Monday, February 06, 2017

Steel from heaven

Fireball over Banff National Park, CA. Dec. 2014 © Brett Abernethy

AlasNotMe blog discusses the Simarilion describing a cursed sword made from meteorite steal

Then Beleg chose Anglachel; and that was a sword of great worth, and it was so named because it was made of iron that fell from heaven as a blazing star; it would cleave all earth-delved iron.

This leads to other questions: Was the sword cursed because of the dark heart of the blacksmith, or because it came from an area of the sky ruled by Melchor? Can weapons be cursed on their own, or cursed because they were devised by an evil being,, or is the only curse involved the one who uses it?

This leads to all sorts of philosophical discussions.

However, as a geek, one needs to note that meteorites steel was indeed straonger than most iron, which often was soft because of impurities. AmerIndians used meteorite steel, and of course King Tut was buried with a small dagger from such steel.

There is a lot of association of blacksmiths with magic, not only in Tolkien but in legend: Because a good smith could make good swords, that were hard enough to cut other swords made of inferior bronze or even cheaper iron.

Hence Vulcan/ Hespaetus, the smith god and Weyland the smith

this wikipedia article on samurai swords has a nice discussion on the subject...

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