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Jennifer S




Location: Alaska
Joined: 16 Feb 2010

Posts: 10

PostPosted: Tue 20 Jun, 2017 6:17 am    Post subject: Orientation of inscribed/inlay text on medieval sword blades         Reply with quote

Hello all!

Please forgive my newbie question: I've searched but haven't found a conclusive answer.

It APPEARS to me that when text is inscribed/inlayed on the blade of the medieval sword, the orientation is generally such that -

With the sword on a table, hilt to the left side, point to the right -
.. the text reads left-to-right, right-side-up across the blade.

I *think* that were the sword flipped over, so that the hilt remains to the left, but the other flat of the blade becomes face-up and visible - that any text on the reverse flat is likewise now also left-to-right, right-side-up across the blade.


Is that a generally-true tradition, and if so do we know where/when/how it started?
Or have I just seen a fraction of extant pieces/reproductions, and in the real world inscriptions were oriented every which way?

(If it helps, I'm particularly interested in NW Europe, Britain especially, c. AD 800-1200)


Thank you very much for your expertise!
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Tim Lison




Location: Chicago, Illinois
Joined: 05 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Tue 20 Jun, 2017 8:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's how most of them are done. If a right handed person wields a sword with the inscription laid out this way, the text is lined up so that anyone looking at the person can read the text. Advertising only works when the intended viewer can see the ad...
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