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Gabriele Becattini





Joined: 21 Aug 2007

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PostPosted: Sat 23 Jun, 2012 1:44 am    Post subject: viking short sword?         Reply with quote

there is a particular Petersen tipology (or other classification sistems) of viking sword that can be classified as a "short sword"?

with such term i mean a fully developped sword ( not a longseax ) with a blade range from 70 to 50 cm

thanks
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José-Manuel Benito




Location: Medina del Campo, Spain
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PostPosted: Sat 23 Jun, 2012 3:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi

Paul Binns has a type of short sword of the Dark Ages, which he classified as Petersen Type M. It is based in British specimens from 10th century, but I don't know if there are a Viking one.

He offers on its website, both the blunted model, for combat in reenactment, as the sharpen model (with pattern welded blade) for collectors.

See: Paul Binns Swords

Regards
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Tim Lison




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PostPosted: Sat 23 Jun, 2012 8:42 am    Post subject: Re: viking short sword?         Reply with quote

Gabriele Becattini wrote:
there is a particular Petersen tipology (or other classification sistems) of viking sword that can be classified as a "short sword"?

with such term i mean a fully developped sword ( not a longseax ) with a blade range from 70 to 50 cm

thanks


In Ian Pierce's "Swords of the Viking Age" there are a few swords with type M hilts that are "short swords". I would highly recommend that book if you want to learn more about viking swords!
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Johan Gemvik




Location: Stockholm, Sweden
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PostPosted: Sun 24 Jun, 2012 4:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Gabriele,
I've seen a number of double edged smaller size swords at the Viking exhibit at Stockholms Historical Museum.
These seem almost child size but have normal size handles, meaning the normal viking age tight fit for a mans hand but possible to grasp.
These swords are very interesting to me also and I wish more swordmakers would make some like this. I've heard from re-enactor friends that some Norwegian Steel fighting groups disassemble and cut down the handle end to make swords like these out of standard rebated swords. They make for quick and up-close fighting most other re-eactors aren't used to. I like the idea a lot and plan to do the same with some sharps in the future to see what it does to cutting ability, agility and speed. I expect it lessens the first to some degree but adds to the other two.

For other similar swords also look into the Anglo Saxon Mileham sword, it's smallish and probably very agile but still large enough for decent cutting power.
Paul Binns has already been mentioned above. I'll just add that he makes a replica of the Mileham sword that shows plausible weight and dimensions. Might be interesting to have a look at his website.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Johan Gemvik




Location: Stockholm, Sweden
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PostPosted: Sun 24 Jun, 2012 4:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'll have a look for some photos from the exhibit I mentioned. But for a quick explanation these aren't the thick gladius type shortswords but scaled down viking style swords. A name like "smallsword" might fit better than shortsword.
"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Gabriele Becattini





Joined: 21 Aug 2007

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PostPosted: Sun 24 Jun, 2012 5:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have already seen the Petersen M sword in Paul Binn's website that Josè has mentioned and i was just wondering where Mr.Binns has taken the blade lenghts that he use for his reproduction, i have found also a copy of Mr.Pierce book that Tim has cited and i look forward to see it.

Johan, i was just thinking about it, there was a form of sword in the post roman period that was used in the same manner of a gladius, even taking different forms? after the adoption in the late empire of the longer spatha it looks like if shorter weapons has fallen out of use to re-emerge in the medieval period
,if you have some photos of the viking exhibit itit it would br great , i'll take a look also to the mileham sword that i diden't know
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Kirk Lee Spencer




Location: Texas
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PostPosted: Sun 24 Jun, 2012 8:23 am    Post subject: Re: viking short sword?         Reply with quote

Gabriele Becattini wrote:
there is a particular Petersen tipology (or other classification sistems) of viking sword that can be classified as a "short sword"?

with such term i mean a fully developped sword ( not a longseax ) with a blade range from 70 to 50 cm

thanks



Hi Gabriele...

Here is a sword I saw many years ago on University Museums of Norway's major archaeological collections Website. The sword is preserved in the Norwegian University of Science & Technology. The website gave the blade length at 53cm. Found on Grilstad Farm, Sør-Trøndelag Norway

I really like it because it is a Viking (pirate) sword that looks something like the archetypical pirate sword.

hope this helps

ks



 Attachment: 98.68 KB
VIK.1edg.Norway.Sør-Trøndelag.GrilstadF.bl53.NTNU.UMN..jpg


Two swords
Lit in Eden’s flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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Scott Woodruff





Joined: 30 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Sun 24 Jun, 2012 9:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is a link to a small type M from the Baltic: http://www.club-kaup.narod.ru/rec/books/kazak...8_orig.jpg Blade length is 63 cm, 4.2 cm wide and 5 mm thick at base. Some of the Geibig type 4 blades are quite small also, usually with Petersen type P or Q hilts irrc.
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Gabriele Becattini





Joined: 21 Aug 2007

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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2012 3:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Kirk and Scott,

wonderful pics, so looks like if the type M would be a good candidate for a viking short sword, the three swords that you have posted looks single edged, correct?

probably in a pommel-less design like the type M a short blade was a necessity for a decent point of balance; what are your guessing about this design?
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Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2012 4:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pettersen states that swords shorter than 70 cm are very rare.
Out of ca 200 measure blades:
Under 70 cm: 9
71-75 cm: 37
75-81: 136
81-90: 36

As such it appears that blades of less than 70cm could be found, but that they are so rare as to be "flukes" rather than a spesific type.
So, if you want one, you can have it, but be aware that it would be unusual.



 Attachment: 160.5 KB
Illustration from Pettersen: Two swords of average length, the longest and shortest sword in his material. [ Download ]

"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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Gabriele Becattini





Joined: 21 Aug 2007

Posts: 710

PostPosted: Thu 05 Jul, 2012 3:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have just got a copy of Ian Pierce's "Swords of the Viking Age"

the examples at pages 90 , 96 and 112 are true shortswords!

even if a rarity, as Elling suggested, that kind of sword is fascinating
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Scott Woodruff





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PostPosted: Sat 21 Jul, 2012 7:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The latter two are incomplete, but the type Q on page 95 is tiny, with a 66.6cm blade and 6.8cm grip. Probably a childs sword in this case. There is a very unusual Petersen type G with single-edged blade at the Kulturhistorisk museet (C21660) that is quite short. It looks very much like a late 7th/early 8th C continental langsax blade mounted in a late 8th/early 9th C Norwegian type G hilt. Sorry, no pics right now.
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