The Gladius is a short sword used by the superhuman warriors of the Adeptus Astartes. It is most common within the Ultramarines Chapter where even the rank-and-file Astartes carry the weapon and whose skill with the blade is unsurpassed by any other warriors. It is also used by the fabled Adeptus Custodes and the Imperial Fists Chapter.
The Gladius itself is based on the Roman sword of the same name and means "sword" in Latin. It falls under the category of Power Weapons and when activated the blade is sheathed in destructive gravitic energies, but due to its lack in reach is not as potent or favoured as other Power Weapons. When not worn for the simple sake of ceremony, it makes a useful melee weapon.
Notable Gladius Variants
- Gladius Invictus - This broad-bladed, artificer-wrought short sword has been carried by the champions of Ultramar for many generations, having been recovered from ancient human ruins on one of the outer worlds of the Prandium system. The weapon integrates a cunning gyroscopic inductor that makes it fiendishly difficult to master, but which makes thrusts nigh impossible for the enemy to predict or counter.
- The Horus Heresy - Book Four: Conquest by Alan Bligh, pg. 226
- Garro: Sword of Truth (Audio Book) by James Swallow