Many look upon the Swiss Army Knife as a standard of versatility. Long before the Swiss Army Knife made its debut, there was one that was crafted in Rome. This knife was found in the late 1980's. It is believed to date back to 200AD.
The implement has a fork, spoon, spatula, tooth pick, retractable spike and a blade. It is constructed of silver with a steel blade. The experts that have examined the knife believe that it may have originally been designed to get the meat out of snails.
Guesswork surrounds the knife. It is believed that it may have belonged to a traveler who had it designed for his journeys. It would provide utensils for removing sauces from narrow necked jars as well as eating the food that was prepared. It is also believed to date back to the days of the powerful Roman Empire. It is considered by most to be very luxurious for the time. Most knives that have been found have been constructed from brass. The fact that this one is silver, leads experts to believe that it is a pure luxury.
While the Swiss Army knife is considered a tool for the battlefield, this extravagant folding knife was apparently designed for the wealthy traveler in an effort to maintain their lifestyle.
There are a variety of other Roman knives dating back to the 1st century AD, but none as elaborate as this. There have been knives found that are folding knives and some that were used on swiveling handles. Made of iron, they are far less elaborate than the precursor to the Swiss Army knife that was found in the Mediterranean area. All of the knives have specific uses from eating implements to weapons.