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Christopher B Lellis




Location: Houston, Texas
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PostPosted: Wed 14 Aug, 2013 8:21 pm    Post subject: Viking sword head chop         Reply with quote

That's just plain disturbing. That individuals cranium was chopped like a coconut.



http://www.hurstwic.org/history/articles/manu..._intro.htm
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Wed 14 Aug, 2013 10:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

They're called weapons for a reason.
"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Christopher B Lellis




Location: Houston, Texas
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PostPosted: Wed 14 Aug, 2013 11:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:
They're called weapons for a reason.


I'll refrain from making a comment on how I really feel about that statement. Mad
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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
Joined: 02 Apr 2009

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PostPosted: Thu 15 Aug, 2013 12:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"Then the third knight inflicted a terrible wound as he lay, by which the sword was broken against the pavement, and the crown which was large was separated from the head...he put his foot on the neck of the holy priest and precious martyr, and, horrible to say, scattered his brain and blood over the pavement..."

Edward Grim: "Vita S. Thomae"

"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Aug, 2013 12:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christopher B Lellis wrote:
Patrick Kelly wrote:
They're called weapons for a reason.


I'll refrain from making a comment on how I really feel about that statement. Mad


Then don't be obsequious with such a passive aggressive statement.

I don't find it disturbing, but rather simply a statement of the obvious. People often get caught up in collecting these pretties and lose sight of their intended grim purpose. They weren't designed as man jewelry to wear at the renfaire. Photos like this are a good reminder of that.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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J. Hargis




Location: Pacific Palisades, California
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Aug, 2013 3:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I certainly appreciate Mr. Lellis posting the photo. It does indeed serve as a grim reminder of what the instruments we collect are capable of. It would seem that was his intention.

Thanks, Jon

A poorly maintained weapon is likely to belong to an unsafe and careless fighter.
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Robin Smith




Location: Louisiana
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Aug, 2013 4:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:
I don't find it disturbing, but rather simply a statement of the obvious. People often get caught up in collecting these pretties and lose sight of their intended grim purpose. They weren't designed as man jewelry to wear at the renfaire. Photos like this are a good reminder of that.


I dunno about that Patrick. I think during some periods they certainly were designed as man jewelry that also doubled as a weapon. When you see a viking blade with stunning elaborately inlaid hilt and amazing pattern welded blade, but with a cutting edge of basically pure iron and 150 VPN hardness... In a period where swords were secondary at best, it's not hard to think that aesthetics was perhaps being given more priority than was utility as a weapon. Same can be said in some other periods.

That is not to say they couldn't be used to kill someone... But clearly they were man jewelry too. They were jewelry you could kill someone with.

A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Aug, 2013 6:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Robin Smith wrote:
Patrick Kelly wrote:
I don't find it disturbing, but rather simply a statement of the obvious. People often get caught up in collecting these pretties and lose sight of their intended grim purpose. They weren't designed as man jewelry to wear at the renfaire. Photos like this are a good reminder of that.


I dunno about that Patrick. I think during some periods they certainly were designed as man jewelry that also doubled as a weapon. When you see a viking blade with stunning elaborately inlaid hilt and amazing pattern welded blade, but with a cutting edge of basically pure iron and 150 VPN hardness... In a period where swords were secondary at best, it's not hard to think that aesthetics was perhaps being given more priority than was utility as a weapon. Same can be said in some other periods.

That is not to say they couldn't be used to kill someone... But clearly they were man jewelry too. They were jewelry you could kill someone with.


Try to take my sentence in its entirety without cherry picking...............
Quote:
They weren't designed as man jewelry to wear at the renfaire.

...............and I believe my point is more clearly illustrated. I know a bit about Nordic arms and their motifs. Wink

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus


Last edited by Patrick Kelly on Thu 15 Aug, 2013 6:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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Ken Speed





Joined: 09 Oct 2006

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PostPosted: Thu 15 Aug, 2013 6:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

WHAT! Have I fallen down the rabbit hole and failed to notice? Stepped through the looking glass? Are we debating what weapons are used for, specifically from the example in this case, Viking age weapons? Amazing!

So then the battle of Stamford bridge was...what.... a bling contest to see who had the prettiest "man jewelry?

"Hey Rurik! Good to see you! Wow,! Cool sword! Look at that inlay on the blade and the detailing on the hilt is amazing!"

"Hi Tostig, Ja, I had it made special but I really like that Anglo Saxon style carving on your spear head. Where'd you pick that up?
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,247

PostPosted: Thu 15 Aug, 2013 6:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One thing I like to tell my audience, especially the kids (who I have seen grabbing blades a number of times), is that bladed weapons are in some ways MORE dangerous today than they were in ancient times. It's because we live in a world ruled by CGI games and movies, so when kids run into reenactors for their first time, they tend to assume it's all a game, with props or fake weapons. They have no idea of the real capabilities of a real sword, or that grabbing a blade can slice fingers to the bone instantly. But in ancient times, everyone KNEW that a sword was made for one purpose: Cleaving Human Flesh. So they treated any blade as if it could slice them, because it could.

