Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Catalog of Migration Period ring-swords and sword-rings


Recently, I have been asked if there is any list of Migration Period swords whose pommel is equipped with a ring (also called ringed swords, Ringschwert), an interesting phenomenon from the 5th-7th centuries. List of up to 80 pieces can be found in the literature (Evison 1967; Steuer 1987; Vasilev 2018 and others). Although I deal primarily with militaria from another period, I created a catalog and map of currently known finds. In the catalog that includes 116 pieces, I gathered complete swords, separate pommels and rings that are interpreted as pommel remains. I did not differentiate material or typology in the catalog entries. The attached map indicates the distribution among the Germanic tribes, particularly the Franks, Saxons, Anglo-Saxons, Alemanns, Lombards, and Scandinavians.

Typology of the rings mounted on Migration period sword pommels. Vasilev 2018: Fig. 1.

The catalog in the Excel spreadsheet can be downloaded by clicking at the following button:

I hope you liked reading this article. If you have any question or remark, please contact me or leave a comment below. If you want to learn more and support my work, please, fund my project on Patreon or Paypal.


Adamsen, Christian (2008). Sorte muld, Rønne.

Evison, V. I. (1967). The Dover Ring-sword and Other Sword-rings and Beads. In: Archaeologia 101, 63-118.

Evison, V. I. (1976). Sword Rings and Beads. In: Archaeologia 105, 303–315.

Fischer, Svante – Soulat, Jean (2008). « Les Seigneurs des Anneaux », Inscription Runique de France, tome 1, Bulletin de liaison de l’AFAM, Hors série n° 2, Condé-sur-Noireau.

Fern, Chris – Dickinson, Tania – Webster, Leslie (2019). The Staffordshire Hoard. An Anglo-Saxon Treasure, London.

Holmquist, Wilhelm (1961). Excavations at Helgö l. Report for 1954-1956, Stockholm.

Iversen, R. B. – Laursen, S. V. – Nielsen, N. H. (2021). Døden i centrum. Yngre jernalders gravfund i Region Midtjylland, Højbjerg.

Jørgensen, Lars – Nørgård Jørgensen, Anne (1997). Nørre Sandegård Vest. A Cemetery from the 6th-8th Centuries on Bornholm, København.

Jørgensen, Lars – Petersen, P. V. (1998). Guld, magt og tro. Danske skattefund fra oldtid og middelalder, København.

Ljungkvist, John (2009). Continental Imports to Scandinavia. Patterns and Changes between AD 400 and 800. In: Quast, Dieter (ed.). Foreigners in Early Medieval Europe: Thirteen International Studies on Early Medieval Mobility, Mainz, 27-49.

Menghin, Wilfried (1983). Das Schwert im frühen Mittelalter: chronologisch-typologische Untersuchungen zu Langschwertern aus germanischen Gräbern des 5. bis 7. Jahrhunderts n. Chr., Stuttgart.

Menghin, Wilfried – Springer, Tobias – Wamers, Egon (eds.) (1987). Germanen, Hunnen und Awaren: Schätze der Völkerwanderungszeit ; die Archäologie des 5. und 6. Jahrhunderts an der mittleren Donau und der östlich-merowingische Reihengräberkreis ; Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nürnberg, 12. Dezember 1987 bis 21. Februar 1988, Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte der Stadt Frankfurt am Main, 13. März bis 15. Mai 1988, Nürnberg.

Mortimer, Paul – Bunker, Matt (2019). The Sword in Anglo-Saxon England: from the 5th to 7th Century, Little Downham.

Nerman, Birger (1969). Die Vendelzeit Gotlands, II. Tafeln, Stockholm.

Rundkvist, Martin – Ragnesten, Ulf (2022). Metallsökning och provgropar vid Köpestad i Svarteborg 2022, Göteborg.

Steuer, Heiko (1987). Helm und Ringschwert. Prunkbewaffnung und Rangabzeichen germanischer Krieger. Eine Übersicht. In: Studien zur Sachsenforschung 6, 190-236.

Vasilev, V. T. (2018). The role of ring-sword of the aristocracy in Early Middle Europe. In: Studia Iuridico-Historica 2019.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *