Think the pen is mightier than the sword? Then you haven’t heard of these bad boys. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our Top 10 "Mythological Swords."
For this list, we’ll be looking at the coolest swords from both mythological stories and legends. These blades are famous for cutting, slicing, and sometimes even blinding the enemies of their wielders.
This scimitar was brought down from heaven by the Lord of Angels Jibraeel and given to Muhammad. He would then pass it on to his cousin and son-in-law Ali ibn Abi Talib, who would go on to use it in many great battles. The sword features a unique split tip which gives it a scissors-like appearance. It also has a trademark jagged blade. This weapon is iconic to many peoples in the Middle East. It’s so famous that its name is even inscribed on other swords.
You know a sword is scary when its name means “Source of Joy.” This is one of several weapons belonging to the Hindu god Vishnu and his avatars. Though many of his other weapons have long and detailed histories, this one is more enigmatic. Vishnu is said to use Nandaka to cut through the darkness of ignorance, and as such it has become associated with knowledge. So, if you’re ever having a problem with an exam, just hack away at it a few times with Nandaka.
When your nickname is the “Scourge of God,” you need a really awesome sword to back up your reputation. This blade was apparently found by a shepherd after one of his sheep accidentally stepped on it. It was then brought to the King of the Huns. According to some accounts, Attila immediately recognized it as the Sword of God, which was said to be a gift from the God of War. He also took it as a sign that he was destined to conquer the world. Obviously. With this weapon in hand, Attila the Hun set off to invade Europe and strike fear in the decaying Roman Empire.
This is the legendary sword that belonged to Sigmund of the Volsunga Saga. During the wedding of Sigmund’s sister, a strange man appeared and thrust his sword in the trunk of the tree Barnstokkr. This was probably a normal occurrence for its day. However, this stranger turned out to be none other than the Norse God Odin. He proclaimed that anyone who could remove the sword could have it, and that it would bring them many victories. Sigmund was the only one who could get it out. The sword would later be passed down to Sigmund’s son, Sigurd, who would use it to slay the dragon Fafnir.
“Amir Arsalan” is a classic Persian epic, in which the protagonist must face down many dangers. One of these is the fierce horned demon Fulad-zereh, who is rumored to be invincible. His witch mother used her considerable skills to make the demon invulnerable to everything but this particular sword, which was incredibly valuable and is said to have belonged to King Solomon himself. According to legend, the slightest nick from this mighty blade meant death, unless it was quickly treated by a special potion. Since the ingredients of that potion included Fulad-zereh’s brain, it’s easy to see why the demon kept the blade closely guarded.
You better believe that the renowned Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne would want a special sword—and Joyeuse is certainly that. After all, how many other swords can claim to have within them a part of the same spear that pierced Jesus as he hung on the cross? Like every legendary sword, it’s said that no blade could ever match Joyeuse. It was rumored that the sword could turn many colors, and that it was so bright that it blinded the enemies of Charlemagne on the battlefield. Too bad the soldiers of the Middle Ages didn’t have sunglasses.
Masamune was a priest widely regarded as the greatest swordsmith in Japanese history. According to legend, one of Masamune’s pupils was Muramasa, whose swords were considered cursed because he wished them to be used for deadly purposes. Muramasa challenged Masamune to a sword making competition and created a blade that cut everything it touched. By contrast, Masamune’s sword cut only those things which deserved cutting. Another sword, the Honjo Masamune, was perhaps Masamune’s finest achievement, and would represent the Shogunate during the Edo Period. The blade was officially designated as a Japanese National Treasure, but tragically became lost after World War II.
#3: Glory of Ten Powers
At last—a sword powered by the magic of love. According to Chinese literature, the Glory of Ten Powers was a sword created by two Tibetan magicians who followed the teachings of Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche, who is said to have lived before Gautama Buddha. Their love was so strong that a great spirit-deity inhabited the sword when they made it, which is why whoever wields it gains great magical powers. It was so feared by its wielder’s enemies that when it was captured, they burnt it and broke it down into a magical talisman.
Originally called the Heavenly Sword of Gathering Clouds, this legendary blade was discovered when the god Susanoo helped a grieving family by slaying an eight-headed serpent that had eaten 7 of their daughters. After slaying the beast, Susanoo found this sword inside of it. It was later gifted to Yamato Takeru, who used the sword to escape an ambush by a rival warlord. During the fight, he chopped at the grass around him in an attempt to escape and discovered that the sword could control the wind. He renamed it Kusanagi, the Grass-Cutting Sword.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Sword of Goujian
- The Wallace Sword
This is the legendary sword that belonged to King Arthur of Britain. It is claimed to have many magical powers, and is often associated with the Sword in the Stone, even though the two swords are generally considered to be separate. Its name derives from the Welsh words for “hard cleaver.” Legend has it that the Lady of the Lake gave Excalibur to King Arthur when he started his reign. Its blade is so bright that it is said to blind its enemies, and it has the inscriptions “Take me up” and “Cast me away” written on it. Even Excalibur’s scabbard allegedly has powers, such as the ability to protect the wearer from blood loss.