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Mike Wishart





Joined: 14 Sep 2007

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PostPosted: Wed 28 Oct, 2009 3:43 pm    Post subject: Viking staff?         Reply with quote

Does anyone know of any extant Viking staves? Anything with iron end caps? Photos or web references?

Thanks,
Mike
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Gavin Kisebach




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PostPosted: Thu 29 Oct, 2009 12:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Mike,

An extant staff would be a pretty lucky find, since wood is perishable. It's uncommon to find the hafts from hafted weapons from what I've seen. I will say that there is a reference in one of the sagas (Laxdaela maybe?) to a large axe with an iron shod haft, but that's as close as I've seen. Not much there.

There are only two kinds of scholars; those who love ideas and those who hate them. ~ Emile Chartier
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Bjorn Hagstrom




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PostPosted: Thu 29 Oct, 2009 1:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, intact wood is rare findings in archaeological digs, but not unheard of (The Oseberg ship for example) And far from being a bashing weapon there are a find from Lund of a really nice carved walking stick. I can't find an image of it at the moment though, need to get home to my book-shelf.
There is nothing quite as sad as a one man conga-line...
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Gavin Kisebach




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PostPosted: Thu 29 Oct, 2009 1:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://www.runesnruins.com/runes/lund_stick.htm
There are only two kinds of scholars; those who love ideas and those who hate them. ~ Emile Chartier
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Bjorn Hagstrom




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PostPosted: Thu 29 Oct, 2009 4:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gavin Kisebach wrote:
http://www.runesnruins.com/runes/lund_stick.htm


Ah, there it is! Funny enough, I am a resident of Lund and still some guy from overseas beat me to find the image Big Grin

There is nothing quite as sad as a one man conga-line...
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Thu 29 Oct, 2009 5:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

the use of staves for self defence in the scandinavian countries was probably hampered by the free access to actual weaponry. It appears that it was not uncommon to carry axes as walking sticks and self defence items.
"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Paul Hansen




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PostPosted: Thu 29 Oct, 2009 1:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Elling Polden wrote:
the use of staves for self defence in the scandinavian countries was probably hampered by the free access to actual weaponry. It appears that it was not uncommon to carry axes as walking sticks and self defence items.


Of course, an actual stick might be more comfortable for people requiring a cane. Wink
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R D Moore




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PostPosted: Thu 29 Oct, 2009 2:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bjorn Hagstrom wrote:
Gavin Kisebach wrote:
http://www.runesnruins.com/runes/lund_stick.htm


Ah, there it is! Funny enough, I am a resident of Lund and still some guy from overseas beat me to find the image Big Grin


This is one of the reasons I love this site so much! We're a community unto our own.

"No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation" ...Gen. Douglas Macarthur
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Gavin Kisebach




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PostPosted: Thu 29 Oct, 2009 4:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

R D Moore wrote:
Bjorn Hagstrom wrote:
Gavin Kisebach wrote:
http://www.runesnruins.com/runes/lund_stick.htm


Ah, there it is! Funny enough, I am a resident of Lund and still some guy from overseas beat me to find the image Big Grin


This is one of the reasons I love this site so much! We're a community unto our own.


As penance for being out-googled by a foreigner, Bjorn will be buying me lunch as soon as I can make it to Lund. Laughing Out Loud


That is an awesome stick. Jake Powning has done similar work, though it never gets the red carpet treatment that his swords get.

There are only two kinds of scholars; those who love ideas and those who hate them. ~ Emile Chartier
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Ken Speed





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PostPosted: Thu 29 Oct, 2009 7:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you found one, how would you know? I mean it would just be a big stick right? Quite literally unless it had an arrow or someone's teeth stuck in it, why would an archeologist think it was a weapon?


There are apparently weapons mentioned in the various saga's that have yet to be identified but I don't know of any mention of staves. One Viking used his weapon to vault to his horse's back but people think it was something akin to a halberd so it presumably had a blade of some kind.
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Greg Coffman




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PostPosted: Thu 29 Oct, 2009 9:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Elling Polden wrote:
the use of staves for self defence in the scandinavian countries was probably hampered by the free access to actual weaponry. It appears that it was not uncommon to carry axes as walking sticks and self defence items.


Staves are weapons too, and quite effective ones. I'd bet on the guy with a staff over a guy with an ax any day. The prevalence of certain weapons does not preclude the presence of other weapons.

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
-Hebrews 4:12
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Thu 29 Oct, 2009 9:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greg Coffman wrote:
Elling Polden wrote:
the use of staves for self defence in the scandinavian countries was probably hampered by the free access to actual weaponry. It appears that it was not uncommon to carry axes as walking sticks and self defence items.


Staves are weapons too, and quite effective ones. I'd bet on the guy with a staff over a guy with an ax any day. The prevalence of certain weapons does not preclude the presence of other weapons.


And the staff is the basis or at least related closely to most polearm and spear fighting.

The main difference with a staff versus a spear or a polearm with a sharp edge is that a strike has to be applied with vigour and a bit of snap to impacts with a staff while an edged pole arm can be used more delicately since a sharp edge or point can do damage with less force i.e. getting the end of a staff on target won't do anything if it's a light tap, so one has to impart a good amount of momentum to do damage. An edge or point past an opponent defenses/parries can do lethal damage with only a small amount of momentum in a slice, drawcut or thrust !

Anyway, a staff can be a good weapon but is also useful walking on difficult terrain cross-country or on bad roads and it also doesn't look " martial " so is socially acceptable anywhere almost in any time period.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Audun Refsahl




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PostPosted: Fri 30 Oct, 2009 10:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

there are some mention of sticks being used in battles on iceland in early middle ages, along side stones that they threw at each other. and any unarmed man will use whatever is at hand, that is not the same as carrying a stick as a weapon. during viking age carrying a weapon was socially acceptable in norway, it was adviced through religion, and viewed as a status symbol, the fancier the better, so it would make a lot of sense to carry an axe or (and) a short spear instead of a stick.
oh, and i would put my money on the axe guy...

just bacon...
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