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Mark Lewis





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PostPosted: Fri 12 Jun, 2015 9:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:
No close up, so we have to trust the information from the National Museum and Wegeli.

It's in "Sword in the Age of Chivalry", figure 48. Description is accurate. Wink
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Sat 13 Jun, 2015 4:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Lewis wrote:
Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:
No close up, so we have to trust the information from the National Museum and Wegeli.

It's in "Sword in the Age of Chivalry", figure 48. Description is accurate. Wink


Good to have that settled. Wink

So the “every second E“ mystery:
It could be simply the use of the latin conjunction “et“ to emphasize a name list (first letters).
+ NEDEHER+EMEDENI + on the St. Omer sword.
The middle cross seems to signify two seperate lines though......

Perhaps first N and last Ni are "in Nomine................nostri" [or since for a list of multiple names it should rather be ablative plural in Nominibus ......nostri].

Other possibilities of E, here followed by D......
"Exaudi Domine"
"Ecce Deus"
"Exultate Deo"
"Excelsis Dei"
The H is really hard to find ideas for:
Honora or Hymnus come to mind.
R could very well be Rex.

As for the Enslev Sword + EMEDE + is a line in itself. But what?
Without the E's - M. D. alone could likely be "Maria Domina". [though Nostra Domina (= Our Lady, Notre Dame in French) would perhaps be more normal].
All the three E's could be Exultate = rejoice as interjections?!
Another possibility is "Misericordia Domini" = The Lord's Mercy or
Miserere Domine = Lord have Mercy [Miserere nostri Domini = Lord, have mercy over us]

So the Danish sword could have the title "(3 times rejoicing) The Lord's Mercy" - quite fitting for a crusader sword, perhaps.
That Danish swords seems to favour short lines (a long tradition being sparingly with words) where swords south of Denmark goes for long lines!

The Sword of St. Omer ends with EMEDENI [Perhaps Exultate-Miserere-Exultate-Domine-Exultate-Nostri] with the last NI as a ligature for "nostri".
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Mark Lewis





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PostPosted: Mon 15 Jun, 2015 10:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

St. Omer has another NED sword with a long, complex inscription on both sides:
http://moteur.musenor.com/application/moteur_...vre=394761

The museum states that the inscription reads:
+ NEDRINCUSDRINCU DX O AUSDRICUSDRIN +
+ NEDRI NGDRINFUR DRIN DRINCUSDRINEN +

Wegeli illustrates the inscription as follows in fig. 34:


The museum's reading seems to be missing a few characters, such as the upside-down A, and next to it an unusual form of T (both visible in the museum's photos).

Wegeli interprets the U's as upside down n's, but Wagner and co-authors are adamant that it is a ligature for IS. There is the usual ambiguity with the C/G's and a few other characters...

The characters that resemble O and a backwards S are in fact together a Gothic form for the single letter M. This letter form appears regularly in inscriptions of the NED and DIC groups, often alongside "normal" M's, including on both the Paczkow and Liuksiala swords posted above.

Many authors, including Wegeli and Glosek, were apparently unaware of this letter form, but it makes it possible to identify words like "prelium" and possible names like "Mauricius" and "Mtinius".

Finally, the St. Omer sword might be reread as:
+NEDRINFISSDRNFISCCDXMAISSDRIFISSDRIN+
+NEDRIATNCDRINFISRCCDRINCDRINFISSDRINEN+

Replace C's with G's to taste, and interpret as you like! Wink
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John Hardy




Location: Saskatoon SK Canada
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PostPosted: Mon 15 Jun, 2015 10:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Lewis wrote:
St. Omer has another NED sword with a long, complex inscription on both sides:
http://moteur.musenor.com/application/moteur_...vre=394761

The museum states that the inscription reads:
+ NEDRINCUSDRINCU DX O AUSDRICUSDRIN +
+ NEDRI NGDRINFUR DRIN DRINCUSDRINEN +

Wegeli illustrates the inscription as follows in fig. 34:


The museum's reading seems to be missing a few characters, such as the upside-down A, and next to it an unusual form of T (both visible in the museum's photos).