Nice cut, by the way!

Matthew
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Scott Hanson




Location: La Crosse, WI
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Aug, 2013 7:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Funny, I have had the opposite experience. Seems like every adult I see wants to touch the blade immediately, including the "thumb test" to see if it's sharp.

Kids seem to respect the blade a little more.

Also, I agree, nice cut!

Proverbs 27:17 "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another"

Wisconsin Historical Fencing Association (WHFA)
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Philip Dyer





Joined: 25 Jul 2013

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PostPosted: Thu 15 Aug, 2013 8:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ken Speed wrote:
WHAT! Have I fallen down the rabbit hole and failed to notice? Stepped through the looking glass? Are we debating what weapons are used for, specifically from the example in this case, Viking age weapons? Amazing!

So then the battle of Stamford bridge was...what.... a bling contest to see who had the prettiest "man jewelry?

"Hey Rurik! Good to see you! Wow,! Cool sword! Look at that inlay on the blade and the detailing on the hilt is amazing!"

"Hi Tostig, Ja, I had it made special but I really like that Anglo Saxon style carving on your spear head. Where'd you pick that up?

I'm betting someone else logged onto Chris's account, showing the obvious and only obvious about killing tools then bitching whem someone else states the obvious. It's like we have enteredthe Twilight zone
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Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

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PostPosted: Thu 15 Aug, 2013 8:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

many a time i had that little problem with (ignorant) adults wanting to touch a lethal blade. something of a though of 'this won't hurt me' must register in their head. and before long, a thumb is cut. you think you use a knife almost every day to eat your stake, so you think you can handle a bigger blade pretty well and its not a danger to yourself or others.

what's worse is like Matthew Amt states people feel comfortable around blades almost like a toy if it doesn't look like a hunting knife. the thing that scares the crap out of me is if i let someone handle my blade and they want to immediately swing it around like a toy, and truth is, these are far from toys. even a dull blade can cut - if not bludgeon and break bone very seriously. swords and knifes should be treated with the same respect as you would a modern firearm

and yes, man bling, there's nothing wrong with considering them that as well. its in our nature to decorate the things we hold personal value to. same is true for modern firearms - we make them a little more ornate as well but we still hold them to their original purpose. so i don't think (in the time period during engagements) you appreciate a battlefield weapon until you defeated the person who welds it and maybe took his sword/spear for a war prize.

Hollywood and video games, sugar coat the true devastation a blade can do to a human body. anyone who has ever butchered game or their own livestock probably know this. we're used to seeing a splash of colored corn syrup has us desensitized. i tread very lightly on this part of the post, i do not want to spell out any details or have the post turn into some kind of gore fest i think what we should focus on is respect the blade for its natural ability.
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William Swiger




Location: Reston, VA
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Aug, 2013 8:50 am    Post subject: Re: Viking sword head chop         Reply with quote

Christopher B Lellis wrote:
That's just plain disturbing. That individuals cranium was chopped like a coconut.



http://www.hurstwic.org/history/articles/manu..._intro.htm


Impressive. When people go into my sword room, I have to watch most of them like a hawk. They seem attracted to the bright blades and want to touch them.
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Shane Askew





Joined: 30 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Aug, 2013 11:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To quote Death in Terry Pratchett's book, "Hogfather":

Death is having to fill in for the Hogfather, a Santa-like figure, and has turned up at a big department store as a rather more real Hogfather than the shoppers or management were expecting. A little girl sits on his knee and, somehow sensing that this is her one chance to actually get what she really wants, asks for (among other things) a sword. Death, trying to stay in role, gives her a sword. A real one. The girl's mother objects and the resulting conversation goes like this :

Mother: You can't give her that! It's real!

Death: IT'S... EDUCATIONAL.

Mother: But it's sharp! She could cut herself!

Death: THAT WOULD BE A VALUABLE LESSON.


I have to concur. Nothing reminds one of the true purpose of a blade, particularly a knife or sword, than cutting one's self with it. Hopefully only slightly. The alternative can be very bad indeed. Years ago I bought my first khukri and very soon afterwards, while I was putting it back in it's scabbard, it slipped and I got a (thankfully) small cut on the heel of my hand. The thing is: I DID respect sharp weapons and I WAS being careful. It served to remind me once again, of just how easily an accident can happen, despite one being careful. I'm sure we've all got similar stories to tell. I am not afraid of sharps, but I do have a healthy respect for them. I'm just glad I got my lesson learned/reinforced while getting off so lightly.

