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Constantin M.




Location: Germany
Joined: 26 Sep 2019

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri 27 Sep, 2019 4:50 am    Post subject: Medieval european short swords         Reply with quote

Greetings,

I have only a little more than basic knowledge about the history of arms and armor.

I´m curious about examples of short swords from the medieval era. For my understanding the difference between dagger/short sword/arming sword can be somewhat subjective and quite fluent. I would narrow short swords down as with a total length from about 50-85 cm (exepting chopping knives and Langes Messer).

What I found are mostly short swords from antiquity (due to material restrictions (bronze, iron) and the prevalent use of shields (roman gladius and scutum for example)) and swords weapons that rather belong to the renaisance ("Katzbalger", short artillery and pioneer sabers and certain very long "Hirschfänger" from the napoleonic wars, some "Cinquedeas" that are very long and maybe depictions of genuese crossbowmen. The swords they´ve carried are sometimes refered to as daggers, sometimes arming swords, sometimes short swords but I couldn´t find any historical examples of those.

I´ve not collected any sources for now.

Other than those. Does anyone have information about real (or following my definition) medieval (500-1500) european short swords?



Sorry if my English isn´t on point. It´s not my main language.
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Alexander Ehlers




Location: Utah
Joined: 21 Jul 2015
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PostPosted: Fri 27 Sep, 2019 8:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The word "short swords" is mainly a modern term, first used in archelogy and later in entertainment. Not much really existed back then in the catergory of what most consider "short swords".
It was more a scenario of , if you're going to carry a sword, it's going to be as long as metallurgy at the time permitted. And if you wanted it shorter, it'll just be a dagger.
So pretty much , you'll have to use your own definitions and discretion looking for 'short swords' of the era.
For me personally, I'd place the Cinquedea dagger as a short sword. If 'short sword' for me was a class of sword , then Falchions and Viking era swords are all typically within that range of what a short sword to me would be, around and under the 28" blade length range.

Never give up without giving a fight, fighting is an opportunity for victory.
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Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
Joined: 16 Nov 2004
Reading list: 13 books

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PostPosted: Fri 27 Sep, 2019 9:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In the first half of that time range you have seaxes in all sizes ranging from small knives to long swords, shortish sword size being fairly common. These are quite substantial weapons despite their relative compactness, being thicker than the double-edged swords of their time and usually having no or even negative distal taper, and IME often feeling more like hatchets than knives.

There are quite a few compact single-handed swords just under 85cm overall length of Oakeshott types X to XV, excepting Xa and XI which are relatively long as a defining feature, and also many XVIII. The spotlight articles about each type in the Features section of this site contain examples of some of these.

The Cluny falchion is one famous example of shorter falchions. Decidedly compact variations like this of single-edged falchions, storta, malchus etc. seem to have been not unpopular all through the time these sword types in general were in use, i.e. most of the latter half of your time range (and onwards into modern times).

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Anthony Clipsom




Location: YORKSHIRE, UK
Joined: 27 Jul 2009

Posts: 33

PostPosted: Fri 27 Sep, 2019 9:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Larger baselards would fit your criteria e.g.

https://collections.royalarmouries.org/object/rac-object-26617.html

https://collections.museumoflondon.org.uk/online/object/29430.html

Anthony Clipsom
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Constantin M.




Location: Germany
Joined: 26 Sep 2019

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon 30 Sep, 2019 1:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you all!

The Cluny falchion and the baselard are really interesting. I´ve found some examples of Schweizerdolch/Schweizerdegen I would put in the category of a short sword. But they´re mostly renaissance or even modern models.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwiqg8Trr_nkAhVC_qQKHcGuBUkQjRx6BAgBEAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.e-periodica.ch%2Fcntmng%3Fpid%3Dzak-002%3A1919%3A21%3A%3A348&psig=AOvVaw2dCRPWejHYbwGfRVhF5rFK&ust=1569961260007595
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Anthony Clipsom




Location: YORKSHIRE, UK
Joined: 27 Jul 2009

Posts: 33

PostPosted: Tue 01 Oct, 2019 5:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are also a class of late 15th short sword sometimes known as archer's swords e.g.

https://collections.royalarmouries.org/object/rac-object-42.html

https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/Lot/a-very-rare-english-bowmans-sword-circa-5758706-details.aspx

http://www.higgins-collection.org/artifacts/238.99

Anthony Clipsom
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 01 Oct, 2019 8:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I like these as well, and find many examples shown in German and Austrian artwork of the 15th and 16th c.
Check this thread: http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.26717.html

Those images are from this fantastic Austrian site: https://realonline.imareal.sbg.ac.at/

try searching for "gefangennahme christi"

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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