from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun See curtein.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The pointless sword carried before English monarchs at their coronation, and emblematically considered as the sword of mercy; -- also called the sword of Edward the Confessor.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A short sword used for ceremonial purposes


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin curtus = short


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  • Before the king three naked swords are carried, two pointed and one without a point, which is hence known as curtana, the sword cut short.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 4: Clandestinity-Diocesan Chancery

  • For curtana: "The Metal from the Stars" John Bellairs - Lewis Barnavelt series: 8,628 words.

    the Yuletide 2008 reveal! (what I wrote, and my thoughts)

  • Now the three swords, now and anciently borne before the king at his coronation, were known as the sword of the clergy, the sword of the laity, and the third (curtana), which has no point, the sword of mercy.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 12: Philip II-Reuss

  • Bloom appears, bareheaded, in a crimson velvet mantle trimmed with ermine, bearing Saint Edward's staff the orb and sceptre with the dove, the curtana.


  • Edward evasively answered that he would attend to their wishes at the meeting of parliament, and they were obliged to be content for the present; but they were exceedingly angry that, at the coronation, Piers appeared more splendidly and richly attired than the King himself, and bearing on a cushion the crown of St. Edward, while the Earl of Lancaster carried curtana, the sword of mercy, and his brother Henry the rod with the dove.

    Cameos from English History, from Rollo to Edward II


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