First, here is what Pulitzer has said:
"This sword is a gladiator ceremonial “votive” sword as verified by the Roman Antiquities authority participating in the study. . . .
The Oak Island sword may in fact be part of what could be as many as an original ten piece set. Four seem to of have been recovered and verified, including this one, since they were first made during the ancient Roman Empire.
One is known to be in a private collection in Florida and it is a perfect litmus test for the Oak Island Roman sword. Others are said to be in a private museum in the Netherlands and a museum in Naples.
In fact the sword, at one point was such a famous attraction in Naples that the museum commissioned a foundry cast iron replica to be made. . . .
Yes, the sword has been proved authentic, by Roman Antiquities authorities, established technologies such as XRF testing, and also vetted by the producers for inclusion in The Curse of Oak Island."
Pulitzer seems to have "borrowed" much of his interpretation of the sword more-or-less directly from David Kenney, owner of the Florida sword. On his webpage, Kenney describes the figure that forms the hilt of the sword as "Commodus as Hercules of the North," and suggests that "this sword "may" have been used in an initiation of a mystery of Hercules and magnetic north." Consider that statement in light of Pulitzer's claim that the Nova Scotia sword has "an ancient ocean navigational device built into it which causes the sword to point true north" (see this post) and the cover of allegedly to-be-published book titled Commodus's Secret: Dirty Secrets Behind History Channel's "Curse of Oak Island" and the Truth about the Lost Roman Legion, Holy Solomonic Relics and the Secret of Hercules of the North.
(Side note: Pulitzer's book(s) for sale on this page have apparently been on "pre-order" for some time now. I have talked to several people online who have paid their money and have yet to receive anything. [Update 1/9/2016: I originally stated that the book(s) had been on pre-order for at least two years. Pulitzer emailed me to say that was incorrect. I have asked him to provide me with a correct statement of how long the book(s) have been on pre-order and modified my statement while I await a response. In the meantime, the Solomon's Secret website that was marketing the books has become "private."] [Update 1/11/2016: This post provides evidence that the Solomon's Secret website was launched about two years ago, and ads for the book pre-order have been up for over a year. Since that post, the links to the video ads have become inaccessible.]).
Kenney's webpage states that the Florida sword is a "highlighted artifact" in the lecture series Experiencing Rome: A Visual Exploration of Antiquity's Greatest Empire. I noted in my original post about the Florida sword that I was going to try to get a copy of Experiencing Rome so I could see what it said about the sword. Neither my university library nor my local county library owns it, however, and I wasn't able to request a loan over the holidays because I still haven't gotten around to getting my university ID. Anyway, an alert reader of this blog was able to watch the part about the Florida sword over break and emailed me about it. I wanted to watch it myself before writing this post. I ended up purchasing the entire course (with funds contributed to the Woo War One campaign - thank you!) and it finally arrived yesterday.
"We're fortunate to have - and I must credit the producer of this course, James Blanford, who came up with this image - it's really very exciting. I've never seen this before in my life. It is, as far as I can tell, a unique image from the Roman world. What we have here is a votive that is a dagger that would be carried by a secutor, but it's not an actual weapon that would be carried in the arena. It's a votive, it's a dedication. What we have with this is the weapon of the secutor as a dedication, but if you look at the end of the hilt what you see is the handle and the end of the hilt actually an image of Hercules. And so it combines those two public images of Commodus together here: one of the secutor, with the shape and the form of the weapon; and the other of Hercules. And in this case, it's Hercules with his club raised over his head. It's Hercules Invictus: Hercules unconquered as a real figure of power and of male achievement. There are also letters on here, monograms that are "V C." This could be the standard second century abbreviation for vir clarissimus, but it also might be a reference to Victor Commodus. I think this is a particularly exciting find which we're fortunate to show you. This is the first time this has been published, so you're seeing this here for the first time ever."
I corresponded briefly via email with Tuck about the appearance of the Florida sword in Experiencing Rome. He indicated to me that he has never seen the Florida sword firsthand. Images were brought to him at the last minute by his producer (as mentioned in the lecture), and he agreed to include them because they seemed to nicely illustrate a point about Commodus. Tuck stressed that he does not consider his use of the image to be a formal endorsement of the authenticity of the Florida sword. He also said that he believes the Nova Scotia sword is probably "a tourist piece made to sell to tourists from the past few centuries."
As far as the "V C" monogram on the front of the figure, I suspect that a close examination of the California sword (which is more detailed than the Florida sword) will reveal that the impression of letters on the Florida sword is a mirage formed by the blurred lines of Hercule's muscles and lion skin.
Yes, the Nova Scotia sword "matches" the Florida sword (as well as the Italian eBay sword and the California sword, as you can see in an image of all the hilts compared in linked to this post from yesterday), but that doesn't mean a whole lot on its own. David Kenney has said that the metallurgical properties of his sword have not been analyzed, so we know that Pulitzer can't claim that as a basis for calling the Nova Scotia sword genuine. And now we also know that at least one "Roman antiquities expert" (Tuck) who has seen images of both the Florida and Nova Scotia swords formally endorses neither as an authentic Roman artifact.