Inspiration #9, A Man From Birka

In the ninth part of the Inspiration series, we will introduce the costume of my friend Pavel Voronin, one of the leading Russian reenactors. Pavel, also known as Gunnar, is the leader of the NorraVind group, which is known for organizing a number of open and private events and for lending the equipment to museums. Pavel […]

Swords with organic hilts

When we talk about swords, we often imagine iron or steel blades with metal hilts and organic, mostly wooden grips (antler grips seem to appear rather sporadically after the fall of the Western Roman Empire; see MacGregor 1985: 165). The sword constructed in this way meets all requirements for safety and robustness, which ensures long-term […]

Swords worn beneath the mail in 11th and 12th century

Several iconographic sources from the area of modern France, England, Denmark, Spain, Switzerland and Germany, dating to the 11th and 12th centuries, depict an interesting way of wearing swords in combination with chainmail armour. In contrast to belting the armor with a sword belt, which can be seen relatively commonly in 12th and 13th century […]

The Biography of a Sword

Mapping the sword lifecycle in Middle-ages This article is respectfully dedicated to my dear friend Jan Motyčka. The means of warfare in the past are an immensely popular topic, attracting both many laymen and experts. We as humans seek dramatic tales full of violence, using them as educational sources and lessons to pass on to […]

Wood species used for sword grips

In the internet discussions, I was asked whether I happened to have any source that would describe the wood species used for swords grips in 9th-11th century. As I went through the archaeological materials, I was surprised to find that this detail is rarely mentioned and is missing in the monographs. Therefore, I decided to […]

Petersen type W sword

In the next article about swords, we would like to introduce the not yet well-known Petersen type W. As far as we know, this type of sword is rarely reconstructed among reenactors. In the following article we will describe, map and reveal this interesting type. Description Type W denotes a sword whose hilt consists of […]

Craftsmen #4

Vítám Vás u čtvrtého dílu série o řemeslnících! Tentokrát si představíme medailonek vynikajícího slovenského řemeslníka a šermíře Petera Kocúra, který se k reenactmentu dostal poté, co se zúčastnil archeologických vykopávek jako brigádník. V minulých letech se věnoval rekonstrukci vrcholně středověkého šlechtice, ale v tuto chvíli se zaměřuje na velkomoravské období. Welcome to the fourth part […]

Two peculiar Great Moravian swords

The Great Moravian period represents, in terms of swords, an epoch when high-quality swords of type X and Y appear in Czech and Moravian territories. Their increase is undoubtedly associated with the equestrian elite, which preferred these swords because of better functionality in cavalry combat. More information on this phenomenon is provided by Jiří Košta […]

Petersen type M sword

Many Viking Age sword are richly decorated, which makes quality reconstruction very expensive. That is why I was asked by my colleagues to provide an overview of undecorated swords that would be more affordable to reconstruct. I chose Petersen’s type M for its simplicity and major representation among Scandinavian sword finds. Because this type is […]

Jakobsson’s Hilt Typology

Jan Petersen’s revolutionary thesis De Norske Vikingesverd (1919) became a basis for many authors, who attempted to adjust or complete the work, or replace it with a typology of their own. Such an example is Mikael Jakobsson, who chose a different approach in his thesis Krigarideologi och vikingatida svärdstypologi (Stockholm, 1992), which we analyse in the text below. The […]

The forms of Norwegian sword grips

While self-learning about swords from Early Medieval Norway, I noticed quite a number of specimens having well-preserved organic remnants of hilts and sheaths. Because normally these components do not remain, I considered useful to gather these materials into coherent articles to enrich sword enthusiasts. In this article we will follow up on Norwegian sword hilts […]

Bronze Anglo-Saxon Sword Pommels

In the last months, I have been in touch with Dr. Lee Jones, the early medieval sword enthusiast and collector (http://vikingsword.com). Our cooperation led to two articles published on these websites (see Private Sword with a Wooden Hilt and A Curonian Sword from a Private Collection). This time, Mr. Jones shared another interesting piece from his collection. This article […]

The sword from Sarskoe Gorodishche

ANALYSIS Sarskoe Gorodishche (Hillfort on the bank of the Sara River) is one of the few settlements on the territory of ancient Russia, where a large amount of Scandinavian material culture occured. Both quality and quantity bears witness of not only trade contacts, but also of direct Scandinavian presence on the site. The most representative collection of Scandinavian objects […]