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Myles Mulkey





Joined: 31 Jul 2008

Posts: 250

PostPosted: Mon 25 Jan, 2010 4:32 pm    Post subject: Frankish Swords         Reply with quote

I was watching this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RDr--UZFy0

At 1 minute 58 seconds, the historian mentions that the Franks were well known for a particular type of sword, which they developed. I was wondering, what type of sword would that be? The pattern welded Spatha was developed by Franks? Is that accurate? Or is the History Channel up to it's antics again?

I've heard that some Viking swords were made by Franks, but the documentary is set a bit before the Viking Age. It was my impression that the Germanic Tribes during the Migration Period all used essentially the same types of spathas, with the distinctive sandwich guards and possibly rings on the pommels. I don't think that there is a specifically Frankish sword type.

Is there a distinctive Frankish style of sword? I'm interested to see some other opinions out there.
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Eric Allen




Location: Texas
Joined: 04 Feb 2006

Posts: 208

PostPosted: Mon 25 Jan, 2010 5:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Haven't heard of a Frank-specific sword. There is the famous "frankish axe", of course. It is possible that Kenneth Harl simply goofed and mixed his weapons up during the interview (heck, maybe he hasn't lived it down).
Or maybe he was referring to the gradual tapering to many swords seen around the Carolingean period and later, since the term "Frank" and "frankish" persist much later?

maybe someone else has more details?
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Myles Mulkey





Joined: 31 Jul 2008

Posts: 250

PostPosted: Mon 25 Jan, 2010 5:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric Allen wrote:
Haven't heard of a Frank-specific sword. There is the famous "frankish axe", of course. It is possible that Kenneth Harl simply goofed and mixed his weapons up during the interview (heck, maybe he hasn't lived it down).
Or maybe he was referring to the gradual tapering to many swords seen around the Carolingean period and later, since the term "Frank" and "frankish" persist much later?

maybe someone else has more details?

I had considered that he may have been confused. I didn't think I had managed to overlook a Frankish specific sword during my couple years of Migration Period obsession! Laughing Out Loud
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 2,265

PostPosted: Mon 25 Jan, 2010 5:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, you could say that "Ulfberhts" and similar swords are frankish, although frankish empire parted since then.
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Liam O'Malley




Location: New JErsey
Joined: 17 Jan 2010

Posts: 29

PostPosted: Mon 25 Jan, 2010 7:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i'm not an authority on the subject but the research i've done indicates a frankish origin for the best pattern welded swords (read "most expensive") from about 600AD-the early viking age. it also seems that it was just the blades that were of frankish origin and the actual fittings were put on by smiths in the area where the buyer lived in.

again, this is just a projection from a little bit of research, but that is how it appears at least to me. again, not all pattern welded swords, it just seems that the most desirable ones were.
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