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:23 pm

thanks! I didn't know that the kusanagi-no-tsurugi had been turned into a comic. I hadn't actually been able to find much information on it other than the story on how it's name was changed.

Right now, I'm completely lacking any sword legends from africa or the americas, and I have only 1 each from china, japan, and vietnam.
ImageImageImage
You and TRI are the crazy mad ones.~Cope
Give a man a fire, keep him warm for a day; set a man on fire, keep him warm for life.~unknown
User avatar
Dracomax
Cartoon Hero
 
Posts: 1145
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 10:13 pm
Location: in a defective ficional universe

Re: legendary/mythic swords

Postby Joel Fagin on Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:52 pm

I should say that the comic is fiction. Sort of. The stuff that happens to the hero - Usagi - is in Edo-period Japan and, while historically accurate in the details, is definitely fiction. However, because it involves Kusanagi, the comic gives you the back story as well, and that's non-fiction.

Er... As far as any myth can be non-fiction. Anyway, it has that list of references in the back.

I'm not sure the native Americans and Africans even had swords.

- Joel Fagin
Image
User avatar
Joel Fagin
nothos adrisor (GTC)
 
Posts: 6015
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 1:15 am
Location: City of Lights

Re: legendary/mythic swords

Postby Phact0rri on Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:08 pm

Joel Fagin wrote:I'm not sure the native Americans and Africans even had swords.


The Aztecs had Macuahuitl which were essentially wooden swords fitted with shards of obsidian. Its often refered to as an "axe sword" by most Native american historians. also though also not a sword the Incans crafted knives up to twelve inches long. Though there were some tribes that were very much focused on fighting, to my knowledge of the spirituality of various tribes, I can't say I've ever heard of weapons of death adhere to mystic status. as our legends don't work that way. The brave warrior has been attributed to mystic status... but tools with mundane purpose rarely ever are looked that way. unless you count pipe-hawks. but even then I've never heard a story of one of them being mystical beyond its place in ceremony.
Image
<KittyKatBlack> You look deranged. But I mean that in the nicest way possible. ^_^;
User avatar
Phact0rri
The Establishment (Moderator)
The Establishment (Moderator)
 
Posts: 5775
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 12:04 pm
Location: ????

Re: legendary/mythic swords

Postby Dracomax on Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:28 pm

I know africans had swords http://www.hamillgallery.com/SITE/Knives.html
I just haven't ever been able to find any legendary or mythical swords from them.
ImageImageImage
You and TRI are the crazy mad ones.~Cope
Give a man a fire, keep him warm for a day; set a man on fire, keep him warm for life.~unknown
User avatar
Dracomax
Cartoon Hero
 
Posts: 1145
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 10:13 pm
Location: in a defective ficional universe

Re: legendary/mythic swords

Postby Wendybird on Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:54 pm

Here's an African one: http://www.answers.com/topic/shibeika-t ... munshattih

African sword myths in general are complicated by the fact that one of their more widespread gods(gu, ogun) is sort of the spirit of metal and also became a sword belonging to another god. But all the stories are so different because they did travel all over Africa.
User avatar
Wendybird
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 428
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 9:35 am
Location: PA

Re: legendary/mythic swords

Postby Tim on Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:26 pm

If you haven't already, Wikipedia is a good place to start.
Image
Alternate Delusions - Symbiotically Enhanced for Your Pleasure
A member of Comic Ostrich
User avatar
Tim
Cartoon Hero
 
Posts: 3266
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2004 10:42 pm
Location: Bay State, ol' Bay State, I lift my heart to you (bum bum bum)

Re: legendary/mythic swords

Postby Bustertheclown on Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:29 pm

I suspect it's going to be hard to get definitive research on Native American, African, and Oceanic blades, because so much of these civilizations were broken up and destroyed by interloping during European expansion. Since so much of these cultures were still small in population, and those populations were mostly loosely networked tribes with no written language, there isn't much to go on. Considering that mystic beliefs were very strong amongst so many of these cultures, including the imbuement of power within objects through craft and ceremony, it stands to reason that something like a legendary blade of some kind might have existed, especially among particularly martial or hunter/gatherer societies. Of course, again, if the oral tradition is lost, and so much of it is, then you might be out of luck.

