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From Newstead, Roxburghshire

Postcard of Sword.
© National Museums Scotland


This iron sword was found at the site of the Roman fort at Newstead in Roxburghshire. It would have formed part of the equipment of a member of the auxiliary cavalry between 80 and 100 AD.

The long, narrow sword is a type known as a spatha. It has a midrib and well-preserved tang.

There were two classes of Roman soldiers: the elite legionary and the ordinary auxiliary soldier, each with its own type of equipment. In the late 2nd century, the auxiliary cavalry began to carry a longer sword than ones used by legionaries.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-036-827-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.FRA 134
Date: Between 80 and 100 AD
Material: Iron
Dimensions: 24.50" L; tang 6.00" L; blade 1.38" at hilt
What: Sword, auxiliary / spatha
Who: Newstead Collection
Where: Scotland, Roxburghshire, Melrose, Newstead
Description: Roman auxiliary sword or spatha, from Newstead
  • Curle, J. A Roman frontier post and its people: the fort of Newstead. Glasgow: MacLehose, 1911, p. 183, Pl. XXXIV, No. 6. 
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