The Spatha is a straight, slashing sword, usually worn by cavalry officiers and auxiliaries in later Roman armies.
Usually a longer version of the shorter, leaf-shaped gladius, the spatha is over 2 feet long, seldom reaching a full yard.
Employed by both Roman cavalrymen and their German enemies, later Lombard spathae were actually more advanced than the iron cast gladii, being constructed from a crude, albeit effective, steel-like alloy.
From German spathae probably stemmed most later kinds of straight, middle sized slashing blades.
A common name for such weapons is broad sword - although the term is more accurately referred to a mid 16th century slavic sword, the Schiavona.