Authentic weapons in fiction

Bani’s Sword

It was very difficult to research the exact type of weapons and armour used in the Old Babylonian period. The weapons wielded by Bani and his Red Swords in Son of Babylon are a blend of two iconic weapons. These are the Egyptian Khopesh, and the Mesopotamian Sickle Sword.

Bani’s blade Lion’s Roar has a hook behind the tip and a sharp point, like the Khopesh. However, it is more gently curved from the hilt, like the sickle sword.

This is a reflection of the fact that the Amorites, like Hammurabi and Bani, were a Semitic people originally located in the Levant, between the two cultures. Also, while both designs were contemporary with Bani, the Khopesh was influenced by the sickle sword and developed later.

Mesopotamian Sickle Swords

This is a later ceremonial version of the sickle sword found in Assyria, dated around 1300 BCE. It is now on display at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Sickle swords like this are thought to date back to around 2500 BCE, hundreds of years before Bani’s time.

This video from the Forged in Fire series will give some idea of the capabilities of the sickle sword.

Egyptian Khopesh

This is an Egyptian Khopesh on display in the Royal Ontario Museum. It may be from as early as 1700 BCE, when some of the younger characters from Son of Babylon would still have been alive.

This video from the Forged in Fire series will give some idea of what the Khopesh could do.

Importance of authenticity

There is a huge difference between historical fantasy and historical fiction. I wrote an article about it linked here. It is my belief as a writer that we are obligated to try and be as authentic as possible. However, as in this case, it’s not always easy to do so. I had to take an educated guess based on the research available to me.

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