Gorochevo and other sabre help..
Hello guys,

There is a thread that has a discussion about viking rus clothing and armour which has featured a little about sabres. I was just wondering if someone could show me a few examples of sabres that were around at that sort of time, around 8-10th C. Someone mentioned a Gorochevo sabre.. does that fit in with this time? If someone would be so kind as to post some pics of sabres and if possible any links or contact info to people who make them.. im after one with a blunted suitable for re enactment blade...

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Thanks in advance for your time and efforts

Hello Tony

Well I haven't been on here for a while!!!! To much work and uninteresting things happening in life.

Ok, Im no expert on early medieval Russian history, but it does happen to be one of my passions. 2 of the largest Rus burial sights dated to the 10thc, Gnezdovo ( over 300 burials) and Czarna Mogila contain no sabers in any of the graves. many high ranking male burials contain richly decorated belts of nomadic style. Both burial sights contain western type Viking 2 edge swords.
It seems in the 10th c the Rus were adopting many nomadic styles. But the 2 edge sword still remained the predominant weapon for the high ranking warrior or Druhzina. It makes sense, as the saber really wasn't a great weapon against heavily armoured opponents. Sabers in this period are light, and would cause almost no blunt trauma at all, wheres the 2 edge sword would.
What the saber does have is great cutting ability against soft targets. And if you take into account most nomadic warriors at this stage were lightly armed horse archers, it starts to paint a clearer picture.

From the 8th to 10th c the Rus as they traveled further east to trade, would have encountered peoples such as the Magyars, Khazars, and peoples of the Saltovskaya cultures. All these people groups by this stage were becoming semi sedentary after centuries of nomadic lifestyle. Take Kiev for instance before the Rus became the predominant power in western Russia. Kiev was a melting pot of cultures, and the most western outpost of the Khazar empire in the 7th to 9thc. At one point the Rus had to pay taxes to the Khazars to pass and reach Byzantium.

Their is archaeological evidence that Magyar, Khazar and Slavic peoples inhabited Kiev for quite some time before the Rus took power of the city.

Back to sabers. So my point is the Rus may have favoured the 2 edge sword for some time before adopting the saber. Or the Rus may have used the 2 edge sword against Western opponents, or between themselves. Then may have switched to using the saber and bow against there nomadic foes. 10th c pictorial evidence of the Rus is non existent almost. But in the Rusiska Pravda, one of the first Russian chronicles dated to the 12th c. Rus warriors are depicted with saber type weapons. By this time the Rus state was ruling force in Western Russia. Then they met the Mongols.

Ok for a well traveled Rus warrior, I see no problems with a Rus reenactor wearing a saber. We just have to remember the saber was a borrowed idea from other peoples.

if you would like some pictures of sabers from this period, email me at BloodBeak@bigpond.com

PS- A friend of mine makes reproduction bronze castings of the Gochevo saber.


A khazar heavy cavalrymen with no horse lol!!!

Source - 4 Khazar/Saltovskaja burials dating to the 8th to 9th c.

Clothing, bowcase and quiver based on extant finds from Moschevaya Balka. Alanic 8th c.



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Gochevo saber, Saltovskaya culture, 9th-10thc

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Thanks for the info. Very intresting stuff indeed and youve answered any questions I had!

Thanks for all your time and efforts.. PM SENT ;)
No worries

I love the sabers from this time period. Some are either very functional or highly decorated without becoming too kitch.

One of the most interesting pieces of evidence for east meeting west comes from Hungary. The Magyars after crossing the Carpathians and settling into what is now modern day Hungary, raided deep into western Europe. They made some spectacular military raids! But were finally defeated, and retreated back to their new homeland.

The piece I refer too is a captured 2 edge western European sword. The captured weapon was dismantled, the tang was curved forward and a boat shaped, ball end cross guard was fitted to the now saber type handle 2 edge sword!

Its a bizarre beast, and obviously became a dinosaur almost as soon as it was made.

The new owner must have been impressed with his newly acquired beast? So much so he had it re hilted to suit his taste?


I just stumbled on to this thread.

As I was just about to ask exactly the same question.

But on question was not answered and that is who supply's reenactment Rus sabres.
I have seen several at Viking shows but have not had the chance to find out the suppler.
Avar saber
wulflund.com has something simmilar to your pic and some good reviews here and at SFI, might be what you need. also Hanwei makes a Charlemagne saber configurted like your pic that had good review

Last edited by Joe Pittman on Tue 09 Aug, 2011 7:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
Hunnish saber
Kovex-Ars has a saber you might like, I do
You can find some pics of original period items:
And some others to have an idea how ancient Hungarians lived:
Re: Avar saber
Joe Pittman wrote:
wulflund.com has something simmilar to your pic and some good reviews here and at SFI, might be what you need. also Hanwei makes a Charlemagne saber configurted like your pic that had good review

The AVAR SABRE from wulflund.com could be just the thing but at 235 Euros is a little expensive.

I don't know what there shipping cost to the UK would be.
I've recently made this two 1:1 :-) copies of a magyar sabre (the same type like in the title) found in NE Hungary, Karos. Art. Nr. 9.4. 339. Leaf spring, the dark is 4, the "polisched" one is 8 and 3 mm thick. 92 cm long. The little knife was originally the first sabre, lost by quenching...


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