Wegeli interprets the U's as upside down n's, but Wagner and co-authors are adamant that it is a ligature for IS. There is the usual ambiguity with the C/G's and a few other characters...

The characters that resemble O and a backwards S are in fact together a Gothic form for the single letter M. This letter form appears regularly in inscriptions of the NED and DIC groups, often alongside "normal" M's, including on both the Paczkow and Liuksiala swords posted above.

Many authors, including Wegeli and Glosek, were apparently unaware of this letter form, but it makes it possible to identify words like "prelium" and possible names like "Mauricius" and "Mtinius".

Finally, the St. Omer sword might be reread as:
+NEDRINFISSDRNFISCCDXMAISSDRIFISSDRIN+
+NEDRIATNCDRINFISRCCDRINCDRINFISSDRINEN+

Replace C's with G's to taste, and interpret as you like! Wink


Maybe it was all just a medieval version of those bumper stickers that say "If you can read this you are following too close." -- You showed an enemy your sword, warned him about the power of the mighty talismanic inscription on it, and then while he was trying to figure out what it said, you walloped him across the neck...
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Mon 15 Jun, 2015 11:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Lewis wrote:
St. Omer has another NED sword with a long, complex inscription on both sides:
http://moteur.musenor.com/application/moteur_...vre=394761

The museum states that the inscription reads:
+ NEDRINCUSDRINCU DX O AUSDRICUSDRIN +
+ NEDRI NGDRINFUR DRIN DRINCUSDRINEN +

Wegeli illustrates the inscription as follows in fig. 34:


The museum's reading seems to be missing a few characters, such as the upside-down A, and next to it an unusual form of T (both visible in the museum's photos).

Wegeli interprets the U's as upside down n's, but Wagner and co-authors are adamant that it is a ligature for IS. There is the usual ambiguity with the C/G's and a few other characters...

The characters that resemble O and a backwards S are in fact together a Gothic form for the single letter M. This letter form appears regularly in inscriptions of the NED and DIC groups, often alongside "normal" M's, including on both the Paczkow and Liuksiala swords posted above.

Many authors, including Wegeli and Glosek, were apparently unaware of this letter form, but it makes it possible to identify words like "prelium" and possible names like "Mauricius" and "Mtinius".

Finally, the St. Omer sword might be reread as:
+NEDRINFISSDRNFISCCDXMAISSDRIFISSDRIN+
+NEDRIATNCDRINFISRCCDRINCDRINFISSDRINEN+

Replace C's with G's to taste, and interpret as you like! Wink


Wow that just shows how enormously difficult it is, when there are still so much uncertainty about the letters itself.
I had a suspicion about the use of ligatures, that apparently was confirmed!
It's fun guessing though though I'm likely not even anywhere close.

This super long cryptic sentences got me thinking about "sword courtesy" in the middle ages ->
You are a knight in the middle ages and see a fellow knight draw his sword and you see an inscription you have no clue what means [that must have happened quite often - as many knights couldn't even read] then "what does your sword-inscription say"? seems like an obvious thing to do.

A) So is it acceptable to ask? [and if it is, you might refrain from it anyways for avoid appearing stupid?]
B) Is he required to answer? [It's perhaps a "personal" thing between him, the sword and God? Or maybe it's like a viking poetry guessing game, that if you are curious you have to work it out for yourself?].

