The Viking Sword

The Viking Sword

For the Vikings the sword was a fundamental object; a thousand years later the Viking swords continue to fascinate. In a time of misery, warriors inherited the swords of their fathers or took them as spoils of war.

Although the Viking ax was the most used weapon, the Vikings also liked to have a good sword, in fact they had the belief that only the warriors who died with the sword in their hands entered the Valhalla

The Viking sword was different from that of the peoples of southern Europe. In the south they continued to use short swords, in the style of the Roman Glaudius, while the Vikings forged larger and heavier swords. Its main features were:

  • A thick leaf that narrowed toward the tip
  • About 90 cm long
  • Double-edged straight blade
  • Short handle
  • Little sharp point
  • Very heavy

As for decoration, in the swords of the nobles were runes and symbols, especially near the hilt, as a symbol of wealth and prestige.

By the shape of these swords we can deduce the way to use them. Since the tip was not sharp, they were used to cut, not to puncture. The distribution of the weight, more towards the tip, indicates that it allowed launching very powerful blows, although it made recovery difficult after the attack. Because of this it was an eminently offensive weapon, not being very practical to stop or deflect blows. We know from the short handle that it was used with one hand, in the other hand they carried the famous Viking shield.

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