Why was bronze better than iron ?

Romans, Gauls, Greeks and Egyptians - our well documented early history

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Why was bronze better than iron ?

Postby the_power on Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:53 am

So...I was reading my new copy of "Warfare in the Classical World", in my pursuit of classical spear-training techniques, and found this little beauty;

"The usual material for weapons was bronze. Iron is well known in Homer, but is used for making implements, not weapons - though iron arrowheads existed. Methods of producing iron were presumably still primitive, and it appears to be valued as a substitute for bronze, rather than an improvement upon that particular material".

Billy mentioned that in an edge to edge smash, bronze vs. iron sword, the iron sword loses. Are there citations/photos of that ?

John
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Re: Why was bronze better than iron ?

Postby Dave Mooney on Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:50 pm

Well you now own a bronze sword, put it to the test :P
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Re: Why was bronze better than iron ?

Postby the_power on Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:58 pm

Er...no. On a related note...where can you get such 'low quality iron' these days ? Hmm. Maybe we need a bog-iron-extraction-workshop at a gig this year.

John
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Re: Why was bronze better than iron ?

Postby knightofredemption on Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:12 am

I remember seeing a program on weapons damned if I remember the title, but they did the bronze on iron sword test. The bronze sword did indeed come out the best, much to the surprise of the testers. It is also a point (no pun intended) that a bronze weapon can have its cutting edge repaired with no more than a hammer and basic skills, whereas to re-edge an iron weapon requires a forge.
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