Do we have any middle age sources about this?
C) Might some have made their lines cryptic on purpose, so people would ask -> give you the opportunity to tell about it became center of attention Laughing Out Loud [I mean why do people get tattoos with foreign letters most people can't read or abbreviations that cannot be easily deciphered Razz ].
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Mark Lewis





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PostPosted: Thu 18 Jun, 2015 8:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have found an excellent separate example to compare these inscriptions and letter forms with. This carving of the three Marys at the empty tomb appears on St. Peter's Church in Utrecht:


St. Peter's was completed in 1048, but this carving is probably from the second half of the 12th century.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pieterskerk,_Utrecht
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosan_art

The inscription reads: "hic narrat [deum] quem defunctum mulierum mens devota putat. felix qui credit utrumq[ue]". It uses a wide range of character variants... two forms of E, three of T, and three of M, including the "OS" looking one.

It also has two forms of U, the classic V ,and the curved form resembling "IS" ... which in this case at least is not used as the ligature.
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Thu 18 Jun, 2015 7:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:
Mark Lewis wrote:
Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:
No close up, so we have to trust the information from the National Museum and Wegeli.

It's in "Sword in the Age of Chivalry", figure 48. Description is accurate. Wink


Good to have that settled. Wink

So the “every second E“ mystery:
It could be simply the use of the latin conjunction “et“ to emphasize a name list (first letters).
+ NEDEHER+EMEDENI + on the St. Omer sword.
The middle cross seems to signify two seperate lines though......

Perhaps first N and last Ni are "in Nomine................nostri" [or since for a list of multiple names it should rather be ablative plural in Nominibus ......nostri].

Other possibilities of E, here followed by D......
"Exaudi Domine"
"Ecce Deus"
"Exultate Deo"
"Excelsis Dei"
The H is really hard to find ideas for:
Honora or Hymnus come to mind.
R could very well be Rex.

As for the Enslev Sword + EMEDE + is a line in itself. But what?
Without the E's - M. D. alone could likely be "Maria Domina". [though Nostra Domina (= Our Lady, Notre Dame in French) would perhaps be more normal].
All the three E's could be Exultate = rejoice as interjections?!
Another possibility is "Misericordia Domini" = The Lord's Mercy or
Miserere Domine = Lord have Mercy [Miserere nostri Domini = Lord, have mercy over us]

So the Danish sword could have the title "(3 times rejoicing) The Lord's Mercy" - quite fitting for a crusader sword, perhaps.
That Danish swords seems to favour short lines (a long tradition being sparingly with words) where swords south of Denmark goes for long lines!

The Sword of St. Omer ends with EMEDENI [Perhaps Exultate-Miserere-Exultate-Domine-Exultate-Nostri] with the last NI as a ligature for "nostri".


Hey, where were you when we were trying to figure this out a few years ago? Happy

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...p;start=40



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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Sat 20 Jun, 2015 3:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Lewis wrote:
I have found an excellent separate example to compare these inscriptions and letter forms with. This carving of the three Marys at the empty tomb appears on St. Peter's Church in Utrecht:


St. Peter's was completed in 1048, but this carving is probably from the second half of the 12th century.

The inscription reads: "hic narrat [deum] quem defunctum mulierum mens devota putat. felix qui credit utrumq[ue]". It uses a wide range of character variants... two forms of E, three of T, and three of M, including the "OS" looking one.

It also has two forms of U, the classic V ,and the curved form resembling "IS" ... which in this case at least is not used as the ligature.


J.D. Crawford wrote:
Hey, where were you when we were trying to figure this out a few years ago? Happy

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...p;start=40


Mark, your example shows the incredible complexity of the topic. Until we have some experts in Latin writing conventions of these time periods, it it very hard to make any assumptions.
It seems for aesthetic reasons, that you wanted to make letter variations in a text. My first thought was that the "IS" character is then not a ligature, but for emphasizing the use of an "V" pronounced as an "U", but in defunctum [top right text], the first is the "IS" letter and the second U is a "V" letter.

