The Iberian Falcata was an ancient savage and brutal chopping sword favored by the Carthagian general Hannibal adapted from earlier agricultural tools.
While most sword companies that have a selection of ancient world swords produce one, Kingdom of Arms version deserves the closest look. And while it is not perfect, it may be one of the best production models of an Iberian Falcata currently available.
So let's see how it stacks up.
Review by SBG member Aikidoka
The falcata is a type of sword
typical of pre-Roman Iberia. The falcata was used to great effect for
warfare in the ancient Iberian peninsula, and is firmly associated with
the southern Iberian tribes, among other ancient peoples of Hispania. It
was highly prized by the ancient general Hannibal, who equipped
Carthaginian troops with it during the Second Punic War.
Roman armies in the Second Punic War and later, during the Conquest of Hispania, were surprised by the quality of the weapons used by Iberian mercenaries and warriors. The overall quality of the falcata came not only from the shape, but also from the quality of the iron. It is said that steel plates were buried in the ground for two to three years, corroding the weaker steel from them, but this is technically nonsensical as the higher carbon content of the 'better' steel makes it more vulnerable to chemical corrosion.
The falcata has a single-edged blade that pitches forward towards the point, the edge being concave near the hilt, but convex near the point. The grip is typically hook-shaped, the end often stylized in the shape of a horse or a bird. There is often a thin chain connecting the hooked butt of the Iberian with the hilt. The falcata is distinguished from its Greek counterpart, the kopis, by the fact that its blade is double-edged for about half its length.
I am not affiliated with Kingdom of Arms. I received this sword as a free sample for the purpose of test and review.
The blade has firescale from
heat treatment. The edge and fullers were ground in and the firescale
was left everywhere else. Initially, I saw this as an odd choice
aesthetically, but then I read that surviving original falcata have a
dark finish (magnetite). Historically, this was a completely different
process for darkening the blade that would have been performed after the
sword was completed. The combination of dark firescale and brightly
polished steel is an attractive and appropriate look for this brutal
The blade came with a very sharp factory edge. Most European sword reproductions don't come with very sharp edges, so it is unfortunately rare and noteworthy that this falcata, and the Irish ring pommel sword from Kingdom of Arms that I reviewed previously, both came with sharp edges.
The blade has very little distal taper. It is also lacking the false edge on the last half of the blade that Iberian falcata typically had. The addition of distal taper and the false edge would improve the handling characteristics for this sword and allow it to thrust more effectively.
The hilt of this falcata has blackened iron guard and pommel. The pommel is a stylized lion head. The grip is made of a light colored wood and the shape is very comfortable in the hand.
This falcata comes with a wood and leather scabbard with brass and iron accents. The iron end cap is held on by a brass strap.
As was mentioned above, the weight of this falcata is 5.5 oz heavier than advertised and has very little distal taper. If the blade had more significant distal taper and if a false edge was ground in for half the length of the blade, the weight would be closer to the advertised numbers and the sword's handling would be significantly improved.
During the test cutting, I found this falcata to be a powerful chopper that cut very well when a chopping motion was incorporated into the overall cutting motion. It cut through both soft tatami and hard wooden dowels very cleanly.
The Bottom Line
Clyde Hollis mentioned that he feels that this falcata is superior to the other falcata that are being sold today. Compared to the Windlass, Del Tin, Legacy Arms and Deepeeka falcatas, which all weigh close to 3 lbs, I would certainly agree with statement. It can be improved quite a bit with increased distal taper and the addition of a false edge. But overall, I like this Iberian falcata and I very much enjoyed cutting with this sword.
I hope this review of the Kingdom of Arms Iberian Falcata has been helpful. To return to Modern Replicas of Ancient Swords from Iberian Falcata by Kingdom of Arms, click here