Higgins Armory Museum

Solely dedicated to arms and armor

Higgins Museum

The Story of the Sword

What makes a sword a sword?
Why do we continue to tell stories about them?

The most famous swords today are the ones that never existed—King Arthur’s Excalibur, Aragorn’s Anduril, the lightsaber of the Jedi Masters. In this gallery you will see the real thing: swords of ancient warriors, swords of medieval knights, swords of American soldiers. They come in many shapes and sizes: which one would you choose?

Follow the story of swords, swordsmen, and swordsmiths, through nearly fifty examples from across the centuries — from ancient bronze versions, through the knightly swords of the Middle Ages, to the ceremonial swords of the modern age. Explore the physical evolution of the weapon as well as its changing meanings to the people who used them. Feel the heft of a medieval two-handed sword. Discover the ancient secrets of sword manufacture and the art of swordplay.