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The Anglo-Saxon Swords

This was essentially a cavalry weapon and was not carried by anyone below the rank of Thane. At first the sword was two-edged and had no cross-guard. The blade swelled out towards the tip and the point was rounded.

European Sword 11th Century A.D.
Sword of Charlemagne (771-814 A.D.) Length 3 feet, in the louvre

The grip was either of wood or bone and was not decorated in any way. Later the Anglo-Saxon sword became thinner in the blade and acutely pointed. At the same time a cross-guard began to appear and a pommel was used to finish off the grip, both of these parts were now subject to ornamentation.

A sword of this time is preserved in the Wallace Collection at Hertford House, behind Oxford Street, London. The grip is four inches long and the blade is two inches wide at the hilt and thirty inches long.

Swords of the Middle Ages


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