“Stick Them with the Pointy End”: The Knowledge-scape of Sword Fighting in Archaic Central Italy
Learning to fight with a sword is not a straightforward task: it takes years and intense practice to master a fighting discipline. Although having previous knowledge on how to use a different sword can be useful, it does not guarantee quick learning. In the case of warrior societies, investing into the training becomes a matter of survival, as warriors entrust their weaponry with their lives. Around the end of the seventh century BC, a radical change in sword typology involved most of Central Italy. Although the area of origin of these new objects is still unclear, they soon appeared all over the region under examination. In this paper, I will investigate the mechanisms of reception, appropriation and local adaptation of a communal and widespread combat style in order to outline their role in the definition of Central Italian pre-Roman identity/identities.