Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Oakeshott vs. Geibig typology Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Robin Smith




Location: Louisiana
Joined: 23 Dec 2006
Likes: 4 pages
Reading list: 17 books

Posts: 746

PostPosted: Fri 28 Dec, 2012 10:42 am    Post subject: Oakeshott vs. Geibig typology         Reply with quote

I was wondering why the Oakeshott typology seems to be preferred to the Geibig typology for describing.blades of the "viking" and high medieval period? The Geibig typology is a much more nuanced typology, and IMO is a better typology for swords of this period. Oakeshott X-XII can be compared to Geibig types 1-13.

Obviously many later swords and those designed for two-handed use fall outside the Geibig typology. Still for single handed swords of the "viking" age and high medieval the Geibig typology seems to have a more nuanced typology and better describe the subtle differences in the blades from this period.

Geibig Typology

Oakeshott Typology

A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger
Isaac D Rainey




Location: Evansville Indiana
Joined: 29 Sep 2012

Posts: 62

PostPosted: Fri 28 Dec, 2012 11:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think Geibigs system is more from Viking age to 13th century, while Oakeshott is 11th to 15th centuries.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Robin Smith




Location: Louisiana
Joined: 23 Dec 2006
Likes: 4 pages
Reading list: 17 books

Posts: 746

PostPosted: Fri 28 Dec, 2012 11:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Isaac D Rainey wrote:
I think Geibigs system is more from Viking age to 13th century, while Oakeshott is 11th to 15th centuries.

Right, which is why I stated that some of the later swords within Oakeshott's typology are not in Geibig's. I am speaking of Oakeshott's type X, Xa, XI, XIa, and XII

Still, in the period in which the overlap (10th-13th C), the Geibig typology seems to be better at describing the nuances of the blade forms found.

I guess really this is a question about why did the Oakeshott typology become the standard?

A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger
Thorsten Fritsche




Location: Germany
Joined: 24 Aug 2012

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri 28 Dec, 2012 12:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oakeshott uses the English language, of course, which is more international and his works are older. I guess these are more or less the reasons why his typology is the standard (at least internationally). Geibig's book is focused on early and high medieval period which is already mentioned in the title ("Beiträge zur morphologischen Entwicklung des Schwertes im Mittelalter : eine Analyse des Fundmaterials vom ausgehenden 8. bis zum 12. Jahrhundert aus Sammlungen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland" which is something like "Articles regarding the morphological evolution of the sword in the medieval period: an analysis of finds from the late 8th to 12th Century based on German collections"). Covering a smaller time gap it seems naturally to me that Geibig's typology seems to be more detailed. But I agree to Robin. Geibig is better in some way if you are focused on the period he is covering in his typology. Personally, I am especially interested in the high medieval period of 12th Century. Reminding the fact that sword blades were used for centuries before being put aside, I think Geibig is a very important source for swords of that time.
View user's profile Send private message
Carl W.




Location: usa
Joined: 07 Aug 2008

Posts: 158

PostPosted: Fri 28 Dec, 2012 12:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Robin Smith wrote:
I was wondering why the Oakeshott typology seems to be preferred to the Geibig typology for describing.blades of the "viking" and high medieval period?


Not so sure I'd agree, or maybe such preferences change. For one example, nearly all of Albion's descriptions of the blades for their NG viking swords start with Geibig references.
View user's profile Send private message
Peter Johnsson
Industry Professional



Location: Storvreta, Sweden
Joined: 27 Aug 2003
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 3
Posts: 1,757

PostPosted: Fri 28 Dec, 2012 3:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think the reason is that the strength of Geibig´s typology is the same thing that makes it less popular: it is very precise and detailed. It is less suited for sweeping discussions and aimed at precise definitions. This is the strength of the Oakeshot typology: it is never mean to be very precise, but aims for broad categorizations that are easy to use in discussions on the internet.

The Geibig typology is also fully published only in German and that makes it less handy for the sword aficionado on the internet who tends to communicate primarily in English.

The introduction here at myArmoury is great of course, but it is not complete and still does not manage to compress all the aspects into an simple pocket system.
This is naturally because Geibig´s typology is so intricate, describing not only subtle details of blades, but also listing typical sword hilts for these blades and a corresponding chronology that also includes types of inscriptions.

