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Len Parker





Joined: 15 Apr 2011

Posts: 276

PostPosted: Tue 19 Apr, 2011 6:48 pm    Post subject: A Good Sword For Excalibur         Reply with quote

With a date of 400-450AD I thought this sword would make a good sword for Arthur and his knights http://1501bc.com/page/rijks_museum_oudheden/0214200.JPG So far movie versions of excalibur always seem to disappoint. There are more pictures here at Jeroen's site http://1501bc.com/page/rijks_museum_oudheden/index.html
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JE Sarge
Industry Professional



PostPosted: Tue 19 Apr, 2011 11:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Holy Grail, King Arthur, Lancelot, Excalibur, et all are highly romanticized from their original literary forms. As such, I prefer movie versions to be equally romantic, if not fantastical creations. I supposed the sword you posted would be fine as an Excalibur, but in what context?

Historically, I've imagined Excalibur or Caledfwlch if you will, as being a Roman spatha of some sort. If Arcturis was indeed the historical figure which King Arthur was based on, a calvary spatha would fit the bill perfectly. However, it's conjecture that this was even the case. We don't know for a fact if Arcturis was the basis for King Art or not.

Literally, since the sword was a fictional invention by an author in the 1100s, it could very well be an Oakeshott Type X, Xa, or XI, ipso facto, it was what the author had in their mind's eye when writing the tale. Much like the art in the Maciejowski Bible, where biblical figures are portrayed anachronistically in medieval garb; such would be the mind set of the author penning the tale. King Arthur and company were imagined wearing chain mail hauberks, chausses, swords, and shields, and nasal helms.

In fictional entertainment, I've always imagined it being Discerner. The only King Arthur movie I have found enjoyable was Excalibur, and they are carrying and wearing a hodge-podge of creations based several distinctly different historical periods, including fantasy elements which did not exist at all in reality. Ironically enough, Excalibur itself, is the closest thing in the movie to an actual historically-existant item. Laughing Out Loud

However, since there was no Excalibur, it really would not matter how you portrayed it. There cannot be a historically-accurate creation of something which did not really exist. Imagine it how you will, in the end you can be no more correct than thes same people who create really the bad Hollywood versions of the blade, for 'tis a fantasy sword. Happy

J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
www.crusadermonk.com

"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 17 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Thu 21 Apr, 2011 5:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's really a nice sword, but I think a migration age king would go for something with more gold and stones... Cool
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Len Parker





Joined: 15 Apr 2011

Posts: 276

PostPosted: Thu 21 Apr, 2011 6:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Paul, your right about the lack of decoration. I think what caught my eye was the almost cruciform type shape of the hilt. A lot of reenactors who attempt an authentic Arthurian kit seem to go for a late roman sword like the Koln spatha or one of the bog swords from Nydam or Kragehul and I thought this would make a decent alternative.
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David Wilson




Location: In a van down by the river
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 773

PostPosted: Fri 22 Apr, 2011 1:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm leaning towards the theory that Arthur (if there was an "Arthur") was not really a king, but rather a warlord or military leader of sorts (the title Dux Bellorum has been mentioned in connection with the "historical" Arthur, this is a military title that works out to "War Commander", rather like a Field Marshal in later armies from what I gather). As such, and in keeping with the late-Roman/early Migration era setting in which most historians seem to place the "historical Arthur", let's look at some of Patrick Barta's offerings:
http://www.templ.net/english/weapons-antiquit...le_age.php

I'd suggest swords #102, 136, and 117, and maybe 116, 119, and 132 (some of these swords are dated to the 3rd Century, so I'm giving a bit of a "fudge" factor here and allowing for a possible late survival of these designs or of actual swords). I am tempted to add #115, the Sutton Hoo sword, to the list, but it's dated to the early 600's so it's 100 years too late, but if you give it a backwards "fudge" then it might fit as well.

