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Jonah Marlow




Location: united states
Joined: 09 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Aug, 2011 12:58 am    Post subject: Swords in the time of Charlemagne         Reply with quote

I was wondering what swords looked like in the era of Charlemagne (768-814 A.D). It would be wonderfull if anybody had pictures of originals. So we're they late migration era blades or early "viking" style blades. By the way I already saw the sword & sabre of Charlemagne, my main curiosity is what the warriors in his campaigns fought with.
Jonah Marlow
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Peter O Zwart




Location: Ontario Canada
Joined: 28 Nov 2010

Posts: 69

PostPosted: Wed 24 Aug, 2011 7:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well I am far from an expert on this topic but there have been a few interesting charts shared by the more knowledgeable members here. take a look at these:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=14152

and

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/download.php?id=35405

I do not know the geographical changes in the swords at all, but I expect that in north western Europe they all would be fairly similar. (here I am probably showing complete ignorance... Big Grin )
I hope that some better informed people can answer your question better.
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Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

Posts: 580

PostPosted: Wed 24 Aug, 2011 4:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Franks were frist known for their throwing axes when they frist migrated into europe and were largely known as foot soldiers. later during the era of Charlemagne the franks had adopted cavalry, it's during this time that franks become known for their lugged (or winged if you like the term) cavalry spears. there's not much research that i've seen the focuses on their swords. but the song of roland does give detailed descriptions on his sword that was very ortimental and possibly past down, but the song of roland may also be an older tale relating to an earlier hero and was roped into the era of charlemagne to enhance it's appeal. much like how tristan's tale was roped into king arthur court.

during Charlemagne's era, your just at the end of the migration era and the examples of 'frankish' swords (which i only have in books and their not scanned in at this time) show that the broad bladed 'migration' era sword is falling out of use. instead the examples show a longer more slender bladed weapon and there doesn't seem to be evidence of visable pattern wielding. The sword of charlemagne does show that there's some developements in the upper guard such as swords no longer have a sandwitched construction in the upper guard - as well as the guard is now being stretched out to show qillions.
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 17 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Thu 25 Aug, 2011 11:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter O Zwart wrote:
Well I am far from an expert on this topic but there have been a few interesting charts shared by the more knowledgeable members here. take a look at these:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=14152

and

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/download.php?id=35405

I do not know the geographical changes in the swords at all, but I expect that in north western Europe they all would be fairly similar. (here I am probably showing complete ignorance... Big Grin )
I hope that some better informed people can answer your question better.


That basically nails it.

The early types of so-called "Viking" swords were actually mostly made in Frankish territories. And coincide with Charlemagne's reign. I've not compared in detail how well Geibig's dating of the various types (which are nearly all finds from Germany) matches with the dating that Peirce provides of Petersen's typology (which are nearly all finds from Scandinavia). But it seems to match, more or less. The main difference seems to be that the types with separate upper guard and pommel (like the "Viking" types) lingered longer in Scandinavia than they did in Germany. For instance, compare Geibig's combination type 12 with Petersen type N, or Geibig combination type 1 with Petersen type H.
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