Normally, the sickle would have been used for agricultural purposes in ancient times only in the later Medieval Era, being mounted on a large shaft as a pole weapon. No doubt, the large cutting blade and piercing tip of the end would make the sickle not only an effective deadly weapon, but one of great intimidation! This set includes two (one socketed and one tanged) large ancient iron Roman sickles. According to the European collector we acquired this from, they were originally discovered in association with a multitude of scattered weapons from an ancient battle in Eastern Europe by the Roman Byzantine armies. Such emergency use of tools normally not intended for combat, as weapons in battle, has been recorded in many different instances over ancient history. Even in the last 100 years, hunting and sport firearms have been found alongside military arms on historical battlefields.
An interesting feature of one of these to validate the claim of battlefield association is the fact that the heavy tang of one is severely bent at a right angle. There is NO WAY this damage would have occurred in normal agricultural use but if slammed against an armored enemy, such damage would be the norm. Both of these rare complete examples would have been mounted on a pole or in a wooden handle. Agricultural tools found on ancient battlefields, tell a unique story of desperation of arms and/or unexpected conflicts of the local people against invading armies.
Professionally cleaned and conserved in our on-site lab.
Unlike most metal artifacts sold on the market that are untreated and uncleaned, our specimens our properly cleaned, inspected and conserved in our museum conservation lab prior to being offered for sale to our clients. Every piece we offer is cleaned, stabilized and treated in our facility. If not treated properly, metal ancient artifacts will most likely deteriorate into further corrosion and possibly disintegrate into pieces, over time.
Perhaps no other epoch in history is so unique, extensive and yet, as much forgotten as that of the Byzantine Roman Empire. From the founding of its new capitol in Constantinople, 330 AD to its final fall to the Ottoman invaders in 1453, over eleven hundred years of history has virtually been lost in most minds of the Western world. Ironically, it is this exact history that has extensively shaped the Western cultures today, especially those of the Christian faith.
No event in Western history was probably more pivotal than that of the Christian conversion of the Roman emperor Constantine I. Up to that time, Christians were heavily persecuted by many of the previous emperors and the religion was outlawed. That would all change in 324 AD with a miraculous military victory and subsequent conversion to Christianity by Constantine I at the Milvian Bridge. From this point on, Christianity became the official religion of the Empire. A new capitol was established in Constantinople (present day Istanbul, Turkey) and power was fully transferred from Rome to Constantinople in 476 AD. It was not the end of the Roman Empire but a continuation and fascinating transformation of Roman rule that would last for another one thousand years!
In the Byzantine Period, the Roman Empire and Christianity were completely interwoven. It was the quintessential example of the UNION of church and state. What was once the ancient world's greatest enemy of the faith, overnight became its most devoted advocate. The classic architecture, style of dress, and overall appearance of all that was "Old Rome" took on a new and intricate style that the world has never seen before or since. This was not only attributed to the influence of the capitol's new geographic location, but also to the foremost prominence of Christianity in the Roman world.
A well-known remnant of the Byzantine Period is the stunning and unique art of the religious Icons. This abstract spiritual style can be immediately recognized and is evident in not only paintings and mosaics but also the era's architecture and coins. What was once thought of as crude numismatic issues are now appreciated as highly stylized symbols of the Romans' devout faith.
After the establishment of Constantinople as the new capitol and navel of the Roman world, the Empire continued for almost a millennium eventually bridging ancient and medieval history but not without its share of enemies. Numerous challenges of foreign armies took its toll on defenses and finally, on May 29, 1453 AD, the Muslim Ottomans overran the crumbling city walls and the sun set forever on the greatest empire that the ancient world had ever known.