It is difficult to make illustrations or explanations that capture all these aspects.

I think it would be great to see a popularized version of Geibig´s work to make his studies and observations available for an English speaking audience. I hope it is something he is willing to consider.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Robin Smith




Location: Louisiana
Joined: 23 Dec 2006
Likes: 4 pages
Reading list: 17 books

Posts: 746

PostPosted: Fri 28 Dec, 2012 4:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for weighing in on the subject Peter. I suppose I have just found myself frustrated recently with the Oakeshott typology. It's broad to the point of being almost too broad.

So when did the Oakeshott typology become so widely known? Does it correspond to the growth of the internet community, or does its widespread use date further back? (Obviously I am talking about its wide adoption, since the typology itself dates to Oakeshott's publications).

I have only been interested in historical arms and armour since 2005 or so, so for as long as I have been involved it seems to have been wide spread.

A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger
Craig Johnson
Industry Professional



Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Likes: 16 pages
Reading list: 20 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,285

PostPosted: Sat 29 Dec, 2012 7:45 am    Post subject: Comparison of Typologies         Reply with quote

Hi Robin

The study of how the medieval sword is studied is sometimes as interesting as the swords themselves. The two Typologies you mention are the main ones referenced today. There are others Petersen, Hoffmeyer and Sietz for example. The interconnection of them is close, and in fact Geibig worked to show the relationship between the different systems in his work.

The needs and design of each system was different and one should approach any typology of any artifact as a tool to be used when appropriate. It is one of the difficulties of our modern minds in the study of the past, we want it all to fit or make sense. But I fear we are human and therefore it does not Happy

Peter’s synopsis is right on and I would agree an English translation of Geibig’s full work is needed. It is a valuable tool in looking at the swords from his region and time envelope. It is also crucial in creating a broader view of the sword in history. Our understanding of the continent wide context of the sword in the ancient and medieval world is still in its formation. We do have great treasurers of information but the whole is something that is still being sorted out in ways we do not even fully understand as yet.

I know that Ewart did not design his system to be static but one that was meant to grow and adjust as we learned more. He was very cognizant that his work was based on the best of his knowledge at the time of writing, but that there are new data points appearing all the time and many of the finds in the last 15 years are still to be incorporated into the knowledge base.

I would say that Ewart’s work was based on the need to have clear communication about the sword with other scholars, usually by letter, and he was adamant that sword needed to be looked at as a whole in context rather than a hilt design or art object. It was definitely not designed for the web but is the system that is most accessible. Geibig’s more detailed categories allow him to define the swords in his data set more precisely.

Using the tool that best suits your needs is the thing to do. I am one that advocates having as good a working knowledge of most systems as possible. This gives you the best chance to fully understand and communicate about the items and increase our broader view of the whole.

Best
Craig
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Chad Arnow
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Cincinnati, OH
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Likes: 21 pages
Reading list: 231 books

Spotlight topics: 15
Posts: 9,134

PostPosted: Sat 29 Dec, 2012 8:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oakeshott wasn't trying to be comprehensive and overly detailed, nor the end of research and discussion. He said of his typology that it was:

Quote:
merely a scaffolding to bring some order into the otherwise amorphous and infinitely varied mass of medieval blade, cross, and pommel forms.


As we know scaffolding is something used to hold up or build something else. Erecting scaffolding is usually not the end goal of a construction project; it's the start. Happy

I wrote this in our article on Oakeshott:

Quote:
The typologies are not meant to pigeon-hole a sword into a particular group, but rather to provide a descriptive framework for generalized groups of swords.


I feel that ties into the scaffolding idea. It's a framework for discussion. Because of the variety of swords present in the era the typology covers, there is no realistic way at the moment to be comprehensive and capture everything.

And don't forget that the individual typologies Oakeshott made (blade, pommel, guard) were not ends unto themselves. Rather, they were designed to be used together to aid in identifying sword families, groups of swords with common characteristics that give clues to their origin.

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Oakeshott vs. Geibig typology
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum