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"For those making viking units." Topic


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757 hits since 6 Oct 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP06 Oct 2019 9:59 a.m. PST

I'm reading Vikings at War, a book dealing with warfare, equipment and warrior society.

And in confirms that the spear was the main weapon. Except for the dane axe that was a specialised weapon. The spear is what would be used, hand axes and, weapon knives and sword would only be used.

1. When your spear broke, this might not be a very uncommon thing, but it's not that hard to pass a spear from the back ranks.

2 when the formations broke apart and and single fighters or small groups had to fight on their own.

Apparently the bow was more used than I thought, a good fylke (formation) should have arches in the back. It was also seen as an honorable weapon to use, so not seen as a more cowardly weapon.
One longbow was about 100pd draw weight. It seems quite standard for a warbow.

A fylke was normally 5 to 6 ranks but could be as little as 2.

The Svinfylking probably wasn't as nice and geometric as described in the sources.
But probably looked more like the tip of a finger.

Also don't get stabbed by a sword, it turns you into a vagina.

Personal logo Grelber Supporting Member of TMP06 Oct 2019 11:35 a.m. PST

1. I think I'm going to ignore that last line.
2. Who wrote this book? It sounds like something I should read.

Grelber

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP06 Oct 2019 11:44 a.m. PST

link

Co-written by historian and archaeologist. Both working at the Norwegian history museum/the University of Oslo.
So these have hands-on experience with the finds.

And while Denmark and Sweden only have a few hundred swords, Norway alone has some 2500-3000 swords. So plenty of stuff to measure and scrutinise.

Lots of drawings, comprising illustrations of the common sword, axe, spear types.

Another interesting thing is that the single edge Viking swords were mostly an early period thing, 700-800s, and aren't found after that. And most of them seem to come from western Norway. So could be considered a rather local thing.
So to be safe, don't give your Rus Vikings single-edge swords(not that many/any make those in miniatures.

Personal logo Swampster Supporting Member of TMP06 Oct 2019 1:16 p.m. PST

Coincidentally, there have been reports this week of a find of sword fragments in Estonian. link They are reckoned to be from about 100 swords and may have been 'killed' before burial.
They are also of the two edged form as mentioned above.

Personal logo Grelber Supporting Member of TMP06 Oct 2019 7:26 p.m. PST

Gunfreak,
I found the book in a local bookstore, looked through it, and it is even better than you made it sound. I just have to wait for the next paycheck B^(

Swampster,
Interesting about the sword finds in Estonia. Europe has its own variety of political correctness, and for years it was not correct to mention the Nordic contribution to Slavic and Eastern European culture. Nice to see that this is changing.

Grelber

Cerdic06 Oct 2019 10:37 p.m. PST

Just downloaded on kindle for less than 5 quid!

Cheers Gunny!

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2019 1:21 a.m. PST

Interesting about the sword finds in Estonia. Europe has its own variety of political correctness, and for years it was not correct to mention the Nordic contribution to Slavic and Eastern European culture. Nice to see that this is changing.

To be fair Estonia has always been very pro "scandinavia" particularly Sweden. And wants to be seen as a nordic country.

The two other baltic states and other eastern European countries seem to be more about identifying themself with pride as eastern European. A natural reaction after centries under the control of either german states or Russia. No different than the nationalism and mythmaking that happened in Norway in the 19th century after being free of Denmark, and Sweden letting us do our own thing.

Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2019 1:47 a.m. PST

This unusual phenomenon needs unpacking.

Also don't get stabbed by a sword, it turns you into a vagina.

St Anselm07 Oct 2019 5:25 a.m. PST

Is this a reference to Cnut?

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2019 5:28 a.m. PST

The Norse/Nordic word for sword is sverd, which in the Viking age also meant penis. So if you get penetrated by a sword/penis, you become a vagina.
Slire the nordic word for scabbard is also a synonym for vagina.

Personal logo Swampster Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2019 1:29 p.m. PST

That is the literal translation of the Latin word anyway.

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