J.D. Crawford: Thanks for giving the link to the St Omer sword discussion Wink .
The reason for my absence was simply that I didn't know the forum existed back then.
The question firstly is whether the St. Omer sword has EWEDENI or EMEDENI - I still think the 180 degrees flipped M is more likely firstly because we have the Danish Sword with EMEDE.
Secondly the W-sound seems to figure in Old English and Old High German inscriptions; BUT in Old High German as an double "U" [written VV] and in Old English with the "Wynn letter" Ƿ.
The change to the ligature "W" seems fairly late and still rare in the late middle ages.....
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Mark Lewis





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PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun, 2015 5:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:
Until we have some experts in Latin writing conventions of these time periods

Something I definitely cannot claim to be! For now I am looking at inscriptions on other objects to get a better sense of the overall context. Sculptures and such are generally much better translated/documented/etc. since they are more in favour with art historians, so that's a plus.

I agree that the choice of specific letter variant seems largely aesthetic.
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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun, 2015 9:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Lewis wrote:
Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:
Until we have some experts in Latin writing conventions of these time periods

Something I definitely cannot claim to be! For now I am looking at inscriptions on other objects to get a better sense of the overall context. Sculptures and such are generally much better translated/documented/etc. since they are more in favour with art historians, so that's a plus.

I agree that the choice of specific letter variant seems largely aesthetic.


Possibly, but there are multiple forms of "S" in manuscript writing, and the form used might depend upon the placement in the word or pronunciation. A quick example would be s, the eszett ß, and the long-s that is sometimes mistaken for an f.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_s

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Mon 22 Jun, 2015 10:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mart Shearer wrote:
Mark Lewis wrote:
Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:
Until we have some experts in Latin writing conventions of these time periods

Something I definitely cannot claim to be! For now I am looking at inscriptions on other objects to get a better sense of the overall context. Sculptures and such are generally much better translated/documented/etc. since they are more in favour with art historians, so that's a plus.

I agree that the choice of specific letter variant seems largely aesthetic.


Possibly, but there are multiple forms of "S" in manuscript writing, and the form used might depend upon the placement in the word or pronunciation. A quick example would be s, the eszett ß, and the long-s that is sometimes mistaken for an f.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_s


This was actually something I initially thought about, but the "Defunctum" example seems to disprove it a bit.
It seems that aesthetic variation of letters is the case, so after you used one version you use another version (no matter it's placement in the words).
I can be the case in some instances that the "NI" followed by N is a convention.

You example is that up until 1790's in England you used "long, medial, or descending" s (ſ) to distinguish with "terminal, round, or short" s. ß (sharp s) being a ligature of iz in German.

Problem is that apparently the “NI", "IS", "OS" seems in some inscriptions, that they might be ligatures, but in the above example by Mark, are used a simple letters variations.

Spelling was not fixed either nationally, so local conventions might also variate enormously from place to place.
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Marc van Hasselt





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PostPosted: Thu 03 Sep, 2015 7:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As I am preparing to do some extensive research on this subject, I am very happy to have found this thread! I would love to be able to use the amazing work you have already done to continue working on the mystery of the inscribed swords. To contribute, I have done some work on a swordblade kept in Alphen a/d Rijn, the Netherlands. Its inscription reads as:
+BENEDOXOFTISSCSDRRISCDICECMTINIUSCSDNI+
+DIOXMTINIUSESDIOMTINIUSCSDICCCMTDICIIZISI+
http://www.archeologiehuiszuidholland.nl/inde...nscripties

Although of course, this is always up for debate. The repeated letter combination of MTINIUSCS I have interpreted as referring to Martinius Sanctus, though it could also be Mauritius Sanctus. The letters DIC also appear more than once.

What has always struck me about these inscriptions is the incredible similarity in the lettering used. It seems that there was a very strong convention on what letters were 'allowed' on these swords. So I am very excited to see some of the same types of letters used on epigraphy - and in my home town no less!

