Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sword Names

From English Historical Fiction Authors:
Throughout history, heroic figures have wielded swords to stave off hordes of enemies, whether man or beast. The style and shape of the weapon varied, depending on the time period and level of craftsmanship at the time. The blade could have been single or double-edged, one or two-handed, exquisite or ordinary.

Many pieces survive to this day, adorning a wall in a writing corner or preserved in a museum. Some are buried inches below the surface, begging to see the light of day and share its tales of glory or infamy. Others have decayed to the point of resembling only a shadow of what they once were.

The Vikings were feared for their ferocity and skill in battle. Their longships with their dragons heads had the ability to sail up shallow rivers, thus terrorizing England and making Saxon mothers wonder whether their men and stockade fences could withstand a sustained assault. Perhaps the attackers had the name ULFBERHT inscribed on the blade, which would have placed no small amount of fear in the defenders.

This type of blade was an early form of a brand name; it was a high-end brand of swords whose maker was ULFBERHT. It is believed that these high quality, super strong weapons were forged in a German monastery between 800 and 1000 AD. The name does not refer to one single person, but rather those who had the skill to forge under this name. The steel was of a high purity that it was not believed to have been available until the Industrial Revolution, which explains why 170 of these pieces bearing this inscription have been found. (Read more.)

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