The Norman Medieval Sword

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The transition from the Germanic to the swords of the medieval period took shape between the 10th and 11th centuries. While the blade geometry remained relatively constant, the main changes were a gradual transition towards a crucifix guard and wheel pommel. The geometry of the swords found from the 12th century clearly defined the classical examples of the Norman swords and image of the “chivalric knight”.  

While the blade transitioned into a slightly more tapered and pointed tipped weapon, the cross guard and pommel were the main transitional changes. While the accentuated tip came from years of first hand combat experience, necessitating a more functional tip for thrusting, the guard emerged as a change in religious beliefs. The amalgamation of both transitions resulted in a lighter, more versatile weapon that allowed both slashing and thrusting during close quarter combat. The transitional crucifix guard was used as a defensive advantage over the Norman sword’s predecessor, the Spatha. Not only did the longer quillons of the sword provided better blocking capabilities, it also provided the fighter a blunt stabbing weapon in the trenches of close quarter combat. The Norman sword’s longer guard therefore proved more effective for both defensive and offensive function.

While the crusader sword (Type Xa) has a relatively conservative geometry, it nevertheless introduced a better balance and was more graceful in form. While generally the same proportions as their earlier counterpart, the swords of the 11th c had more tapered narrowing blades making them easier to wield.

Blade: 5160 High Carbon Steel.

Dual Tempered HRc 60 48-50 at the core

Fittings: Mild Steel

Total length: 35″

Blade length: 28″

Blade width at base: 2″

Weight: 2lbs. 6 oz.

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