So again, thank you for your fantastic work, I hope we can take this research further in future.
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Fri 18 Sep, 2015 9:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Marc van Hasselt wrote:
As I am preparing to do some extensive research on this subject, I am very happy to have found this thread! I would love to be able to use the amazing work you have already done to continue working on the mystery of the inscribed swords. To contribute, I have done some work on a swordblade kept in Alphen a/d Rijn, the Netherlands. Its inscription reads as:
+BENEDOXOFTISSCSDRRISCDICECMTINIUSCSDNI+
+DIOXMTINIUSESDIOMTINIUSCSDICCCMTDICIIZISI+
http://www.archeologiehuiszuidholland.nl/inde...nscripties

Although of course, this is always up for debate. The repeated letter combination of MTINIUSCS I have interpreted as referring to Martinius Sanctus, though it could also be Mauritius Sanctus. The letters DIC also appear more than once.

What has always struck me about these inscriptions is the incredible similarity in the lettering used. It seems that there was a very strong convention on what letters were 'allowed' on these swords. So I am very excited to see some of the same types of letters used on epigraphy - and in my home town no less!

So again, thank you for your fantastic work, I hope we can take this research further in future.


Great you found this thread then and sorry for the late reply.
That is really a very long text you have on this sword! What is your latin reconstruction so far...?

It's interesting that many central European blades have very long inscriptions, whereas the Danish examples are generally very short.
Is it for reducing cost, having something cultural against to long (obvious?) statements, fear of blade weakening?

You say similarity in lettering - we have seen the same alphabetic letter being written in many variants; but perhaps you mean that this variation is fixed according to some convention?
Like for instance use of NN with two different types of letters is always in the same order [what looks like an NI ligature followed by a normal N?]
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Mon 21 Sep, 2015 8:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From Carl Koppeschaar's extensive photo-collection I found a close up of the Ordrup Mose Sword hilt (from the Danish National Museum), so to make it clear for all that the pommel is "quadratic" seen from above and not a flattened "rectangular" Type T1 seen from above.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/98015679@N04/9220346140/in/album-72157634497562183/

EDIT: Found also this sword in the Wallace Collection, so the difference between T1 and T2 pommel can be clearly seen (flat top in T1; raised/domed top in T2).
This is likely an Oakeshott Type XVII with a slightly downturned cross-hilt and a T2 pommel.
[As this combination is quite typical for Type XVII]
It's dated 1375-1400.

From Carl Koppeschaar's picture [A 463] - the sword in the background.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/98015679@N04/albums/72157634514763041/page2

Wallace collection online:
Source: http://wallacelive.wallacecollection.org/eMus...T&sp=0
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct, 2015 7:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Actually found two article discussing (Swedish) sword-blade inscriptions from the middle ages:
Wagner, T., Worley, J., Holst Blennow, A., Beckholmen, G. (2009)
Medieval Christian invocation inscriptions on sword blades.
Waffen- und Kostümkunde, 51(1): 11-52
Source: http://www.gustavianum.uu.se/digitalAssets/20...blades.pdf
The paleographic comparison of letters used between swords on page 41-43 is REALLY nice!!

Worley, J., Wagner, T. (2013)
How to make swords talk: an interdisciplinary approach to understanding medieval swords and
their inscriptions
.
Waffen- und Kostümkunde, 55(2): 113-132
Source: http://www.gustavianum.uu.se/digitalAssets/19...ptions.pdf

So the 2013 paper concludes that Wegeli (1904) generally have a to late a dating for his examples and very little academic work has been done on the subject of "Sword Epigraphy" (yeah, figured that out as well).

The authors furthermore takes a dialectical stance seeing each individual sword as a "Historical Testimony".
The authors seems to take it for granted, that it will give insights into the "essential cognitive aspects" of the warriors worldview.

My view:
Here they might overlook (though I agree its unlikely, yet possible) that perhaps many warriors couldn't write at all (or even know any latin) and that the choice of inscription could have been made entirely by the sword-smith, if the warrior asked for some unspecified powerful inscription to accompany the sword itself. [Like people wanting a "powerful" tattoo and let the Tattooer choose something fitting for the client]
The sword-smith could perhaps in some instances be educated in languages (viking smiths might often have known runes!) or if they didn't read and write, they could still copy from official church inscriptions they saw around them!

