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Table of Contents
The first weapons were conceived around 500,000 years ago and ever since they have played a significant part in shaping human history. Cultures from all over the world crafted fighting blades, many of them so elaborately formed and decorated that they are noted for their beauty and craftsmanship as they are for their brutal capabilities.
This stunning book traces the bloody and fascinating history of daggers, dirks and bayonets through to the 21st century. From the appearance of the earliest stabbing tools of the so-named Dagger Period of 15,000 BC it describes the development of these short-edged weapons and their impact upon ancient civilizations such as the Etruscans, Egyptians and Romans. The significance of the dagger in the artistic culture of the Celtic peoples and the role of the scrimasax fighting knife as a Saxon weapon of conquest is also explored. The symbolism of the dagger as part of a knight's armoury is covered, and its importance as a civilian weapon during the Medieval and Renaissance periods as well as in 19th-century America.
The book looks at the journey played by fighting blades in military combat from hand-held stabbing tools, to the famous Highland dirk, to the bayonets of World Wars I and II, and 20th-century Commando knives. Weapons from around the world are described, from the Indian Katar to the Japanese Tanto. The book looks at the technical and military accomplishments leading up to the short-edged blade's present-day role as a military weapon, as well as its transformation into an object of modern art.
This comprehensive and fully illustrated history of short-edged weapons will be an indispensable resource for both the amateur enthusiast and professional collector. Shown in over 225 beautiful photographs, these extraordinary pieces of craftsmanship will fascinate anyone with an interest in the weapons that have shaped the world.