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Scott Roush
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Location: Washburn, WI
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PostPosted: Thu 25 Oct, 2012 5:42 am    Post subject: Short 'Viking' Thrusting spear?         Reply with quote

I'm in the process of reading Egil's saga and twice now I've seen reference to a weapon that was described as having a short, thick haft and long spear-like blade. There was one passage where several warriors marched into battle carrying these things (I think there may have even been a name for them) and then switching to swords once their thrusts were made.

So does anybody have actual reference to these weapons? Were they just socketed spears on a short, thick haft?

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Johan Gemvik




Location: Stockholm, Sweden
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PostPosted: Thu 25 Oct, 2012 10:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Do you mean the elusive "Atgeir"?
Supposedly it was a hewing spear, perhaps it could have had a short haft and heavy /large spearhead. As for just short thrusting spears there are plenty of those in art depictions. Don't know if that helps any.

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





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PostPosted: Fri 26 Oct, 2012 6:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I believe that you may be refering to the "bryntvari" or "mail-drill." In Egil's saga it is described as having a "feather-formed" blade an ell long terminating in a quadrangular spike. The shaft was wrapped with a spiral band of iron. I know that a while back, someone posted a replica here on myArmoury, I'll post a link if I manage to find it. As far as I know, none of the atypical weapons described in the sagas have ever been found in the archaeological record, certainly nothing resembling the bryntvari. However, the description does closely match some Viking age drill bits aside from scale. It's funny, I have been thinking about the bryntvari a lot lately, considering maybe making a blunt for Viking reenactment. Here is another thread with much discussion and speculation about atypical Viking age weapons: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...ght=viking
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Fri 26 Oct, 2012 9:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've been thinking thet might have had something like that. I've seen some awl-like knives they could have used for the same purpose.
"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: Fri 26 Oct, 2012 9:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've been thinking thet might have had something like that. I've seen some awl-like knives they could have used for the same purpose.
"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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David Clark





Joined: 10 Feb 2009

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PostPosted: Fri 26 Oct, 2012 11:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Franks casket seems to depict a fighter with a shorter spear. (one of the larger fighters on the left wearing the helm) I think the main interest is how he holds his spear: far back towards the bottom so it can be used to stab and slash almost like a sword, much as I have seen Germanic Framea spear depicted as being used.

Edited to add link:
http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mbi0z9VAJc1rcoy9ro1_1280.jpg
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Mon 29 Oct, 2012 11:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And using domed shields no less. I have to make me one of those.
"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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