So I would say that an examination of known sword producing places with the local church inscriptions could be interesting: Does the sword inscriptions totally copy the use of abbreviations and ligatures of the official inscriptions, then smith copying would be very likely!

Ok back to the articles:
They examine 4 inscribed Swedish Swords (strangely the 2013 article lacks pictures of these 4 swords?), but can be found in the 2009 article:
1) The Rådhus-sword:
A) +NNOMINEDO......
The authors states in the 2009 paper that the first N has to be read as a ligature of IN [so here we are back to that discussion again, whether it is a ligature OR a convention of using different letters as variations in the text].
They interpret it then as IN NOMINE DO (the blade is cut off 2/3 through of the O letter) as being IN NOMINE DOMINI the invocation of the Christian credo "In the Name of the Lord".

B) The other end of the sword has the inscription +CICELIMINE......
So the first part could be the name Cicelin (a variation of the "French name Joscelin or the Germanic Gidfrit and
its affectionate forms Gizo, Gizelo and Gizelin").
They wonder if the last two letters NE in the inscription is faulty and should be ME and thus read CICELI MIME

Possible variant:
MIME is vocative singularis Latin of Mimus = actor/mime (or just old French Mime). So CICELI(N) the MIME/actor.
My view: I does sound pretty weird to find on a sword as actors were regarded as low status people. Though plays were popular and actors were hired as professionals by royalty, they were commoners. It is always dangerous to assume a misspelling on a short incomplete inscription, so I would keep other possibilities open!

Authors choice:
Other sword inscriptions from two lost swords from Berlin has +GICELINMEFECIT+. ["Giscelin made me" = GICELIN ME FECIT]
So +CICELIMINE should be +CICELI(MI?) ME FECIT

That first example is clearly a workshop name of the smith, so variant spelling sounds pretty weird, unless it was made by copying at another smithy.
Even if neither you or the buyer can read, then you can at least create a correct reproduction.
You have to suppose enormous amounts of errors to get from +CICELIMINE..... to +GICELINMEFECIT+

My wild guess: +CICELI MINE(US) or +CECELI MINE(A), where I don't suppose any misspelling.
MINEUS is used as "of a cinnabar-red color", so perhaps a descriptive adjective of the smith or owner (in masculine).
Source: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?la=la&l=mineus
If the inscription is the name of the Sword (men do give names to their weapons) the possibility could be the feminine
CECELI MINE(A).
Source: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?l=minea&la=la
CECELI is an occurring variant of Cecilia. So "cinnabar-red Cecilia" could be the sword name, especially if the grip had that colour or was being chosen to fit the name! I personally like that version!!
Could also be a reference to Saint Cecilia (she is in fact often portrayed in red clothes in paintings, but off course it needs to be figured out if that was the case in the local environment the sword was made in).
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Cecilia
Anyways these can be combined having a "red Cecilia" as the sword name in reference to the (red?) "Saint Cecilia".

I will admit it is somewhat unlikely because the word mineus/minea only? appears in roman latin and renaissance texts (so it is a "learned" word) whereas the colour "Vermilion" (Old French vermeillon) or "Cinnabar" (Old French cinabre) would be more vernacular use of the specific red colour?! Maybe use the latin Ruber (masc) or Rubra (fem) instead if you wanted to use a colour word for "red" in latin?

They also reports that "GICELIN type swords" were also found in Denmark, Finland and Poland [unclear if it is based on the Schwietering article in the “Zeitschrift für historische Waffen- und Kostümkunde” Vol 7 (1915-17), Fig. 1-9].
Really! I would like to see them........

To be continued....


