The Roman Gladius
From the 3rd Century BC the Romans adopted the gladius style sword from the Celtiberian tribes of Hispania (modern day Spain). It was then issued as the main combat weapon of the Roman Legionary. With a maximum length of only 32” it was suited to the Roman’s close combat fighting style.
Variations of the gladius were created with a longer bladed version for mounted cavalry troops and a wooden training version was used by both the army and in gladiatorial schools. The ultimate honour for a gladiator in Ancient Rome was to be presented with a wooden gladius (rudis) which stated that they were now free.