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The City of Swords

Hearkening back to our forbears, weaponry in pre-historic times was a direct product of our environment: spears made of flint or bone, ligneous bows and arrows and stone slings reinforced with vine or hide.  From the time of the Assyrians and Babylonians to the Trojan War upheaval, it was ca. 3300-1200 BC when the copper and bronze age came into prominence with all its advanced implements as copper stabbing swords and protective battle armour.  Though iron was already in use by 2500 BC, it wasn’t really until 1860, relatively late into the industrial revolution, that people began to realise the role of carbon in producing durable steel. Whilst Damascus and Toledo enjoyed their heyday as sword-making metropolises, it was Solingen, Germany that acquired the title “City of Swords” where “the men drink hard and are handy with their knives.”  The region not only enjoyed a wealth of natural resources with its iron ores, but its grinding workshops or Kotten were operated by water power from the adjacent Wupper.  Anything created in Solingen carried the greatest prestige across the European continent, often inscribed with the saying “Me Fecit Solingen” (Solingen Made Me) and engraved with the running wolf emblem, also common to neighboring Passau on the Danube.

Sunday, 20.11.2011
23:45 (Cet)

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