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Matt Phillips




Location: England
Joined: 22 Feb 2006
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 38

PostPosted: Thu 02 Mar, 2006 7:19 pm    Post subject: Briton sword during Saxon invasion         Reply with quote

I'm just looking for a little bit of help. My reference library is still somewhat sparse at the moment for what I'm looking for. I'm trying to find pictures/descriptions of the sword a briton would carry at the time of the Saxon invasion. I know that by this time they had been influenced by several hundred years of Roman occupation and that they had started to move away from what one would think of as the classical Celtic styling. Can anybody point me in the right direction to some reference on what they would have looked like? I have broached the topic on some "other" forums and got responses ranging from "They looked just like Saxon blades" to "They were still swinging around Celtic long swords." So if you have links or books or even know a maker out there who makes a weapon appropriate to the genre, any help would be appreciated. Thanks out there.
Matt

"Mine honour is my life; both grow in one; take honour from me and my life is done." William Shakespear
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David Wilson




Location: In a van down by the river
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 774

PostPosted: Thu 02 Mar, 2006 11:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There's a third option, and I think it's the most likely one: The swords most common in Roman Britain (or, recently former Roman Britain) would have been a type of sword called the Spatha, which is basically the Roman long sword (as opposed to the Gladius, or Roman "short sword"). The Spatha itself may have been derived from Celtic long swords back when Celtic Auxiliary Cavalry were first recruited into the Roman Military, way back in the 1st century BC. Of course it developed a bit from that time, eventually replacing the shorter swords in all Roman services.

Here's a link to some images of (very nice!) reproductions of some such swords that may have been in Romano/Britain services during so-called "Arthurian" times, made by Patrick barta of the Czech Republic (truly one of the masters of the craft today). Please refer to swords numbered A01, A02, A16, and A19:
http://www.templ.net/weapons/antiquity_and_early_middleage.php

David K. Wilson, Jr.
Laird of Glencoe

Now available on Amazon: Franklin Posner's "Suburban Vampire: A Tale of the Human Condition -- With Vampires" https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072N7Y591
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Matt Phillips




Location: England
Joined: 22 Feb 2006
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 38

PostPosted: Fri 03 Mar, 2006 8:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David,

Thanks for the info and for the links. The spatha certainly shows a lot more of the influence that I would have expected and presents itself as the more likely choice for the period. I know the Britons defended against the Saxons in shield-wall formations and the spatha would certainly have been a more than adequate weapon to thrust out with from behind a shield wall. Have you, or anyone you know, ever handled the reproductions from the link you sent? I'd like to know what kind of handling characteristics they present. Anyways, thanks again.

Matt

"Mine honour is my life; both grow in one; take honour from me and my life is done." William Shakespear
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Kirk Lee Spencer




Location: Texas
Joined: 24 Oct 2003

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PostPosted: Fri 03 Mar, 2006 3:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Briton sword during Saxon invasion         Reply with quote

Matt Phillips wrote:
I'm trying to find pictures/descriptions of the sword a briton would carry at the time of the Saxon invasion...



Hi Matt

Welcome to the forum! Big Grin

If you do a search for the word "excalibur" both here and at swordforum international, I think you will find some interesting threads related to your question.

ks

Two swords
Lit in Edenís 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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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
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PostPosted: Fri 03 Mar, 2006 3:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is another replica - the Albion made Late Period Spatha (model discontinued)


 Attachment: 62.1 KB
spatha late.jpg

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David Wilson




Location: In a van down by the river
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 774

PostPosted: Fri 03 Mar, 2006 6:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matt Phillips wrote:
David,

Thanks for the info and for the links. The spatha certainly shows a lot more of the influence that I would have expected and presents itself as the more likely choice for the period. I know the Britons defended against the Saxons in shield-wall formations and the spatha would certainly have been a more than adequate weapon to thrust out with from behind a shield wall. Have you, or anyone you know, ever handled the reproductions from the link you sent? I'd like to know what kind of handling characteristics they present. Anyways, thanks again.


I haven't handled any of those particular swords (I do have one of his Viking swords #A05, but that doesn't count for this discussion *g*). However, I believe historically that such swords would have a more forward balance, giving the blade more presence. These were primarily slashing/cutting weapons, and a blade with a forward balance is great for that. Since Patrick takes pains to make sure that his swords are as historical as possible, I imagine that they would approximate this.

David K. Wilson, Jr.
Laird of Glencoe

Now available on Amazon: Franklin Posner's "Suburban Vampire: A Tale of the Human Condition -- With Vampires" https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072N7Y591
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Matt Phillips




Location: England
Joined: 22 Feb 2006
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 38

PostPosted: Fri 03 Mar, 2006 8:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks again for the help David. And thank you Kirk for the welcome. I did try the excalibur search and it worked nicely. David, I must have misinterpreted what the sword was intended for. I would have thought that they would have wanted a sword more suited for stabbing out from behind a wall of shields. However, they would have had their spears for that and then would have probably used their swords after that wouldn't they. Thanks again to all.
Matt

"Mine honour is my life; both grow in one; take honour from me and my life is done." William Shakespear
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