A valuable lesson, indeed. That after all, is what swords DO.

I've seen first hand, a number of times, what bladed weapons and implements can do - some of those times accidentally and sometimes deliberately. One can also easily google images of the wounds blades can make. Messy and very ugly, not for the squeamish, but maybe it IS good to be reminded from time to time.

I completely agree with Matthew and Daniel. People in a society which doesn't frequently use bigger bladed weapons / tools can become quite out-of-touch (literally) with the inherent danger of a sharp blade. Especially a heavy one, as they don't expect the weight and balance and so don't compensate for these, and are taken by surprise, often with bloody results. They also often don't seem to understand what " very sharp" means.

To me a sword or other large sharp bladed object which can't be sheathed is like a gun with no safety and which you can't unload.
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Kai Lawson




Location: Madison, WI
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Aug, 2013 11:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It does seem to be a nice cut, especially considering that the head is likely to move in some manner when struck (and potentially foul up the follow-through). I'd be interested to know if the individual was wearing a cap or hat when they were struck
"And they crossed swords."
--William Goldman, alias S. Morgenstern
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Aug, 2013 2:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I cleaned up this topic a little bit, but let me be clear: more than one of you are about to lose your ability to post on this site.

I expect the participants to go re-read the Rules of Conduct before posting anywhere again.

It is NOT ANYONE'S JOB to moderate this forum or the behavior and actions of the members of this site other than the moderators. If you're going to take that upon yourself, you're going to find yourself not able to post. Come on people, you already know this.

Any further comment about this out of bounds stuff can be messaged to me privately. I expect no further public bickering here.

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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Thu 15 Aug, 2013 3:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Shane Askew wrote:
I completely agree with Matthew and Daniel. People in a society which doesn't frequently use bigger bladed weapons / tools can become quite out-of-touch (literally) with the inherent danger of a sharp blade. Especially a heavy one, as they don't expect the weight and balance and so don't compensate for these, and are taken by surprise, often with bloody results. They also often don't seem to understand what " very sharp" means.


It's not confined to edged weapons alone. Spend just a little time in a gunshop or public shooting range and you'll see things that will curl your hair. On occasion the same applies with a law enforcement or military range. In my opinion, it has little to do with physical experience as much as a chronic lack of critical thinking skills. Something lacking in our society at an ever increasing level. You would think that any reasonably intelligent human being would be able to grasp a weapon, be able to realize it's a dangerous thing and handle it with at least a modicum of caution. This is regardless of any training or lack thereof. "The long part is sharp, I should be careful." "The end with the hole is where the bullets come out, maybe I should point it in a safe direction." Nope.

Your example of cutting yourself is an very apt one. We all learned valuable life lessons like that when we were children playing out in the woods or in the vacant lot down the street. Now, it's hard to develop that knowledge when children live behind a gaming console, and are shepherded through their lives twenty four seven by their parents.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Gabriele A. Pini




Location: Olgiate Comasco, Como
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Aug, 2013 11:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

ST: It's not limited to hand weapons. The other day I saw a kid swinging from the business end of a half loaded trebuchet I was demonstrating with, under the watchfully eye of his mother. I was there, talking to another visitor, and when I shouted to the kid (something I don't do, normally, but I was a little scared) the parents regard me like I was a madman, or a nuisance.

I fully unloaded the trebuchet (the counterweight was empty, we didn't have the field to fire) and closed it with a circle of rope. Not the time to finish the circle and another kid was untying the rope, again under the eye of his parents.

The problem is that even an unloaded, empty trebuchet is still a four meters structure of wood, with mobile a part of 100kg, and a seriously intentioned children (and who isn't?) can free a beam, or another structural element.

I learned not to give my back to our siege engines, not to assume that a parent is capable of watching his children, and that a rope isn't enough to warn off adults, less so children. Maybe this is why romans legions constructed full forts every night.

***

IT: It is possible that the cut in the first photo isn't a result of a sword swing? Maybe an axe?
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Bjorn Hagstrom




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Aug, 2013 12:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Maybe this is why romans legions constructed full forts every night.


That comment nearly cost me a new keyboard as the coffee splashed through my nose Big Grin

As a serious take, I agree with previous speakers. Adding to the complexity one might own and use a mixed collection of sharps and blunts. We do mock battles and coreographed shows and stunts with blunts, sometimes cutting demonstrations with sharps. It is hard at times to keep up ourselves (not to mention our audiences that will most likely just see "Sword")

So we all have a responsibility as a community to treat weapons, blunts and sharps alike with the proper respect and diligence. Even if they have turned into sports equipment for some of us. [/quote]

There is nothing quite as sad as a one man conga-line...
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