David K. Wilson, Jr.
Laird of Glencoe

Now available on Amazon: Franklin Posner's "Suburban Vampire: A Tale of the Human Condition -- With Vampires" https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072N7Y591
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Martin Whalen





Joined: 20 Mar 2007

Posts: 35

PostPosted: Fri 22 Apr, 2011 3:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well now I'm confused. I always thought, thanks to the books I've read on the subject, that Arthur was a Celtic warlord who made himself known by driving back the Saxons for awhile.

The story has very Celtic roots, name and theme wise, even the romanticized version, so I still think that is the correct theory, imo.

In that case, perhaps Excalibur would look like...

http://www.powning.com/jake/commish/swords17.shtml

Luceo Non Uro.
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Len Parker





Joined: 15 Apr 2011

Posts: 276

PostPosted: Fri 22 Apr, 2011 5:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Martin, if your taking the idea that excalibur was an ancient sword given to Arthur by the Lady of the Lake then the Jake Powning sword would be perfect, but the La Tene style hilts were on the decline when Rome conquered gaul and britain. With some british embellishments the gladius and the spatha became the swords of britain. Also by the 5thc. it becomes difficult to label swords celtic, roman or germanic.
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Sean O Stevens




Location: Grovetown, GA
Joined: 22 Oct 2008

Posts: 208

PostPosted: Fri 22 Apr, 2011 6:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Martin Whalen wrote:

In that case, perhaps Excalibur would look like...

http://www.powning.com/jake/commish/swords17.shtml



Drool... Razz Jake's work is so beyond epic... I truly hope to own something from him one day.
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David Wilson




Location: In a van down by the river
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 773

PostPosted: Sat 23 Apr, 2011 12:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, certainly much of the Arthurian cycle does have roots in Celtic culture. By the 5th century though, Southern Britain had been pretty thoroughly Romanized (they had been there for not quite 400 years by that time). The leadership would certainly have been raised up in a largely Roman context. The underlying culture was still Celtic, but with the trappings of Roman culture "on top" -- manifested in Roman-style governing bodies, the Latin language, and military organization. Arthur would most likely been brought up in such a "Romano/Briton" setting.
David K. Wilson, Jr.
Laird of Glencoe

Now available on Amazon: Franklin Posner's "Suburban Vampire: A Tale of the Human Condition -- With Vampires" https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072N7Y591
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N Cioran




Location: Toronto
Joined: 21 Nov 2010

Posts: 72

PostPosted: Mon 25 Apr, 2011 11:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If memory serves the Mabinogion describes Arthur's sword as being hilted with the heads of two Chimera's breathing fire or some such thing. Can't find my copy to confirm thought...


Enjoy,
Cole
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 17 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Mon 25 Apr, 2011 1:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Assuming that the historical Arthur fought at Mount Badon against the Saxons, he was probably active around 500AD, maybe a bit earlier.

Here's a nice and fairly high-end sword from that period:
http://anglosaxondiscovery.ashmolean.org/Life...word.html#
from Brighthampton, grave 31, Oxfordshire.
Click on the sword for close-ups. Especially the spiral decoration of the scabbard mouth is nice.
Fittings are all silver. Not pictured is an amber sword-bead also found in the grave.

I don't know where exactly the frontier between Britons and Saxons was at that point, but Oxfordshire is fairly inland, so I guess this sword could have belonged to a Briton as well as to a Saxon...
I know there are a few people here who know a lot more about Anglo-Saxon history than I do, so maybe one of them has a better idea about the location of the frontier at various points in time.

Btw, when looking for pictures of the I also came across this picture:
http://www.fectio.org.uk/articles/hwb/42a.jpg
With the following description:
29. Caerleon, Gwent. - V.E. Nash-Williams, The Roman Legionary Fortress at Caerleon in Monmouthshire vol.2 (1932) 51 fig. 42. –Bone tips from Asiatic-Danubian reflex-bows (fig. 42. 1-15).
It would be quite intriguing to find remains from an Asiatic reflex bow in a Romano-British fortress...



 Attachment: 30.24 KB
Brighthampton, Oxon. -Evison, Invasions fig. 11.a-c. –Type Brighthampton.jpg

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