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Sword Mythology

Throughout epic literature, fictional films and mythology, swords – especially those with names – were the marks of great heroes. King Arthur’s Excalibur; the image of Star Wars’ Darth Vader crossing saber beams with Luke Skywalker; Beowulf’s Hrunting; Ulysses’ Aor in the Iliad; Charlemagne’s Flamberge (“The Flame Cutter”); Japanese legend, Ama No Murakumo Tsurugi (“Sword of the Gathering Clouds of Heaven”); and Siegried’s Nothung from the Niebulungenlied – in each instance, the swords possess a form of mystical or superstitious undertow. The coltello d’amore is a real life example of this custom. In certain areas of central and southern Italy there was a widespread tradition of giving knives as tokens of engagement or marriage gifts. The blades were inscribed with hearts, doves, flowering branches or the initials of the lovers. It was also embellished with the “occhi di dado” a true amulet meant to ward off the evil eye.

Wednesday, 30.11.2011
23:45 (Cet)

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