Byzantine-Viking hybrid swords?
Wow, been a member for over 10 years and this is my first post...

So, hi all!

I'm looking for sources on a particular kind of sword, and I'm hoping someone here can point me in the right direction.

I've seen mentioned a few places swords showing influence from both Scandinavian and Byzantine tradition, assumed to be weapons of belonging to Varangian guardsmen. However, I have trouble finding good source material, especially good quality pictures. The best I've been able to dig up is from an Osprey book ("The Varangian Guard 988-1453"), which includes the scan below. It's a start, but I'm trying to find better quality pictures and, if possible, other materials about this and similar finds.

The end goal, of course, is to have one of these made.



[ Linked Image ]
Hi there!

"Drastar" was an important castle near the modern-day town of Silistra here in Bulgaria.
Your post brings me a couple of years ago, when this particular sword was in my field of strong interest, but the realities evolved in quite different direction and the project was abandoned in very early stage.

Do you want me to try to find some more info?
Just have in mind, any written text most probably would be in Bulgarian (you'll need a translation), good pictures could be a problem

If you could dig up something, that would be great! Even if in Bulgarian, at least I might find some pointers through translation.

Do you have any idea where the sword is located now? I'm sure it's in a museum somewhere, but haven't been able to find it. My next step is to try to find and contact professor Totev mentioned in the image description, but I thought I'd start here.
Talked with a couple of friends - both museum personnel.

They promised to do their best, but any result would be available not earlier than next week.
As for the pictures - Boyan Totev's personal hard drive (with all information - not only about the sword, but much, much, much more) have been stolen last year; so no other pictures left.
Thanks a lot!

Sad to hear about Totev's loss -it's hard when so much work is lost for no good reason.
Well. Here are some samples:

And another from Bulgaria

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[ Download ]
Be careful with sword-site. Many, if not most swords shown there are recent fakes artificially aged.
Luka Borscak wrote:
Be careful with sword-site. Many, if not most swords shown there are recent fakes artificially aged.

As with any other sword from auction. Still better than nothing. And last example is foto from bulgarian muzeum.
As for varangian guard, i would rather choose between "Pure" byzantine or Russian/Scandinavian sword.
Hi guys!

I really, really sorry, but must disappoint you.
After talks with some guys, including a short conversation with Boyan Totev, the real story of this sword was revealed.

In short - although NOT a fake, it is a result of wrong interpretation of the facts, made by the museum restoration workers.
The blade with the guard on it, plus handful of other iron/steel artifacts (including the triangular pommel) all of them found on a same place, have been bought by the museum from diggers*.
During the restoration process, the restoration workers put the pommel on the sword mainly because "it looks cool that way". All that has been done against the advice and will of Boyan Totev.
As a result - this is not a hybrid sword, but a wrong mixture of two different objects - blade+guard / pommel

* diggers - here in Bulgaria, we call "diggers" the guys, who look for artifacts at the archeological sites without being part of the archeological research teams. Usually, they don't have special education and do their deeds at the edge of the law. In order to fight historical artifacts smuggling, several years ago our government gave the museums the right to buy these artifacts from the diggers, without asking Who?, Where?, When? and so.
I am, as you might have noticed, not terribly active here. But, a belated and heartfelt thank you to Boris Bedrosov for that information, available just as I restarted this project.
This thread has made for fascinating reading. I have learned a lot and thanks for that.

The inlaid sword linked to above is really beautiful and so interesting! The date is not listed on that one but I am thinking 10th. C. Given the inlay I am thinking it would not be pattern-welded which is also interesting for that time.

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