We have all been enthralled by the stories of great kings, brave queens and heroic gods who used mythical weapons to slay their enemies and establish a just rule. Some such mythical weapons have become famous in their own right along with the wielder of the weapon. There are stories describing the origin, use, powers and history of such weapons which makes then active characters in the story since, without them, the protagonist would be powerless. Here is a list of some such famous mythical weapons.
Mythical Weapons Which Shaped History
The Pashupatastra is an extremely destructive weapon mentioned in Hindu Mythology and is the personal weapon of the Hindu god of destruction, Shiva. The epic of Mahabharata also chronicles the events that led Shiva to give this weapon to Arjun, the protagonist of the epic after a penance from the latter. This weapon has the capacity to destroy all creation and kill all living creatures in the world. This weapon was never used according to the Mahabharata since Arjun realized its destructive potential and refrained from deploying it.
Image Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4c/Shiva_gives_Pashupatastra_to_Arjuna.jpg
2. Sword of Damocles
The Sword of Damocles is a mythical weapon which has its origins in the history of Sicily. Damocles was a courtier in the court of King Dionysus and was helping the king with praises in the court when the king offered to switch places with the courtier. Damocles immediately accepted the offer. However, after he sat on the throne, Dionysus pointed out the sword hanging over the throne with just a single horse hair. This made Damocles realize the precarious nature of the duties the King has to perform and so begged the king to take his place back. Today, the ‘Sword of Damocles’ is used as a metaphor to describe a situation which seems lucrative at first but is actually has more responsibilities than perks.
The Tizona is one of two legendary swords attributed to Spanish conqueror El Cid, the other being the La Colada. It is believed that the conqueror used these swords to drive the invading Moors out of the Iberian Peninsula. The sword was so powerful that all of El Cid’s enemies, after seeing the sword realized that it was impossible to defeat and immediately surrendered or ran away. In 2007, the city of Burgos near El Cid’s birthplace acquired a sword that they claim to be the Tizona. You will also love reading about archaeological discoveries that rewrote history.
Shahur is a mace wielded by the Mesopotamian god Ninurta and is one of the most powerful mythical weapons in Mesopotamian mythology. The name Shahur translates to ‘smasher of thousands’ and is named after the remarkable feats this mace is said to have performed in times of need. This mace has the ability of fly wherever it is required and wished. It can also communicate with Ninurta wherever it may be. It was also one of the means of conveying the will of Enlil, one of the chief gods in Sumeria, to Ninurta.
This mythical hammer of the Norse god of lightning, Thor, has become very popular due to its inclusion in the Marvel comic books and Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was given to Thor by his father, Odin, the King of Azgard. The hammer was created by two dwarves, Brokkr and Eitri when Thor’s brother Loki challenged them to create items more beautiful than those created by the Sons of Ivaldi. The hammer is so powerful that its strike can destroy almost anything and it can only be wielded by Thor who had proved that he is worthy of it. The hammer also returns to Thor whenever it is thrown.
6. Green Dragon Crescent Blade
This legendary blade was wielded by General Yu in numerous battles and earned a reputation for slaying thousands of enemies. This blade is a Guandao which is a heavy curved blade attached to a pole with a spike on the other end. Since it was used in many fights in the snow, it was called the Frost Fair Blade. It is said that during battle, the blade was constantly covered in blood and so frosted over making it look white.
7. Muramasa Blade
This blade was crafted in Japan at the time of the Shogunate. The sword is named after its maker, the famous Muramasa Sengo who was very violent and unpredictable. At the time in Japan, it was believed that swords had intrinsic qualities like temperament that they acquired from their forger and so the Muramasa blade was believed to make the bearer violent and aggressive making him an expert warrior. The blades made by Muramasa were banned after one of them was used to murder the King of the Shoguns and his grandfather.
8. Sword of Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc, now Saint Joan was the first and for a long time, the only female crusader of the Christian Church and she led the troops in battle very successfully. She is believed to have had visions from many saints and from the Archangel Michael which revealed to her that she would find a very powerful sword hidden behind the alter Church of Saint Catherine of Fierbois. This mythical weapon is said to have five crosses on it and Joan used this sword in battle.
Excalibur, like Thor’s hammer, is a mythical weapon that has become very popular due to movies and TV productions centred on it. Also known as the Sword of the Boulder, this sword was lodged in a Boulder for many years and legend said that only the true King of England could pull it out. This sword was used by King Arthur though it is debated whether he actually pulled it out of the boulder or named his sword as per the popular legend. This magical sword had the power to blind its enemies and could prevent the wielder from bleeding, making it impossible to defeat him in battle.
This is one of the most powerful weapons in Greek mythology and predates the Gods since it was forged during the time of the Titans. It was used by Cronus, the son of Uranus to overthrow his father by castrating him. After this, the weapon became the weapon of choice for Cronus when he became the king of the Titans and his father was imprisoned for life. Peruses, the son of Zeus used this mythical weapon to slay Medusa. The weapon can be easily recognized by the curved sickle-like protrusion near the tip of the blade.
How many of these mythical weapons did you know about? The mythologies of most cultures have much more stories about such powerful weapons which usually connect to how the present establishment came into existence. These stories inspire a sense of belonging and are a very important part of the ethos of a nation.