Of all the weapons ever invented, none has the mystique of the sword. It remains a symbol of authority and strength even today, long after its day on the battlefield has passed. Swords feature in figures of speech, in statues and monuments, and in company logos. They are used in solemn ceremonies and hung on walls as decoration. The sword remains a potent symbol of authority, strength and power. Yet the word 'sword' can mean entirely different things to different people; the Roman gladius, the Scottish claymore and the rapier are all swords, and they are all quite different from each other. In this book, Martin Dougherty uses his familiarity with historical European swords to take the reader through the background behind each of these weapons and techniques for their use. This is an invaluable guide for all those interested in historical swordsmanship.