Last edited by Niels Just Rasmussen on Mon 19 Oct, 2015 9:20 am; edited 6 times in total
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct, 2015 9:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Fyris Sword: UMF/B 78

Obverse Text:
+ N I A (or N L A) Fleur-delis/Clover/Tree-of-Life

Reverse Text:
+ F N C R (or E N C R)

Their 2013 article gives a likely explanation for NIA. The invocation: (In) N(omine) I(esu) A(men) [In the name of Jesus, Amen].
The N interpreted as a ligature, thus IN (In Nomine).
The fleur-de-lis (if it is) could be a reference to the Virgin Mary.
Wegeli read it is NLA and classified these swords as being with the DIC (DIG?) group of swords based in very similar type of characters used.

The reverse lettering is obscure, and the authors refers to Wegeli's guess of EN as E(ripe) N(os) = "Deliver us" and CR as C(h)R(istus). So +ENCR as "Deliver Us Christus".
The authors find this dubious as Christus, as a holy name, is normally spelled in greek letters as for instance XPS (Christos).
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct, 2015 11:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Side-trekking a bit from the articles on the Swedish Swords I fell over this question about the River Witham Sword from the British Museum.

First British Museum page on the Sword:
http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highligh...sword.aspx

The article (question really) about the inscription:
http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/digitised...tion.html.

Seen that Marc van Hasselt gave his interpretation and reply!

They give it as +NDXOXCHWDRGHDXORVI+, but looking at it with see the same ambiguously used letters as we have discussed before:


+NDXOX seems right so far.
Then you have the C, that might also perhaps be a G?
Then H, but followed with W [is it an upside down M instead of a W is we also have discussed]
Then D, but followed what they interpret as an R could be an N instead OR an upside down U/V !.
They then interpret G (for what could be a C).
HDXOR seems correct.
Then what they interpret as a V could be a compact IS ligature OR an upside down A (more unlikely)?
Ends correctly with I+

So +NDXOX(g)H(m)D(n/u/v)(c)HDXOR(is/a)I+ could also be interpreted!
Even before guessing getting the letters right is tricky enough!
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Mark Lewis





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PostPosted: Mon 12 Oct, 2015 5:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:
I fell over this question about the River Witham Sword from the British Museum.

Hi Niels, there was a thread in the forum on this topic shortly after the Museum's question was made public. I'm linking to a post of mine which includes some comparative material that may interest you.
http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?p=300...ht=#300954
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Mon 12 Oct, 2015 6:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Lewis wrote:
Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:
I fell over this question about the River Witham Sword from the British Museum.

Hi Niels, there was a thread in the forum on this topic shortly after the Museum's question was made public. I'm linking to a post of mine which includes some comparative material that may interest you.
http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?p=300...ht=#300954


So to snatch over your Padua sword discussion:

Mark Lewis wrote:

The Padua sword is slightly longer at 109.5 cm overall (versus 106.5 cm for the St. Omer.) The fuller appears to nearly full-length, so I think could be best classified as a type Xa or XI. Mario Scalini has suggested a date of around 1175-1200... Craig, does this dating seem reasonable?

The sword carries an inscription in a pale metal (silver?), apparently only on one side. The inscription reads +HRFATEXFHVSC... The closest match for the content of this inscription seems to be the Finnish sword (KM, inv. no. 704) illustrated by Oakeshott, which shares the "EXF" sequence.

More interestingly, the style of H on the Padua sword is of precisely the same unusual double-barred form which appears on both the Finnish sword and the Witham sword originally discussed.
.

Just wanted to share this paleographic article find from "The elements of abbreviation in medieval Latin paleography" by ADRIANO CAPPELLI (1899), english translation by David Heimann and Richard Kay (1982), page 16-17.
Source: https://kuscholarworks.ku.edu/bitstream/handle/1808/1821/47cappelli.pdf;jsessionid=EEA72FB4418A61D0F751716A70AAEA79?sequence=3

"The fifth sign, resembling an arabic numeral 2 or an S lying on its side was extensively used in most medieval hands to indicate an omitted ur or tur, generally at the end of a word and almost always written above the line. On rare occasions it can also stand for the syllabic er or ter, but not at the end of a word."
This is book hand off course, which can be somewhat different from inscriptions on swords and monuments.