It might help you to research specific civilizations within Africa and the Americas, and the myths/artifacts that are known about them. In North America, you have the Adena, Hopewell, and Mississippian civilizations in the East; you have the Haida, Tlingit, Kwakiutl, and Inuit in the Northwest; you have the Anasazi, Hohokam, and Mogollon in the Southwest. I know that there are artifacts that show incredible organization amongst the Eastern civilizations, and there are finely crafted metal artifacts, which might have led to metal bladed weapons. The Haida and Tlingit were at least knowledgeable in copper working. Whether they progressed beyond copper, or forged metal weapons, I'm not expert enough to say.

In Central/South America, there are the Inca, Maya, and Aztec, at least that's as fare as my knowledge goes.

As far as Africa goes, there was, of course, the Egyptians, and other Nubian civilizations. However, I couldn't tell you too much about many others, so I Googled it, and found this: http://wsu.edu/~dee/CIVAFRCA/CONTENTS.HTM
Perhaps it can provide you some leads to myths or stories involving great weapons.

That's all I got for now. I hope it might help, at least as a kicking-off point.
"Just because we're amateurs, doesn't mean our comics have to be amateurish." -McDuffies

http://hastilyscribbled.comicgenesis.com
User avatar
Bustertheclown
Cartoon Hero
 
Posts: 2365
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2004 9:17 pm
Location: ATOMIC!

Re: legendary/mythic swords

Postby MixedMyth on Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:10 pm

Phact0rri wrote:
Joel Fagin wrote:I'm not sure the native Americans and Africans even had swords.


The Aztecs had Macuahuitl which were essentially wooden swords fitted with shards of obsidian. Its often refered to as an "axe sword" by most Native american historians.


Fun fact: those swords could take a horse's head off. =D it's hard to get anything that's sharper than obsidian/glass. Only problem is that you have to continually replace the shards because they chip easily.

Let's see, mythical sorts...

Excalibur
Hrunting
The swords that Masamune made
oh hell, here's a whole list of them

As for sword types, the Egyptians had the kopesh. It had an interesting shape... go straight for a bit, then curves like a sickle. I don't really think it was used all that much, not like Spears. You don't see it in a lot of artwork but it did exist.

As for Central and South American civilizations, those were the big three monumental ones... but there were a lot of others. Toltec, Mixtec, Zapotec, or even Olmec if you go way back. and that's just a few. The problem is, outside of those three the others haven't been studied nearly as much. which is a pity. I mean, we are talking about a landmass that's larger than the continent. Think of all the different cultures in Europe... and South America plus Central America is a lot larger than that. In fact, at least once or twice within the last few years I've read about entirely new sites for previously unknown civilizations being discovered. And I mean massive civilizations. I remember being told about one that was pretty much an empire whose total land was about equivalent to that of the Roman empire... or larger.
ImageImage Mixed Myth
Etsy Shop- for masks and gamer greeting cards
User avatar
MixedMyth
Cartoon Villain
 
Posts: 6308
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2002 4:00 pm
Location: Niether here nor there

Re: legendary/mythic swords

Postby McDuffies on Sat Apr 04, 2009 6:13 am

I have nothing useful to add to this thread.
User avatar
McDuffies
Bob was here (Moderator)
Bob was here (Moderator)
 
Posts: 29937
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 1999 4:00 pm
Location: Serbia

Re: legendary/mythic swords

Postby Phact0rri on Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:39 am

MixedMyth wrote:As for Central and South American civilizations, those were the big three monumental ones... but there were a lot of others. .


there were many civilations trading places amongst the americas, and also there were many nomadic tribes that also were living around those areas. However like I mentioned before, mystical weapons were not common to many of the first nations. I can't say I've ever heard about a weapon being praised in giving power to a brave or warrior. I am not the end all authority on such subjects but I've heard many stories and read much about pre-american history. Its a passion of mine for obvious reasons. Of course as you say, there much unknown about the earliest civilations, but that can be said by many of the early european civilations. For the most part most part we are still uncovering things all the time. but myths are something totally different.

The oral history is important, and these stories often were traded and passed from generation to generation. Though some of the early civilations are lost to us (surely not the Toltec and mixtec, which are very well known), the stories are still alive. many of what we know about the 'mud people' is from the stories they have given us, and laws and understanding we have based much wisdom on. Of course not much in concrete evidence, they are celebrated as our stars and their stories and legends are instigated in much of the culture. Its really why the loosing of the oral tradition of the first nations is really scary. as when the songs and stories die so will the colourful history of our lost brothers and sisters.

sorry thats more of a rant... hope you'll all forgive me.
Image
<KittyKatBlack> You look deranged. But I mean that in the nicest way possible. ^_^;
User avatar
Phact0rri
The Establishment (Moderator)
The Establishment (Moderator)
 
Posts: 5775
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 12:04 pm
Location: ????