So since you actually have this S lying on the side in the sword inscriptions [is that from the Finnish sword?], it worth mentioning that it might not be an S at all; but Er-, Ter- when not final, and likely -ur, -tur when final.

Furthermore you say the Padua sword has double-stroked H's like the Whitham sword (my picture shows single-stroked H's on the Whitham?? - is that the result of being shown a reproduction with faulty letters??).

One of my teachers once said that latin paleography was 75% abbreviations, that just had to be learned by heart. They were used to save parchment. Same with inscription since swords doesn't have unlimited length. [It scared me off so I didn't take the course.......really a shame now].
At least by the Carolingian period you got some standardization, whilst in the Merovingian period each monastery or even each individual scribe had their own system and even own type of letters.

Even more the sentence you show also includes a greek "heta" in the second line.
The purpose was likely be make a distinction between latin H and the greek long E/Æ sound


Last edited by Niels Just Rasmussen on Tue 13 Oct, 2015 4:33 am; edited 1 time in total
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Mon 12 Oct, 2015 8:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Found a picture of one of the other 4 sandstone reliefs from the St. Peters Church in Utrecht, Holland (which also shows a guy with a sword in the hand)

Source (big size): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pieterskerk,_Utrecht#/media/File:Pieterskerk_-_reli%C3%ABf.JPG
They are probably put back to their original location at the side of the stairs leading up to the alter.
Source (use panorama): http://www.kerkenkijken.nl/church.aspx?ID=11

"Vier zandstenen reliëfs die tot de belangrijkste romaanse beeldhouwwerken in Nederland behoren. Zij zijn in 1965 tijdens de restauratie onder de vloer teruggevonden[1] en op hun oorspronkelijke plaats, aan weerszijden van de trap op de scheiding van viering en koor aangebracht. Zij stellen links Pilatus en de Kruisiging voor, en rechts een engel op het geopende graf van Christus en drie naderende vrouwen. De reliëfs werden waarschijnlijk rond 1150 in de Maasstreek vervaardigd en vertonen verwantschap met beeldhouwwerk in de Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk in Maastricht."
Source: https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pieterskerk_(Utrecht)

So since they are dated at around 1150, it is interesting that the style of writing looks a lot like seen on many of the swords.
So I would think it is the "Romanische Majuskel" used in most epigraphic writing from around 1000 to around 1200.

"Der in der Epigraphik Deutschlands und Frankreichs für die Zeit um 1000 erkannte stilistische "Wendepunkt" (Kloos 1992, 123), mit schmalen und von Ligaturen und Enklaven durchsetzten Buchstaben.."

Then later swords might be from a transition phase towards the "frühe-gotische Majuskel", that become dominant during the later part of the 13th century: [For Bayern it happens around 1270].
"Letztere Schriftentwicklungen leiteten die romanische Majuskel ein, in der eine flächigere Untermalung der Buchstaben und die Einbringung unzialer und runder Formen vorangetrieben wurde. Der Übergang zur gotischen Majuskel war fließend, erfolgte in Bayern jedoch gegenüber der progressiveren Schriftlandschaft des Rhein-Maasgebietes zeitlich verzögert und zunächst verhalten. Je nach Material, in dem die Inschrift ausgeführt ist, kann das kulturelle Schriftgefälle von West nach Ost ein oder mehrere Generationen Verzögerung in der Einführung des neuen Schriftstils bedeuten (Koch 2007, 211)."
Source (quoted): http://www.historisches-lexikon-bayerns.de/artikel/artikel_45812

Example of a "Romanisch Majuskel" is the "Prüfening dedicatory inscription" from 1119 (very old school roman).
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pr%C3%BCfening_dedicatory_inscription


Last edited by Niels Just Rasmussen on Mon 19 Oct, 2015 9:59 am; edited 2 times in total
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