Re: legendary/mythic swords

Postby MixedMyth on Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:30 am

not to mention losing languages, since languages themselves are encoded with meanings that you might not specifically find in a different one. Just look at the word home... it doesn't just mean 'house.'

Anyway, I mostly come at this from an archaeological point of view with a smattering of cultural anthropology, the latter of which really only tells me how much I don't know about contemporary first nation cultures.from an archaeological standpoint, I don't remember anything about special named weapons either. But a lot of the really old cultures didn't necessarily have writing like the Inca, Maya, and Aztec did/do so it's really hard to say since a lot of those oral traditions have been lost. I don't remember anything from the Inca, Mayan, or Aztec either but it's not like I have sat down and read the Popal Vu all the way through or studied the in-depth oral histories that survived.there were and are a lot of different cultures spread across the continent, so maybe somewhere a culture has something like that... but I sure couldn't say.but if we're talking specifically about swords, it's probably not very likely is the only 'sword' I can think of was the Aztec one(or variants thereof), although there have been some very large knives.

I will say that the Norse sure likes naming weapons and things in general. This may be where a lot of the trends for naming magic weapons in European stories came from, although that probably an unfounded thing for me to say. nevertheless, there's tons of them in old Norse, Irish, French, English, and Germanic tales. of course, the Norse really got around and were critical in forming parts of these cultures.especially England and Normandy in France. and of course, the Norse and Germanic tribes were very much related. point being, they all shared some traditions even though they developed their own cultures, and this might well be one of them.

Oh yeah, here's a better list of sorts with names
ImageImage Mixed Myth
Etsy Shop- for masks and gamer greeting cards
User avatar
MixedMyth
Cartoon Villain
 
Posts: 6308
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2002 4:00 pm
Location: Niether here nor there

Re: legendary/mythic swords

Postby Phact0rri on Sat Apr 04, 2009 1:09 pm

Its important to discuss Kung fu. To the chinese the martial arts were more than just fighting, it incorparates myth and culture as well. The Juian sword held by bodhisattva Mañjuśrī was called 'the sword of wisdom'. Also if your talking fictional weapons don't forget The Green Destiny from Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon that to was a Juian. I suppose there are probably others related to the eighteen arms of Wushu. As they got thier places in Kung Fu for signifigant reasons. Probably an immortal all wielded one of these or something.
Image
<KittyKatBlack> You look deranged. But I mean that in the nicest way possible. ^_^;
User avatar
Phact0rri
The Establishment (Moderator)
The Establishment (Moderator)
 
Posts: 5775
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 12:04 pm
Location: ????

Re: legendary/mythic swords

Postby KWill on Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:33 am

I see Nagelring hasn't made it onto the wikilist. It was the sword of Dietrich von Bern (the poetic version of Theodric the Great).
User avatar
KWill
Cartoon Hero
 
Posts: 2421
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 9:37 am
Location: Disappointed

Re: legendary/mythic swords

Postby BrownEyedCat on Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:02 am

I'm surprised not only at how few genuine mythic swords there seem to be, but at how many of them boil down to 'was once used by this legendary figure' and may or may not have done anything special in and of themselves.

That's pretty cool from a storytelling point of view, actually.
Image

Image
Previously Catrine until my account crashed.
User avatar
BrownEyedCat
Cartoon Hero
 
Posts: 1848
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2002 11:24 pm
Location: Lurking in the Corners

Re: legendary/mythic swords

Postby Dracomax on Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:17 am

What surprises me is how many could have feasibly been the same sword, supposing they existed at all. For instance, out of the norse swords, many of them do exactly the same thing, and just kind of dissapear at the end of the story.
ImageImageImage
You and TRI are the crazy mad ones.~Cope
Give a man a fire, keep him warm for a day; set a man on fire, keep him warm for life.~unknown
User avatar
Dracomax
Cartoon Hero
 
Posts: 1145
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 10:13 pm
Location: in a defective ficional universe


 

Return to Off Topic



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest